Gathering in the southern city off Xuan Loc amid land disputes with the government, the bishops of Vietnam have declared 2010 a holy year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the nation’s hierarchy and the 350th anniversary of the establishment of two apostolic dioceses in the nation.

The bishops write in a pastoral letter that the jubilee year is “a good time to [reflect] in order to thank God; to listen to lessons from history; to discuss the present situation of the Church: its advantages and its challenges; and to look ahead with a resolution to build up a Church discerning and obeying God’s will.”

The bishops also established a Legal Consultant Committee to seek redress in land disputes