Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party held a congress in Hanoi last year in which Nguyen Phu Trong was elected leader (Photo: PA)
By CAROL GLATZ on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 – Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Vietnam were strengthened yesterday when Pope Benedict XVI met Nguyen Phu Trong. It is the first time a pope has met the general secretary of the nation’s Communist Party.
Mr Trong, who has been general secretary of the party’s central committee party since 2011, was accompanied by an 11-person delegation of other high-level party and government officials. The Vatican was one of a number of stops the delegation had planned in Europe.
The Pope and Mr Trong held closed-door talks for half an hour. The party official was treated with all the pomp and circumstance of a typical head-of-state visit, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told journalists after the meeting. Continue reading