The Bishopric of Vinh Diocese
No. 20/09 VTTG

Re: Response Letter to the People’s Committee of Quang Binh

Xa Doai, July 24, 2009

To: The People’s Committee of Quang Binh

The Bishopric of Vinh Diocese has just received your letter No. 1628/UBND-NC, dated July 24, 2009 on “the illegal construction within the premise of the War Crimes Memorial Site of Tam Toa church bell tower.”

We would like to response that:

1) Parishioners of Tam Toa did not violate the laws when they build patios on the ground of Tam Toa church. Up till now, Tam Toa church premise, and its bell tower still remain in the ownership of Tam Toa parish of the diocese of Vinh.
2) The parishioners did not disrupt public order. They only erected aluminum patios of 9m length by 6m width. They did not build a solid building that required a government permit or a report.
3) The Committee said that people in the area and Catholics fought against each other. It was NOT true. We have enough evidence to state that the police of Quang Binh had beaten our faithful before arresting them illegally. Police seized our Cross and confiscated other Church properties as well as our faithful's ones.

Therefore, we demand the government:

1) Release immediately and completely all Catholics who have been beaten, arrested and jailed.
2) Provide medical care for wounded Catholics beaten by police.
3) Make compensation for the patios of Tam Toa parish.
4) Return the Cross and other Church properties as well as our faithful's ones.
4) Stop immediately the distortion of truth, the defamation of religion, and the instigation of hatred between Catholics and non-Catholics.

On behalf of the Bishopric of Vinh Diocese
Chief Secretary’s Office
(signed and sealed)
Rev. Phạm Đình Phùng

Recipients: see above
- Bishop’s Office Archive.