Monk kissed by popstar leaves monastic life

A Buddhist monk who was criticized after being kissed by a popstar at a charity auction has returned to his family to lead a secular life.

Pham Van Trien, 25 returned home in central Vietnam on Sunday after 10 years of life as a monk.

He said he made the decision because of his "actions, words, and thinking that was not suitable for the status of a monk," Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported.

Trien received heavy criticism after popstar Dam Vinh Hung kissed him on the lips and another monk on the hand at a charity auction. The two monks made the highest bid on a bottle of wine at the event hosted by Hung, who had earlier promised to kiss the winner.

A photo published on the internet caused public indignation.

Trien was dismissed as manager of Quan Am pagoda. Both monks were barred from leaving the monastery and ordered to break off contact with the outside world for three months.

"My sin was too big, and I have tossed and turned in bed for many nights, and blamed myself for such actions," Trien said.

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