01/31/2022, 14.52
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Fr Giuse, martyr of mercy, killed during confession in Kon Tum diocese

Fr Giuse Tran Ngoc Thanh, a Dominican, was stabbed in front of worshippers as he administered the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the eve of the Lunar New Year. According to local police, the killer suffers from mental illness. For the local bishop, the clergyman died “in the place of Christ, dispensing his forgiveness”.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews/Agencies) – On the eve of the Lunar New Year, Vietnam’s Catholic community is mourning the death of one of its own priests, killed while performing his ministry.

Last Saturday, Fr Giuse (Joseph) Tran Ngoc Thanh, a 40-year-old Dominican, was stabbed while listening to confessions and administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation before the evening Mass, in the parish of Đăk Mot, Diocese of Kon Tum (central Vietnam).

According to a preliminary investigation by the local police, the attacker suffers from mental illness.

Fr Giuse Tran Ngoc Thanh was born in Ho Chi Minh City on 10 August 1981. After entering the Dominican order, he made his religious profession in 2010 and was ordained a priest in 2018.

He was assigned the parish of Đăk Mot only a few weeks ago. His murder has left the small local community with great sadness.

Some worshippers were in the church when the attack took place. Another Dominican clergyman was also injured in the attack as he tried to stop the knife-wielding man.

Bishop Aloisiô Nguyễn Hùng Vị of Kon Tum spoke to the local community during yesterday’s funeral service.

“When he was hit,’ he said, “Father Giuse stood in the place of Christ, dispensing his forgiveness. Dying at that moment, ‘in persona Christi’, must be a grace. In this pain, we also see the beauty and the nobility of the priest.”

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