We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,258 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Vietnamese priests elected to government bodies

Catholic World News - June 03, 2011

Seven Catholics priests have been elected to Vietnam’s national assembly and provincial councils, according to official results of the voting conducted on May 22. At least 20 priests won election to local “people’s councils.”

The participation of priests as candidates for election provoked a lively debate among Catholics in Vietnam. Canon law forbids priests from holding office “if it means sharing in the exercise of civil power.”

In an open letter to the Vietnamese hierarchy, several priests—including Father Nguyen Van Ly, a prominent dissident who has spent almost 15 years in prison—argued that membership in Communist ruling bodies falls into that proscribed category, since these organs exist to legitimize and carry out decisions of the Communist Party. “It is clear from Church teachings that no true Catholic can ever be a Communist, or condone Communism,” the letter said.

Despite the criticism, Father Tran Manh Cuong of the Ban Me Thout diocese, and Father Le Ngoc Hoan of Bui Chu won their bids for membership in the national assembly. However, the priest whose candidacy raised the greatest public outcry, Father Phan Khac Tu of Saigon, was defeated in the polls.

Father Phan Khac Tuc is the editor of Catholics and Nation, a magazine that was founded in 1975 with support from the Vietnamese government, and has frequently criticized the Vatican. He is also vice-chairman of a Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics, a group apparently modeled after China’s Patriotic Catholic Association. He has boasted that during the war against the US he ran a clandestine bomb factory out of his parish church.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,258 to go):
$25,400.00 $2,142.00
92% 8%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

To-do list for faithful Catholics 17 hours ago
Not Fully Human: Anthony Esolen’s compelling verdict on contemporary personal formation 17 hours ago
A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21