Tôi đọc bài: "Đạo Công giáo với vấn đề mê tín và tệ nạn xã hội" của TS Phạm Huy Thông

Trần Chung NgọcĐạo Phật ngày nay
06:12' CH - Thứ tư, 26/03/2014

Chú thích:

[1]. The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

[2]. Franco-Vietnamese relations from the 17th century on followed the classic pattern of Western penetration of Asia. First came the missionaries and traders. In time, diplomats arrived to intercede on behalf of both and, in the end, soldiers marched in to impose foreign rule - for the subject people's own good, of course.

A country's chief motive in acquiring colonies and spheres of influence would seem to be acquisition - to get something, be it power, prestige, wealth, or plunder...In the French case the chief emphasis was on religion. As the torchbearers of Catholicism, the French were engaged in a religious crusade to give the people of Vietnam that most priceless of gifts, the opportunity to achieve immortality. Only when France became more secular in the 19th century did it place emphasis on its "civilizing mission" - in countries justly proud of their ancient civilization.

...However unwelcome the traders were, Western missionaries were even more suspect. After 1645, when Alexandre de Rhodes was first imprisoned and then expelled, missionaries had to disguise themselves as traders, according to English merchants who came to Vietnam to open up trade channels.

...A modern Eastern philosopher, in attempting to explain Asia's antagonism toward Christian evangelists, stressed the arrogance of the typical Christian missionary:

"You Western mind is too much obsessed with the idea of conquest and possession, you inveterate habit of proselytism is another form of it.. Preaching your doctrine is no sacrifice at all - it is indulging in a luxury far more dangerous than all luxuries of material living. It breeds an illusion in your mind that you are doing your duty - that you are wiser and better than your fellow-beings..."

A denigration of everything Asian is implicit in the attitudes of early French missionaries toward the religions they found in Vietnam, as can be seen in their correspondence and writings.

...Whatever the difference between Vietnam's various religions, they were minor compared with the gulf separating them from the militant Catholic Church.. Vietnamese emperors regarded Catholicism as a threat to their authority and the local Vietnamese converts as the bottom rung of a tight religious hierarchy under foreign bishops. (So completely dominated by foreigners was the Vietnamese Catholic Church that there were no Vietnamese bishops appointed until the 1930s, almost 400 years after the first Catholic missionaries arrived in Vietnam.) Above the foreign bishops was the foreign pope in far-off Rome, and they owned their loyalty and obedience to him rather than to the Vietnamese emperor.

The missionaries were totally alien to Vietnam and to the very idea of mutual accomodation between different religious viewpoints. To the Catholic faithful of this period there was truth and error, with no possibility of compromise or "dialogue" between the two. Missionaries looked down on local beliefs and practices, calling them false.

...Early reports describe how a large quantity of Western medicines was brought to Vietnam so that the missionaries could administer them "in order to win the hearts of these peoples" (Father de Courtaulin, quoted in Taboulet, p.42). But in their proselytizing activities many Catholic missionaries exploited the fears and hopes of the ignorant and the credulous. Christianity was regarded by those who adopted it as a new system of magic. Catholic holy water was used, hopefully, to exorcise devils, raise the dead, and restore sight to the blind...

True to their belief in Catholic infallibility, members of the Society of Foreign Mission attacked Buddhism as both atheistic and idolatrous and excoriated Confucianism because of its rites of ancestor worship.

...To Vietnam's rulers, the entire Christian doctrine was suspect. In the Confucian view, man is essentially good; all he needs is good training and the use of his reasoning powers to ascertain the difference between good and evil. He does not have to be "saved" by Christ's intercession with God, and the supposition that he did, struck the educated Confucian as just so much superstitious.

Besides being considered crude and implausible, Christian dogma was viewed as positively dangerous, since it alineated a person from his family by emphasizing individual salvation.

The missionaries enjoined their Vietnamese flocks, under the threat of hell fire and damnation, to pursue the Holy Grail of personal immortality in the next world instead of fulfilling the duties of filial piety in this one. The Vietnamese authorities were particularly alarmed over the Catholic confessional as a means of exercising power over people.

...As if challenging the Confucian genius for merging and tempering alien creeds, Catholic proved to be completely indigestible. For four centuries the Catholic faith has remained a divisive force in the society. Reinforcing the ideological gulf between Vietnamese Catholics and the rest of the population, Christian converts have tended to live apart in separate villages dominated by their priests, much as the villages of medieval Europe were dominated five hundred years ago.

In a cultural sense, too, Vietnamese converts to Catholicism became isolated from the mainstream. In order to dissiminate Christian teachings in Vietnam, the missionaries worked out a new form of Romanized script called Quoc Ngu, a phonetic rendering of Vietnamese which they taught their flocks. They translated prayer books and religious tracts into this new script, but no Vietnamese literature. This meant that Vietnamese Catholics, who no longer attended village schools run by Confucian scholars, could read neither the Vietnamese script, called "Nom", nor the Chinese characters used for all public documents. The Romanized script was one of the few lasting Western contributions to Vietnamese civilization, but its immediate effect was to divide the nation and strike at the roots of Vietnamese culture.

For a nation whose ideal was a harmonious community living according to well - defined human relationships, this Catholic intrusion represented disorder and dissension..

From the start the Church fathers in Vietnam had been willing to defy Vietnamese authority and resorted to bribery and fraud to gain their ends.

[3]. What was the nature and extent of the assistance that the Catholics brought to the French expedition?

The correspondence and reports of Balny and Harmand, who were dispatched by Garnier to obtain the submission of many of the provincial citadels and strongpoints of the delta, reveal pattern of significant Catholic assistance that included - but not limited to - formal administrative and military duty. These sources further reveal a pattern of mutual manipulation by French officers and Catholic missionaries in which the "volunteers" often had as much or more to gain from the relationship as did the French officers.

...It is useful to consider Balny's actions at Phu Ly and Hai-duong and Harmand's at Nam-dinh with an emphasis on the relationship between Catholic Missions and the French forces. The analysis reveals that the French were far from alone in their attacks on the loci of Vietnamese authority because the invaders received a significant level of support from the missionaries and the Vietnamese Catholics. Moreover, the methods of the French officers and their Catholic collaborators could hardly be considered as evidence of a superior morality even by their own contemporary standards, for the Catholic Missions exchanged labor, resources, and information in return for French assistance in perpetuating summary executions, desecreations of Buddhist religious edifices, burning of non-Catholic villages, and pillaging of imperial citadels. This Catholic collaboration with French imperialism has not been adequately recognized by historians, but it was a significant contributing factor to the French success in Tonkin.

Tôi đọc bài: "Đạo Công giáo với vấn đề mê tín và tệ nạn xã hội" của TS Phạm Huy Thông
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