Fr. W. Coleman Nevils, S.J., former President of Georgetown University and of the University of Scranton. has died in New York, aged 77. Another distinguished American Jesuit, Fr. Laurence Kelly. the last Provincial of the Maryland-New York province before it became three provinces. has died in Georgetown Hospital at the age a 85 When he was first put on the throne, the young hereditary Emperor of Vietnam appeared to be one of the more serious minded and promising of Eastern rulers. He favoured genuine reforms which would improve the hard life of the millions of " little men" who make up t e mass of the nation and opposed the corruption which was so prevalent.
But he was made the pawn in a game in which he had little say.
The post-war years were years of chronic political instability in France and this was inevitably reflected in the country's colonial policies. Indecision at home played into the hands of the worst elements overseas.
Soon a disheartened Ban DM. exiled to a demoralising and corrupting life of luxury, was gaining for himself, justly or unjustly. the reputation for becoming a second Farouk.
Now he has become one of the casualties resulting from the rejection of the West by an awakening Asia.
The State of which Ngo Dinh Diem becomes head is one in which Communism is still strong. There are still considerable pockets of the country which to all intents and purposes are Communist-ruled, for the Reds left strong forces behind them when they officially withdrew to the North. The Communist Party's agents are everywhere, They are even. it is believed, inside the Government itself.
A giant task Added to this is the chaos caused by the presence of very nearly a million homeless refugees from the North, and an economy disrupted by years of war and by the fact that the industrial half of the country has been given to the Communists.
South Vietnam's constitutional problem may have been solved by the referendum, but far greater problems still await solution.
The Catholic President of Asia's new republic has a giant task before him.