29 Aug 2016 Articles No comments

St. Monica: Mother of Augustine, Model of the Virtuous Mother

The saints were men and women who, in love with the fullness of truth, not only lived for God, but lived inGod. They were people whose love for God rose to such…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

May deacons anoint the sick?

Full Question In a recent friendly debate, I took the position that deacons cannot administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick. I eventually quoted c…

Read more

22 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Receiving the Sacraments After Divorce and Remarriage

I recently got a call at Catholic Answers from a woman who had fallen away from the Church many years ago but had come back home after watching EWTN and listeni…

Read more

26 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Pope Francis chooses the next theme and location for the World Meeting of Families 2018

Pope Francis chose the next country to host the World Meeting of Families in August 2018. The World Meeting of Families began with St. John Paul II and is he…

Read more

25 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

How can the physically impaired receive the sacraments?

Full Question How does a person with no voice box go to confession? If a feeding tube prevents someone’s ability to receive Holy Communion, is that person …

Read more

30 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

How do I answer a Fundamentalist friend of mine who insists he knows Revelation is speaking about the present Middle…

  Full Question How do I answer a Fundamentalist friend of mine who insists he knows Revelation is speaking about the present Middle …

Read more

12 Oct 2015 News USA No comments

Poverty, environment, economy – it's all about the human person, Holy See tells UN

Global efforts to fight poverty, protect the environment and make decisions about the economy must all be connected by the common thread of promoting human dign…

Read more

02 Dec 2015 News USA Comments (11)

Consecrated Host found bleeding in Utah diocese

A consecrated Host was returned to the Celebrant Priest of St. Francis Xavier Church in Kearns of Utah diocese as it was discovered to have been received by a …

Read more

03 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Catholic college prepared to pay heavy fines for failure to comply with Obamacare mandate

The president of a Thomas Aquinas College has said that the California school is prepared to pay heavy fines, if necessary, rather than comply with the “Obamaca…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Priest in Vietnam released before President Obama’s visit

Fr Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly spent more than two decades in prison and 15 years under house arrest

Fr Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly, a human rights campaigner jailed by Vietnamese authorities, was released from prison three days ahead of the May 22 arrival of US President Barack Obama.

In photos released by the Archdiocese of Hue, the 80-year-old priest can be seen kneeling — with assistance — before the archbishop upon his return to his parish, reported The archdiocese reported that the priest was in good health.

Ordained in 1974, Fr Ly had spent more than two decades cumulatively in prison and 15 years under house arrest on a range of charges related to his activism. The latest arrest dated back to 2007, when he was sentenced to eight years in prison and five years house arrest on anti-government activities. He was released in 2010 to get treatment for a brain tumor, only to be reimprisoned the following year.

Fr Ly had been an outspoken rights activist, campaigning for democracy and freedom of speech and speaking out against the government confiscation of church property.

While his release was welcomed by the US government, his sentence was about to end regardless. Arrested on February 19, 2007, Fr Ly was handed an eight-year sentence that was suspended between March 15, 2010, and July 25, 2011, meaning he was released barely one month short of serving a full eight years. It is unclear whether he still faces a five-year probationary house arrest that was part of the original sentencing, reported.

A priest in Hue City who asked not to be named told that government officials informed Archbishop Francois Xavier Le Van Hong of Hue that Fr Ly would be granted a special reprieve for the 126th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s birthdate of May 19.

“The Communist government rarely releases prisoners of religious freedom and conscience on that occasion. Fr Ly was pardoned due to the government bowing to pressure from the US government," the priest explained. “The government made this concession to the US so as to get financial support from Obama’s visit."

Rights groups have been pressing President Obama to use his trip to push the Vietnamese government to release political prisoners and tie trade deals to human rights. An estimated 130 people are currently imprisoned for acts of peaceful dissent, according to the International Federation for Human Rights. Last month, a coalition of 19 groups, including Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Human Rights Watch, sent an open letter to President Obama highlighting attacks on defenders of human rights and religious freedoms.

“We therefore strongly urge you to take the opportunity of your visit to Vietnam to make clear, both in private and in public, that US-Vietnamese relationship will not fundamentally advance absent meaningful human rights improvements, including the release of imprisoned activists, an end to harassment of civil society groups, and respect for international law," the letter read.


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories