Parish priest vows to ignore death threats

A Vietnamese priest at Inala, on Brisbane's southside, says he intends to ignore death threats from a small group of dissidents within his community.

The Catholic Leader reports that Inala parish priest Fr Joseph Tuong said about 80 Vietnamese Catholics had used threats, subterfuge and intimidation over the past eight months to have him removed from the parish.

"I don't go out anywhere after dark anymore," said Fr Tuong, added that he had to wonder about the spirituality of people who threatened to "beat up" a priest.

"Maybe that is the old way, I don't know, but it is not the way things are done now," he said.

"There are about 100 parishioners and I have to look after the whole parish.

"The largest number are Vietnamese, then Australian and then smaller numbers of Filipinos and Samoans, but there's one group that won't accept the reality of dwindling priest numbers.

"They want to have a Vietnamese priest minister to their community 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Fr Tuong said the group of dissidents represented only a small percentage of the Inala Catholic community.

He said he had not asked to be transferred as that would not make the problem go away.

Fr Tuong said anyone coming into the role would pay the price because the situation was a case of people not prepared to accept change.

Parish priest vows to ignore death threats (Catholic Leader 18/8/05)

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18 Aug 2005