ROME, MARCH 21, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Church in Vietnam expressed hope for Cardinal Van Thuan’s speedy beatification.
“The bishops, the faithful, the whole Church in Vietnam, have great hopes for the success of the process of beatification of our beloved Cardinal Xavier Van Thuan. He was a special person, who lived the Gospel as the sole criterion of his life,” said Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop, OP, the bishop of Vinh and president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference, to Fides on the eve of the arrival of a Vatican delegation of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
The delegation, which will be in Vietnam from March 23 to April 9, will collect testimonies on the life and work of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, which might be useful for his cause of beatification.
“The faithful are living the visit of the Vatican delegation with great joy and hope, with the certainty that the cardinal’s path to beatification will go ahead and will have a good outcome. Cardinal Van Thuan is a much loved figure,” Bishop Paul Nguyen Thai Hop said.
“His history and testimony are very important for the Vietnamese faithful. bishops, priests, women religious and laymen: a long list of persons will be received by the Vatican delegation,” he explained. “The Catholic community awaits this historic visit with great expectation, emotion and enthusiasm, hoping that a change will take place in the cause of beatification.”
This is how the bishop remembered the cardinal: “I often met with him when I was a professor at the Angelicum in Rome. Recalling the dark days of his captivity; he did not feel hatred but spoke with love of his enemies and persecutors.”
Among the testimonies the delegation will hear is that of the present archbishop of Hue, Stephen Nguyen Nhu The, a personal friend of the cardinal. The delegation will go to Saigon, in southern Vietnam (where Van Thuan was archbishop coadjutor). It will continue its work in the diocese of Nha Trang (where at 39 the cardinal was bishop in 1967). Then the delegation will go to the Archdiocese of Hue, the cardinal’s birthplace, where he was ordained a priest and was later vicar general, before continuing his studies in Rome. The investigation will end in Hanoi, where the cardinal was imprisoned and suffered house arrest.
His cause of beatification opened on October 22, 2010, following a proposal by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, of which Van Thuan was president.