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Cardinal Zen asks Chinese bishops for more courage

The bishop of Hong Kong condemns as "outdated" the celebrations of 50 years of "self-election" and "self-ordination" of Chinese bishops as promoted by the United Front, the Patriotic Association, and the Office of Religious Affairs. He is asking the bishops to follow the example of Saint Stephen, and not to offend the pope by participating in meetings sponsored by the regime to appoint the new presidents of the PA and the council of Chinese bishops, two bodies not recognized by the Holy See.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, has asked all of the (official) bishops of China to be courageous, and not slip into compromises with the regime.

Posted on 04 Jan 2009
Bishop denounces government of shameless ungratefulness
What happened to parishioners of Thai Ha is now repeating to nuns in Vinh Long who have their guts to ask for the requisition of their monastery: local government officials start to take revenge for their loss of economic benefits.

In an effort to defame Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, local officials of Vinh Long province have accused the nuns of opposing "the liberation of the country”. In particular, they vaguely charged the nuns of poisoning orphan children with anti-revolution sympathies. It is often a pretense for open persecutions.
Posted on 21 Dec 2008
Vietnam: authorities destroy new church building
Five Christians injured as officials raze 'illegally constructed’ worship place

SAIGON, December 17 (Compass Direct News) -- Local government officials in Dak Lak Province this morning made good on their threat to destroy a new wooden church building erected in September by Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village.

At 7 a.m. in Cu Dram Commune, Krong Bong district, a large contingent of government officials, police and demolition workers arrived at the site of a Vietnam Good News Mission and Church, razing it by 8:30 a.m. Police wielding electric cattle prods beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building
Posted on 19 Dec 2008
Sisters protest in Saigon asking for their home back
The local government in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) suddenly betrayed its promises to solve a Church property dispute by dialogue and started new constructions at the site with the back of police.

On Wednesday morning of Dec. 17, dozens of Sisters of the Daughters of the Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul (Compagnie des Filles de la Charité de Saint Vincent De Paul) rushed to their old house to protest a new plan to convert it into a commercial complex. The house has been seized by local government since 1977. The sisters were really upset to know that the government decided to break its words and started new constructions at their house. They rushed to the site by all means. Some took motor bikes. Some just ran along streets.
Posted on 19 Dec 2008
Vietnamese officials reaffirm plans to demolish Catholic monastery
Vinh Long, Dec 15, 2008 - Repeating a government tactic used in disputes with Vietnamese Catholics seeking the return of confiscated property, the People's Committee of Vinh Long on Friday announced that it will demolish the city’s St. Paul Monastery to build a public park.

Prior to the announcement, numerous meetings had been held in Vinh Long to accuse the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of "taking advantage of religious freedom to inspire protests against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and hence damage the united block of the people," J.B. An Dang tells CNA.
Posted on 19 Dec 2008
Hanoi mayor wants to drive Redemptorists out of town
In a letter to Vietnam’s bishops and the order’s provincial superior Nguyen The Thao demands the Redemptorists be moved "out of the area of the capital.” Three months ago he wanted the archbishop out of the capital. For ordinary people, the trial against Thai Ha parishioners has turned them into heroes, with the authorities now facing the trial of public opinion.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) -- Attacks by Vietnamese authorities against the Catholic Church seem to have no end. After seizing the land of the former apostolic delegation, property belonging to Thai Ha parish and to St Paul’s Monastery in Vinh Long and trying eight Thai ha parishioners, the authorities now want to throw the Redemptorists out of the capital.
Posted on 16 Dec 2008
Message Of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI For The Celebration Of The World Day Of Peace
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE WORLD DAY OF PEACE

1 JANUARY 2009

 FIGHTING POVERTY TO BUILD PEACE

1. Once again, as the new year begins, I want to extend good wishes for peace to people everywhere. With this Message I would like to propose a reflection on the theme: Fighting Poverty to Build Peace. Back in 1993, my venerable Predecessor Pope John Paul II, in his Message for the World Day of Peace that year, drew attention to the negative repercussions for peace when entire populations live in poverty. Poverty is often a contributory factor or a compounding element in conflicts, including armed ones. In turn, these conflicts fuel further tragic situations of poverty. "Our world”, he wrote, "shows increasing evidence of another grave threat to peace: many individuals and indeed whole peoples are living today in conditions of extreme poverty. The gap between rich and poor has become more marked, even in the most economically developed nations. This is a problem which the conscience of humanity cannot ignore, since the conditions in which a great number of people are living are an insult to their innate dignity and as a result are a threat to the authentic and harmonious progress of the world community” [1 ].
Posted on 14 Dec 2008
Vietnamese Inquisition: Catholic protesters face a show trial as Hanoi's clampdown on religious and media freedom continues
An ongoing face-off between the Vietnamese government and the Catholic Church will come to head any day now, the latest round in a continuing state clampdown on freedom of expression in Vietnam, a one-party state ruled by the Communist Party.

Eight parishioners at the Thai Ha Redemptorist Church in Hanoi will face what will effectively be a closed trial, set to commence soon, though an exact start date has not been announced. The group is accused of "damaging state property and disorderly conduct in public."
Posted on 12 Dec 2008
Catholic defendants saved by the Blessed Mother's intercession
For the 8 parishioners who were tried on Monday, it was Our Lady of Immaculate Conception who saved them from imprisonment.


Praying in front of the courthouse

Initially the trial was scheduled on Dec. 5 the same day when the new auxiliary bishop of the capital, Mgr Chu Van Minh, was set to be consecrated. It was obvious that the government wanted to minimize the number of attendances at the site of the trial as priests and faithful would be involved in the cathedral of Nam Dinh, 90 km away, rather than attend the trial.
Posted on 12 Dec 2008
The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media
92 The River Rd - Revesby NSW 2212
Tel: (02) 9773 0933
Fax: (02) 9773 3998
paulvanchi@yahoo.com PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Fr. Paul Van Chi Chu
Tel: (02) 9773 0933
Mob: 0410 552 650

SYDNEY, Dec. 9, 2008 - The Federation of Vietnamese Catholic Mass Media strongly denounces the continual manipulation of the justice system by the Vietnamese communist government as it keeps using public court as a tool for persecuting and threatening Hanoi parishioners in their quest for the truth and justice.
Posted on 12 Dec 2008

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