Vietnam bishops act to protect Church interests

Vietnam bishops act to protect Church interests
2010-10-13 13:00:35
Catholic bishops in Vietnam have established a new Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace to protect Church interests and promote holistic development among people. Meeting in Ho Chi Minh City from Oct. 4-8 for their triennial congress, the bishops also elected a new secretary general and other officers for the period 2010-2013. The bishops appointed Dominican Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop of Vinh as head of the new commission for justice and peace, said Bishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh of Thanh Hoa. Bishop Linh, 61, who is also vice president of the bishops’ conference , said that “in the past the local Church lacked personnel” for such a commission. The new commission aims to meet increasing pastoral needs, he added. He said bishops received many requests to act to protect Catholic interests, particularly in relation to disputes with the government over Church properties confiscated after 1954 in the north and 1975 in the south. “The local Church has a mission not only to struggle for justice and peace in the country but also to foster holistic development among people,” Bishop Linh said. In a letter to Vietnamese Catholics following the congress, the bishops announced that Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Ha Noi, 72, will remain president of the conference. Jesuit Bishop Cosma Hoang Van Dat of Bac Ninh was named secretary general, succeeding Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet of Ha Noi who stepped down for health problems. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyen Van Kham of Ho Chi Minh City is the new deputy secretary general of the conference, succeeding Bishop Joseph Vo Duc Minh of Nha Trang. The bishops also named new heads for six other commissions. Coadjutor Bishop Matthew Nguyen Van Khoi will chair the Episcopal Commission for Holy Arts. Bishop Vincent Nguyen Van Ban will be responsible for Holy Music, Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang for Evangelization, Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van De for Religious, Peter Nguyen Van Kham for Social Communications and Bishop Thomas Vu Dinh Hieu for Catholic Education. The conference holds it congress every three years. Related reports Vietnam nuns demand payment for seized land Catholic intellectuals committed to dialogue VT11551.1623
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