On the eve of the Lunar New Year, Fr Giuse Tran Ngoc Thanh, a Dominican, was stabbed in front of worshippers while administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The killer, according to local authorities, suffers from mental illness. The cleric died “in the place of Christ, dispensing his forgiveness,” according to the local bishop.
On the night of the Lunar New Year, Vietnam’s Catholic community is mourning the murder of one of its own priests, who was killed while carrying out his ministry.
Last Saturday, 40-year-old Dominican Fr Giuse (Joseph) Tran Ngoc Thanh was stabbed while listening to confessions and administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation before evening Mass in the parish of ăk Mot, Diocese of Kon Tum (central Vietnam).
According to preliminary police investigation, the attacker suffers from mental illness.
Fr Giuse Tran Ngoc Thanh was born on August 10, 1981, in Ho Chi Minh City. He entered the Dominican order in 2010, made his religious profession, and was ordained a priest in 2018.
He was only recently assigned to the parish of Đăk Mot. His death has caused enormous anguish in the little local community.
When the attack occurred, some worshippers were present in the church. Another Dominican priest was hurt in the attack while attempting to stop the knife-wielding man.
During yesterday’s burial service, Bishop Aloisiô Nguyễn Hùng Vị of Kon Tum addressed the local people.
“When he was hit,’ he said, “Father Giuse 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 Giuse, martyr of mercy, killed during confession in Kon Tum diocese|asianews