Cardinals meet in Vietnam "turning point"

Four Asian cardinals gathered in Vietnam's capital over the weekend to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Francis Xavier in an event "charged with political significance" as Communist leaders joined worshippers for a commemorative ceremony.

AsiaNews reports that Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun as well as Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales from the Philippines and Cardinal Telesphore Toppo from India responded an invitation from Ho Chi Minh City Cardinal Jeanne Baptiste Pham Minh to attend the 2-4 December event.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Cardinal Toppo described the meeting of the Asian cardinals in Vietnam as a huge turning point, not only for the Vietnamese but also for Catholic witness in the whole of Asia.

The four cardinals celebrated a commemorative mass in remembrance of the birth of the Apostle of the Orient.

"Communist political leaders joined about 1,200 worshippers in the Sunday ceremony. Vietnam's president had also expressed a desire to meet us but did not have enough time to do so," Cardinal Toppo said.

The whole trip "was charged with political significance," he added

"The four cardinals represent four different ways to bear witness of the Church in the most populous continent in the world.

"They met to remember and underline the importance of the life and the mission of Saint Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the Orient," Cardinal Toppo said.

He noted that "Cardinal Minh's invitation showed that every obstacle can be surmounted and that the Church, even when it is subjected to violent persecution, remains vital in Christ."

Meeting of Asian cardinals, a turning point in the Church's mission, says Cardinal Toppo (AsiaNews, 5/12/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Telesphore Toppo (Wikipedia)
Cardinal Pham Minh Man

Pope reminds Jesuits of vow of obedience (CathNews, 24/4/06)

6 Dec 2006