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    » 01/08/2010, 00.00


    Diocese of Hanoi: destruction of the crucifix of Dong Chiem "true sacrilege"

    J.B. An Dang

    The site has belonged to the parish for more than one hundred years and since 1944 has been used as a cemetery. Priests and faithful travel to express solidarity with the attacked parishioners. Found and hospitalized two wounded that police had taken away.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - "A sacrilege" that "offends the Catholic faith"; the archdiocese of Hanoi has expressed its outrage at the January 6 destruction, carried out with the explosive, of the crucifix in the cemetery of the parish of Dong Chiem. The same day, "the priests and faithful flocked to Dong Chiem to bring solidarity and best wishes to the pastors and parishioners. They are close to the victims of the violence and concelebrated a Mass, praying for the wounded and for the parish as a whole".  

    "The hill - says a statement issued yesterday by Vice-Chancellor, Father John Le Trong Cung - has always been owned by the parish, since its establishment, more than one hundred years ago." Furthermore, "since the time of the Great Hunger, - the statement continues - that hit the north of Vietnam between October 1944 and May 1945 and in which two million people died of starvation, the site has been used as the parish cemetery. Still today, the parish allows some people to rent some of the hill for cultivation”.   

    It is known, however, that the authorities deny any right of ownership, with the statement that in a communist country "the land belongs to the people and the state manages it for the people."

    Father John Le Trong Cung recalls that before the destruction of the cross, the faithful intervened to ask the police not to pursue the sacrilegious action, but the hundreds of police in riot gear present reacted with brutality. "At least a dozen people have been badly beaten, two of them were seriously injured and taken to a clinic in Te Tieu, where, however, they did not receive treatment. Later, the priests and the faithful found them and they took them to Viet Duc hospital, where doctors intervened”.

    "Now we are experiencing great pain and we are deeply anguished, because what happened to the crucifix is a sacrilege against Christ our Lord. It is a real sacrilege, an insult against the most sacred symbol of our faith. Brutally attacking unarmed and innocent civilians is a savage and inhuman act, which seriously injures human dignity. This senseless conduct must be condemned. "  

    Finally Father Le Trong Cung calls to priests, religious and faithful to pray "that our country will become just, democratic and civil where sacred values are respected and human rights protected".




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    See also

    09/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese bishops accuse the government crackdown on the destruction of the crucifix
    The brutal attack on the crucifix of the cemetery in Hanoi and the destruction of sacred symbols "ingredients of the policies" of the communist regime in resolving disputes. The bishops call for dialogue to find a peaceful solution. The faithful build a new bamboo cross; the police arrest five Catholics and close down the site.

    14/01/2010 VIETNAM
    Dong Chiem is becoming a "Mount of Crosses"
    The police have poured reinforcements and set up roadblocks to stop the pilgrimages of the faithful to the spot where the crucifix was destroyed, but people still manage to pass and erect other crosses on the hill. Demonstrations and protest.

    12/01/2010 VIETNAM
    In Dong Chiem Catholics beaten, a journalist wounded and a priest threatened
    Attacked by uniformed and plainclothes police, who took his camera, the reporter was abandoned unconscious and bleeding in the street. Solidarity of the bishops of North Vietnam for Father Van Lien, accused by authorities of inducing"the faithful to commit crimes."

    26/02/2010 VIETNAM
    Sisters assaulted and beaten by police in Dong Chiem
    The sisters were attacked by plain clothes police, their guide ends up in hospital. The Bishops conference requests the correction of a news report published by the official agency according to which they had sent New Year greetings to the Patriotic Front, the Communist Party organization.

    08/10/2010 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese church launches first ever Justice and Peace Commission
    The decision was announced today during the eleventh meeting of the Conference of Bishops. The Commission, the first since the advent of communist rule, will work with bishops and diocesan organizations to defend human rights and religious freedom.

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