04 Aug 2016 News No comments

Aid agencies prepare to help 1.5 million expected to flee Mosul offensive

Up to 13 million Iraqis may need humanitarian aid by the end of 2016 The military offensive to root out ISIS militants from Mosul and surrounding villages will…

Read more

11 Jan 2016 News Vatican No comments

Vatican's Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi pays tribute to David Bowie

Music legend,David Bowie’s death inspired a heartfelt tribute from the President of the Vatican's pontifical council for culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. He…

Read more

14 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (6)

What incentive do I have not to sin if I am already in the state of mortal sin?

Full Question It is my understanding that if someone dies in the state of mortal sin he will not go to heaven. What incentive do I have not to sin if I am …

Read more

02 Aug 2016 Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Polish cardinal dies aged 89

Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, the retired successor to St John Paul II as archbishop of Kraków, died on Tuesday at the age of 89. Just five days before his …

Read more

27 Jul 2016 News No comments

WYD 2016: ‘Spread message of divine mercy,’ Kraków cardinal says at opening Mass

St John Paul II's former secretary preached to more than 200,000 pilgrims on Tuesday St John Paul II’s former secretary urged young Catholics to share their fa…

Read more

21 Jul 2016 Articles No comments

What To Do When a Celebrity Dies Unexpectedly

Two weeks ago I posted the following social media status after learning about the tragic death of Robin Williams: The rules for talking about Robin Williams:…

Read more

30 May 2015 Articles Resources No comments

When people murder is heaven to blame?

A tragic story has been circulating around the Internet in the last few days about a Canadian man who allegedly murdered three of his relatives and then posted …

Read more

23 Jan 2016 News Vatican No comments

Argentina to have its very first saint: Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero

Pope Francis has facilitated the causes of sainthood for 10 men and women, that list includes Roman Catholic Argentinian priest, Blessed Jose Gabriel del Rosari…

Read more

23 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Would contraception constitute grounds for annulment?

Full Question If a couple is on contraception on their wedding day and are using it for years, could that be grounds for an annulment? Answer Use…

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