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Vietnam won't recognise Vatican appointment of cardinal

The Government of Vietnam yesterday refused to recognise Pope John Paul's appointment of a new cardinal for Ho Chi Minh City, renewing tension with the Vatican.

Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man was chosen on Sunday as one of 31 new cardinals. But officials at the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs, said the Vatican did not seek permission to elevate Man and they were unaware of the appointment.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the government has asked the Vietnamese Embassy in Rome to investigate and that Prime Minister Phan Van Khai would be informed. The official added that the issue could create problems between Vietnam and the Vatican.

An official in Rome familiar with the strains between Hanoi and the Vatican said: "They are asking too much," when told that Vietnam had not recognised Man's appointment.

Vietnam has rejected past appointments and a rift was created in the 1990s after Archbishop Nguyen Van Binh's death in Ho Chi Minh City in 1995.

Vietnam blocked the Vatican's chosen successor, who was considered too influential, and it did not allow Man, the Vatican's second choice, to assume the position until talks smoothed the way in 1998.

The government official said the Vatican had agreed to get approval from Hanoi before making future appointments for bishops, archbishops and cardinals.

But another official in Rome, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Vatican never seeks permission regarding appointments of cardinals and that nominations are entirely up to the Pope.


uc TGM Gioan Baotixita Pham Minh Man duoc chon lm hong y (Viet Catholic)
Catholic Church in Vit Nam ( | Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Mn | Archdiocese of Thnh-Ph H Ch Minh
Cooperation as Mutual Liberation Background of Emerging Relationship Between The State and The Catholic Church in Vietnam (Rev Vu Kim Chinh, SJ, Professor of Fujen Catholic University, Taiwan)

30 Sep 2003