Biloxi congregation wants formal apology - - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi congregation wants formal apology

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Members of a Biloxi church say they are the victims of unfair and untruthful accusations.  On Sunday, parishioners of Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church marched in protest in front of the church wearing shirts that read "Hear Our Cries."

They are upset with their priest Father Jimmy Pham for several reasons including his stopping the practice of giving quarterly financial reports. The protestors say they feel they have a right to know how church donations are spent.

The Catholic Diocese of Biloxi has told WLOX that the congregation held "secret" bank accounts. Parishioners say that is not true and it's time the Diocese issued a formal apology for all the name calling.

"Some of the stuff that they said about us was not true," said Ginni Tran, parishioner. "There have been no investigations. They have not heard our side of the story. To say stuff like that, it makes us look bad. It makes it look like we're the troublemakers, and we're not. We've been trying for weeks and months to get a formal meeting with them to get some answers about everything, and they shut us out. So yeah, we want a formal apology because calling us liars and cheats, it was kind of uncalled for. "

Protestors say they will continue to protest each week until Bishop Roger Morin agrees to  meet with them in person.  So far, parishioners say all contact with the Bishop has been through his representatives or through his letters.

"We want face to face," said  Tran. "A letter can only say so much. We can't ask questions. He said he would prepare a lengthy letter. When is the letter going to come? A month from now? Two months from now? How long do you want us to wait? We can only wait so long."

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