A monk in the southern city of Can Tho was suspended from his pagoda’s management board after a photo of him with a young woman was leaked online last month.
On Monday, officials at the municipal religious affairs board said the picture of venerable Thich Minh Nhut posing "familiarly" with a young woman was so “sensitive” that it prompted authorities to suspend him from his managing post in the Khanh Quang Pagoda.
The specific nature of their "familiarity" was not described in detail and the photo is no longer available.
However, the authorities have claimed Nhut violated one of the key precepts of Buddhism, which commands every monk to avoid sexual misconduct.
In addition to his three-month suspension, the municipal Buddhist Sangha is considering a possible fine.
The scandalous picture, posted on a Facebook account in late September, was quickly removed.
The incident occurred soon after a chief monk at a pagoda in northern Vietnam was rebuked for posting several photos depicting his lavish life on his Facebook page.
Thich Thanh Cuong, chief monk at the Cuong Xa Pagoda in Hai Duong, even faced dismissal for his misdeeds.
During a press briefing on October 2, Superior Monk Thich Quang Tung, a senior member of the Hai Duong chapter of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, said that since Cuong has repented for the photos, he will only have to write a self-criticism report and hand it over by October 10.