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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

Vatican Foreign Minister In Vietnam To Arrange Pope’s Visit

The Vatican's de facto foreign minister has arrived in Vietnam hoping to ease strained ties between the communist Southeast Asian nation and the Holy See, and pave the way for a potential visit by Pope Francis, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP).


Archbishop Paul Gallagher is the most senior official to visit Vietnam since diplomatic relations were cut at the end of the war with the United States in 1975. I Photo: © Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk, Catholic Church England and Wales Flickr



Archbishop Paul Gallagher is the most senior official to visit Vietnam since diplomatic relations were cut at the end of the war with the United States in 1975, when the communist government expelled the apostolic delegate.



In recent years, the two have tried to restart diplomatic relations, and Gallagher's trip -- which will include tours of Hanoi, southern business hub Ho Chi Minh City, and the ancient capital Hue -- comes after a Vietnamese delegation visited the Pope earlier this year.


Vietnam has around six million Catholics, who make up roughly six percent of its population.



The government last year invited Pope Francis to visit the country, and Gallagher is in Hanoi to work out the details. He met his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son in the capital city and is scheduled to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday.




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