November 24, 2009.
Hanoi Archbishop has submitted his resignation citing health concerns. 57-year old Monsignor Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet was one of the key leaders of the Catholic Church in Vietnam.
But many Catholics in Vietnam believe that the resignation is due to pressure from the Vietnamese government.
In fact, the president of the Hanoi People's Committee has asked repeatedly for his resignation. The president blames the former archbishop for Catholics protesting the sale of land expropriated from the Church. The chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee accused the bishop of "not respecting or cooperating with authorities to resolve the problem."
The land in question was expropriated in the mid-1950s following the arrival of the Communists to power. Now the government wants to sell the land to private parties for commercial use.
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