Loading
Underground Buddhists side with Catholics in Vietnamese property dispute

.- A leader of the underground Buddhist Church in Vietnam has sided with Catholics in a property dispute with the Vietnamese government, in which the state-sponsored Buddhist organization claimed original ownership of a former papal nunciature now used by the government.

Hanoi Catholics had won a government promise to restore to Church control the building that once housed the papal nunciature, a building confiscated by the government in the 1950s. 

However, on February 16 Venerable Thich Trung Hau, a leader of the state-recognized Vietnamese Buddhist Church (VBC), wrote to the Vietnamese prime minister asserting a claim to the property.  He argued that the land had once been the site of Bao Thien pagoda,which he claimed was built in 1054.  He said French colonists had seized the property and given it to the Catholic bishop in 1883.

A state-run magazine published in 2001 stated that the Bao Thien pagoda was destroyed in 1426, saying it was located on land about five kilometers north of the former nunciature.

In a February 23 interview with the BBC, Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, an official in the outlawed Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV), supported the Catholic claim to the land.  He said the Catholic Church “had legally owned the land before the VBC was established, and even before Hau was born.”

He also questioned the motives of the VBC leaders.  “It is clear that the government is reluctant to satisfy the legitimate aspirations of Catholics. Now, they want to use Buddhists to confront the Catholics for them”, he said urging Vietnam Buddhists not allow the government to do so.

The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam claims to lead eighty percent of the Buddhists in Vietnam.  It has been outlawed since 1981, when the communist government set up the state-controlled VBC. 

Venerable Thich Khong Tanh, 65, had spent 15 years in prison for his support of the banned church and his advocacy of human rights.  He said his church “has nothing to deal with the nunciature,” and called for greater attention to two key UBCV institutions seized by the government:  the Vietnam Quoc Tu Pagoda and the Quang Duc Cultural Center in Saigon.

Father Joseph Nguyen, who helped lead the Catholic effort to reclaim the former nunciature, said government officials had criticized the use of the VBC letter.  The officials were concerned the action would force Catholics to cooperate with the underground UBCV.


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

RESOURCES »

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
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: