Hanoi Catholics Urged To Remain Calm

Redemptorists at a parish in Hanoi have urged local Catholics to keep calm after a mob led by government officials attacked a convent and church in early November. Tens of thousands of people attended 10 special Masses celebrated on Nov. 5 and 6 at Thai Ha Church in the capital. On Nov. 3, around 100 people, accompanied by security officials and members of the press, attacked a convent. They fled after the church’s bell rang out, bringing many people to the scene. “We strongly condemn this violent, rude and organized attack,” Joseph Nguyen Van Phuong, the Redemptorist priest who is pastor of the parish, told one congregation. He urged them to “forgive them and avoid retaliation.” He said the motive behind the attack probably stems from an ongoing dispute with the government over seized church property.

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