Posted by: becketfund | May 5, 2009

Vietnam: Thai Ha Pilgrimage Proceeds Despite Police Efforts

HANOI – The Thai Ha pilgrimage proceeded despite police efforts to prevent the religious event from taking place, AsiaNews reported on May 5.  Police had initially attempted to stop the faithful from the Thai Binh diocese, situated 11km south of the capitol of Hanoi, from reaching the Thai Ha parish, in their celebration of the golden nubile of the Redemptorists.  Authorities had threatened bus rental companies against leasing vehicles to Catholics for the religious event.  Authorities are reported to have acted against the worshipers, as they feared that once the Catholics reached Hanoi, they would join protests against the current defamation of Redemptorists by the media. Police accused Bishop Francis Nguyen Van Sang of being behind the protest and asked him to cancel the pilgrimage, because they believed it to be politically motivated.  The bishop rejected all accusations, saying instead that the pilgrimage was exclusively religious and that he would lodge an official complaint against the police.  “The announcement I made [to the faithful] about the pilgrimage was legal in the eye of the law and the Church,” he said.

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