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First resident papal nuncio arrives in Vietnam

On January 31, the Vatican’s first resident pontifical representative arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Catholic community has high expectations of Archbishop Marek Zalewski, the 60-year-old Polish prelate.

On January 31, Archbishop Marek Zalewski, the 60-year-old Polish prelate who is now the Vatican’s first resident pontifical representative in Vietnam, arrived in Hanoi.

Many of the Vietnamese Catholic community including 16 bishops welcomed him at the Hanoi Archbishop’s House.

For the time being, he will carry out his duties from the Pan Pacific Hotel in the capital. The Vietnamese Catholic community is looking forward and has high hopes for the work of Archbishop Zalewski.

For nearly fifty years, he is the first papal envoy to Vietnam. His predecessors were expelled from the country. Bishop John Dooley was expelled from Hanoi by the communist government in 1958. Archbishop Henri Lemaitre was expelled from Saigon, South Vietnam, in 1975.

The situation of many Catholic communities is not great. Several of them do not have government recognition. Because of that, they are not able to build facilities, leaving them with insufficient infrastructure that does not meet their religious needs.

In some cases, Catholics are prevented from attending Masses celebrated by visiting priests because of the lack of recognition of their community by the government.

On top of that, many Catholics belong to different ethnic groups and live in remote areas. They have high hopes for Archbishop Zalewski that he will be able to make their voices heard.

Source: UCAnews

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