Diocesan Process Opens for Cardinal Van Thuân

Prizes Honor Solidarity, Development Projects

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ROME, OCT. 5, 2010 (Zenit.org).- This month the diocesan process will begin for the beatification of Servant of God Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen van Thuân (1928-2002).

The solemn opening of the diocesan investigation on the life, virtues and reputation for sanctity of the cardinal will take place Oct. 22, three years after the announcement of the launching of the cause of beatification.

The Vietnamese cardinal served as vice-president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 1994, and was its president from 1998 to 2002.

Before that, the prelate had been detained for 13 years in a Communist re-education camp in Vietnam. In 1988 he was liberated and forced into exile. Pope John Paul II welcomed him to Vatican City and entrusted him with responsibilities in the Roman Curia.

The opening ceremony for the diocesan investigation will take place at midday in the Conciliation Hall of the Lateran Palace in Rome.

The session will be presided over by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for the Diocese of Rome, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

A communiqué from the pontifical council stated that it is organizing a series of events to remember the figure of the cardinal and highlight his reputation for sanctity, in cooperation with the St. Matthew Foundation in Memory of Cardinal Van Thuân and the Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen Van Thuân Foundation of the United States.

Also on Oct. 22, Cardinal Turkson will preside over a Eucharistic celebration in memory of the Servant of God in the Roman church of Santa Maria della Scala, of which he was the titular bishop. Attending the ceremony will be members of the dicastery, cardinals, bishops, relatives, friends and others who had the opportunity to know the cardinal during his life.


Moreover, the third edition of the Van Thuân Prizes, sponsored by the St. Matthew Foundation of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will take place in the Pontifical Lateran University. 

This year, the small statuette of St. Matthew, symbol of the award, will be given to Juan Somavía, director general of the International Labor Organization.

The «Van Thuân Prize — Solidarity and Development» recognizes institutions, associations and entities that carry out humanitarian and work projects in developing countries to defend human rights through the promotion and diffusion of evangelical principles, following the directives of the social doctrine of the Church.

This recognition will be given this year to Archbishop Giuseppe Molinari of L’Aquila, Italy; to Brazilian Father Marcelo Rossi; to the St. Camille Foundation for its work in Burundi; and to communities of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Haiti.

The day will end with a concert dedicated to Cardinal Van Thuân in the Roman Basilica of St. Anthony.

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