Society of the Divine Word’s Vietnam branch confirms the dismissal of Father Martine Mai Anh TuanVietnamese priest dismissed for joining banned exorcists – UCA News
Father Martine Mai Anh Tuan talks with Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong in 2018 in a video clip posted by Exorcise The Demons. (Photo supplied)
Published: July 13, 2022 10:59 AM GMT
A Vietnamese missionary who worked in Taiwan was removed from the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) for working with a laity-led group of exorcists banned by Vietnam’s bishops.
The SVD’s Vietnam Province confirmed the dismissal of Father Martine Mai Anh Tuan in a notice issued on July 12.
The notice was signed by SVD provincial superior Father Joseph Tran Minh Hung and the province’s secretary Father Vincent Tran Trung Bao.
The two priests said their office received several questions and complaints about Father Tuan’s involvement with the group of Catholics who mistakenly believe they are “directly revealed” by the Father and given the privilege of exorcism.
The group, which is based in Bao Loc, Lam Dong province under the administration of the Da Lat diocese, is led by Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong, a 47-year-old laywoman who performs exorcisms at her house and has attracted many people including priests and religious for years.
The mother of four was banned from attending services and receiving the sacrament in 2020 by Bishop Dominic Nguyen Van Manh of Da Lat.
The notice said in August 2021, the Rome-based Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life approved Father Tuan’s dismissal after Father Paulus Budi Kleden, the SVD’s superior general, officially issued a decree dismissing him from the SVD society that focuses on missionary work.
Vietnam Province said the dismissed priest, who was trained and ordained in Chicago Province in 2009, was assigned to do missionary work in Taiwan that year. He joined the local Sin Province.
The notice said in 2020 Father Tuan was suspended from administering the sacrament and pastoral care for “obstinately refusing to obey his provincial superior who had asked him not to participate in the exorcists’ activities.”
The two priests said that since the dismissal has been legally exercised, the fired priest’s vows, rights and obligations ended automatically. According to the SVD’s constitution, Father Tuan is not allowed to perform sacred duties until a bishop allows him to join his diocese.
In a video clip posted in 2018, Father Tuan said when he visited Thuong’s house for the first time, he was offered a divine gift that he treated Thuong as his sister although they never met before.
He said Thuong was a good woman who worked to glorify God.
The priest said while he was staying at Thuong’s house, called the House of God the Father by her group, he knew devils were in him and they told him that they tried to make him crazy about money and that he would be blind in the next two years.
He said God the Father offered him the grace of exorcism and he put his hands on people’s heads to free them of evil spirits.
He said he admired the group of exorcists who prayed, recited the rosary and Divine Mercy prayers, attended Mass at churches, and exorcised people from early morning to midnight at Thuong’s house.
At least two priests have been suspended and some religious were dismissed from their orders for joining the banned group that started operating in 2015.