Acton to Bestow Award in Honor of Cardinal Van Thûan

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, SEPT. 19, 2002 ( A sister of the late Cardinal François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân will collect an award that the Acton Institute is bestowing on her brother posthumously.

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Acton previously decided to give Cardinal Nguyên Van Thuân its Faith and Freedom Award, for «his witness to the triumph of faith over totalitarianism,» said Father Robert Sirico, founder of the Michigan-based institute on religion and liberty.

The Vietnamese cardinal died of cancer Monday in Rome. He was 74.

The award will be presented at the institute’s 12th anniversary celebration in Grand Rapids on Oct. 22.

In a statement, Father Sirico recalled the Vietnamese prelate, who spent more than a dozen under communist confinement in his homeland.

«I learned a great deal about his suffering at his captors’ hands,» Father Sirico said. «His was a living martyrdom. But what was most remarkable was his Eminence’s complete lack of resentment towards those who had done him wrong. This was just one sign of the Cardinal’s complete immersion in the Person and Way of Jesus Christ.»

The late prelate was president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which worked with the Acton Institute on projects over the years, Father Sirico said. The cardinal’s funeral Mass is scheduled for Friday in St. Peter’s Basilica.

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