Cardinal Trinh Van Can; Archbishop of Hanoi
Cardinal Trinh Van Can, 69, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. Vatican Radio called Can an “unyielding asserter of the truths of the faith . . . (who) with no less vigor defended the ecclesiastical institutions in the painful political and social affairs of the country.” Can was born in Ha Nam Ninh province southeast of Hanoi. He entered the priesthood in 1949 and was made co-adjutor to the archbishop of Hanoi in February, 1963, and elevated to cardinal in June, 1979, one of the first princes of the church named by John Paul II. The Vietnam News Agency said Can had presided over the First Episocal Congress of reunified Vietnam in 1980, at which an epistle was issued affirming the Vietnamese Catholic Church’s policy of serving the nation. The North Vietnam Communists reunified the country after toppling the U.S.-backed South Vietnam government in April, 1975. Large numbers of Catholics and other refugees fled in a boat exodus. But authorities have eased restrictions on Catholics and other believers since Nguyen Van Linh became Communist Party chief in late 1986. In Hanoi on Friday of a heart attack.