Vatican     VIETNAMESE ARCHBISHOP GUIDES POPE'S RETREAT
A Vatican-based Vietnamese archbishop who was jailed for 13 years in a Vietnam prison conducted the Lenten retreat for Pope John Paul II and his aides, which concluded yesterday.
   Archbishop Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, gave reflections on his experience on the theme "Witness to Hope".
   The archbishop talked about the long period of desolation and near despair he suffered while in prison for 13 years, and about how he found the way to Christian hope amid his suffering.
   The pope's weekly Wednesday public audience was canceled for the retreat.
   Archbishop Thuan was appointed coadjutor archbishop of Saigon archdiocese on April 23, 1975, only seven days before South Vietnam fell to communist North Vietnam. During his imprisonment 1975-1988, he spent nine years in isolation.
   During his incarceration, the archbishop wrote about a thousand short reflections through which he aimed to share with Catholics in his archdiocese the message of hope and joy in God.
   
UCAN
20/3/00

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