Pope wants to establish ties with China, Vietnam

12th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

12 May 2005, VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said on Thursday he hoped for a rapid establishment of diplomatic ties between the Vatican and those countries that have not done so yet, among them China and Vietnam.

12 May 2005

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI said on Thursday he hoped for a rapid establishment of diplomatic ties between the Vatican and those countries that have not done so yet, among them China and Vietnam.

In his first address to the Holy See diplomatic corps, Benedict thanked those countries that had sent messages for the funeral of his predecessor, John Paul II, and for his subsequent election as pope, but which had not sent official delegations to attend the ceremonies.

"I want to express my gratitude and address a deferential greeting to the civil authorities of these countries, expressing the wish to see them soon represented at the Apostolic See," he said.

Though the pope did not name any countries, it is believed he was referring particularly to China and Vietnam, two countries that have sizeable Catholic communities, as well as Saudi Arabia.

China declined to send a delegation to Rome for John Paul's funeral after the Vatican invited the president of Taiwan, which Beijing considers an illegal breakaway province.

The German-born pontiff spoke in French as he addressed representatives of 174 countries which have established ties with the Holy See.

DPA

Subject: German news

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