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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Vietnam

Magister writes today about Vietnam. The Vatican got to appoint a representative to the country, but it seems the quid pro quo required entailed the archbishop of Hanoi resigning for some fake reason, but really because he wasn't docile enough for the Vietnamese government. There are eight million Catholics in Vietnam out of a population of 84 million and they are growing. They are also politically active with peaceful demonstrations and marches. But of course, the secretary of state is playing a role; from Magister: "In 2008, cardinal secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone wrote to the bishop of Hanoi to keep his faithful in check, in order to avoid harming "the dialogue with the authorities.""

Included is an essay by Lorenzo Fazzini entitled, "Rome and Hanoi Closer to Each Other? The Steps of Patience" which goes into more depth.

For those interested, Southeast Asia is once again getting hot. The Spratly Islands claimed by just about everyone along the South China Sea have come up again in the contest of maritime rights and of late the Vietnamese have been purchasing submarines from Russia. Into such a mire the Vatican wades with its new representative...