Pope Benedict XVI has named Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, as his personal envoy to attend the closing ceremonies of the Jubilee Year celebration for the Church in Vietnam.
The Jubilee Year was declared in Vietnam to mark the 350th anniversary of the establishment of two apostolic vicariates, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam’s own Catholic hierarchy.
The celebration comes at a time when the Vietnamese hierarchy is in conflict with the country’s government, which is seeking to exercise greater restraint on the Church.
The establishment of “patriotic Catholic” committees suggests that Vietnamese authorities may seek to imitate the policies of China’s government, hoping to seize control of Catholic affairs.
The closing ceremonies for the Jubilee Year will be held at the shrine of Our Lady of LaVang on January 4-6.