The bishop of a diocese in Vietnam’s Central Highlands has banned a female Catholic exorcist for her “incorrect” divine revelations and disobedience to church officials. Teresa Nguyen Thi Thuong, who leads a group of exorcists based in Bao Loc parish in Lam Dong province, has performed exorcism at her house and attracted many people by video clips for years. Videos claimed to show that some priests and nuns were healed by Thuong and liberated from demonic possession. Many people have visited Huong’s house, recited the Divine Mercy and the rosary many times and had themselves exorcized by Thuong and her group members. On May 31, Thuong inaugurated her new house called “House of God the Father” for her exorcism.
Bishop Dominic Nguyen Van Manh of Da Lat said Thuong’s practices go against the Catechism of the Catholic Church and canon law. She treats illnesses such as headaches, backaches, heart problems and depression as well as faith ignorance as being caused by evil and uses exorcism to deal with them, he said. Bishop Manh, 65, said Thuong exorcizes patients by receiving mandates from God the Father and violently beating and getting rid of evil spirits from them with the assistance of group members. The group’s activities are based on the “words of God the Father” that Thuong is said to receive and communicate to members. The bishop, an expert in canon law, said her “words of God the Father” are "incorrect, untrue, obscure and delusional." Bishop Manh said every time Thuong was asked not to perform exorcism by local clergy, she answered that she has to “obey God the Father, not the bishop.” The prelate said the exorcist interprets the Bible beyond the Church’s authority. She had said the Book of Revelation reported an event that the Church has not known that we live in a new era when God frees all evils from Hell. Bishop Manh said the woman shows no sign of obeying the local ecclesiastical authority and awaiting the Church’s judgment. In view of Thuong’s disobedience and to protect unity among the Catholic community, he publicly demanded Thuong and her group not perform exorcism. “Their exorcism is absolutely illegal according to canon law,” he said. He said no one can perform exorcisms legitimately unless he or she has obtained special and express permission from the local ordinary. The bishop said Thuong had not obeyed a legitimate prohibition by the ordinary and persisted in disobedience after a warning. Her acts baffle Catholics’ faith and sow division among them rather than building unity, he said. Bishop Manh asked Catholics not to seek exorcism from the group or spread their assumed messages. Thuong claims that God the Father incarnates a statue of the Infant Jesus placed in her house. She said her case is a private revelation like the Marian apparitions reported in 1917 by three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, and apparitions of Jesus Christ reported by Polish Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-38).
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