Delegation from Hue diocese visits Father Ly in prison
Hue Archbishop Étienne Nguyên Nhu Thê sent Frs Le Quang Quy and Le Quang Vien to see the jailed priest after he received disturbing reports about his deteriorating health from Father Ly’s sister, who visited him at the Ba Sao prison camp in northern Vietnam ,.
The tw0-member delegation from the diocese visited the inmate on 17 September. Before the meeting, the two priests gave prison authorities and representative of the Public Security Ministry a list of the diocese’s demands. They included allowing the priest to be checked and treated in a hospital, create the necessary conditions for him to perform his main priestly duties in prison, and finally to speed up his release. Prison authorities responded favourably to the first two requests, but said nothing about the third.
Father Ly appeared moved and grateful for the visit and concern his diocese’s bishops and priests showed him. He assured them of his communion with them in the Eucharist. However, he declined the archbishop’s suggestion that he be hospitalised, saying that other inmates were sicker and needed medical care more than he did.
As to his health, Father Ly told his visitors that he could manage with a weekly visit by the camp physician and the drugs his family and the prison administration provided him. . . .
Lastly, he told his fellow priests about the most serious health incidents that affected to him five months earlier. On 13 March, he suffered haemorrhage and in the same month experienced temporary paralysis, after reading an article in the Communist Party’s newspaper full of hateful accusations against him.
During the visit, the jailed priest spoke in detail about his daily life, saying that he was doing fine, and that he continued to follow events in the diocese and the Vietnamese Church, including the latest in Loan Ly. Even such information, he stressed, allowed him to remain in communion with the Church of Vietnam.