"Families should be 'domestic churches’ or future of the Church would be hopeless if not extinguished", Church leaders have warned Catholics in Vietnam. Also, there are urgent needs for pro-life and pro-family campaigns among the faithful.

Church leaders’ Lent letter focusing on the main theme of family have reached Vietnamese Catholics at a crucial time as Vietnam is undergoing through a lot of political, economic, and social transformations at a dizzying speed.

Some changes such as a free market economy or allowing students to study overseas are warmly welcome by those who can afford it financially. Others are signs of social and family values in chaos which have made lives such an unbearable ordeal for many to go through, and places affected the most by this process a breeding ground for social evils to flourish.

At the heart of the chaos lie the highest rate of abortion in the world, and the risk of decaying family traditional values which baffled many parents who still believe in it yet they themselves have been so caught up in the system and found no easy solution to it.

A recent survey conducted on more than 9,000 families of various age groups from 64 provinces and cities of Vietnam has revealed that violence had taken a grave toll on 20% of those families, and 80 % of adolescence between the ages of 15 and 17 make their own decisions without relying on or consulting with parents. During a time period of 2000-2009 about 60,000 divorces cases have been filed, citing the reasons as conflicts between models of family life 27%, 25.9% of adultery, economic causes 13%, violence 6.7%, health 2.2%, and living in separation 1.3%

Most parents in the survey when being asked for the reason for the decaying in their families' traditional values gave their answers almost in unison: the lack of quality time with one another as family, and morality is no longer considered the center of social and educational emphasis.

While many parents are working so hard to make ends meet, children would be the ones who pay the ultimate price. On daily newspaper one can find stories of children as young as 12 who turned to drug or promiscuous sex as a way to relief stress or to gain attention and affection from someone whom they can feel as close to as a relative. Without parental supervision and guidance as well as governmental intervention, these children are on fast track to become drug addicts or out-cast run-aways. Some ended up working at a brothel somewhere away from home or if less fortunate can be victims of sex trade outside the country.

Many had blamed the government for not taking a stance against exploitation of women and children who were victims in human trafficking or not doing enough to save the lives of young addicts.

A majority of Church leaders in Vietnam nowadays believes that Catholic families must be “domestic churches” to help provide some support and stability in the wake of social and family chaos expressed clearly in the high rate of divorces, the shocking number of run-away children, the mushroom growth of brothels catering to westerners, the fast growth of young addicts, and the spiral out of control of social evils.

If every Catholic family try to build a family and become a school of values like faith and love of God, and to implement the human virtues of honesty, justice, probity, loyalty, humanity and generosity in the family as well as in society, we can be hopeful for a brighter future of the Church, contributing actively to healthy social life," said Cardinal Pham Minh Man, the archbishop of Saigon.

Others turn to a wider scope - the whole society - urging the need for pro-life and pro-family campaigns.

“As children of God, how can our hearts be hardened, turning lives into indifferent statistics and allowing our conscience to be swept away in the tsunami of evil doings, then blaming our inaction or silence on facades of ignorance or powerlessness?” asked Sr. Marie Nguyen, a sociologist in Saigon.

“That lame excuse alienates our heart and mind from those who die from starvation and sickness each day, those who have been traded in to sexual slavery in brothels, and those who are victims of abuse as well as from the plight of single mothers and fatherless children, and the list goes on”, she criticized.

“We should stop burying the existence of people’s suffering in the deep recesses of our mind like an ostrich buries its head in the sand and do nothing with the reality of people's pain. We have only one choice: raising our voice to wake up people even at the cost of grave sufferings,” she concluded.