Vatican City ( Fides Service) – The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II has (16 July 2003) accepted the renunciation of the pastoral government of the diocese of Kontum in Vietnam presented by Bishop. Pierre Tran Tranh Chung, in conformity with the Code of canon Law, canon 401 § 1.
The Holy Father has appointed (16 July) Bishop of Kontum Reverend Father Michel Hoang Duc Oanh, Vicar general of the same diocese.
The Bishop elect was born il 23 October 1938 in Hà Tay, Archdiocese of Hanoi. He attended Hanoi minor seminary (1952-1954). In 1954 when Communism came to power, he took refuge in the South and continued his studies at minor Saigon. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical College Pius X in Dalat (1960-1969) obtaining a licentiate in theology. He was ordained a priest on 22 December 1968 for the diocese of Kontum. He has since been assistant priest; secondary school headmaster; minor seminary teacher; parish priest. Since 1996 he has been Vicar general of Kontum diocese.
Kontum was created an apostolic Vicariate in1932, and elevated to the rank of Diocese in 1960, a suffragan of Hué. It has an area of 25.792 sq. km, a population of 1.350.000. There are 193.000 Catholics (14,29%). Tribal peoples are very open to evangelisation. The area was evangelised by the Father of the Paris Foreign Missions (MEP). The last missionary bishop Léon Seitz, was expelled in 1975. In the diocese today there are 33 priests (29 diocesan and 4 religious, 171 Sisters, 18 major seminarians e 3.200 volunteer catechists. (S.L.) (Fides Service 16/7/2003; lines 20; words 263)