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Cardinal of Vietnam on Way to Sainthood

Cardinal of Vietnam on Way to Sainthood
The late Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan of Vietnam (AP Photo/Massimo Sambucetti)

By    |   Friday, 05 May 2017 01:04 PM

Pope Francis is advancing sainthood for François-Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận, the former cardinal of Vietnam who was jailed for 13 years under the country's onetime communist regime.

On Thursday, the pontiff named Thuận as Venerable, an honor given to a deceased religious figure who has "attained the first degree of sanctity" but has yet to be fully beatified or canonized.

Thuận, who died in 2002 at the age of 74, also served as president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

Vietnam's communist regime jailed Thuận in 1975 when he was the newly named coadjutor bishop of Saigon, which has since been renamed Ho Chi Minh City, according to Crux, a leading Catholic news and opinion website.

Thuận — whose uncle was South Vietnam's first president, Ngo Dinh Diem, a Catholic assassinated in 1963 — was never tried or sentenced and spent nine of his 13 years behind bars in solitary confinement, Crux reports.

In 2007, when Pope Benedict began the beatification process for Thuận, he wrote:

"During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope."

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Pope Francis is advancing sainthood for François-Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận, the former cardinal of Vietnam who was jailed for 13 years under the country's onetime communist regime.
catholic, cardinal, pope, vietnam, francois-xavier nguyen van Thuan
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2017-04-05
Friday, 05 May 2017 01:04 PM
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