His conclusion in “It's quite clear that script reform had negligible literacy impact on Vietnamese society” is thus a fallacious assertion.
Gabriel missed an important factor that thoroughly undermined his argument: the script’s historical context. If you are not interested in a bit of history of Catholicism in Vietnam which explained why Quoc Ngu had not thrived, you can skip to the conclusion part, beginning with the last highlighted paragraph.
Since World War II Catholicism has been a faith more associated with the South than with North.
Many of Catholics in Ho Chi Minh City comes from families that fled the north in the 1950s.
1627: Alexandre de Rhodes moved to Tonkin (in North Vietnam); his mission seemed extremely successful.It was introduced to Vietnam in the 17th century by the Portuguese.Traditionally there has been some friction between Buddhists and Catholics.1646: With the encouragement and support of a Catholic Viceroy of Kwangsi (China), Roman Catholicism is defended in Tonkin; a number of conversions take place.1650: Alexandre de Rhodes urges the Society of Congregation for Propagation of the Faith to send Bishops to Vietnam in order to establish churches and train Vietnamese clergy.
Thousands of Catholics have gone to a church to touch the toes of an icon said to drive away the troubles of those who touch it.