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Mayor of Hanoi calls for removal of Archbishop Kiet

ICC Note:

The Mayor of Hanoi has announced that the Catholic priests and believers involved in the peaceful protests to have land restored to them will face legal prosecution. He has also called for the removal of the archbishop, Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet.

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10/17/08 Vietnam (AsiaNews) The mayor of Hanoi announces that there will be legal prosecution of the priests and faithful involved in demonstrations for the restitution of the former apostolic delegation and the land of the parish of Thai Ha (in the photo), and reveals that he has asked for the “removal” of the city’s archbishop, Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet.

In the account by the national news agency VNA, during the meeting, held on the 15th, Thao stated that the origin of the affair was “the lack of understanding of the law among the Catholic demonstrators. But “a certain number of priests, under the guidance of Archbishop Ngo Quang Kiet” had “taken advantage of religion, of faith and ignorance,” in order to violate the law “intentionally,” and “to act contrary to the interests of both the state and the Church.”

It seems here that the state news agency has overlooked an important piece of information, reported by another media outlet, the Courrier du Vietnam, which is monitored but not official. The mayor, according to the Courrier, “then asked for the removal of Ngo Quang Kiet from his position as archbishop of Hanoi, in that ‘he no longer has the trust of the population of Hanoi, and of Christians’.” He “has not respected the authorities or cooperated with them” to resolve the problem, despite the efforts of the authorities themselves “to persuade dignitaries and Christians to leave the occupied land.”

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