02/22/2022, 15.46
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Party officials disrupt Mass led by the archbishop of Hanoi

The act of intimidation took place in a parish in Hòa Bình province during Mass celebrated by Archbishop Vũ Văn Thiên last Sunday, Mission Day. Shaken by the incident, the faithful protected the prelate who was able to resume the service.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – In Vietnam a Eucharistic service on Sunday celebrated by Archbishop Giuse (Joseph) Vũ Văn Thiên of Hanoi was disrupted last Sunday by government officials, VietCatholic reported.

The incident, which took place in the largest church in Vu Bản, Hòa Bình province, saw government officials wearing helmets, led by the head of the local section of the Communist Party, moved to the altar.

Archbishop Vũ Văn Thiên was conducting the 10 am Mass at time, marking the archdiocese’s Mission Day. The officials shouted at the prelate to immediately stop the liturgy and disperse the faithful.

The concelebrants and worshippers did their best to protect the archbishop and removed the trespassers from the church, VietCatholic reports.

Once order was restored, the Mass resumed, but this act of intimidation left local Catholics shaken and speechless.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen local government officials approach the altar to disrupt the Holy Mass without even waiting for it to end before harassing priests as they used to do in the past,” said Fr Nguyen Van Khai, a former spokesman for the Redemptorists.

The incident follows the murder of Fr Giuse (Joseph) Tran Ngoc Thanh, a Dominican missionary in Kon Tum province, whose death the local community wants to see elucidated.

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