From .............. National Catholic Reporter

April 22, 1994

page 4

The Vatican has reluctantly agreed to demands that the Vietnamese government be allowed to approve or reject nominations of bishops, said an official at the Vatican secretariat of state. Msgr. Claudio Maria Celli, undersecretary of state who visited Vietnam in March, said government restrictions on the church in Vietnam had declined since his first visit four years ago.

After Celli's visit, a government official reported that the Vatican was appointing Coadjutor Archbishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan to a post in Rome rather than allowing him to succeed archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, as originally planned. The current archbishop, Nguyen Van Binh, is ill and has long wanted to retire.

The Hanoi government had promised Thuan's nomination to head the archdiocese and has not allowed him to return from Rome, where he has lived for several years. A nephew of the late South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, Thuan is from an anti communist family that was instrumental in the partitioning of Vietnam in 1954. Diem ruled South Vietnam until his assassination in November 1963.

Thuan's nomination as coadjutor of Ho Chi Minh city was seen by some Vietnamese as abrasive to the Hanoi regime and insensitive to ethnic regional references because Thuan is a northerner.

Do you really think a secular government (or any man led cult) has any control over who Jesus picks and ordains to exercise any leadership among Jesus's people ?