Vietnam Priest Faces Laicization For Exorcism, Disobedience

An elderly priest from a diocese in central Vietnam may face dismissal from the clerical state if he remains in a banned group of exorcists.

Newsroom (27/03/2022 5:55 PM Gaudium Press) Bishop Dominic Nguyen Van Manh of Da Lat, Vietnam, has ordered Father Dominic Nguyen Chu Truyen to immediately leave a group of exorcists based in Bao Loc, avoid contact with the group leader, Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong and give up exorcism as he had previously promised.

Bishop Manh, who suspended Father Truyen from administering sacraments and pastoral care in 2020, also asked the priest to return to Chau Son Cistercian Monastery, where he should contemplate, pray and rectify his acts.

The former pastor of Thanh Mau Parish stayed in the monastery in September and October 2020 before he moved to a house owned by Thuong called House of God the Father based in Bao Loc of Lam Dong province.

If Father Truyen, 74, refuses to obey and wants to do his work according to his own will, the elderly priest himself “should petition for his laicization and the local Church will be ready to help him to complete the legitimate process,” the Bishop warned.

If the priest refuses, “the diocese will have to take legal steps, including discharging him from the clerical state to deal with the case.”

According to the Bishop’s office, the March 23 decision came after the group of exorcists posted clips on exorcism and religious activities that caused social disorder and provoked division among Catholics. The Diocese warns that group members work in several dioceses throughout Vietnam and post videos on religious ceremonies on social media to attract viewers. The clips show people who claim to be possessed by demons rolling on the ground and screaming out as a way to challenge clergy to get rid of evils and justify their exorcism.

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They claim to “do what God the Father tells them” and boast about “many things the Father reveals to the group that bishops do not know.”

The announcement clarifies that Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong, who claims to communicate with the Father, is the primary source of the irregularities. The married woman, banned from attending services and receiving sacraments since 2020, claims to be chosen by the Father to exorcise patients in 2016.

The Bishop called on local Catholics to fervently pray to God, the merciful Father, to grant Father Truyen the grace of enlightenment and discernment to make good decisions that please God and benefit the local Church.

(Via UCA News) Compiled by Raju Hasmukh

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