Working Paper for the 2010 Congress (1)


(21-25 November 2010)


Introduction : Presenting the Working Paper of the Congress of God’s People.


Chapter 1. MYSTERY : The Church of Christ in Vietnam.
Chapter 2. COMMUNION : The Church as a sign and instrument of unity between men and God and among men themselves.
Chapter 3. MISSION : The Church in Vietnam and its mission of evangelization.


1. Strengthening the communion between the faithful and God.
2. Inculturation.
3. Promoting the unity and participation in the life of the Church.
4. Personnel Formation.
5. Evangelization in the present situation.
6. Social justice and practice of charity.



(1) The Church in Vietnam, filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, is offering praises to God, the Father, for having given His children in this beloved country of Vietnam the grace of knowing Jesus Christ and His unfathomable mystery (cf. Pl 3,7-8, 10; Ep 2,8-9;Gl 4, 8). (1) In the context of the Jubilee Year commemorating the 350th anniversary of establishing the first two Apostolic Vicariates and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnamese Catholic Hierarchy, our joy is heightened even more in love and gratitude when we look back at the past historical stages the Church in Vietnam has gone through, and discover the many fruits from our ancestors’ life of faith, their steadfastness and courage, especially from the Martyrs in Vietnam.

The more we are grateful to God, the more we acknowledge our innumerable shortcomings toward God’s love and goodness (cf. Ps 50). We feel greatly sorry for having hidden, instead of presenting, the true face of God to our fellowmen, at the same time begging their pardon for not having loved and served them as much as Jesus Christ has expected of us. With humility we ask God’s forgiveness and sanctifying grace and pray that the Church in Vietnam ever be Christ’s immaculate Spouse (cf. Ep 5, 26) and become the New City of God (cf. Apoc. 21, 9-14). The Church in Vietnam vows to renew itself thoroughly in the faith in the almighty and merciful God, who is leading history into its completion (2).

It is due to its deep concern for renewal that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) decides to convoke this National Congress of the People of God, as the summit of all activities in this Jubilee Year 2010. The working paper of the Congress derives and solidifies itself from the Lineamenta The Church in Vietnam : Mystery – Communion – Mission, together with reflections and opinions of many people as well as other materials taken from the teaching of the Church. If the Pastoral Letter of 1980 paved the way for the faithful to live their faith in the period after the unification of the country in 1975, this Congress of the People of God in 2010 hopes to open a new direction to the Church in Vietnam in this stage of history, in the heart of a country which is changing rapidly in an ever-changing world. The Congress of the People of God manifests the unity in the Church which is seeking and doing the will of God in order to rectify what is wrong, at the same time, study and promote new approaches, so that God’s People could walk more firmly on the way of faith, fully conscious of the mystery of the Church, the communion and the mission of Christ’s diciples in Vietnam. (3)


(1) Cf. Vat. II, DV 1; also Bishops’ Committee for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam (CBCV) Lineamenta : The Church in Vietnam : Mystery, Communion, Mission 2010, no. 1.

(2) John Paul II, Message to Vietnamese Bishops commemorating 25 years of establishment, 1960 – 1985; CBCV, Pastoral document in preparation for Jubilee 2000, no. I, 2; Pastoral Letter, 1980, no. 15.

(3) Cf. CBCV, Lineamenta : People of God in Vietnam celebrates Jubilee 2010, part I; People of God in Vietnam celebrates Jubilee 2010, Regulations, Part II; also cf. Benedict XVI, Address to Vietnamese Bishops during audience Ad Limina 2009.