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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 11/30/2010, 00.00

    VIETNAM - VATICAN

    No sign of improvement for Vietnamese Church life

    Joseph Dang

    Authorities actions against institutions and people continue. Bishop of Kontum stopped and threatened. Instructions to the "patriotic Catholics" for a campaign of "good citizenship" to be organized ahead of Christmas. For the first time the bishops do not meet the premier.

    Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The situation of the Catholic Church in Vietnam shows no signs of improving, six months after the resignation of the Archbishop of Hanoi, Joseph Ngo Kiet, which removed the person whom the government claimed to be the obstacle to the normalization of relations, even with the Vatican.

    Indeed, after the Con Dau affair and the sentencing of six Catholics; the authorities seem to be stepping up their campaign with the arrest of the defence lawyer and ban on a bishop to say Mass in his diocese. In this context the governments "patriotic Catholics” are being mobilised. Officially called the "Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics," the group is the latest edition of the "Liaison Committee of Patriotic Catholics and lovers of peace," created - with disastrous results - by the Communist Party in 1955 in order to create a model on the Chinese Patriotic Church.

    However, supported by government, the Committee - as it reveals on its website – was addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, who urged priests and lay people who belong to the group to "eliminate the differences in the relations between state and Church "and" organize a 'good citizens' campaign' among Catholics, especially during the upcoming Christmas season.

    The phrase "a good Catholic is a good citizen" is taken from the June 27, 2009 speech of Benedict XVI to the bishops of Vietnam, on the occasion of their ad Limina visit. Removed from its context, it is understood and used by state media to demand complete and unconditional submission to civil authorities from Catholics.

    “From the government’s perspectives,” Fr. Joseph Nguyen in Hanoi explained, “good citizens are understood as those who would blindly follow its instructions, no matter right or wrong, just or unjust; who would be willing to kill their unborn children to conform to its harsh restrictive population policies, who would be ready to donate their church and their land to the Party. No Christian can urge others to do so, none at all, let alone priests”

    It seems, indeed, that at the recent meeting of the Vietnamese Bishops Government (4-8 October), there was pressure from the Party for the final document to included this sentence. But the bishops refused. Which may explain why this time the tradition of the bishops travelling to Hanoi to meet with Prime Minister at the end of each meeting of the Episcopal Conference, first established in 1975, was interrupted.

    Nham, who is a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, also told the "patriotics" that the prime minister, Nguyen Minh Triet, would meet with Catholic representatives to discuss "matters of common interest." Triet's involvement highlights the fact that the relationship between church and state tense, after a series of disputes over land, leading to real persecution in Tam Toa (Quang Binh), Dong Chiem (Hanoi) and Con Dau (Da Nang).

    The most recent episode is told by the Bishop of Kontum, Michael Hoang Duc Oanh, in a pastoral letter dated November 21. He reports that a group of security agents kept him "in custody" for hours, hindering his pastoral visit to Lang Son The bishop added that on November 7, when he went to celebrate Mass in the homes of some villages in the rural area of Kon Chro, all owners of the houses were subsequently arrested and subjected to lengthy interrogations. In one case, he himself was threatened by communist leaders in front of his parishioners. "If persist in coming to celebrate Mass for these people, you will be arrested and put in prison."

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    See also

    03/09/2009 VIETNAM - VATICAN
    The Bishop of Vinh commends the faithful for their solidarity with the Catholics of Tam Toa
    Bishop Paul Mary Cao Dinh Thuyen saddened by the violence against Catholics beaten and injured by police and thugs. The visit by the Vietnamese ambassador to Italy with Msgr. Balestrero, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, presented as Vatican support for policy of Hanoi government.

    24/07/2009 VIETNAM-VATICAN
    The President and the Government of Vietnam will visit the Vatican
    The news is given by Cardinal Pham Minh Man and confirmed by the government. The hope of the Catholics is to meet with Benedict XVI on the occasion of the special jubilee anniversary, which starts in November this year and ends Epiphany of 2011. New pastoral impetus in wake of bishops ad limina visit.

    12/07/2010 VIETNAM
    Vietnamese Catholics in communist society, amidst progress and discrimination
    While the government cements relations with the Holy See, Vietnamese Catholics are working together with fellow Communists for the good of the country. But the Church still suffers discrimination that limits the effectiveness of its mission. Vice president of the bishops: “There are still many internal conflicts among the people, but we can overcome them with mutual understanding, aiming to build the future of the country together.

    16/08/2011 VIETNAM
    Thousands of Vietnamese Catholics in prayer against government arrests
    Protests of the faithful against the crackdown imposed by the government in recent weeks after more than 40 arrests. A Mass to remember the raids by police in the Diocese of Vinh and Thanh Hoa. Priest in Saigon: non-Catholics also involved. For the Vietnamese "The days of silence are over."

    26/05/2011 VIETNAM
    Archbishop of Hanoi against the demolition of Sisters of Saint Paul convent
    The bishop sent a letter to the "competent authorities at all levels", claiming the rightful ownership of the building. Yesterday a meeting with the local government, described as "a waste of time." The pain of the faithful for the continuing cases of forced evictions, despite a 2004 law to protect places of worship.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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