Hanoi: government crowd attacks Redemptorist chapel

 A large gang, backed by the People Committee of Quang precinct, attacked the Trung Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery chapel in Hanoi on Saturday.

Government officials and police prevented parishioners from saving the building.

Fr Joseph Nguyen Van That, vice superior of Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery said: "At 10pm local time, on Saturday night, a delegate of the People Committee of Quang Trung precinct came to Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery asking for an urgent meeting with the Redemptorists while hundreds of people attacked our Saint Gerardo Chapel."

In an urgent email, sent to Redemptorists in Vietnam, Fr Joseph Dinh Huu Thoai, the secretary of Vietnam Redemptorist Province, reported the incident asking his confreres to pray intensively for Redemptorists in Hanoi at this very difficult time.

Fr Joseph Dinh said Hanoi Redemptorists rang bells to summon nearby parishioners to rescue the monastery. Thousands of Catholics and nearby parish priests rushed to the site to stop the gang from destroying the chapel.

Hundreds of police with stun guns prevented them from entering the chapel. A parishioner said the gang ransacked the chapel and asked police if they could set it on fire. They were instructed to "wait for an order from higher ranking officials."

This was the second time the Saint Gerardo Chapel has been attacked. was attacked. On Sunday, 21 September, the chapel was ransacked with statues destroyed, and books torn to pieces.

The thugs "yelled, smashed everything on their way, threw stones into our monastery, and shattered the gate of Saint Gerardo Chapel," wrote Fr Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, Superior of Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery in a letter sent to People's Committee of Hanoi City and police agencies of Hanoi and Dong Da district.

Fr Matthew added: "the gang yelled out slogans threatening to kill priests, religious, faithful and even our archbishop."

"...everything happened clearly in front of a large number of officials, police, security personnel, anti-riot police, and mobile police ­ those who in charge of keeping security and safety in the region ­ but they did nothing to protect us."

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