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Viet government presses propaganda campaign on resignation of Hanoi archbishop

Catholic World News - May 13, 2010

The resignation of Hanoi's Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet-- which was officially announced by the Vatican on May 13-- is being used by state-controlled media in Vietnam as an opportunity to advance the message that the Communist leadership controls the country's religious life.

Catholic activists feared that the appointment of a coadjutor archbishop in Hanoi was an indication that the Vatican had reached an agreement with the Vietnamese government to remove Archbishop Kiet, who had earned the enmity of the nation's political leaders. The government media emphasized that the installation of the coadjutor, Archbishop Peter Nguyen Van Nhon took place "with the approval of the prime minister."

Archbishop Kiet had told the faithful that he requested the help of a coadjutor because of his frail health. His resignation was announced in Rome less than a week after the coadjutor's installation.

Archbishop Kiet has left Hanoi to resume medical treatment for chronic insomnia.

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