Archbishop Paul Nguyen Van Binh, 84, of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest Roman Catholic community, died Saturday "of old age," newspapers reported yesterday. His death adds new urgency to a long-running dispute between the Vatican and the Communist government over his replacement. Archbishop since 1960, he had been in poor health for years, but Vietnamese authorities rejected the Vatican's nominees to replace him. The xTC Vatican initially wanted to appoint the Rev. Nguyen Van Thuan, nephew of the former president of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, but Hanoi adamantly refused. A Vatican envoy, Monsignor Claudio Celli, proposed another candidate during a visit to Hanoi in April, but left without reaching agreement. Both sides refused to say why. The Vietnamese government, which is officially atheist, must approve all high-level religious appointments. It also closely controls enrollment at seminaries and other church functions, but has relaxed restrictions on worship in recent years. Sunday services in Hanoi are generally filled to overflowing. Vietnam has more than 6 million Catholics at official count, including half a million in Ho Chi Minh City. Most of the country's 72 million people are Buddhists.
Sicco Mansholt, 86, the chief architect of European Union farm policy, died Friday at his home in the village of Wapserveen in the northern Netherlands. He was the union's first agriculture commissioner, holding the post from 1957 to 1972. He played a pivotal role in devising and implementing the bloc's Common Agricultural Policy, which was set up to raise food production, stabilize markets, ensure a fair standard of living for farmers and reasonable prices for consumers.
George Seldes, 104, author, journalist and critic of the press who protested the suppression of news and the power of business interests in the 1930s and 1940s, died Sunday in a hospital in Windsor, Vt. He brought a muckraker's fervor to his critical commentaries on the press in books and in the newsletter In Fact, which he edited from 1940 to 1950. Like I. F. Stone, who published his independent I.F. Stone's Weekly from the 1950s until the early 1970s, Mr. Seldes delighted in uncovering stories that had been overlooked by others, exposing corruption and challenging the practices of leading newspapers. In Fact, which claimed 176,000 subscribers at its peak in 1947, had a self-described "progressive" view and was established to present "the real inside news, the kind newspapers frequently get but dare not print," Mr. Seldes wrote when he helped found it. As a reporter, he covered World War I for a syndicate that sent his reports to The St. Louis Globe-Democrat and other newspapers.
Jose Antonio Santana, 72, a Puerto Rican aviation industry pioneer and founder of Empresas Santana, died Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He founded Airport Aviation Services Inc. and six affiliates that provide ground services to airlines operating out of the island's most important airport, Luis Munoz Marin International. The companies employ 2,000 people with an annual payroll of $23 million. Empresas Santana owns hotels and restaurants.