Search

 

Cablegate: Hcmc Catholics Hold Prayer Vigils for Thai Ha Parishioners

VZCZCXRO4435
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHNH
DE RUEHHM #1071 3470639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120639Z DEC 08
FM AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5220
INFO RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY 3480
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY PRIORITY 5450

UNCLAS HO CHI MINH CITY 001071

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, DRL/AWH AND DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF PGOV VM
SUBJECT: HCMC CATHOLICS HOLD PRAYER VIGILS FOR THAI HA PARISHIONERS

REF: Hanoi 1165 and previous

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In solidarity with their brethren in Hanoi,
thousands of Catholics gathered at the Redemptorist Church in Ho
Chi Minh City recently to pray for the eight Thai Ha
parishioners tried this week for disturbing the public order and
damaging property. Police and security personnel were present
but did nothing to stop or disturb the vigil. Other churches in
the area also held smaller vigils to show their support. This
is the second candlelight vigil HCMC Catholics have held since
the Thai Ha parish restarted large-scale prayer vigils at the
site of a land dispute in Hanoi in August. End summary.

2. (SBU) On November 30, 2008, over 5,000 Catholics joined in a
candlelight vigil organized by the Province of the Vietnam
Redemptorist Order at the Mother of Perpetual Help Church in
District 3 of Ho Chi Minh City to show their solidarity and
support for the eight Thai Ha Catholic parishioners who stood
trial on December 8, 2008 (reftel). The vigil was led by Head
Priest Vincent Pham Trung Thanh. Reports from eyewitnesses and
Catholic websites recounted a peaceful event. Pictures of the
eight parishioners were shown on a large screen as church
leaders spoke about the difficulties the eight faced, including
the lack of access to legal counsel for some defendants. Dozens
of policemen present took photos and videotaped the vigil, but
did nothing to prevent or restrict the members from gathering
and praying.

3. (SBU) According to one Redemptorist priest, district and ward
authorities approached the organizers prior to the vigil and
suggested that the Church call off the meeting, but backed off
at the organizers' insistence and allowed the Church to carry on
with their initial plans. Afterward, a People's Committee
representative from District 3 invited Fr. Nguyen Quang Duy, the
Superior of the city's Redemptorist District Monastery, to
express his concern over the "security issues" raised by the
vigil. Father Duy indicated that the government officials were
polite and simply suggested that the Church notify them of any
future gatherings in advance so they could "better assist."

4. (SBU) The November vigil was not the first time Catholics
outside of Hanoi have expressed their support for the Thai Ha
parishioners. Redemptorist priest and political activist Father
Chan Tin informed post of a similar vigil held by the
Redemptorists on September 24, which also went peacefully and
smoothly. Approximately 7,000 people attended the vigil and
prayed for "justice, peace, and a better future for Vietnam and
the Catholic Church." Smaller vigils were also organized by
Redemptorist orders in Hue, Vinh, Gia Lai and Quang Nam
provinces. Thai Ha parish held a final pre-trial vigil to
support the detainees on December 6, 2008 in Hanoi.

5. (U) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Hanoi.

FAIRFAX

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC