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Catholic stores withdraw ’dangerous’ books

Vietnamese bishops warn against Gospel commentaries

Catholic books displayed at the Bookstore of Our Lady of Peace Catholic books displayed at the Bookstore of Our Lady of Peace
  • ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Vietnam
  • January 6, 2011
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A Catholic bookstore in Ho Chi Minh City has withdrawn from sale a series of books by a Scottish Protestant theologian on the advice of Vietnamese bishops’ doctrinal commission.

The set of commentaries on the New Testament by William Barclay, a Church of Scotland minister and professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, had been on sale at a Redemptorist bookshop.

However, Bishop Paul Bui Van Doc of My Tho, head of the Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Vietnam Bishops’ Conference, warned that the books were “a danger to the faith of local Catholics,” said Redemptorist Provincial Superior Father Vincent Pham Trung Thanh.

“I have ordered bookstore workers to withdraw those copies from sale and return them to suppliers,” Father Thanh said in a Dec. 31 letter to his confreres.

Father Thanh criticized Father Jean Baptiste Huynh Cong Minh, vicar general of Ho Chi Minh City archdiocese, and local Oeuvre de Saint Paul nuns, who run the Catholic Bookstore of Our Lady of Peace, for publishing and supplying the books.

Father Thanh said he had also received a copy of an anonymous letter dated Sept. 29 that was sent to Cardinal Ivan Dias, head of the Vatican-based Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

The author of the letter complained to Cardinal Dias that the book contradicted the Catholic faith on several points.

The letter said that 1,500 Vietnamese language copies of the Gospels of Matthew, John and Mark were printed in July 2008. Another 1,000 Vietnamese copies of Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Jude and revelation were printed in September that year.

Father Thanh noted that the books were translated by a priest who teaches at a local major seminary.

In his letter, Father Thanh added that he was compelled to explain the truth of the events following recent rumors among Church leaders that “local Redemptorists were reprimanded by the Vatican or sued for their work.”

The Redemptorist-run bookstore is one of the two biggest Catholic bookstores in the city.

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VT12721.1635
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