Hanoi, Vietnam, Jan 8, 2010 / 18:06 pm
The Archdiocese of Hanoi has condemned a recent police attack on Catholic parishioners and the destruction of a cemetery crucifix by the city police as a “sacrilege.”
“Blowing up the crucifix in the cemetery of Dong Chiem Parish with explosives is the most severe form of sacrilege. It's insults the Catholic faith,” said Fr. John Le Trong Cung, Vice Chancellor of the Hanoi Archbishopric in a statement on Friday.
An estimated 600 to 1000 heavily armed police officers and a large number of trained dogs were deployed to the area to protect the army engineering unit assigned to destroy the stone crucifix. The troops and police reportedly claimed they were acting on a policy that requires all religious symbols to be inside a religious premise, J.B. An Dang told CNA.
“Facing such an extreme act of sacrilege, parishioners of Dong Chiem begged the police to stop destroying their crucifix. But in response they were shot at close range with tear gas canisters. Around a dozen brutally beaten, two of them were seriously injured and hospitalized,” claimed Fr. John Le.