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Today:
  • Vietnam: Clinton Should Spotlight Internet Freedom , -- posted on 31 Aug 2012
  • Vietnamese Catholics demonstrate despite government threats, -- posted on 19 Jul 2012
  • Blogger Slashed by Thugs, -- posted on 14 Jul 2012
  • Vietnam: Free Catholic Activists, -- posted on 23 May 2012
  • Vietnamese Blogger Dieu Cay, -- posted on 21 Apr 2012
  • Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.: “We admire the commitment of the Province of Vietnam..., -- posted on 18 Nov 2011
  • Press Release: On the abuse of social media system, police and gangs by the communist government of Vietnam against Thai Ha Parish, -- posted on 15 Nov 2011
  • Following the Lord on the path of the Cross, renews our way of thinking, says Pope, -- posted on 31 Aug 2011
  • Cau Ram: thousands of Catholics protest against property seizures, -- posted on 16 Aug 2011
  • Reporters Without Borders: French-vietnamese blogger sentenced to three years in prison, -- posted on 15 Aug 2011
  • Public frustrations soar in Vietnam, -- posted on 05 Aug 2011
  • AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT ACTION VIETNAMESE BLOGGER "LOSES ARM" IN PRISON , -- posted on 02 Aug 2011
  • Return of Father Nguyen Van Ly to Prison, -- posted on 29 Jul 2011
  • Vietnam: U.S. Ships to Join Exercises, Raising Objections from China, -- posted on 20 Jul 2011
  • Hanoi archbishop protests convent demolition, -- posted on 26 May 2011
  • Vietnam unleashes wave of repression against Hmong Christians, at least 49 dead, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Amnesty International Annual Report 2011, -- posted on 16 May 2011
  • Vietnam: 14 Die as Troops Converge On Hmong, -- posted on 10 May 2011
  • Soldiers sent to free kidnapped officials in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam: Ethnic Hmong 'in mass protest in Dien Bien', -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Ethnic Hmong hold mass protest in Vietnam, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnam quashes rare Hmong uprising, -- posted on 07 May 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics beaten, arrested for supporting human rights lawyer, -- posted on 04 May 2011
  • My revived hatred of communism, -- posted on 18 Feb 2011
  • Vietnamese Catholics bury aborted fetuses, -- posted on 29 Dec 2010
  • More trouble for Vietnam's Redemptorists: monastery turned into state office, -- posted on 26 Dec 2010
  • New wave of harassment against Redemptorists in Vietnam, -- posted on 17 Dec 2010
  • Vietnam's land management system prone to corruption, experts say, -- posted on 29 Nov 2010
  • KonTum Bishop committed to bring The Words to remote regions despite local scrutiny , -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Vietnam youths go online to promote chastity, -- posted on 18 Nov 2010
  • Congressman criticizes conviction of six Catholics in Vietnam as ‘sham court’, -- posted on 04 Nov 2010
  • Heavy sentences against faithful of Con Dau - Catholics protest injustice , -- posted on 27 Oct 2010
  • Former enemies US, Vietnam now military mates , -- posted on 09 Aug 2010
  • Human Rights Watch honours 6 Vietnamese dissident writers who faced political persecution, -- posted on 06 Aug 2010
  • In Visit, Clinton Criticizes Vietnam on Rights, -- posted on 24 Jul 2010
  • Vinh Long nuns keep fighting for justice and truth , -- posted on 15 Jul 2010
  • Vatican moves upset Viet local Church leaders , -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Pope to appoint groundbreaking representative to Vietnam, -- posted on 06 Jul 2010
  • Vietnam: Provincial government tightens its grip on freedom of religion , -- posted on 23 Jun 2010
  • Vietnam, US hold security, defense dialogue, -- posted on 09 Jun 2010

    
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  • Saigon Catholics protest the defamation of Hanoi's Archbishop
    Saigon Catholics have reacted angrily with a series of mockeries and distortions against Catholics and the Church on state media, and what have happened in the nunciature and Thai Ha. Vigils have been hold at many churches. The focal point is the church of Mother of Perpetual Help.

    Saigon police was in high alert on Wednesday after rumours that protests would be out broken at many Catholic sites. State agencies sent communiqué asking heads of organs to monitor closely activities of Catholic staff. In an urgent letter to all schools dated Wednesday Sep. 24, Nguyen Van Ngai, vice-director of Saigon Education Department asked principals of schools in the city to do whatever necessary "to prevent bad elements from luring students into protests against the government" due to Catholic-state tensions.

    saigon

    "Strictly prohibit the engagement of students in demonstrations. If it the case, principals must react immediately and ask cadres to go to the site to deal with them," Ngai ordered. "Be alert especially during the period from Sep. 24 to Sep. 28," he added.

    The period "from Sep. 24 to Sep. 28" mentioned in many state communiqué raised the rumour that the government might turn to some "extreme actions" against Hanoi Catholic leadership in that time interval.

    Regardless prohibitions of the government and state organs, thousands of Catholics, especially students have actively participated in protests. Catholic activists estimate 5,000 to 8,000 faithful, among them at least 2000 students, attended a prayer protest at the church of Mother of Perpetual Help on Wednesday evening. The protest is seen as one of the largest protests in the city since the communists came to power in 1975.



    The protest began with reading a letter from Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Saigon to all priests, religious and faithful denouncing the state media's dishonesty.

    The cardinal stated that several organs of government-controlled media joined the chorus of power abuse by tailoring and taking out of context the statement made by Hanoi's archbishop, then called into question his patriotism in an obvious attempt to deceit and incite socially negative sentiments against him and the Church.

    Saigon archbishop's office has instructed that the letter of Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham, along with the full text of Hanoi Archbishop's statement during the meeting with People's Committee of Hanoi, and the urgent protest letter of Hanoi archbishop's office to the country leadership must be read at every Sunday Mass throughout the archdiocese.

    Attendances were presented with images of a series of attacks against Catholics, as a result of the government's general hate campaign against the Church. Gang ransacked churches, destroyed statues and books while shouting threats against the lives of clergy and religious, Catholic faithful, and the Archbishop of Hanoi. "These acts of violence happened clearly in front of a large number of officials and police. But they did nothing to protect Catholics as these actions were attributed for â€the fury of people'," a priest commented.

    People were extremly angrily hearing warnings of the People's Committee of Hanoi threatening legal actions against Arcchbishop Joseph Ngo; Fr. Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, superior of Thai Ha monastery; and three other Redemptorists.

    Protestors also could hear Fr. Matthew Vu Khoi Phung talking to them from Hanoi. Many could not hold their tear hearing the suffers of their brothers and sisters at Thai Ha and at the nunciature.

    Protestors asked the government to stop the media campaign against the Catholic clergy, their faithful, and the Church as a whole; stop persecutions of Catholic clergy and their faithful and leave their religious items intact; and respect its own law and return the property to its rightful owner.

    220 priests from various religious orders, and parishes in Saigon concelebrated Mass with Fr Vincent Nguyen Trung Thanh, the provincial superior of the Redemptorists in Vietnam. The congregation prayed for the Church in Vietnam and in particular for the faithful in Hanoi.

    As usual, hundreds of police were sent to the site to take photos and film with video cameras.

    J.B. An Dang







    Posted on 25 Sep 2008


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