Vietnamese priest risks secularization for exorcism

Vietnam

Father Truyen, 74, is part of a group of exorcists ‘causing social disorder and causing division among Catholics’

Father Dominic Nguyen Chu Truyen in Thanh Mau parish in Da Lat in 2018. (Photo provided)

An elderly priest in a diocese in central Vietnam has been warned he faces being fired from the clerical state if he stays with a banned exorcist group.

Bishop Dominic Nguyen Van Manh of Da Lat told Father Dominic Nguyen Chu Truyen to immediately leave a group of exorcists based in Bao Loc, not to contact group leader Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong and to abandon the exorcism as he had promised before.

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


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

The prelate said that if Father Truyen, 74, refuses to obey him and wants to do his work according to his own will, the elderly priest himself “should ask for his laicization and the local Church will be ready to help him to carry out the legitimate process”. .”

If the priest refuses, “the diocese will have to take other legal measures, including an act of discharge from the clerical state to deal with the matter”.

They make clips of people claiming to be possessed by demons rolling on the floor and screaming as a way to challenge the clergy to rid themselves of evils and justify their own exorcism.

The Da Lat Bishop’s Office announced Bishop Manh’s decision regarding the priest on March 23.

The office said the bishop made the final decision after the group of exorcists released clips about exorcism and religious activities that are causing social unrest and causing division among Catholics.

The announcement said that members of the group work in several dioceses across Vietnam and post religious ceremony videos on social media to attract viewers. They make clips of people claiming to be possessed by demons rolling on the floor and screaming as a way to challenge the clergy to rid themselves of evils and justify their own exorcism.

They said they do what God the Father tells them and brag about “many things the Father reveals to the group that the bishops don’t know.”

The announcement said that Thuong, who claims to communicate with the Father, is the main cause of errors. The married woman, banned from attending services and receiving the sacraments in 2020, claims to have been chosen by the Father to exorcise patients in 2016.

The office called on local Catholics to earnestly pray to God, the merciful Father, to grant Father Truyen the grace of enlightenment and discernment to make right decisions that please God and benefit the local Church in the unity of the same faith.

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