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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

US archbishop visits Vietnam to show solidarity, offer support

US bishops sent their immediate past president to Vietnam to see how they could help with the first college-level Catholic school approved in the Asian country in about 40 years.

The Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, Joseph Kurtz, also wanted Vietnamese Catholics to know “they are not forgotten.”

“The church in Vietnam has suffered…hardships and…religious repression, and slowly over these 40 years there are some headways that have been made,” the archbishop told Catholic News Service.

“I think the episcopal conference of Vietnam is naturally looking for friendship and opportunities to be able to (receive) support, not just tangibly, but kind of a heartfelt support that this visit showed,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “And this means a lot to them because so many of their family members migrated to the United States.”

He said as part of the visit, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops wanted to know how it could help the brand new Catholic Institute of Vietnam.

Picture: the Archbishop of Louisville, Ky., Joseph Kurtz right centre, poses with other clergymen after concelebrating Mass at St. Anthony shrine in the Vietnamese Diocese of Vinh on 30th January. During his visit, which took place from 24th-30th January, Archbishop Kurtz also met with the Vietnamese bishops’ conference president, spoke with the US Embassy deputy chief and spent time with Servants of Jesus sisters and some seminarians. (CNS photo/courtesy Joseph Nguyen).