Ho Chi Minh City has a new auxiliary bishop

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Ho Chi Minh City has a new auxiliary bishop

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Mgr Joseph Bui Cong Trac, rector of St Joseph's Major Seminary, has been appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City by Pope Francis.

Fr. Peter Kieu Cong Tung, chancellor of the archdiocesan house, made the announcement yesterday during a special prayer meeting. Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang, asking the faithful to pray for the new bishop, congratulated and thanked Bishop Trac for having 'courageously obeyed' the Holy See.

Msgr Trac is the second auxiliary bishop chosen by the Vatican after Louis Nguyen Anh Tuan, appointed in 2017, and the sixth from St Joseph's seminary.

Born in 1965 in Da Lat Parish, Dam Long Province, Bishop Trac studied philosophy and theology and was ordained a priest in 1999. From 2004 to 2010, he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in Catholic social teaching. Before becoming rector of St. Joseph's major seminary, he held several positions, including deputy director of the Pontifical Missionary College of St. Paul the Apostle in Rome.

The archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City (former archdiocese of Saigon) is home to more than 700,000 Catholics, or 10.4 % of the city's population. It has about 900 priests and 6,000 religious. For years, after the unification of Vietnam in 1975, the communist authorities restricted the activities of the Church and persecuted many Catholics.