Even though the archbishop says he’s resigning for health reasons, the move is widely viewed as the price the Vatican must pay to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
The 58-year old archbishop has always supported public demonstrations for the expropriation of the former headquarter of the Nuncio and a parish. The Vietnamese government accused Kiet of “instigating riots.”
His successor will be Pierre Van Nhon, the president of the Vietnamese bishops. Since the Vatican does not tend to appoint bishops in Vietnam without the communist governments approval, the state news agency aims to discredit the Vatican and instead suggest the pope has signed off on the Prime Ministers appointment.
The now former archbishop of Hanoi says the Vatican and Vietnamese bishops always supported him in his efforts.