» 04/28/2010, 00.00
Hanoi authorities convinced they achieved the removal of Mgr. Kiet
Deputy minister of information’s comments reveal this belief. He has instructed the state media to not cover the eventual removal of the archbishop, "as if it were an internal affair of Catholics." His statements have raised fears of those who see the appointment of a coadjutor in Hanoi as an agreement between the Holy See and the authorities.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The Vietnamese government appears convinced that it has achieved the Vatican’s removal of the Archbishop of Hanoi, Mgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet. As much has been revealed in comments by the deputy minister for information and communication, Su Quy Doan, who on April 6, during a meeting with heads of state media in Hanoi stated: "the obstinate Ngo Quang Kiet has been dealt with by diplomatic means” and who also ordered that "when his transfer is underway, the media must not publish anything, as if it were an internal affair of Catholics." The next day, Doan’s statements and details of his plan for when " Kiet will be thrown out of Hanoi”, began circulating on the Internet.
Of course these statements have reinforced the fears of those who have seen the appointment of Mgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon, President of the Conference of Bishops, as coadjutor to the Archbishop of Hanoi, as a step towards replacing Mgr. Kiet. In Catholic circles, it is believed that the Holy See succumbed to government pressure by agreeing to remove Archbishop Kiet - something long requested by the authorities - in exchange for the establishment of diplomatic relations and a papal visit to Vietnam. This despite the fact that Archbishop Kiet and his office have released several statements on the appointment of Mgr. Van Nhon, which Mgr. Kiet has greeted as "great news", inviting the faithful of Hanoi to "thank God and the Holy See for having sent him to serve the archdiocese and support my frail health."
So, on April 9, interviewed by Radio Free Asia, Fr Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, superior of the Redemptorists of Hanoi, expressed "great concern" because "the Hanoi authorities have repeatedly asked for the transfer of the Archbishop. And Father John Nghi, Director of VietCatholic News, has declared that it "is really a great challenge to be able to allay the concerns of the people and regain their confidence, without being subject to reasonable criticism. It will take time and sincere efforts of Church leaders to recover what was lost in the people's trust for the Church ".. The same agency reports that a poll among Catholics in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City showed "a widespread sense of disappointment" and "anxiety" because it seems to them that the Vatican wants to sacrifice the aspirations of the faithful in exchange for diplomatic relations. (EN)
Concern in some Catholic circles, over appointment of Hanoi coadjutor
Despite repeated statements by Archbishop Kiet, the choice of Mgr. Van Nhon is seen as the result of an agreement between the government and the Vatican, aimed at replacing Mgr. Kiet in exchange for diplomatic relations and a visit by Pope
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Bishop Peter Nguyen Van Nhon of Da Lat, 72, is coadjutor to Msgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, 58. Many suspect that the Holy See has bowed to pressure from the government which wants to remove the archbishop of Hanoi, "instigator of riots." In return there would be diplomatic relations, and Benedict XVI's visit to Vietnam. But the same Bishop. Kiet says: The Holy See has always supported me. The reasons are my health.
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Thousands attended the mass, several hundred protested outside, fearing that Mgr. Kiet will be removed, in compliance with the harsh demands of the government. The vice-president of the Episcopal conference stresses unity and common love for the Church.
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The government media are trying to paint the announced resignation of Msgr. Kiet, for health reasons, as a government victory, presenting itself as the absolute arbiter of religious life in the country, who even the Pope must obey.
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