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Dominican priest in Vietnam murdered in the confessional


Funerali di frate Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh, 30 gennaio 2022

Zelda Caldwell - published on 01/31/22

Fr. Trần Ngọc Thanh, O.P., was killed in a knife attack on Saturday.

A 40-year-old Dominican priest in Vietnam was stabbed to death on January 29 in the mission church were he had recently been installed as priest-in-charge.

Fr. Joseph Tran Ngoc Thanh (Trần Ngọc Thanh), O.P., was murdered while hearing confessions just before he was about to celebrate Holy Mass on the eve of Tet, the Lunar New Year celebration in Vietnam.

Fr. Than was the newly installed priest-in-charge for Sa Loong Subparish in Kon Tum province, and was known for his devotion to serving ethnic groups in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, according to a report by

Stabbed several times, Fr. Thanh was taken to the hospital but died of his wounds hours later.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Fr. Patrick Hyde, OP (@frpatrickop)

The perpetrator of the crim, who was reportedly a drug abuser, was arrested, according to the UCANews report.

The Dominican priest was born in Ho Chi Minh City in 1981, took his vows in 2010, and was ordained eight years later. The diocese where he served included several ethnic villages, and suffered from a lack of priests.

In a Facebook post, one of Fr. Thanh’s Dominican brothers, Hoang Vinh, described the murder as “the most grievous death of [a ]priest after the war.”

Dominican Father Paul Cao Thang told UCANews that the late priest was “extremely gentle and had good relationships with all people.”

“The incident was painful but beautiful — people love the deceased father but have much pity on those who are controlled by evil,” said Fr. Thang.

After Fr. Thanh’s body was transferred to St. Martin de Porres Monastery in Bien Hoa, Dominican priests celebrated a funeral Mass for him on January 31. 

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