Father Joseph Thanh lived the Gospel values, which was demonstrated in his forgiveness to his killer before death, says Bishop Vi
Vietnamese Dominican priest Father Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh (1981-2022) was killed in a knife attack on Jan. 29. (Photo supplied)
A young Dominican priest who was stabbed to death while hearing confessions in a church in Vietnam forgave his murderer before his death, says the local bishop.
Father Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, 41, was stabbed multiple times at Sa Loong sub-parish in Kon Tum Diocese on Jan. 29.He died from severe head wounds in a hospital hours later.
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Bishop Aloisius Nguyen Hung Vi of Kon Tum told Fides news agency that Father Thanh forgave his murderer before his death.
The slain priest lived the Gospel values, which was demonstrated in his forgiveness to his killer before death, he pointed out.
His alleged killer Nguyen Van Kien is a Catholic and his family said he was not insane, but lethargic and he didn’t practice his faith, Bishop Vi said during his visit to Sa Loong church on Feb. 7.
The prelate joined by other priests visited the church under the Dak Mot parish in Central Highlands of Vietnam where the slain priest served ethnic groups.
During the visit, Bishop Vi met with local Catholics including those present at the crime scene where the priest was stabbed.Local parishioners shared how they blocked attacker Kien and handed him over to police.
Bishop Vi sought prayers of Catholics “so that the soul of Father Joseph may enjoy the face of our Father in Heaven.”
The prelate also appealed to them to pray and to support all the priests and religions.
Bishop Vi paid tributes Father Thanh for his remarkable services to the diocese.
"Father Thanh was a very young priest and was known as an educated, kind and affable man. He was very dedicated to the work of formation of the laity and to the missionary ministry in the diocese of Kon Tum. His death is a great loss for the diocese, for the Dominican Order and for his loved ones," the prelate said.May the mysteries surrounding this tragedy soon be cleared soon, he said hinting rumors abiu the motives of the murder.
Father Thanh was born on Aug. 10, 1981, in Ho Chi Minh City. He professed his religious vows with the Dominican order on Aug. 13, 2010.
He was ordained a priest on Aug. 4, 2018, in Kon Tum, the capital of Kon Tum province in Central Highlands of Vietnam near the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
The priest dedicated himself to serving ethnic groups in the Kon Tum Diocese, where there is a relative lack of priests.
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