CNS | 1 February 2022
A VIETNAMESE Dominican Father Giuse Trần Ngọc Thanh was killed in a knife attack while hearing confessions shortly before Vespers Mass at a mission in Dak Mót on Saturday.
The priest was in the confessional when he was attacked by a man wielding a knife.
Another Dominican religious rushed to the scene and was wounded by the attacker.
Local police said they arrested his killer, who is reported to be a drug abuser.
The community had been preparing to celebrate the Lunar New year on February 1.
Ucanews.com reported that Dominican Father Paul Cao Thang said his fellow Dominican priest was extremely gentle and had good relationships with all people.
Fr Thang said the priest dedicated himself to serving ethnic groups in Kon Tum Diocese, where few priests work in ethnic villages.
“The incident was painful but beautiful — people love the deceased father but have much pity on those who are controlled by evil,” said Father Thang.
He said Fr Thanh’s death reminded people to work together to make evil disappear from the world.
Kon Tum Bishop Aloisio Nguyen Hung Vi celebrated a funeral Mass on Sunday, and expressed his condolences to the parish community of Dak Mót and the Dominican Province of Vietnam
“We know that the will of God is mysterious; we cannot fully understand the ways of the Lord. We can only place our brother in the hands of the Lord,” he said.
“Fr Joseph travels in eternity and, no matter what happened, no one can separate him, or us, from the love of God.
“When he was hit, Fr Joseph stood in the place of Christ, dispensing his forgiveness. Dying at that moment, ‘in persona Christi‘, must be a grace.
“In this pain, we also see the beauty and the nobility of the priest.”
Fr Trần was born on 10 August 1981 in Saigon, and he took his religious vows in August 2010. He was ordained a priest in 2018.
“Please unite to pray so that Father Guise’s soul may soon enjoy the glory of God,” the Diocese of Kon Tum said in a statement on January 30.
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