Progressivism in the Church
Church Revolution in Pictures
Photo of the Week
Benedict welcomes communist leader of Vietnam
On January 21, 2013, Benedict XVI gave a warm two-handed welcoming handshake to Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party in Vietmam, above. Although Phu Trong is not a head of State, Pope Ratzinger dictated the protocol to give him this honor.
Diplomatic relations were not reestablished, although the process has been in course since 2007, when Benedict received Vietnamese Prime Minister Tan Dung, below. In 2011 the Holy See appointed its first envoy to Vietnam.
When Saigon fell in 1975, the communist government of Vietnam confiscated Church properties and forbade Catholic education in all of the 26 Dioceses of South Vietnam.
At the negotiations table, the Church is asking the communist regime to restore both her properties and the right to teach. The Church collaboration with the regime has already begun and repeats the shameful Vatican Ostpolitik of the previous conciliar Popes, where the Church remained silent on her doctrine on private property and did not criticize the regime in order to benefit from a restricted liberty.
The presence of communist leaders at papal private audiences, symbolic acts unheard of before John XXIII, became increasingly frequent in the pontificates of his successsors. It is hard not to apply this maxim to these recent progressivist Popes: "Tell who are your friends, and I will tell you who you are."