Reverend Thuong Canh Thanh has terminated his job as representative of the Caodai sacerdoce overseas
As announced at the Caodai Quintennial Overseas Congress of 2022 in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2022, Rev. Thuong Canh Thanh (Tran Quang Canh) has submitted an application to the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council Tay Ninh Holy See to resign from the position of Head Representative of the Cao Dai Sacerdoce Overseas on June 20, 2022 as follows:
“After nearly 12 years of serving the religion and the Cao Dai Sacerdoce, I respectfully request the Tay Ninh Holy See Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council to please allow me to resign from the position of the Head Representative of the Caodai Sacerdoce overseas. The reason: because of health, old age and weakness, no longer have the energy and spirit to run today's very complicated overseas missions."
On July 1, 2022, the Cao Dai Sacerdoce signed Directive No. 313-97/NCPS-HL, approving the resignation of Rev. Thuong Canh Thanh (Tran Quang Canh) according to his request. (see Directive below)
At the same time, on the same day, the Sacerdoce signed a letter appointing Student-Priest Thuong Van Thanh (Huynh Long Van), born in 1952, residing in Fountain Valley, California, currently Deputy Representative of the Caodai Sacerdoce Overseas, temporarily acted as Standing Head Representative of Caodai Sacerdoce Overseas, replacing Rev. Thuong Canh Thanh (Tran Quang Canh), until a new order is issued. (See Letter below)
After 32 years of serving the religion overseas, we would like to recall some of the missionary works that Rev. Thuong Canh Thanh has carried out from 1990 to 2022 as follows:
1990 – Established the Cao Dai Parish in the Washington DC area. Elected as Chief Sub-dignitary (1990-2011)
1998 – 2006 – President of the Representative Council of the Cao Dai Overseas Missionary (2 terms). During this time did a number of missionary works as follows:
5/1999 – Presentation on Cao Dai at CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) Conference at Bryn Athyn University, Pennsylvania, with the assistance of Prof. Dr. Sergei Blagov.
7/ 1999 - Presentation on Cao Dai religion at the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
7 /2001 – Presentation on Cao Dai at the IARF Conference in Budapest, Hungary.
12/ 2003 – Presentation on Cao Dai at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Was invited by the President of Bangladesh to present Cao Dai. Then the President instructed to teach Cao Dai Religion at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
9/2006 – Organized 6 overseas Cao Dai Congresses (for dignitaries, sub-dignitaries
and followers under the Tay Ninh Holy See) as follows:
• Session 1 – 11/ 1996 – held at the Caodai Temple of New Orleans, Louisiana, with 74 attendees
• Session 2 – 11/1997 – held at the Caodai Temple of Dallas, Texas, with 80 participants
• Session 3 – 9/ 1998 – held at the Caodai Temple of Montreal, Canada, with 97 participants
• Session 4 – 7/2000 – held at the Caodai temple of Washington DC area, with 150 attendees
• Session 5 – 11/2002 – held at the Caodai Temple of New Orleans, Louisiana, with 95 attendees
• Session 6 – 9/2006 – held in Garden Grove, California, with 59 attendees
9/2009 – Assisted Dean of Department of World Religions Kazi Nurul Islam to set up a class on Cao Dai at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The class still exists as of today, 2022 with an average of 60-80 students enrolled each academic year.
10/2010 – Approved by Tay Ninh Holy See Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council for serving and recognizing the position of Sub-dignitary.
6/2011 – Was ordained by the Sacerdoce as Student-Priest, Confucianism branch.
3/2012 – Presentation on Cao Dai at the University of Vienna, Austria.
9/2012 - Presentation on Cao Dai at the University of Missouri, Columbia City, Missouri, USA
12/2012 – Being reassigned as Student-Ptiest, Taoism branch, at the Holy Sanctification place.
5/2013 – Guided the 14-member Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation to the OOMOTO Church's Miroku Celebration, invited by Mme. Kurenai Deguchi, Patriarch of the Oomoto Church. After more than half a century, this is the first time, Tay Ninh Holy See Cao Dai Church officially visited the land of the rising sun to attend the Spring Congress of the Japanese OOMOTO Church. The sincere visit has reconnected the friendship between the two religions after more than 50 years of interruption in communication.
7/2013 – Guided the Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation of 8 members to attend the Seventh Anniversary Celebrations of the Tan Tong Branch and the Sixth and Fourteenth Anniversary of the Founding of the Tao Yuan Religion in Taipei from July 3, 2013 to July 22, 2013. After that, the delegation visited I-Kuan Tao at the invitation of Mr. Lee Yu Chu, General Director of I-Kuan Tao in Taipei, Taiwan to strengthen friendship with 2 religions in Taiwan: Tao Yuan (Tien Thien Cuu Giao Hong Van) and I-Kuan Tao (Nhat Quan Dao).
9/2014 – Guided the 13-member Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation to attend the World Alliance of Religions for World Peace Summit, at the invitation of the Leadership Board of the “Gods for Peace” Association. Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWRL) invited by President Man-hee Lee. To tighten the friendship between the two religions of Vietnam and Korea.
12/2014 – Guided the 11-member Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation to attend the Great Celebration of the 78th Anniversary of the Tao Yuan Congregation on December 10, 2014 at the invitation of Leader Tao Yuan of Singapore to strengthen friendship with the Tao Yuan religion in Singapore.
12/2014 – Guided the 11-member Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation to visit Tao Yuan Malaysia, at the invitation of Mr. Dato Tan Kah Choun, Chairman of Tao Yuan Malaysia to strengthen friendship with Tao Yuan religion in Malaysia
8/2015 – The Caodai Sacerdotal Council appointed as Chief Representative of the Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council of Tay Ninh Holy See Overseas.
9/2015 – Hosted the reception of religious delegations such as Oomoto, Tao Yuan Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Weixin Shengjiao, CESNUR together with British, Belgian and French scholars. to attend the Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess at Tay Ninh Holy See
2/2016 – Ordained as Priest by the Tay Ninh Holy See Cao Dai Sacerdotal Council.
5/2016 – Guided the Delegation of the Caodai Sacerdoce with 12 members to attend the First International Conference on the topic “Humanity, Charity: A Challenge of the New Millennium” held at Chulalongkorn University Alumni Association , Bangkok, Thailand, at the invitation of Prof. Phichai Tovievich, leader of the Thai Humanity Association (ULBA Thailand). Then attended the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Association "Samnak Poo Sawan" at the headquarters of the Association. Attain close friendship with the Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ULBA) Thailand.
7/2016 - Attended and presented on Cao Dai religion at CESNUR International Conference (Center for Research on New Religions) on “Religious Movements in a Globalized World: Korea, Asia Asia and Beyond” organized by CESNUR at Daejin University, Korea
9/2016 – Guided the Vietnamese Government Religious Affairs Delegation on an excursion in San Francisco, visiting Protestant churches and Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in San Jose, California.
11/2016 - Attended the “Oomoto Grand Ceremony in memory of the great founder Nao Deguchi” in Ayabe, Japan. At the same time, signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the friendly cooperation between Oomoto and Cao Dai with Mr. Tokihiko Asada, General Manager of Oomoto Administration Headquarters.
5/2017 – Guided the 15-member Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation to give a presentation on Cao Dai at the University of Bordeaux, France at the invitation of Prof. Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, then to the University of Vienna, Austria, to attend the Opening Ceremony of Cao Dai Religious Studies by Prof. Lukas Pokorny, Dean of the Faculty of Religion. Next, the Delegation visited the Vatican at the invitation of Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot - Secretary General of the Vatican Council in charge of interreligious dialogue. Finally, the Delegation visited CESNUR Center at the invitation of Professor Massimo Introvigne, and gave a presentation on Cao Dai Religion at the Science Center - International Book Fair in Turin City, Italy.
The Caodai Sacerdoce went for the first time to Paris, France, to visit the tomb of Victor Hugo at the Pantheon.
7/2017 – Organized the Caodai Quintennial Congress Overseas of Year 2017 for the first time in Garden Grove, California
8/2017 - Attended the “International Meeting for Spiritual Representatives” organized by Oomoto in Kameoka, Japan
3/2018 - Attended the second Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ULBA) held at Mahidol University, Bangkok and organized by ULBA Thailand. Gave a speech on the theme of the Conference "Relationships between religions for sustainable world peace".
6/2018 – Guided the Caodai Sacerdoce Delegation, consisting of 15 members, invited by His Excellency Hunyuan Chanshi, Supreme leader of Weixin Shengjiao to attend the CESNUR 2018 New Religion Conference and participated at the completion ceremony of the statue of Dai Kim Than Duc Quy Coc Tu Vuong Chan Lao To at the Weixin Shengjiao Headquarters in Taichung. After that, the Delegation visited Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan, then visited Tao Yuan Headquarters in Taipei from June 17-24, 2018.
In this trip, the Caodai Sacerdotal Council signed the “Agreement on Cooperation between the Association of East Asian New Religions” (MOU) between the three religions, including Taiwan Weixin Shengjiao, Korean Daesoon Jinrihoe and Cao Dai Holy See of Tay Ninh Vietnam. The MOU aimed at spreading love to the human community, promoting world peace. At Truong Vinh University (Chang Jung Christian University), the Head of the Tay Ninh Holy See Cao Dai Sacerdoce and Professor Yung Lung Lee, the Rector of Truong Vinh University, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the training of Caodai students in Taiwan
7/2018 – Established New Cao Dai Congregation in Brussels, Belgium.
8/2018 – Gave a presentation at Berkeley Graduate Theological Union (GTU-Graduate Theological Union), California, before the Board of Directors on 3 new religions Cao Dai, Weixin Shengjiao and Daesoon Jinrihoe, with the aim of requesting to organize a seminar to educate students about these new religions
10/2018 – Participated in Sangsaeng International Religious Conference in Seoul, Korea, at the invitation of Daesoon Jinrihoe.
• Attended the 70th Anniversary of Tien Thien Cuu Giao Hong Van (Tao Yuan) in Taipei, Taiwan.
• Visited Grand Master Hunyuan Chanshi of Weixin Shengjiao in Bagua City, Taiwan
• Attended the 3rd IRUHA International Conference organized by Oomoto in Taipei, Taiwan
• Attended the 11th ICAS (International Convention of Asia Scholars) Conference held at Leiden University, Leiden City, Netherlands, from 15 to 19 July, 2019. Presentation on Cao Dai at the Conference by Prof. Joe Hobbs and Prof. Ninh Thien Huong.
8/2019 – Attended the Opening Ceremony of the Cao Dai Religion class at the University of Missouri, Columbia City, Missouri, USA.
10/2019 – Guided a Delegation of 8 members of Caodai TV to attend the "Yeoju International Ecological Forum" with the theme "Dialogue among peoples for an ecological civilization" in Yeoju City, Korea.
3/2020 – Established the New Cao Dai Parish in Paris, France.
5/2020 – Established the New Cao Dai Parish in Taipei, Taiwan.
11/2020 - Professor Michael Wesch, Kansas State University (Manhattan, Kansas), announced that he has begun teaching Cao Dai at his Anthropology class for the Fall 2020 semester.
3/2021 – Established the New Cao Dai Parish in Tampa, Florida, USA
7/2021– At the request of the Canadian Multi-Faith Federation, contributed an article related to “Death and Dying in Caodaism” about funeral rites, how to make offerings, prayers read at funerals, forms of burial and burial for believers and for dignitaries. Article in English was published in the Association's Special Magazine in December 2021
1/2022 – Established the New Cao Dai Parish in Boston, Massachusetts
6/2022 – Organized the Cao Dai Quintennial Congress Overseas of Year 2022 (2nd time) in Washington, DC, USA.
FOREIGN UNIVERSITIES OPENING CAO DAI TEACHING CLASS (Taught in English)
1. In 2005 – Teaching Cao Dai religion at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for Bachelor and Master students.
2. In 2017 – Teaching Cao Dai religion at the University of Vienna, Austria, for Master's students.
3. In 2019 – Teaching Cao Dai religion at the University of Missouri, Columbia City, Missouri, for Bachelor and Master students.
4. In 2020 – Teaching Cao Dai religion at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, for undergraduate students.
9/1998 – Met with Special Rapporteur Abdelfattah Amor, United Nations Commission on Human Rights Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance, at the United Nations Office in New York. Discussing about religious freedom in Vietnam.
4/2000 – Mr. Bawa Jain, Head of the Organizing Committee for the 2000 United Nations World Peace Summit, invited to the New York Office to consult in the invitation of a Cao Dai Delegation, to come to the United Nations to attend the 2000 Millennium Summit.
5/2005 – Visited the Minister of Religious Affairs of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Political Counselor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Cambodia, and the Director of the Cao Dai Department at the Government Committee for Religious Affairs in Hanoi.
8/2019 – Attended a Roundtable Conference at the Office of the United States Congress chaired by Ambassador Sam Brownback, Ambassador for Religious Freedom, US Department of State. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce new members and present some issues of religious freedom in some countries, including Vietnam.
5/2020 - Letter to Congressman Tony Perkins, Chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) opposing USCIRF's 2020 Report. dated April 28, 2020, which published false and slanderous news related to the trademark and copyright issues of Cao Dai religion and Cao Dai Overseas Missionary.
6/2020 – Letter to Ambassador Samuel Brownback, Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State, and Office of USCIRF (US Commission on International Religious Freedom) of the United States Congress to explain and object to the RFA news release "True Cao Dai confronts the state-owned Cao Dai group at the Caodai Temple in Hieu Xuong (also known as Phu Lam) , Phu Yen, June 18, 2020".
8/2020- Send a letter to Ambassador Samuel Brownback, US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, explaining the expulsion of the adept Tran Ngoc Suong, former Sub-dignitary at Tan Quoi Temple, Go Cong, according to Directive No. 223-95/NCPS-HL signed by the Caodai Sacerdotal Council on April 2, 2020.
From 2017 to 2022 – Regular contact with Political Attachés of the US Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City to explain issues related to groups of believers who oppose the Caodai Sacerdotal Council Tay Ninh Holy See at home and abroad.
ACTIVITIES IN MEDIA
1997 - 2006 – Editor-in-Chief of newspaper “BAN TIN DAI DAO” . Published 16 editions.
2012 - 2022 – Established the website Caodai.com.vn, posting news about the religious activities of Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See Sacerdoce
2016 – 2022 – Established Caodai TV program (Student-Priest Huong Thoan in charge), made 120 video clips. This program is broadcasted by Little Saigon TV station in California every week on Saturday or Sunday.
Documentation - Made a "brochure" in English on "Overview of Cao Dai religion", on "Meaning of the Great Festival Commemorating the Holy Mother Goddess" and on the "History of the construction of Tay Ninh Holy See Cathedral".
The 1st lawsuit: On May 18, 2018, appealed against the Trademark "DDTKPD-TTTN" of Huong Muoi and Le Phu Huu group. As a result, the US Department of Commerce canceled the license granted to Mr. Canh.
The 2nd lawsuit: Mr. Tran Quang Canh and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tam, sued by Huong Muoi’s group in the Court of Dallas, Texas. On June 13, 2019, Ms. Huong Muoi's group (including Cao Dai Tay Ninh Temples of Texas, Bui Van Quan and Duong Xuan Luong) filed a lawsuit with the Court of Dallas, Texas, suing 7 people: Dang Phuoc Reng, Pham Van Hien, Nguyen Quoc Dung, Tran Quang Canh, Caodai Overseas Missionary, Nguyen Thanh Tam and Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do (Cao Dai TTTN). The main reason the plaintiffs brought Mr. Canh in the lawsuit was that the Communists and Cardinal Tam suppressed Cao Dai followers in Vietnam and appointed Mr. Canh to implement Resolution 36 of the Vietnamese government. As for Mr. Reng, Hien, and Dung, they were accused of being against the Caodai Dallas temple, run by Mrs. Muoi. After Mr. Canh’s deposition at the Dallas Court, it was decided that it was not acceptable for Mrs. Huong Muoi to sue Mr. Canh. As a result, the Court ruled that Mr. Canh was not involved in this lawsuit and dismissed the case against Mr. Canh.
The 3rd lawsuit - Nguyen Dinh Thang, Duong Xuan Luong and Mrs. Le Huong Muoi, sued Mr. Tran Quang Canh at the Court of Orange County, California, on October 18, 2021. The main purpose of the lawsuit is Mr. Nguyen Quoc Dung on the grounds of defaming Mr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, but the applicants still want to entice Tran Quang Canh's name with the charge of "Deliberately interfering to gain economic benefits". The Court will hear this lawsuit at the end of September 2022.
In summary, the religious life of Rev.Thuong Canh Thanh had many ups and downs, which, according to the religion philosophy, was severely tortured. With the age of 80, it is also time for the Spiritual Pope Duc Ly Giao Tong to order "retire and live a good life".
In an email that we received from Rev. Thuong Canh Thanh, he sent a message to his fellow Caodai friends who have worked together with him to spread the religion over the past 32 years as follows:
“Today officially, we (Rev Canh and Sudent-Priest Thoan) would like to say goodbye to all of you after more than 32 years of working together on the propagation of Cao Dai religion abroad, especially taking care of spreading our truth to the world, to foreign countries and to foreign Universities. We are sorry to inform that our mission has been forced to end, which is also a very valuable lesson for our religious life.
Hopefully the next generation will see it and learn from it for both their life inside and outside the religion.
Parting is always sad... But hopefully we will also have the chance to meet each other again in the future somewhere.
BYE BYE AND BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE.”
Rev Thuong Canh Thanh and Student-Priest Huong Thoan
Westminster, California, July 2022.
Reported by CaodaiTV Reporter