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Cablegate: Letters From Father Nguyen Van Ly

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 HANOI 000998

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/BCLTV AND DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KIRF VM RELFREE HUMANR
SUBJECT: LETTERS FROM FATHER NGUYEN VAN LY

REF: HANOI 555

1. (U) During the January visit of Senator Brownback,
Father Nguyen Van Ly provided his staff with copies of
letters -- written while in prison, in Vietnamese -- that he
had written to Parliamentary audiences in Europe and the
U.S. and to the Catholic hierarchy in Vietnam. (Reftel
provides translation of another 2003 letter to the U.S.
Congress, given to the Codel by the Ministry of Public
Security.) The letters are defensive of Vietnam's policies,
including on religious freedom, and critical of attempts to
get Vietnam to change its socialist system. They indicate
that his mind remains sharp and penetrating, but he appears
highly conciliatory. He explicitly noted that he was not
mistreated in prison and that the thoughts reflected are
truly his own (i.e., not GVN propaganda). Embassy informal
translations in paras 2 and 3.

2. Begin text
Vietnam, December 8, 2003

To: The European Parliament and U.S. Congress

Distinguished Parliament Members and Congressmen,

May God bring a fresh, peaceful, happy and lucky Christmas
and New Year to all people in Europe and the U.S. and your
families.

From Vietnamese newspapers, I know that you have passed two
resolutions (H.Res. 427 dated 11/19/2003 of the U.S.
Congress and a resolution dated 11/20/2003 of the European
Parliament) on religious freedom in Vietnam. I have not read
the full texts of these resolutions but with the two
statements made on November 25 and 27, 2003 of the National
Assembly of the State of Vietnam (SOV) and the Presidium of
the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, I can see
that the view of the SOV and yours on religious freedom are
very different as the two sides are different from each
other in terms of their ways of thinking and approaches, and
both sides are trying delicately not to touch on a very
sensitive but fundamental issue, and therefore can not yet
reach a common ground for candid and breakthrough dialogues.

First, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you for
your good-will attention to the religions in Vietnam and
your intervention for me personally. But as a supporter for
universal brotherly peace for mankind, I would like to
suggest that you should approach the issue of religious
freedom in a comprehensive and objective manner, as follows:

-- Currently in Vietnam, for those citizens that are
enthusiastic about - [or] at least not doing anything
against - the socialist construction, there are enough
religious freedom and other fundamental freedoms within the
constitution and laws of the SOV, though some narrow-minded
prejudices remain to be overcome, especially when the
Resolution of the 7th Plenum of the CPV Central Committee
adopted on January 21, 2001 (sic) opened a direction toward
a smooth and satisfactory solution for the six major
religions in Vietnam.

-- Those citizens or organizations that indicate their doubt
about or hinder the socialist construction in Vietnam shall
have some of their freedoms, including religious freedom,
restricted not because of their beliefs but because of their
political attitudes, and as a result of these certain
organizations might not be recognized according to the law
of Vietnam.

-- As you must have been too familiar with the chronic
negative practices (such as mechanisms that are prone to
corruption, formalism, dishonesty, conservatism, extremism,
cover-up, restriction and repression of freedoms, etc.) of
classic socialism in most of the former socialist countries,
you may wish, with your goodwill, to find ways to exert your
influence so that Vietnam can change faster and shift itself
completely to the western democratic multi-partisan
parliamentary system.

-- On the contrary, the SOV has always been trying to
surmount the mistakes of classic socialism in order to
successfully build a new peaceful, fair and realistic
socialism to provide a valuable experience not only for
Vietnam but also for the world, hoping to bring about a
planet of fairness, morality, brotherhood with more peace
and stability than the current world with lots of pains and
grieves.

-- We should analyze some basic aspects to find out
objective rightness:
a. Nearly 200 countries are following the Euro-American
democratic parliamentary system. Does this model really
bring about fairness, humaneness, morality and peace to
mankind? Which country in the current world is the most
ideal model for the world? You have many research
organizations, scientific institutes and scholars that are
thousandfold better than the Vietnamese ones but can you
persuasively address this fundamental issue? What should be
done to make mankind trust, love and care for one another
like brothers and sisters in a family or organs of a body?
[As] Vietnam sees your country as a country of advanced
development, wealth, freedom, democracy, openness, etc. but
also with lots of injustices, instability, weapons,
assassinations, mafia, terrorism, violence, drugs,
prostitution, depravation, self-indulgence, etc., Vietnam is
reluctant to try a different democratic model. It is fair
and objective [to say] that you cannot force Vietnam to
follow your example while you yourselves are currently
incompetent to deal with your own thorny social problems.
Have we found any optimal option to deal with the bloody
conflicts that have been prolonged in many areas worldwide?
How can terrorism and other international crimes be
eliminated?
b. Why has Vietnam been insisting upon socialist ideology?
Can Vietnam be successful?
++ Vietnam has simultaneously achieved four valuable
successes that many other richer countries have not, i.e.
independence and unity, not having ethnic or religious
conflicts (among its 54 ethic groups and 6 major religions),
not being occupied by foreign military bases, and being one
of the most secured and stable countries in the world
(except for abortion, human life is the best ensured here in
comparison with the world). These four very difficult goals
have been very well attained by Vietnam. Perhaps you and
certain Vietnamese people wish that Vietnam will soon adopt
a democratic multi-partisan parliamentary system, but when
such a multi-partisan system is put in place, will the
ruling party be able to maintain these four very difficult
achievements? Or unrest and disorder will prevail like it
currently is in tens of countries where the situation is
very complicated with bloody violence? There are three
other goals that are also very difficult but less difficult
and pressing than the above four goals and will be achieved
sooner or later, namely: economic development, improvement
of living standards, and loosening [of control over]
people's legitimate rights to freedom. These goals should
certainly be achieved and the SOV has been trying to
carefully and gradually deal with them and in fact there
have been remarkable achievements, especially since 2001.
++ Though Vietnam is inferior to you in terms of economy
and many other scientific areas, the extraordinary
solidarity among the top SOV leaders, their regular and
faithful family life, their working behaviors and
confidence, and their desire for a world of solidarity,
peace, friendship, cooperation, etc. are elements that
contribute to the security and stability of Vietnam and the
consistent stance of the SOV, and that the leaderships of
many other countries in the world can not yet have.
++ Though certain members of the SOV may try to maintain
the socialist model to protect the power and interests of
about 10 million salaried (current and retired) SOV
officers, the SOV still has reasons to be consistent with
its stance because it is thanks to these 10 million people
(this number will be considerably reduced when the security
and stability of the country are more ensured) that security
is ensured for the other 50 million Vietnamese to go on with
their life and 22 million students and schoolchildren to
study in peace. Therefore immediate security for people's
life remains to be the overriding rationale and more
necessary than any other freedoms. (Certainly a democratic
state that is truly for its people and belongs to its people
cannot abuse the rationale of security to impose limits to
legitimate freedoms in a sophist and authoritarian manner.)
++ Vietnam is determined to combine the three
quintessential elements of mankind, namely international
market economy (fair competition, dynamics, etc.), cultural
traditions of Vietnam and mankind (honesty, humaneness,
modesty, faithfulness, tolerance, morality, wholesomeness,
etc.), and socialist ideology (equality, peace, etc.) in
order to prevent negative impacts of the international
market economy while building a new fair, peaceful and
brotherly Vietnamese socialist society of which the
prototype has not existed in history. With the various
experiences of mankind, Vietnam is confident of its
successes.
++ Therefore if you want to force Vietnam to soon
relinquish its socialism (that you think Vietnam will
certainly fail), your efforts will be useless and
detrimental to the currently positive relations between
Vietnam and Europe and the US, while bringing to certain
people an illusive impression about the effectiveness of
your political pressure and they, therefore, pursue
impracticable and dangerous adventures that can only slow
down the pace of Vietnam to successes, prolong the poverty
of the Vietnamese people and be detrimental to the world
peace because other countries will get too cautious to
follow the example of Vietnam, but it is still impossible to
make the SOV alter its choice of socialism.
++ On the contrary, you should have supported Vietnam to
effectively integrate itself into the international market
economy to be faster in achieving successes with its new
socialist model, helping many countries where the situation
is very complicated with bloody violence to follow the
experience of Vietnam, contributing to the stabilization of
the world peace. The more Vietnam can be successful,
stabilize its security, and reduce rapidly negative
phenomena, abortion cases, traffic accidents, labor
accidents, drug problems, robbery, etc., the more the entire
Vietnamese people, including the religions, can be confident
of the new socialist ideology of Vietnam and therefore have
more freedoms.
++ You cannot be adventurous to hand the national destiny
to a state that delegates the supreme power to a multi-
partisan parliament, but Vietnam hands its destiny to a
Party that controls and directs both the National Assembly
and the State. Normally single-partisan leadership makes it
easy to unify strong powers but is likely to become
authoritarian and radical, and therefore is not viable. Thus
the core issue is neither multi-partisan model nor single-
partisan model but whether the whatever party that rules is
truly for its people, belongs to its people, is trusted and
loved by the majority of its people, and acts as the
representative and serves the legitimate interests of the
majority of its people, especially its poor people. The SOV
is consolidating itself in order to build such a party and
must have such a party. We should trust this sincerity and
help Vietnam achieve rapid and viable successes.
++ Though the mechanism of a socialist state may make it
not very easy for Vietnam quickly to eradicate its common
classical and cyclic-natured negative phenomena, Vietnam
would rather continue studying the social management
experience of other countries to further its reform (doi
moi) process in order to minimize negative phenomena, non-
openness and dogmatic views that are useless and only spoil
the team spirit, to improve the democracy right in selecting
candidates for [Communist] Youth Union or [Communist] Party
membership so that the selected are genuinely those with
morality and dedicated to serving the people, to expand
people's participation in overseeing the work of the State,
etc. than give up the socialist ideology it has chosen; as
it is common sense that human beings should help one another
both to improve themselves and to strive for that viable
ideal.

Distinguished Parliament Members and Congressmen,

Above are some points that I would like you to consider so
that you can have a more efficient approach to the problems
of Vietnam and review the world in a fairer and more correct
manner, helping one another to build up a family of mankind
where people increasingly love and care for one another in a
hearty, efficient, practical and specific manner.

Thank you very much for reading this letter. Please accept
my respectful compliments.

Please pray for me and I also pray everyday for the American
people and for you.


Sincerely,

(Signed)
Prisoner Thadaeus Nguyen Van Ly
(Priest of Hue Diocese, Vietnam)
end text

3. (U) Begin text

GLORY TO GOD FOREVER

PETITION TO THE VIETNAM EPISCOPAL COUNCIL

Nam Ha Prison, April 17, 2003

May our Lord Jesus Christ, died and risen, and our Lady of
La Vang and Great Saint Joseph and all Vietnamese Saints
always be with you!

I am Thadaeus Nguyen Van Ly. Before May 17, 2003, I was the
priest in charge of An Truyen Parish in Hue Diocese. I am
now serving a 15-year prison term for the charge of "acting
against an order of probation and sabotaging the national
unity" in accordance with the current laws of the State of
Vietnam (SOV) at Nam Ha Prison in Ha Nam Province.

I beg your forgiveness for what I may have made you worried
and tired in the past. I may be incapable and short of
morality but, like you and all other normal priests, I have
been agonizing for 28 years about: What should be done so
that the Catholic Church of Vietnam (CCV) can develop freely
and favorably as hoped for in the Declaration on Religious
Freedom of the Vatican Council II in 1965? Especially what
should be done so that the SOV allows the CCV freely to
select and train enough qualified priests for congregations,
seminaries, journalism, communications, charity, social
affairs, overseas study, science, culture, education, new
economic zones, Ho Chi Minh Trail and Truong Son area, new
religious development locations, isolated mountainous areas,
missionary work in other countries, etc. in truly normal
religious life?

After nearly two years of praying in peace and thinking
things over with only me and our Lord in my tiny mind,
thoroughly agonizing about the relations between the World
Catholic Church and the international socialism, and between
the CCV and the socialism of Vietnam, now I beg your
permission to disturb you possibly for the last time to bare
all my heart to you before I quietly settle down alone in
our Lord as a hermit. I have not been subjected to any
torture, corporal punishment, interrogation, pressure,
request, [or] suggestion. The SOV authorities and I have
been completely silent until I feel that our Lord is guiding
me to write this petition. As I am not afraid of anything
or misled by secular pleasures or occupied with worldly fame
or shame or my too small personal concerns when I think
about our very important issues, i.e. national sovereignty,
people's national unity, honor of the SOV, and practical
interests of the CCV, I have condensed [my points] into this
brief but hopefully adequate petition as my final testimony
to submit it respectfully to you.

I. Real substance of the issue of religious freedom in
Vietnam nowadays.
1. Three current uncompromising principles of the SOV
towards religions:
a. Homeland sovereignty is above all and is the human right
of the whole country, higher than the human right of any
organization. The more secure the homeland is, the more
freedom the people can be. If the State restricts the
freedom of the people in an unfair manner, the State will be
at fault. Religions must help the homeland to be more
secure so that there can be more freedom.
b. The five objectives, namely people's prosperity,
national strong power, equality, democracy and civilization,
constitute a common denominator for the entire people, not a
propaganda cliche; though socialism is not mentioned, the
specific target for people's national unity to achieve is to
build a new socialism of Vietnam. The religions should not
be so indifferent [to this target] that they only want to
have "purely religious" activities to make their people to
follow in a sluggish and stupid manner, because to build
this new socialism is [the representation of] people's
overall noble morality. The more enthusiastically the
religions are [taking part in] building this new socialism,
the more needed freedoms there can be.
c. It is impossible to stand at the same level with the
State to demand freedoms; there will be enough freedoms if
the religions go at the same pace with the people.
2. Though [the religions operate] in accordance with the
Constitution and [Vietnamese] Law and over 99% of Catholic
voters cast their ballots in National Assembly and People's
Councils elections, the Religious Letters of 1980 and 2001,
which were regarded by the SOV as the most positive, still
did not mention the socialism of Vietnam, can be applied for
all times. Having taken that elastic, flexible, wise but
strained approach for the past 28 years, the Vietnam
Episcopal Council (VEC) hopes at least to maintain the
invaluable and extremely necessary unity, and has been
simply patiently waiting for the SOV to loosen its
restrictions on religions, especially to ease the training
of priests. [For its part,] the SOV has also been waiting
for the VEC to be more positive and specific with the
socialism of Vietnam to be sure that the VEC is not
dangerous to the regime. All difficulties that have
occurred are due to this uncompromising and deadlocked
situation.
3. Best solutions for current issues:
a. The SOV should not force religions to support socialism
when it includes illusions and lots of negative phenomena.
But religions also should not stay out of the course to let
the State struggle by itself when the socialism of Vietnam
has been reformed, basically successful, really prospering,
and especially becoming an ism of equality, humaneness,
happiness and popularity (IEHHP). The State does expect
that the religions consider the SOV and IEHHP, however good
or bad it is, to be theirs and share efforts to consolidate
it, especially the current process of international economic
market integration. If that socialist model of Vietnam can
not be successful in the end, it is people's common sense
and knowledge, not others, that collectively make it
successful; there should not be circumstances where some
try to build while others try to destroy, or illusive
expectations for [social] disturbances that are very
dangerous as seen in the painful experience of many other
countries, because this homeland really belongs to the
entire people. Each Vietnamese should be a person that
seeks no personal interests but happiness for the entire
people and mankind.
b. The Resolution of the 7th Plenum of the Communist Party
of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee adopted on January 21,
2001 (sic), stated that religions have been and shall be co-
existing with the nation in the course of socialist
construction in Vietnam; opened a direction toward a very
fundamental and positive solution for the six official
religions in Vietnam, especially with regard to their
personnel, operation and facilities. [Issues about] land
[use] and facilities of the religions shall be adequately
dealt with in accordance with the law, except for the land
[areas] and facilities that have been donated in writing to
the State. For the Catholic Church, dioceses from now can
select from other dioceses excellent young people blessed to
be trained into priests, i.e. the most burning and
fundamental issue has been given a direction toward a
definite and smooth solution. Other less important issues
shall be dealt with in harmony with the steady development
of the entire people.

II. Current situation and near future of Vietnam.
1. Whether to have more freedom or difficulties, for the
past two thousand years, "the Catholic Church has not
sponsored any philosophic system of mankind" (Letter to
Dionheto in 1st century), therefore certainly the CCV never
compromises with any political system [and takes it] as its
ideology because all philosophies of mankind and all
political systems are incomplete and abnormal, sometimes
even suggesting isolation, accusation and overthrowing if
necessary. But what about Vietnamese socialism, which is
the latest to come into existence in the history of the
world? If it means the combination of the quintessence of
mankind [and/or] the IEHHP and its future is determined by
the people regardless however good or bad it may be, should
the CCV consider it its cause too?
2. The occupation of Iraq starting on March 20, 2003 by the
US and UK helps us understand that, in order to defeat the
French colonialists more than 70 years ago, the Vietnamese
communists did not rely on the US (if they had done, the US
troops would have been still stationed on Vietnamese land
like in Japan, South Korea, etc.) because they could see
through the US better than many other Vietnamese who due to
either their close relations with the Nguyen dynasty or
their close relations with the French or their dislike of
the communists even now may be still too confused to see it
clearly. Though the Honorable Mahatma Gandhi took a
moderate and non-violent approach, India could only gain its
independence without a social revolution and therefore its
social foundation is not viable and stable and prone to
ethnic conflicts and religious conflicts.
3. Overcoming the difficulties and radical weaknesses of
the classical socialism, that initially the genuine
communists themselves might not have anticipated and that
did occur due to various reasons though they were unwanted
(and however numerous they are, the Vietnamese who support
or obey the CPV are more massive and stronger than those
that fear, hesitate about, run away from or oppose [the
CPV]; the countries that support the Vietnamese revolution
are also more numerous than the countries that are
indifferent to or acting against it; negative phenomena and
restrictions on certain freedoms, though they do exist, also
become too small and easily understandable in comparison
with greater and more pressing tasks such as gaining
national independence or how to maintain the victory in a
viable manner, etc.), nowadays Vietnam has simultaneously
achieved four essential successes that many countries (such
as India, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.) have not, i.e.
independence and unity, social justice for every of its 54
ethic groups to have opportunities to advance together, not
being enslaved by or dependent on foreign power, and being
one of the most secured and stable countries in the world.
These are four very difficult goals that Vietnam has worked
and will work well with. Carrying out reforms for
international economic market integration, i.e. to make use
of the strength of the international economy for its
socialist construction to develop its economy and loosen
[its control over] people's legitimate freedoms are two
goals that are easier and will certainly be achieved and
realized, how soon these can be achieved is subject to
people's confidence and actual conditions. For example,
though freedom of speech must be on the three bases, namely
morality, culture and socialist ideology, currently in
Vietnam there are nearly 600 newspapers increasingly making
their critical remarks and comments on various issues.
4. Among the 40 countries that followed/have followed the
classical socialist model of Lenin for at least one year (26
countries, i.e. 9 in Europe, 8 in Asia, 7 in Africa and 2 in
Central America, took the federal state model), 15 countries
did that for over 28 years (9 in Europe, 5 in Asia and 1 in
Central America) and 6 countries, i.e. Vietnam, China, North
Korea, Cuba, Laos, Mongolia, remain doing so. Thanks to
their East-West relation experience, China and Vietnam are
now carrying steady reforms and want to dedicate to mankind
a very special experience of socialism that is the first
ever experienced on this planet (China has 60 million
[communist] party members and Vietnam has more than 4
million [communist] party members, with an annual growth
rate of 150,000 new party members, more than 4 million
[communist] youth union members, 7 million salaried
government employees, the strength of its police and
soldiers, who are very qualified, regular, observing
strictly their disciplines, highly enthusiastic, ready to
make sacrifices and experience hardship, and are helping to
control virtually all people and remote areas to ensure the
security, and tens of millions of non-salaried people that
are mass organization members, para-militants, veterans,
etc. therefore, except for corrupted or conservative party
members that may cause their failure, there is no force that
may possibly compete with this new socialist model of
Vietnam and China.) that is to use the international market
economy (i.e. to develop people's living style that is
almost as open as that of capitalism) for building their new
socialist model (i.e. to use the socialist ideology to
prevent the injustices and dangerous unruliness of
capitalism). For Vietnam, that is to combine the three
quintessences of the nation and the two systems, i.e. to
combine the traditional and national culture with the
socialist morality (equality, honesty, humaneness,
diligence, creativeness, sacrifice, heroism, tolerance,
faithfulness, etc.) in the strength of capitalism. This
special model will certainly be successful if the entire
people can understand it clearly, firmly confident of it,
unite together and consider it as the cause of every
Vietnamese. In this new socialist model, there will surely
be adequate religious freedoms and the most fundamental
human rights will be more fairly ensured than in any other
social model, because this model was designed to bring
overall happiness to people, and not designed only for the
Party. Religions are entitled to contribute to further
improvement of this model.
5. China has been setting a goal to achieve in the next
tens of years, i.e. a Xiao-Kang society which was described
by Confucius in his Book of Songs as a society in which
people live in prosperity, happiness, morality and harmony,
and where people have not reached self-awareness, altruism,
classlessness, chivalry or saintliness, but they live in
peace, happiness, benevolence, righteousness and nobility.
Vietnam is also targeting this very attractive Xiao-Kang
goal. While mankind is more spirit-oriented in the 21st
century, many people think that the development of England
resulted in the development of Europe in the 19th century,
the wealth and power of the US in the 20th century resulted
in its close allies, and China will prosper in the 21st
century and will result in prosperity the countries of which
the conditions are similar to that of China, and of which
the closest to China is Vietnam. This is a goal that is
within reach and not imaginary or vague, provided that the
entire people share efforts and mind to achieve.
6. To make my points brief, I will not compare the good and
bad points of the Vietnam-styled centralized democracy with
the three independent rights of the parliamentary democracy,
and I only present briefly that the CPV is very much aware
of what conditions are needed to make the centralized
democracy successful and understands very well that all
authoritarian regimes, however well they can cover up and
justify themselves with clever tricks, will be removed by
the people, and therefore the CPV has been trying its best
to make the SOV a State that really belongs to the people,
is determined by the people and works for the people, not
just as a demagogic slogan. It is religions that are
responsible for making that State become theirs, not just
waiting for the natural evolution of history, though in the
short term they may still find many things unsatisfactory
[with that State]. Parliamentary democracy can be truly
stable and fair only when the majority of the poor working
people can control the Parliament, a very difficult fact
that few countries have achieved and hopefully some
countries may achieve it in the 21st century. It would be
very superficial to measure the internal nature of a society
with its wealthy economy. The fact that the American and
British peoples and their Parliament and Congress failed to
stop the US-UK attack and occupation in Iraq is a concrete
example. Therefore the religions in Vietnam should join
their efforts for the stability and development of Vietnam,
and should not vaguely wait for disturbances that are very
dangerous.

III. What specifically should the CCV do for the country to
be more stable and have more religious freedoms?

If only the CCV understood that though the Vietnamese
communists do not yet believe in our Lord, with their
actions they are promoting a Poor-Fair-Humane-Peaceful Lord,
and [the CCV] tried its best to support the SOV, the CCV
would have more beneficial freedoms and the proof that our
Lord died and has really risen with mankind today. And if
you see that my general analyses, though they are too brief,
are moderate, mature, objective and well-founded, I
respectfully beg that you write a new Religious Letter,
which will be respected by the SOV, specifically
highlighting the new special socialist ideology of Vietnam
with the following main points, [with these] the issue of
religious freedom will certainly be smoothly addressed in
every respect:
a. To call on the CCV confidently, positively and
enthusiastically to live an evangelical life within the
nation and mingle [itself] with the cultural tradition of
the nation, the noble new special socialist ideology and the
ongoing international economic market integration as a
harmonized combination of people's equality, humaneness,
happiness, [and] reality where the future [of Vietnam],
including [the future of] the CCV, is determined by the
people.
b. Our fellow believers in the South should rid themselves
of their heavy and painful complexes related to the former
Saigon regime, and confidently respond to the SOV's motto
"put aside the past, remove any discrimination or prejudice,
share mutual trust and together look toward to the future."
c. To call on the overseas Vietnamese actively to share
efforts to strengthen the homeland of Vietnam and help
Vietnam successfully integrate itself into the international
economic market as soon as possible.
d. To call on countries, international organizations [and]
the Vatican to trust and support Vietnam in all respects,
especially regarding charity, health care, education,
culture and particularly support to help Vietnam integrate
itself into the international economic market with favorable
treatments granted.

IV. Direct and indirect positive effects:
A. To help unifying six or seven different lines of ideas
in the CCV and putting an end to the situation where they
have been uncompromising with one another for the past 28
years.
1. To help the Vatican soon establish diplomatic relations
with the SOV when the SOV understands better that the world
Catholic Church always supports moderate pro-left-wing or
pro-right-wing states and condemns ultra-left or ultra-right
ones.
2. To help direct the cold war between the SOV and a number
of overseas Vietnamese in exile toward a more positive
common goal for the homeland; to encourage such overseas
Vietnamese wisely to realize that, instead of making rampant
criticism that only makes the SOV warier [of them], they
should prepare scrupulous and accurate scientific projects
to help Vietnam have [more] peace, morality [and] prosperity
like some group did; to help the entire Vietnamese people in
Vietnam and overseas realize that the new socialism of
Vietnam is the fastest and most efficient way to social
democratization, liberalization, peace, [and] stability;
[and by doing these] the international community will be
more confident to help and invest more in Vietnam.
3. To help making the US Congress repeal the H.Res. 2833 on
human rights in Vietnam and the Resolution on religious
freedom in Vietnam, which are resolutions that no Parliament
would inconsiderately pass to its people [to make judgments]
on another country in that manner, and that are motivated by
hidden unhealthy motives, and it would have been much more
effective if diplomatic dialogues had been used to deal with
issues of mutual concerns.

V. Though the said Religious Letter has not been produced,
you should be confident to make known your essential and
legitimate requests because currently the SOV is paying
special attention to the religions, [such requests may
include requests for] a minor seminary in appropriate size
for each diocese to improve the training of priests,
facilitation for priests to live with poor people in remote
areas in order to develop new religious spots, [permission
for] the CCV to have more periodicals, more facilities, etc.

Monsignors,

If this five-A4-size-page Petition, of which all paragraph
are separated with a blank line (except for items b, c, d,
2, 3 and 4 in page 5), can reach you, you can consider it as
an indication of our Lord's blessing to my little but
extremely difficult work for your discretion. I signed at
the end of each page. Pages [and/or] paragraphs that are
unconnected are invalid. I always pray day and night for
mankind, our homeland, the religions and you Monsignors. I
respectfully beg your forgiveness and your prayers for this
follower, who is very little and always dutiful in his
special hermit's life.

Sincerely,

(Signed)
Prisoner Thadaeus Nguyen Van Ly
(Priest of Hue Diocese)
End text
BURGHARDT

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