Vatican delegation visits Vietnam

 A delegation from the Vatican, led by the Holy See's Undersecretary of State for Relations with States, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, arrived in Vietnam on Monday to discuss the establishment of diplomatic ties. This is their 15th round of talks that have taken place between the two parties. Considerable progress was made when Vietnam's prime minister met Pope Benedict in Rome in January. But the Vatican remains concerned about a number of issues. Last month, Father Nguyen Van Ly, was taken from his home in the Bishop's Palace in the central city of Hue by police and placed under house arrest 20kms away. There have also been many reports of mistreatment of Catholics by the authorities, particularly in the north west of Vietnam. Religious practice by all denominations is very restricted throughout the country. The Vatican wants the government to return church property confiscated when the Communist regime took power. It is also asking to be allowed to provide more education and welfare services. Source: VIS

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