» 02/02/2008, 00.00
VIETNAM - VATICAN
J.B. An Dang
Archbishop of Hanoi confirms restitution of nunciature, thanks pope
In an open letter, Archbishop Joseph Ngô Quang Kiệt has confirmed the government's agreement to return to the Church the use of the building that housed the apostolic nunciature, which the communists took over in 1959. He expressed special thanks to the pope and to Cardinal Bertone, who followed the events in Hanoi "closely and attentively".
A decalogue for the "prayer protests" of the Catholics in Hanoi
A series of principles of behaviour has been elaborated by the young people who are participating in the peaceful sit-in at the former building of the apostolic delegation. The newspaper of the communist party and the official news agency say the archbishop has been meeting with the leader of the Patriotic Front.
Hanoi’s Catholics continue protests defying the government’s ultimatum
The local government threatens “extreme action” if demonstrations do not cease. Media accuse the church of violence against public officials and of spreading public disorder. The diocese responds accusing media of manipulation and reaffirms its ownership of the Nunciature.
New directive from Hanoi on Church property: nothing will be given back
A norm, with obscure provisions, affirms that the use of ecclesiastical property granted by the state to "organizations" must respect the purpose of this property, and not offend the sentiments of the faithful. Who will be harshly punished if they protest.
Underground Buddhists support right of Hanoi Catholics over nunciature building
A representative of the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church contests the assertions of government-approved Buddhists who are claiming ownership of the entire zone, including the cathedral and the archbishop's residence. It's a claim advanced to beat back the promise to give the Catholics use of the complex.
Catholics in Hanoi continue peaceful protest
First public protest by faithful in the Vietnamese Capital asks for the restitution of the Apostolic delegations’ residence to the Church. Taken over by the government during the communist revolution of 1975, the complex was also used as a disco and a car park for state officials.
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