12 October 2013 – Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) concludes its XII Assembly on Friday October 11, 2013 with a celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Saint Joseph Seminary in the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City.
XII assembly had three full days of sharing fraternal reflection and pastoral discussion, reviewing many activities and ceremonies of the Year of Faith in individual dioceses, celebrating the Eucharist and communal prayers.
The first day, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Non-resident representative of the Holy See in Vietnam, gave a speech in which he conveyed personal greetings from Pope Francis and his special affection for the Church in Asia, and for particular Church in Vietnam. Archbishop Girelli recalled: Neo-evangelization or preaching the Gospel to the particular peoples is to retell the story of Jesus in this particular country, a story of the crucified Jesus. And we must retell this story of the crucified Jesus with a new and vital testimony in dialogue and patience from the love of the Crucifix. For Asia and Vietnam, this dialogue reaches out to four sectors: other religions, other cultures, the poor and the atheistic people. Archbishop Girelli also gave an exhibition of the cross on the logo of CBCV: The vertical dimension of the cross represents the divine incarnation that rooted deeply into human ground, the horizontal dimension of the cross represents the mystery of ecclesial communion which opens to dialogue with the world of different religions, cultures, poor and marginalized people, and even with the atheists. He concludes with his gratitude to all Episcopal members who have welcomed and helped him to fulfill his task for the Church in Vietnam. The assembly also listened to the remark of Cardinal John Baptist Phạm Minh Mẫn who is about to accomplish his term as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon of this first day, assembly reviewed the legitimacy of the election of the next Standing Committee (Central Secretariat) and leadership of its Episcopal commissions, the canon of establishment of new religious congregations in the dioceses. In the evening, the bishops of each ecclesial province gathered for their own meetings.
The second day began with report from the Episcopal commission for Divine Worship about “Decree regarding the Mention of the Divine Name of St. Joseph in the Eucharistic Prayers II, and IV” issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on May 1, 2013. The Episcopal commission for Doctrine of Faith also introduced the catechetical version of Youcat in Vietnamese and the translation of Enchiridion Symbolorum (A Compendium of Creeds, Definitions, and Declarations of the Catholic Church). In this morning session, the assembly also listened to the report on the constructions of CBCV’s office building and the National Pilgrim Center of Our Lady of Lavang in the Archdiocese of Huế. In the afternoon, the election of the next Standing Committee (Central Secretariat) and leadership of its Episcopal took place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The major task of the third day was to prepare and review the Message of CBCV, which to be sent to all the faithful of the Church in Vietnam at the end of this assembly. The assembly also had a chance to welcome and listen to Fr. Raymond O'Toole, SFM, Secretary General of Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference (FABC), who gave evaluation on behalf of FABC for its recent XII Plenary Assembly which was organized in Vietnam; the assessment presents great feedback for this event in both ecclesial and social aspects. Subsequently, Bishop Joseph Võ Đức Minh shared his reflection on his trip to Rome, attending the official closing of the diocesan part of the beatification process for the Servant of God - Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận, in July. Archbishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Nhơn, outgoing President of CBCV also gave thanks to Cardinal John Baptist Phạm Minh Mẫn for his faithful service as Cardinal Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. Archbishop Nhơn expressed, on behalf of all members of CBCV, the gratitude with great affection to Cardinal Mẫn, who is and will ever be the great and generous brother, a model and protector for all of his brother bishops in Vietnam.
At the end of this assembly, CBCV published its Message to all the faithful in Vietnam with a pastoral agenda for the next three year, entitled “Neo-evangelization to communicate our faith.” This pastoral agenda is specified in yearly topics:
– 2014: Neo-evangelization in family life;
– 2015: Neo-evangelization in parish and community life;
– 2016: Neo-evangelization in civil life.
CBCV also announced its new leadership for the service term of 2013-2016:
President: Archbishop Paul Bùi Văn Đọc.
Vice President: Archbishop Francis Xavier Lê Văn Hồng.
Secretary General: Bishop Cosmas Hoàng Văn Đạt.
Vice Secretary General: Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm.
1/ Chair of Committee on Doctrine of Faith: Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Năng.
2/ Chair of Committee on Scripture: Bishop Joseph Võ Đức Minh.
3/ Chair of Committee on Divine Worship: Bishop Peter Trần Đình Tứ.
4/ Chair of Committee on Sacred Art: Bishop Matthew Nguyễn Văn Khôi.
5/ Chair of Committee on Sacred Music: Bishop Vincent Nguyễn Văn Bản.
6/ Chair of Committee on Evangelization: Bishop Alphonsus Nguyễn Hữu Long.
7/ Chair of Committee on Clergy and Seminarians: Bishop Anthony Vũ Huy Chương.
8/ Chair of Committee on Religious: Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Đệ.
9/ Chair of Committee on Laity: Bishop Joseph Trần Xuân Tiếu.
10/ Chair of Committee on Social Communication: Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Tấn Tước.
11/ Chair of Committee on Catholic Education: Bishop Joseph Đinh Đức Đạo.
12/ Chair of Committee on Youth Ministry: Bishop Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên.
13/ Chair of Committee on Culture: Bishop Joseph Vũ Duy Thống.
14/ Chair of Committee on Peace and Justice: Bishop Paul Nguyễn Thái Hợp.
15/ Chair of Committee on Family Life: Bishop Joseph Châu Ngọc Tri.
16/ Chair of Committee on Charity- Caritas: Bishop Thomas Aquinas Vũ Đình Hiệu.
17/ Chair of Committee on Emigrants: Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Chí Linh.