Vietnam state officials interrupt mass celebrated by Hanoi archbishop

Catholics in Vietnam’s Archdiocese of Hanoi were shocked when officials wearing helmets interrupted Sunday Mass that was being celebrated by their Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien in the province of Hoa Binh, southwest of the capital.

The incident took place on February 20 in the parish of Vu Ban, Fides reported. The church there can accommodate more than 100 worshipers.

“It was rather unpleasant and worrying to see the liturgy interrupted by the presence of several state officials”, said a note from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, one of oldest dioceses and seen as the mother of many northern dioceses.

Security officers interrupted the liturgical service and, led by the head of the local branch of the Communist Party, marched to the altar, ordering the archbishop to immediately stop the mass and disperse the congregation.

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