Vietnam Archdiocese holds synod to address faith issues

Hanoi Archdiocese opened a special synod ahead of the feast of Vietnamese martyrs amid concerns of Catholics being driven away from the faith by secular tendencies.

Dec 02, 2022

Participants swear allegiance to the Church at the opening ceremony of the Hanoi Archdiocesan Synod at St Joseph Cathedral on Nov 20. (UCA News Photo/tonggiaophanhanoi.org)


HANOI, Vietnam: Hanoi Archdiocese opened a special synod ahead of the feast of Vietnamese martyrs amid concerns of Catholics being driven away from the faith by secular tendencies.

Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi opened the five-day archdiocesan synod on November 20, seeking ways for better faith formation along with 183 Catholics, priests, and Cardinal Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, the retired archbishop.

The special synod marks the 110th anniversary of the Ke So Council, which provided pastoral instructions for local Catholics to live out their faith and integrate themselves into a new situation after a bloody persecution against them ended.

The synod concluded at So Kien Basilica on Nov 24, the feast of Vietnamese martyrs, who died witnessing the faith during the persecution in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Archbishop Thien said the synod was to provide an opportunity for some 350,000 Catholics in the archdiocese to “find new ways to deepen our faith life and bear witness to faith.”

He expressed concern over Catholics being driven away from the Church’s teachings and by secular tendencies in society. The majority of some 10 million people in the archdiocese are atheists and followers of other faiths.

A sample survey conducted ahead of the synod among some 7,300 Catholics said that 70 per cent of people have difficulties in practising their faith because of a lack of proper faith education.

At least 42 per cent said they could not talk about Catholicism to others, and 11 per cent admitted to having some superstitions.

The deputy head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam said the synod is an effort of the local Church to adapt and integrate into Vietnamese society today.

The synod was scheduled to discuss ways to renew liturgical activities, apostolic missions, faith education, personal life, associations and the archdiocesan curia. It will also make plans to manage Church properties, build facilities, and renovate administrative procedures, records and archives.

Before the synod, the archdiocese organised a sociological survey to assess local people’s state of faith life and 22 seminars on various aspects of faith life -- ucanews.com

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