Imprisoned Viet Catholic priest denied Bible, sacramental wine
Hanoi, Oct. 31, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Vietnamese Catholic priest, imprisoned for "spreading propaganda against the socialist state," is being denied access to the Bible, pens and papers, and wine for celebrating Mass behind bars.
The BosNewsLife service, which provides news of Christian prisoners of conscience, reports that Father Nguyen Van Ly remains in solitary confinement in a prison camp in northern Vietnam. The jailed priest has warned his sister that she should not put his clerical title on packages sent to him, because prison authorities refuse to recognize his priestly status. The reason, he explained, is that the government insists that it "does not imprison the Church's people."
Father Ly was sentenced to an 8-year prison term in March 2007, after a court found him guilty of criticizing the Vietnamese government and sending his criticisms to pro-democracy workers abroad.
Father Ly, who has now spent 14 years in prison, gained international prominence in 2001 with a letter to a US congressional committee in which he detailed human-rights abuses in Vietnam and argued against American approval of a bilateral trade pact.
Human rights abuses, you say, in a socialist state? How could that even be possible, since the dogmas of marxism are guaranteed to yield an earthly utopia to all who live by them? Time and again we see the socialists reveal themselves in their true colours. Father Ly has been punished for failing to joyously affirm the socialist hegemony with a remarkable abuse of his human rights. He has committed no crime. Except that in a socialist state, it is a criminal act to express criticism or disapproval of socialism.
For all its trenchant atheism, socialism is nothing else than a religious cult writ large. The “proletariat” is its god, and marxism is its dogma. Political theorists and revolutionary demagogues are its priesthood. Its sacraments are bloody purges, show trials, imprisonments, confiscations and executions. It commands a kind of absolute obedience to and total trust in its leaders found in no Church, and it does not tolerate even the existence of any religion different to its own.
And now Melancholicus really must stop harping on about socialism, or he’ll never write anything else.