01/19/2012, 00.00
VIETNAM

Vietnamese Church to promote justice and peace in the Year of the Dragon

by J.B. Vu
Focusing on youth, the Church urges parents and children to further their understanding of justice and peace by looking at the example of Jesus and its social doctrine. Mgr Joseph Đinh Đức Đạo cites the example of Card Văn Thuận who went to jail but lived a life of “forgiveness and charity for his fellow men”.
Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – A few days before Lunar New Year (23 January) and the start of the Year of the Dragon, the Catholic Church of Vietnam has called on parents and children to further their understanding of the values of “justice and peace” in modern society by looking at the social doctrine of the Church and the example of Jesus. Christian leaders should especially see young people as a resource for the future. Their role, through studies, is to build a social context of peace and harmonious coexistence. because peace of mind and heart as principles inspiring the lives of the faithful are an unavoidable element for personal purification, family happiness and justice and peace in one’s community.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Joseph Đinh Đức Đạo, director of the Xuân Lộc major seminary, said that “the root of peace and justice is love for one’s fellow man” in accordance with the social doctrine of the Church.

The development of the Catholic religion in Vietnam saw lay people and clergy arrested and jailed. Yet they continued to celebrate Mass, pray and recite the rosary showing that their faith was strong. More importantly, once free they were able to uphold virtue. This is what Card Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận taught. His life was “happy, peaceful, honest, forgiving and charitable to all.”

For Vietnamese Catholics, the values of justice and peace are “based on religious principles, not political opinion.” As part of their mission, the Holy Spirit calls upon each believer “to work in all domains of society.” This means, “We must purify our love through charity to others,” the prelate said.

After careful research, the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City has determined that the Church must teach parishioners the intrinsic value of the faith, urge them to promote evangelisation among Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

For Mgr Joseph Đinh Đức Đạo, it is important to “purify” our love without discriminating against others or creating hostilities and divisions between “Church and society”.

“When our hearts are not pure, things appear distorted to us,” the prelate said. “In order to understand truly issues related to justice and peace in Vietnam (where anti-Christian persecution is commonplace), we must turn to the Bible, and follow the teachings of Jesus and the dogmas of the Catholic Church.”
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