So says Archbishop Renato Martino, the cardinal’s successor as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Next Tuesday the archbishop will preside over a Mass in memory of the cardinal, who spent years in Vietnamese prisons and who died in Rome a year ago at age 74. The Mass will be at 6 p.m. in Santa Maria della Scala in Rome, the cardinal’s titular see.
Cardinal Van Thuân was aware of the enormous importance of the Church’s social doctrine for the construction of a more-just world, said Archbishop Martino. The cardinal had begun, with his council, the redaction of a synthesis of the Church’s social teaching, linked to the new evangelization so desired by John Paul II.
In an article in L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Martino described his predecessor as “an authentic man of God and authentic man of peace,” an “exceptional witness of hope.”