Priest denies Vietnamese media’s charges of ‘counter-revolutionary’ activity

.- A Vietnamese priest has denied media accusations that he has engaged in “counter-revolutionary” activities, including the possession on his laptop of documents and e-mails with “bad content” that allegedly would destroy national unity and the socio-economic policies of the government.

The People’s Public Security Newspaper and other state-owned media on Tuesday said Fr. Joseph Le Quang Uy had “bent his head admitting that he had commited crimes against people and the government.”

The paper claimed the Redemptorist priest was discovered to have violated the country’s Publishing Law when customs agents at Tan Son Nhat airport discovered documents and e-mails with “bad content” on his laptop, Fr. J.B. An Dang tells CNA.

Fr. Joseph Le Quang Uy was detained at the airport on June 6 returning home from a pastoral trip abroad. His luggage was thoroughly searched and his laptop was confiscated by airport security.

The priest was later released with a citation requiring him to visit the Office of Cultural Inspection for follow-up meetings. Described as a pro-life “hero,” he is also an outspoken critic of bauxite mining efforts in Vietnam.

Fr. Joseph Le denied all accusations against him. He stated that police had altered and distorted the statements he signed at the airport on June 29, Fr. J.B. An Dang reports. He said most of the documents on his laptop were sermons. A few documents were articles reflecting his opposition to bauxite mining in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

“As they still had been drafts on my own laptop, they could not violate Publishing Law,” he said.

The priest had previously set up a website asking Catholics in Vietnam and abroad to sign an electronic petition which called for an immediate suspension of the mining in Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

Since February, state-owned media have repeatedly accused the priest of “conducting propaganda against the state” and “plotting to overthrow the communist regime.” The media have called for his “immediate and severe punishment” on charges under Article 88 of the Penal Code. If convicted, he could face a three- to twenty-year sentence or possibly the death penalty.

Vietnamese authorities have recently arrested at least 30 dissidents, including a number of prominent lawyers, in what Fr. An Dang described to CNA as an attempt to stifle freedom of expression and association.

“There is growing concern over the imminent crackdown against the Redemptorists in Vietnam who have repeatedly struggled for the requisition of Church properties and petitioned the government not to proceed with the project to mine the bauxite in the central high plains, which would cause irreversible damage to the environment and to the local people, many of whom belong to ethnic minorities,” Fr. An Dang said.

Pope Benedict XVI recently told a delegation of Vietnamese bishops that, “Healthy collaboration between the Church and the political community is possible.” “The Church does not seek to substitute government, rather her only desire, through a spirit of dialogue and respectful collaboration, is to participate in life of the nation, at the service of all people."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: