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Vietnamese Diocese to do its bit for the Environment

Some of the victims of the Formosa marine disaster carry boxes of lawsuits to file at Ky Anh District’s Court on July 18. (Photo courtesy of Vinh Diocese)

Effort is Part of Observing of World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

A northern diocese in Vietnam is planning to clean up their surroundings to mark the third anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on Sept. 1.

All parishes and sub-parishes in Vinh Diocese on that day were to “organize Eucharistic Adoration and pray for those who devote themselves to protecting the environment, the country’s leaders to issue proper policies to respect Creation, and mankind to love their surroundings,” Father Anthony Nguyen Van Dinh said Aug. 13.

Father Dinh, head of the diocese’ Committee for Justice and Peace, also called on 500,000 local Catholics on Sept. 3 to pray for environmental protection and clean up their surroundings by collecting and disposing of garbage, and dredging sewerage systems.

The priest asked local priests and heads of Religious congregations to hold courses in Laudato si’ by Pope Francis for local Catholics to take responsibilities for environmental safeguards.

Vinh Diocese includes coastlines affected by a toxic waste pollution spill in April, 2016, that was caused by a Taiwanese-built steel plant in Ha Tinh Province, a unit of Formosa Plastics. The toxic spill killed hundreds of tons of fish, affecting the livelihoods of fishing communities.

Sources in the diocese say victims of the spill have not received proper compensation from either the government or Formosa.
Father Joseph Phan Sy Phuong, head of the diocese’s Committee for Assisting Victims of Marine Disaster, and two other priests led representatives of those affected by the spill from Quynh Luu District, to file complaints about the lack of compensation to a district court on July 18. They also filed lawsuits against Formosa at the People’s Court of Nghe An Province.