ASIA/VIETNAM - A Catholic exorcist group: the "No" of the Church and the State

Thursday, 2 June 2022 local churches  

Bao Loc (Agenzia Fides) - "It is inappropriate to claim that someone is possessed by the devil or to believe that illnesses are caused by demons and that someone has a superpower of exorcism them. Arbitrary acts of exorcism with superstition and magic are totally contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church", says a note from the Commission for Doctrine and Faith in the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam, chaired by Bishop John Do Van Ngan, who intervened in the case of the" Exorcism Group of Bao Loc", a group of faithful who have been practicing unauthorized forms of exorcism for some years in the diocese of Da Lat. The case, which reached the national press, also aroused the concern of the government apparatus, which has planned an intervention to "close down the illegal religious group".
The Bishops' note states: "Jesus entrusted his Church with spiritual authority against all forms of the Evil One. Jesus Christ is the only Word of God, the only Savior and the Mediator between God and man, so that anyone who claims to have direct revelations from God the Father completely deny the role of Christ and commit a serious insult to the Catholic faith. We call on all members of the Bao Loc Group to return to the Catholic Church and live the spirit of unity that Christ the Good Shepherd desires. May the Holy Spirit guide us in truth and unite us in faith". The small group of Catholics from the parish of Bao Loc in the diocese of Da Lat, located in the highlands of Vietnam, began some years ago to carry out alleged exorcism practices, attracting people and also involving some priests and religious. The group did not follow the instructions received from the Bishop of Da Lat who had asked and then ordered to stop this practice and dissolve the group, while people from other parts of Vietnam began to visit the site.
In a series of published articles, the Ho Chi Minh City "Newspaper of Law" spoke of the "illegal religious activities", practiced despite the ban and the Catholic Church, calling them "paranoid, unscientific and contrary to the law". The Bao Loc police said the government will decisively combat and eliminate the activities of this group from social life, imposing administrative sanctions and even penal measures. (AD/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2/6/2022)