May 7, 2010
Vatican, Vietnam sacrifice a holy man
By The Hanoist
A major stumbling block to diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Vatican has seemingly been removed with the resignation of a popular Vietnamese Catholic leader and government critic.
Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet was the archbishop of Hanoi for the past five years, overseeing parishes in the capital and in the northern third of the country. He quietly supported a wave of protest vigils calling for the return of government-confiscated church properties and greater religious freedom.
The Vietnamese government, which is often accused of violating religious freedom, hopes to silence human-rights critics, especially in the United States, by establishing full relations with the Holy See. Vietnam, with approximately six million Catholics, offers the Vatican the second-largest Catholic population in Southeast Asia after the Philippines. Continue reading