After the Accord of Geneva in 1954 which divided Vietnam into two at the 17th
Parallel, North and South Vietnam, all of the La Salle Communities in North were
forced to move into South.
. From the events of 1975, Brother Lucien Quaűng, Visitor, had created some new Communities at Ly Tran Quang, Phu Son, Tan Cang, etc. or legalized a new form of community, Community in Diaspora, and re-inforced the existing Communities or combined two or three communities in one e.g. La Salle Mossard Community and Junioriate Community in La Salle Thu Duc Community, to fit to the demands of the socio-political situation at that times.
By the events that happened to the La Salle Thu Duc Community in 1978, Brother Lucien, Visitor, had no choice but, in “abandonning materials - safeguarding the Brothers’ life, offered certain De La Salle schools in the area of Saigon to the new government.”
All of the members at La Salle Thu Duc were arrested and put in jail, and the
whole property was confiscated. However, the problem is not about “jailing the
members of a religious community and confiscating its property”. The problem is
rather about the legacy of the existence of and the disbandment of a religious
community. In fact, when being released from prison, each member of La Salle Thu
Duc Community was ordered to return to his own native village, i.e. the
religious community itself was forced to disappear.
By which power does the actual government use to disband such a religious community that belongs to the Church, according to the “Rights of Freedom of Religion?”
. On the side of the socio-political legacy, all members of the community had legal documents, e.g. ID card, Family-register, etc. provided by the said government.
. On the side of crime whether social or political, only two, Brothers Michel Hong and Colomban of the 20 members of the community, were cited in Court and condemned accordingly to the actual constitutions of the State. All other members were not cited in Court, not at all, but put in jail for at least three years. Thus, confiscating the property and “condemning up to three generations” of the so-called criminals Michel and Colomban, isn’t it true that the actual government still applies the rules of ancient dynasties or tyrannies?
. On the side of “Freedom of Religion AND Freedom of non-Religion” for each
citizen, does the fact of confiscating the property of and disbandment of La
Salle Thu Duc Community express partiality of the government preferring the
“Freedom of non-Religion?”
If pretending that because the La Salle Order, by the signature of Brother Lucien, Visitor, had “voluntarily offered” the La Salle establishments to the new government, then:
. the fable “The Wolf and the Little Lamb” of La Fontaine is no more a fable, but rather expresses a truth?
. the analogy about “The Promise by the Communists” of the famous writer Morris L. West expresses the so-called “the truth by the Communists’ ideology?”
. and finally the statement of Mao Tse-Tung, General Secretary of China Communist Party, “The Revolution is at the gun-point” is really “The Morals of the Communist Party?”
If the answers to the three above questions are “Oh yes! That’s the truth!” then Pilate would be right for being not patient in listening Jesus’ reply to his own question, “The truth? What is the truth?”
Personally, since the very first day I had been put in room #4 at the
detention camp of Thu Duc, I gradually learned and realized from my “room #4
classmates,” from my former students Linh Dieu-Linh Tuyen, and especially from
my two little brothers Cuong and Han, that “How great is the relationship among
human beings.” Such an “experimentally live” feeling of Human Beings Love little
by little grows up, as my life in prison goes on, thanks to my former students
Minh Phung and Kim Quang at Chi Hoa Prison, and particularly thanks to Mrs. Sang
and Ms. Kim Hoŕ during three years at K3 re-education camp. As my life goes on
after being released from prison, in that climate of anxiety, oppression and
pressure, like a “countryless man in my own country”, my friend’s family, Baůc
Ba, Remy Hien and his family, make me more convinced of the marvels of Human
It is true that such a love for each other shows up, concretely, on certain specific circumstances of my life. For example, I didn’t know Cuong and Han and anyone in room#4 earlier; I did barely know the family of Mrs. Sang and Ms. Duyęn and Ms. Hoŕ, just a few weeks before the events of ‘75. Isn’t it something in common that the Providence Creator wants when He created His creatures, especially human beings? That “something”, I have discovered it and called it “Těnh Người” (Human Love.)
I also realize that whatever is derived from any structural forms - whether socio-political organizations or religious groups or denominations - is changeable and/or to be changed, even to disappear in harmony with the demands of the inevitable evolution of creatures. Only the essence or the very nature of the creatures, which can be summarized as follows:
1. the perfect inter-relationship between the Creator and His creatures,
2. the perfect inter-relationship between creatures themselves,
has been and will last forever.
By way of conclusion, I borrow a passage from the famous book On Becoming A
Person by Carl Rogers:
Each person is an island unto himself, in a very real sense;
and he can only build bridges to other islands if he is first of all willing to be himself and permitted to be himself.
So I find that when I can accept another person, which means specifically accepting the feelings and attitudes and beliefs that he has as a real and vital part of him,
then I am assisting him to become a person.
It’s true that in the progress of building up bridges, one encounters happiness and/or conflicts. It’s normal by nature of a created human beings. The problem is that each created human being has to recognize his/her condition of created, thus to accept each other and to become “perfect as [the] heavenly Father [Creator].”