Parishioners start petition drive to oust priest

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Protestors plan to show the Biloxi Catholic Diocese just how much support they have for getting rid of their priest.

On Sunday, dozens of parishioners of the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church in Biloxi once again marched against Father Jimmy Pham, who they accuse of being immoral and making false accusations.

In a letter earlier this week, the Bishop Roger Morin pledged support for Pham as pastor and blamed the recent disturbances on a "few dissenters."

Parishioners say in response, they are circulation a petition among 300 families to support for Pham's removal. They say plan to submit the signatures on Friday.

Church members say while disagreements may have started over money and accusations of misappropriation of funds, the ill-feelings have moved beyond that.

"At issue at the Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church is no longer about gaining control of the parish finances as indicated by Bishop Morin,"said Sabrina Hoang, a parishioner. "Nor is it about embezzlement of funds from church accounts, as has been clarified by Bishop Morin."

"The issue now is the integrity and moral principles of Fr. Jimmy Pham. He doesn't practice what he preached. He preached that we should forgive one another, but he only condemned. He preach we should not lie, but he not only lied but also made false accusations and bear false witness."

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