Australian Redemptorists support beleaguered confreres in Vietnam

 The Australian Redemptorists have sent the following letter of support To Fr Vincent Pham T Thanh, Provincial Superior of Redemptorists in Vietnam, and Fr Matthew Vu K Phung, Rector, Redemptorists in Thai Ha, Hanoi, and Thai Ha parishioners,

Dear Fr Vincent and Fr Matthew,

We in Australia have been very concerned to hear about the difficulties you have experienced with some sections of your government refusing to return property belonging to the Redemptorists in Thai Ha. This dispute has been widely publicised in Australia, and people here are very disturbed that some officials in Vietnam appear to be failing to observe fundamental legal rights and due process.

This has come as a great surprise to us, as we had believed Vietnam had made great advances in promoting its people's prosperity and welfare, and ensuring social justice with greater freedom.

We know too that the Catholic Church energetically promotes the wellbeing of the Vietnamese people, especially through its health care and education, and working to ensure social harmony and a prosperous economy for all. Our church values honesty, hard work, fidelity in relationships, care for the young, the elderly and the sick, along with justice for all and freedom in society. These are precisely the values that will continue to make Vietnam a strong and secure society.

We Redemptorists in Melbourne, Australia, pray in communion with you and will follow closely how this trouble might be resolved. We express our solidarity with you in this effort to bring about a peaceful and lasting reconciliation among the differing groups.

Not only is this dispute harming the reputation of Vietnam in our country, which has developed such strong ties with the people of Vietnam in recent years, but the conflict must be damaging and dividing your society instead of promoting cooperation and a commitment to further developing your culture and society.

We pray earnestly that people of good sense will soon bring this trouble to an end.

From your confreres in Australia

Bruce Duncan CSsR

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