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Vietnamese Govt warms to idea of new cardinal

Following initial reports that it had refused to recognise the Pope's appointment of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man as a cardinal, the archbishop met with the Government Committee on Religion, which is now describing the appointment as "an honour for everyone in Vietnam".

Yesterday Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung said: "Having a new cardinal is good news for all Vietnamese Catholics."

Archbishop Man was chosen on Sunday as one of 31 new cardinals, but government officials said the Vatican did not seek permission to elevate hiim and they were unaware of the appointment.

He described the outcome of his Wednesday meeting with officials of the Committee's International Relations Department as a "happy" one. He added that he will also provide a report for Prime Minister Phan Van Khai about his new office.

Archbishop Man said his appointment is a sign of warming relations between the Catholic Church and the government of Vietnam. He noted that two bishops had been approved recently, including one who did not require a Vatican delegation to visit the country to negotiate approval. On Wednesday, Archbishop Man attended the installation of that bishop, Antoine Vu Huy Chuong, for the Diocese of Hung Hoa.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung stressed that the relationship between Viet Nam and the Vatican has been progressing.

"Although the two sides have not established official diplomatic relations, there are regular exchanges of delegations and meetings between the Vietnamese Ambassador in Rome and the Holy See to discuss issues relating to Viet Nam's Catholic Church and other issues of mutual concern," he said.

Vietnam has 5.3 million Catholics who worship in 6000 churches and chapels.

Catholic World News

Vietnam won't recognise Vatican appointment of cardinal (30/9/03)
Vietnam approves appointment of new cardinal (Radio Australia)
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)
Consistory: Cottier: My Appointment Is Sign of Pope's Attention to Theology (Vidimus Dominum)
A Look at Cardinals, Appointed by Pope (AP)
Frank Devine: Cardinal sin to denigrate our clerical star on the rise (The Australian)
Pope elevates Archbishop Pell to Cardinal (Kairos)
Downer lashes Pell critics (2/10/03)
Newspaper continues 'Pell for Rome' speculation (1/10/03)
Archbishop Carroll welcomes new Australian Cardinal (30/9/03)
Pope announces Pell elevation to College of Cardinals (29/9/03)
Officials reassure Boston archbishop who missed red hat (2/10/03)

3 Oct 2003