The archbishop of Vietnam's largest archdiocese passed while he and his fellow prelates were paying an ad limina visit to the Holy See. Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City died during the evening of March 6 in a Rome hospital. He was 74 years of age. "Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc has rested in God in Rome early this morning (4.15 a.m. Vietnam time) after he had a stroke and was rushed to San Camillo Hospital yesterday," said Father Peter Kieu Cong Tung, chancellor of the Archbishop's House said in a statement March 7. Church sources said the archbishop suffered the stroke as he was celebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Wall. Archbishop Doc and 32 bishops from Vietnam have been paying an ad limina visit to the Holy See since March 2. They met with Pope Francis
on March 5. Archbishop Doc served as president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam
from 2013-16 and was head of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of Vietnamese bishops before his death. Born in 1944 in Da Lat, a mountainous city in Vietnam's central highlands, Archbishop Doc entered a seminary in 1956 in Sai Gon. He did further philosophical and theological studies at Rome-based Pontifical Urbaniana University before being ordained into the priesthood in Da Lat in 1970. He was ordained bishop of My Tho in 1999 by former Cardinal Archbishop John Baptist Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City. Pope Francis appointed him as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese in 2013. One year later, he succeeded Cardinal Man as the third archbishop of the 58-year-old archdiocese which is most active in pastoral activities and is the headquarters of all episcopal commissions of Vietnam's bishops. The archdiocese has 850 priests serving some 700,000 Catholics.