DAILY CATHOLIC ASH WEDNESDAY February 17, 1999 vol. 10, no. 33
NEWS & VIEWS
VIETNAM PERMITS NINE ORDINATIONS PLANNED FOR MARCH
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (CWNews.com/Fides) - On March 18th, the feast of St Joseph, Archbishop John Baptist Pham Ming Man of Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, will ordain nine new priests in the cathedral dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Peace.
The men are all members of religious orders: two Dominicans, two Jesuits, two Redemptorists, one Franciscan, one Sulpice Father, and one member of the local Nazareth Institute. They range in age from 32 to 67 years old. Some priests of the area see the Communists' permission for the ordinations as another sign of a small opening toward religion.
Vietnam's Communist government restricts ordinations to maintain controls over the activities of the Catholic Church. Government officials judge the candidates' qualities, sets the number for each seminary, and can veto the assignment of the seminarians to parishes. In addition, religious orders are not allowed to accept candidates or open novitiates, although several institutes have unofficial formation houses.
Until recently, ordinations in Vietnam were rare,
particularly for religious orders. The latter were regarded
with suspicion because they belong to international
organizations. Nevertheless, vocations continued to
flourish in Vietnam. The mature age of many of the
candidates to the priesthood is explained by the
government's restrictions on the number of ordinations per
year so that many who finish their studies while still
young then have to wait years before being allowed to be
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NEWS & VIEWS