‘Diplomatic Hitch’ thwarts Church visit
A diplomatic hiccup has forced the cancellation of a visit by a Rome-based Catholic Church delegation to communist Vietnam, according to the team leader.
The Vietnamese embassy in Rome had initially issued and then revoked visas for the group that wanted to look into the beatification of a late Vietnamese cardinal, according to Cardinal Peter Kodwo Turkson, the head of delegation from the Diocese of Rome.
He gave the details in a letter dated March 17 to the Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Cardinal Pham Minh Man, a copy of which was obtained by RFA Thursday.
The delegation had planned to visit Vietnam March 23 to April 9 to hear the testimonies of people who knew the Cardinal Francois Javier Nguyen Van Thuan, who was appointed deputy archbishop of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) days before the South Vietnamese capital fell to the communist North in 1975.
“I regret very much to have to inform you that [the] proposed visit of the ‘audition group’ from the Vicariate of Rome to receive the testimonies of people who knew Cardinal Van Thuan has to be suspended due to a diplomatic hitch,” Turkson said in the letter.
He did not say what caused the diplomatic problem. [More]