On Sept. 27 Rod Herrera, director of Child and Youth Protection for the Diocese of Camden, and Vietnamese Catholic leaders of South Jersey presented Bishop Dennis Sullivan with a bit of history.
Herrera; Thu Nguyen, director of Most Precious Blood Parish’s Vietnamese American Cultural and Education Center (VACEC) in West Collingswood; and Deacon Kim Nguyen of Most Precious Blood Parish, gave the bishop a copy of the first Vietnamese translation of the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of “Children and Young People” and “Essential Norms for Diocesan/ Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons.”
The U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” — first adopted in 2002 and revised in 2005 and 2011 — outlined how church leaders would provide a safe environment for children and young people in church-sponsored activities. It established uniform procedures for handling sex-abuse allegations and adopted a “zero tolerance” policy. It also required background checks and training in child protection for church employees and required dioceses facing allegations made about priests or other church workers to alert authorities, conduct an investigation and remove the accused person from duty.
Earlier this year, Herrera asked Thu Nguyen to translate the documents, after discovering that there were no translations available for the nation’s Vietnamese Catholics.
No stranger to interpreting and translating texts, Thu last year assisted with the Vietnamese translation for the program of Philadelphia’s World Meeting of Families.
As director of the volunteer-based VACEC, which “helps Vietnamese immigrants become acclimated into American life,” Thu works with Vietnamese Catholics and their families, providing social activities and classes that teach both Vietnamese and English to all ages.
Beginning Herrera’s task for her in May, she recruited volunteers to help, including two other translators and Deacon Kim (Nguyen) as the editor. Most Precious Blood pastor, Father Joseph Nguyen, (no relation among the three), oversaw the parish endeavor.
Explaining the difficulties of the project, she cited the differences in Vietnamese and English culture.
“It’s one thing to translate; it’s another to convey the meaning of what is being written, and interpret,” she said.
Thu depended on both dictionaries and fellow Vietnamese Catholics for difficult passages.
In addition to being presented to Bishop Sullivan, the 89 pages document was sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.