A member of the Paris Foreign Mission Society, which he led as superior general, the French missionary spent years during the Vietnam War helping refugees fleeing the Vietcong. Forced to leave the country in 1975, he continued helping Vietnamese Catholics from France. In 2010, at the request of Vietnamese bishops, he was able to return to live in Huế.
At the general audience, Francis retraces the stages of the trip to Budapest and Slovakia, "a pilgrimage of prayer, a pilgrimage to the roots, a pilgrimage of hope." Roots "not as museum exhibits, not ideologized and instrumentalized for interests of prestige and power, to consolidate a closed identity. No." "Violence against women is an open sore. It’s everywhere."
‘The Congregation for Religious is examining the religious congregations and associations created in this period.” Among the latter, many have been placed under external control. Positions of governance in lay groups are a “call to serve” that runs up against a hunger for power and disloyalty.
Christians “are weavers of dialogue where hostility is growing; models of fraternal life where society is experiencing tension and hostility; bringers of the sweet fragrance of hospitality and solidarity where personal and collective selfishness too often prevails, protectors and guardians of life where the culture of death reigns.”
“Judgement and prejudice only increase distances. Hostility and sharp words are not helpful. Marginalizing others accomplishes nothing. Segregating ourselves and other people eventually leads to anger. The path to peaceful coexistence is integration,” said Francis. What is more, “Bombarded by virtual messages, we risk losing our real roots,” he added. “To grow disconnected from life, or to fantasize in a void, is not a good thing; it is a temptation from the evil one. God wants us to be firmly grounded, connected to life.”
"How many generous persons suffered and died here in Slovakia for the name of Christ! Theirs was a witness borne out of love of him whom they had long contemplated. To the point that they resembled him even in their death. I think too of our own time, in which there is no lack of opportunities for bearing witness.”
“Even as battles for supremacy are waged on various fronts, may this country reaffirm its message of integration and peace,” said Pope Francis. “[M]ay Europe be distinguished by a solidarity that, by transcending borders, can bring it back to the centre of history.” For the pontiff, the Church must teach “inner and responsible freedom”. She must know “how to be creative by immersing herself in history and culture;” she must know “how to engage in dialogue with the world, with those who confess Christ without being one of ‘us’, with those who are weary of the religious quest, even with those who do not believe.”
Francis closed the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. "The cross is never in trend of fashion: today as in the past. Rather it it heals within. It is before the Crucified One that we experience a beneficial inner struggle, the bitter conflict between 'thinking according to God' and 'thinking according to men'." "The threat of anti-Semitism still lurks in Europe and elsewhere".
A visit among peoples who "have suffered a regime repressive of faith and religious freedom". A journey of a spiritual nature to nations with political policies are far removed from the ideas of Francis, especially with regard to reception of migrants and refugees. In the Hungarian capital the closing of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress, with the theme "All my springs are in You".
"So many people in the world, so many, millions, who do not have the right to eat, do not have the right to education, do not have the right to work: they are the new slaves, they are those who are on the peripheries, who are exploited by everyone. Even today there is slavery: let us think about this a little. We deny these people human dignity."
About 39 people died from extreme weather phenomena in the past week. Every year at least 9,000 Vietnamese die from poor sanitation and 250,000 are hospitalised because of contaminated water. Prolonged drought has damaged crops. For farmers, the pandemic has complicated the situation even more.
"We often think that evil comes above all from outside: from the behaviour of others, from those who think badly of us, from society". "And we spend time laying blame; but blaming others is a waste of time. One becomes angry, bitter, it keeps God out of one's heart".
The US leader is in Southeast Asia to counter China’s influence and revive US global leadership. In the vaccine war, the US will provide an additional million doses of vaccine to Vietnam within 24 hours. The region’s countries prefer a policy of balance between the two powers.
It is now possible to produce, sell and consume kratom leaves, but not the concentrates. The opiate has been traditionally used in rural areas. The decision comes after a bitter debate in a country where drug use is severely punished. The COVID-19-related crisis in agriculture also affected the decision.
The Vatican dicastery for integral human development will provide support for the people of Vietnam, severely tried by the pandemic. This deed joins the Vietnamese Church's commitment to the sick. “Here Jesus is waiting for me to give his love to others,” said a nun in Xuân Lộc who contracted the virus in hospital. Francis also offers aid to cyclone Yaas victims in Bangladesh.