VERONA, Italy, OCT. 19, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Material on the social doctrine of the Church is accessible online at the recently launched Web site of the Cardinal Van Thuân International Observatory.

The site is at www.vanthuanobservatory.org/p_en/news.php.

The aim of the Verona-based institute is to promote the social doctrine of the Church at the international level.

The contents and classic subjects of the Church’s social doctrine are the family, human labor, economic life, the political community, the international community, the environment and peace.

The institute makes available online data, documents and studies related to the social doctrine.

The Web facilitates access, to those registered, to information provided through the quarterly Bulletin of the Social Doctrine of the Church, in English and Italian.

Under the presidency of Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and the direction of Stefano Fontana, the observatory works with bishops’ conferences, specialized organizations and appropriate international agencies.

Namesake association

Those registered in the Cardinal Van Thuân Association may participate in the observatory’s activities. More information is available at info@vanThuanobservatory.org.

The observatory is named after Cardinal François Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân, who suffered long years of Communist imprisonment in Vietnam.

In 1975, Pope Paul VI named him coadjutor archbishop of Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) just days before the South Vietnamese capital fell to Communists.

Targeted for his faith as well as for his family connections, he spent 13 years in a Communist “re-education” camp.

In 1991, Archbishop Van Thuân was forced into exile. Pope John Paul II welcomed him in Rome, where he gave him duties in the Roman Curia and eventually made him a cardinal in February 2001.

The cardinal died of cancer in September 2002 at age 74.
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