Vietnam Bishops Annual Meeting I – April 21-25, 2014

CBCV -- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) held its first annual meeting at the Pastoral Center of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese in gathering all archbishops and bishops of 25 dioceses of Vietnam, except the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Vinh Long due to his ailment.

On Monday evening of the Octave of Easter, the Vietnamese bishops began the meeting with the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by a welcoming and opening remarks of Archbishop Paul Bùi Văn Đọc of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese. Bishop Cosmas Hoàng Văn Đạt, General Secretary of the Conference, also informed the meeting agenda for the next days.

On Tuesday, April 22, the Conference received planning proposal for establishing of the National Institute of Advanced Theology Studies presented by Bishop Joseph Đinh Đức Đạo, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Xuân Lộc and Chair of Episcopal Committee of Catholic Education. In the afternoon, Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm, auxiliary bishop of the local archdiocese and Deputy General Secretary, introduced the administrative organization of the Offices of The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam and its operation at the new building which is to be inaugurated at the end of the week. The bishops also discussed some urgent matters of pastoral care for family life, made suggestion for the revision of the norms of the Episcopal Committee of Religious, and considered the proposal of the Episcopal Committee of Scripture for the publication of an official edition of the Bible in Vietnamese language.

In the next day, the Conference took some amount of time for reviewing feedback and discussing about the procedure of the construction project of the Basilica of Our Lady of La Vang in Huế. The remarks and reports about this project were presented by Bishop Matthew Nguyễn Văn Khôi, Bishop Joseph Nguyễn Chí Linh, and Archbishop Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Hồng who are in charge of architectural design, financial and construction, respectively. Other Episcopal Committees of Peace and Justice, Sacred Music and Evangelization also reported their activities since the last meeting.

On Thursday, April 24, all members of the Conference joined the priests, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City at the Cathedral to celebrate the Thanksgiving Mass and Installation of Monsignor Paul Bùi Văn Đọc, who succeeded the emeritus John Baptist Cardinal Pham Minh Man on March 22, 2014 to be the archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, the Conference attended the inauguration and blessing ceremony of the new building of the Conference followed by the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament to conclude the meeting. On this occasion, all members of the Conference also attend the dedication of the Cathedral of Diocese of Phú Cường on Friday, April 25.

The Conference also welcome newly appointed bishop Joseph Trần Văn Toản, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Long Xuyên and the significant presence of Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, non-resident representative of the Holy See to Vietnam at this meeting.

The Vietnam Bishops Annual Meeting II will be held in Nha Trang from October 27th to 30th, 2014.