Thousands of communist gang attacked Catholic protestors at the nunciature on Thursday afternoon in an action attributed by the government as “the fury of people”.

Police stood by
Communist gang in blue shirts
At 4 pm local time hundreds of Catholic protestors were attacked when they were praying at the gate of the nunciature. Thousands of youth, military veterans, and other communist associations were delivered by state owned buses to the nunciature where they clashed with protestors. Far out-numbering the protestors, the gang chased them away from the area before gathering at the gate of Hanoi archbishop’s office where they yelled out communist slogans calling for the head of the Archbishop of Hanoi, accusing him and other Catholic leaders of treason.

Priests and staff of Hanoi archbishopric withdrew inside the office and close all the doors. Hundreds of police and officials standing nearby to back the construction inside the nunciature did nothing to help Catholics. Instead, some of them helped the gang destroy an iron cross erected by protestors in January, and carry the Pieta statue into a truck. During their first vigil, just before Christmas last year, protestors wheeled the statue into the building. In fact, the statue had been located there before the nunciature was seized by the communists in 1959.

Some protestors ran into St. Joseph cathedral where they continuously rang the bells to ask for help from nearby Catholic parishes. Until that moment, police urged the gang to withdraw to avoid a clash with Catholics who were rushing to the site. The truck with the Pieta statue drove away.

“When I rushed to the site, they carried the statue away. I asked police here why they let this happen. One attributed to the ‘fury of people’, and told me he was instructed not to interfere anyone who wanted to protect the state,” said Fr. Joseph Nguyen from Hanoi.

“In these days, Nguyen The Thao keeps depicting Catholics as a source of perils urging people to protect the regime,” he explained. Thao is the chairman of People’s Committee who tailored and took out of context the statement made by Hanoi’s archbishop, then went on state owned media to call into question his patriotism in an obvious attempt to deceit and incite socially negative sentiments against him and the Church.

In another development, on Wednesday, Fr. Nguyen The Hien of Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery went to People’s Committee to protest its warning against Redemptorist priests, and the plan to convert the land in dispute to a park.

“According to current land law, we have chances to protest the government decisions up to three times. And after that if our petition is still rejected we still have another chance to solve the dispute at a court. Why you announce the decision to convert it into a park when we has just been rejected the first time, and we still protest lawfully?” he asked calling the committee to respect the law.

As at 7pm local time, thousands of Catholics gathered at the nunciature to protest the attack against protestors, and the office of Hanoi’s archbishop.