CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.29

CBF-SEA BA Link 2008 No.29

October 22, 2008

My dear Friends in the Word, the Synod has brought together a great number of  bishops from the entire world around the WORD ALIVE.

Let us take this opportunity to know each other better as CBF-SEA members committed to the biblical ministry. For that purpose I send you two interventions from Vietnam and one from Thailand :


H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph VÕ ĐÚC MINH, Bishop Coadjutor of Nha Trang VIETNAM )

The Church of Christ in Vietnam , after receiving the Gospel in 1533 and especially after the nomination of the first bishops in 1659, has led a life full of crosses. Through the high and low points of itshistory, like the Jews at the time of their exile, the Vietnamese Catholics understood that only the Word of God remains and never deceives. This Word, which fills prayers, the Way of the Cross and the Angelus, the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary to be meditated on, the hymns, the chanting of Biblical themes, the catechism lessons, popular
worship, para-liturgies, the evenings of prayer in lectio divina, etc., has become a source of comfort and strength that gives a sense of security to all the members of the People of God, and at the same time, the focal point that helps them to discover their future.

The Word of God helps discover the true figure of Jesus Christ, who incarnates the saving love of God, through the mystery of the Cross. Because of the painful experience lived by the Church of Christ in Vietnam, the Mystery of the Cross has become not only close to daily life, but also an essential element that reunites the people of God. Inheriting the millenary culture of the “cult of ancestors”, which expresses the filial piety of our people, the Christians, in celebrating the anniversary of the death of a family member, is inspired by the Last Supper, the Passion, the Death and the Resurrection of Our Lord, whose example always touches upon the Vietnamese soul. The stories about the trials experienced by the Patriarchs and prophets, in particular “saint” Job in the Old Testament, and by the Holy Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the apostles of the New Testament continue to support the faith of the Catholics.

Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-23898?l=english
Synod Interventions of 10th General Congregation

H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph NGUYÊN CHI LINH, Bishop of Thanh Hóa ( VIETNAM )

Last Friday, my dear Vietnamese brother, His Excellency Joseph Vo Duc Minh, gave a summarized history of the evangelization of our people. I would like to continue his report by referring to number 28 of the Instrumentum laboris, beginning with the support role of the Word of God in the history of the Church, to show how this role was achieved in the life of the Church in Vietnam .

The Gospel was proclaimed for the first time on our land at the beginning of the 16th century in the painful context of an internal war between two kingdoms ruled by brothers who were enemies. Marvelously, thanks to this coincidence, it became of great comfort for the first baptized persons and ever since, it has not ceased being the moral and spiritual support, the principle for enrichment for the Church in Vietnam, one of the most suffering ones due to bloody and consecutive persecutions. Embarking on this history, woven by hatred, ideological wars and discriminatory restrictions, our Christians are more and more convinced that only the Word of God can keep them in love, joy, peace, communion and tolerance.

It is painful for me to tell you that Vietnam , until now, is in first place concerning abortions. However, this catastrophe, paradoxically, inspired the “Pro Vita” movement among Catholics, mainly consisting in looking for the aborted babies in the hospitals, baptizing them if there is any sign of life, creating cemeteries to bury them. At the beginning, these actions were accused by the civil authorities and the hospital management as crimes, obliging the Catholics to act clandestinely. Now, it is still not authorized, but it is at least tolerated. Some film makers even made documentaries about this and reporters praise these efforts in the media. Why this progress?
Answer: we better recognize the witness of the Christians, those that live the Word of God and under the light of this Word, one respects life. I would like to repeat this certitude, mentioned in Gaudium et Spes, number 44: “Indeed, the Church admits that she has greatly profited and still profits from the antagonism of those who oppose or who persecute her”.

Another sign worthy of being mentioned to show that the Word of God continues to support the Church in Vietnam . This would be the mass conversion of the thousands of persons of the ethnic minorities shortly after the canonization of the 117 Martyrs of Vietnam in 1988. What is curious about this is that many admitted to listening to the Protestant Radio in Manila , in the Philippines , but converted to Catholicism in Vietnam . Thus, the Protestants sow the seed and the Catholics harvest. The Word of God echoing from afar, reaching their ears, has become the source of hope for these persons lost in the mountains, deprived of all and without a future.

In conclusion, I would like, as a Vietnamese Christian, to repeat the certitude that in persecutions, our greatest grace is faithfulness to the Word of God.

Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-23925?l=english
Synod Interventions of 14th General Congregation

H.E. Most. Rev. Joseph Prathan SRIDARUNSIL, S.D.B., Bishop of Surat Thani (THAILAND)

The Catholic Church in Thailand lives its life. in Christ, through the Eucharist and Scripture.
And so the Church has a life-giving mission to be a shining light of Faith and Hope in Thai society. The Thai Church as a small group amidst other faiths and religions is deeply aware of our role of being leaven in the dough in Thai society.

We realize that the Word of God has to affect our lives through study, meditation, prayer, and we have to put the Word of God into practice. The Thai Church has decided to promote the Word of God in its life and mission in the following ways:

1. The disposition of listening to the Word is extremely important. Basic Ecclesial Communities in Thai Church use the Word of God as the core of their existence which includes lectio divina.

2. The Church in Thailand stresses the importance of Biblical studies in our seminaries, houses of religious formation, and in the formation of the laity, and helps them to know and love the Word of God, and live it and thus to share their experiences of the Word with others.

3. The Church in Thailand fully desires the Word of God to be at the heart of all catechetics and thus to lay a solid foundation of faith and Christian maturity of Christians for their mission of witness in Thai society.

4. The Thai Church using modern technology in its efforts to fulfill the three goals mentioned above will try to communicate the Word of God as the way, the truth and the life for all the faithful and people of other faiths, with emphasis on the Word as the Good News to the poor (Lk 4: 18).

In the Lord,

yours Sr. Emma Gunanto, osu.


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