Rome, Italy: January 24, 2010 (SCALA)

Dear Confreres,

Yesterday, we received very distressing news from Vietnam about the severe beating of one of our confreres, Brother Anthony Nguyen Van Tang, 36 years of age. He had gone to the parish of Dong Chiem to visit with the confreres and the parishioners after the destruction of the Cross in the cemetery. The situation has become very tense. Brother Anthony was left unconscious in a pool of blood.

Details of the destruction of the Cross, and the beating of Brother Anthony, have been widely reported in the media. Government denies any responsibility, but this denial is refuted by the Catholic Bishops in Vietnam, by witnesses, and by independent journalists. The Provincial Superior of Vietnam has asked our prayers at this difficult moment. Not only is it a tense situation for the Redemptorists, but also for many dedicated lay men and women, especially those who are active in the ministry.

I have assured Fr. Vincent, all the confreres, and the men and women with whom we work that we are in solidarity with them, especially in our prayers. Let us not forget them in their need.

In the Redeemer,