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» 09/24/2013
VIETNAM - VATICAN
Vietnam : Northern bishops support for Vinh diocese, targeted by authorities
by J.B. An Dang
In a letter the prelates confirm their closeness to bishop, priests and faithful, all victims of attacks by the media and government. Appeal for the release of the parishioners of My Yen and for religious freedom . Religious tensions and "official" Catholic movements obstacle to dialogue between Hanoi and the Holy See.

Hanoi ( AsiaNews) - The bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Hanoi have joined the supporters of the Bishop of Vinh and the faithful of the parish of My Yen, victims in the last weeks of a violent attack - physical and verbal - by media and government authorities. In a letter to Msgr. Paul Nguyen Thai Hop on September 21, the eight prelates of the province in northern Vietnam have expressed "full support" to the bishop , the priests and the faithful. The attacks against the faithful come as diplomatic efforts redouble with a series of talks taking place between the Vatican and Vietnamese representatives in Rome.  However according to Curia sources problems persist on the path to official diplomatic relations between the two sides.

In their letter, the bishops of northern Vietnam condemn the 4 September attack against worshipers, which was followed by a violent smear campaign on the diocese of Vinh , calling them "a blatant violation" of religious freedom. The prelates also call for the release of the two parishioners from My yen, authorities failure to release them (as pre-announced) led to the clashes.

The archbishop emeritus Archbishop of Hanoi Msgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet and the current Archbishop, Msgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon in a joint statement expressed their " full support " for the diocese of Vinh, the bishop and the parish.

Meanwhile, the government media continue to give wide coverage to the meeting of the Committee of Vietnamese Catholics , a sort of pro-government movement founded in 1955 by the Communist Party to create a " Patriotic Church " . An organization similar to the Chinese Patriotic Church , opposed by both Catholics at home and the Vatican as unlawful. The two days of meetings held in Ho Chi Minh City worries the Vietnamese faithful given the " scope " of the event , which was attended by 500 priests, religious and laity " faithful " to the Hanoi regime .

Of course this meeting will not help dialogue between Hanoi and the Holy See , already marked by the violent repression in the parish of My Yen , Vinh diocese , the northern province of Nghe An. In talks in Rome between the Vatican and the Vietnamese delegation " tensions" have emerged over the diocese of Vinh even if , at media level, they emphasize the desire to continue building "good relations and cooperation."

Vietnam and the Holy See have not had official diplomatic relations since 1975, but have been working since 2007 for the resumption of bilateral relations. To achieve the goal the Joint Working Group was set up along with, since 2011, the appointment of a non-permanent representative of the Holy See , Msgr. Leopoldo Girelli . Vietnam - a nominally atheist country - controls the practice of worship , including the activities of six million Catholics scattered throughout the territory, in a systematic way. It is the most substantial community of South- East Asia after the Philippines .

 

 


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See also
03/09/2007 VIETNAM – VATICAN
Diplomatic relations go hand in hand with religious freedom
by JB. VU
02/12/2009 VIETNAM – VATICAN
Vatican delegation to discuss diplomatic relations in upcoming visit to Hanoi
by JB. VU
11/21/2005 VIETNAM - VATICAN
Vietnam to have new diocese
01/21/2005 VATICAN – VIETNAM
A ray of hope for diplomatic ties between the Holy See and Vietnam
02/20/2009 VATICAN - VIETNAM
Religious freedom, diplomatic relations in talks between Holy See and Hanoi

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pp. 176
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