CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 December 2018

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Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City mourned

HO CHI MINH CITY (UCAN): Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Ho Chi Minh City died of a stroke on March 6 in Rome while he and 32 other Vietnamese bishops were on their ad limina visit to the Vatican. He was 73-years-old.
 
Church sources said the archbishop suffered the stroke as he was celebrating Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Wall.
 
His body was sent back to the Archbishop’s House in Ho Chi Minh City on March 15 and moved to Notre Dame Cathedral the following day for Catholics to visit before his funeral at the Pastoral Centre on March 17. People visited and prayed for him around the clock, while 10,000 attended his funeral.
 
Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, concelebrated the funeral Mass with Peter Cardinal Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi, John Baptist Cardinal Pham Minh Man, former archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City and bishops from the country’s 26 dioceses. Some 700 priests also joined the ceremony.
 
In his homily, Cardinal Nguyen, 80, said the late archbishop was influenced by the spirit of Vatican II while he at the Pontifical Urbaniana University. He passed on that spirit to many priests when he taught at seminaries, the cardinal added.
 
Cardinal Nhon, who was a close friend, said the late archbishop had lived a life of prayer and dialogue.
 
Born in 1944 in Da Lat, in Vietnam’s central highlands, Archbishop Bui entered the seminary in 1956 in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). He did further philosophical and theological studies at the Pontifical Urbaniana University before being ordained into the priesthood in Da Lat in 1970.
 
He was ordained bishop of My Tho in 1999 by Cardinal Pham.
 
Pope Francis appointed him as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese in 2013 and a year later, he succeeded Cardinal Pham as the third archbishop of the 58-year-old archdiocese.
 
Archbishop Bui also served as president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam from 2013 to 2016 and was head of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of Vietnamese bishops before his death. 
 
The state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper said the late archbishop, whose episcopal motto was God is my joy, lived with joy and brought joy to other people, regardless of their faiths.
 
The newspaper commended him for taking care of all God’s children, especially poor people in remote areas. 
 
The newspaper also praised him for “living a humble life and not hesitating to apologize for his mistakes.”
 
Deputy prime minister Truong Hoa Binh described Archbishop Doc as an outstanding dignitary with an important role in building and developing the Church in Vietnam. He was “a gentle, kind-hearted and humble pastor who had good relationships with all people.”
 
Binh wrote in the funeral guest book that the archbishop guided Catholics to journey with the nation, build the fatherland and brought followers of religions to unity.
 
The country’s president, Tran Dai Quang, former prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, and leaders of ministries, sectors, neighbouring provinces and domestic and foreign organisations sent wreaths in tribute to the archbishop.
 
On the occasion of his installation as archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, Archbishop Bui said, “Please pray much for us, your pastors, and forgive our mistakes while we serve you.” 

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