Catholicism in relation to Diem and his regime

SR 2095
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687 TAKE 1
Interview with Archbishop Nguyen Van Binh of Ho Chi Minh City.
Holy Father, please tell us about Diem's private life and your own concern about the separation of Church and State.
Nguyen Van Binh:
These are only my personal views on the private life, and not on the public and political life, of Mr. Ngo Dinh Diem. His private life, in my opinion, was a very good one. He led a poor life, he sacrificed for the nation. I had the opinion that he sincerely loved the country and really wanted the nation and the people to be happy. That was his personal life. But in his political life, the means which he used to reach the goal of bringing happiness to the people and the nation are things which I do not dare to comment on because these things fall into the political sphere. That was Diem's private life.
But I also had the feeling that during the Diem regime there were a lot of Catholics in the administration, in the National Assembly and in the Army who and I wanted all the people both inside the country and outside the country to come to realize that religious life and ordinary life were different, that the Church and Mr. Diem were different from each other, and that the Church and the government were not the same. I wanted people to realize that those Catholics who worked in the Diem regime were only ordinary citizens like everybody else and that the Church was not responsible for their activities in any way. That was my feeling.