THE CASE AGAINST BISHOP THUC
The Validity of the Thuc Lineage
Those tracing their ordinations and/or consecrations back to Bishop Thuc are legion, and in virtue of their sheer numbers alone, are drowning out the voices of those who legitimately call into question a very weighty issue with eternal consequences attached to it: Were the consecrations performed by Archbishop Thuc valid? Much of what I present below is an attempt to counter-balance the factual misinformation which seems prevalent everywhere regarding Bishop Thuc. On the part of some, there has been a considerable amount of “white-washing” of the not-so-edifying history of Bishop Thuc, with the result that many people have formed opinions on him based on factual errors and omissions.The victim of all this, besides truth itself, are all those well-meaning Catholics who have misplaced their trust in the validity of the Sacramental Orders emanating from him. I believe that this needs to be corrected.
1. BRIEF HISTORY OF BISHOP THUC
There is no reason to doubt the personal validity of Bishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc’s consecration. He was a valid bishop with the power to validly consecrate other bishops. Born in 1897, Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc was consecrated a bishop in South Vietnam in 1938, and promoted to the dignity of Archbishop in 1960 by John XXIII.Bishop Thuc was an active participant in Vatican Council II and reportedly signed all of the documents of that council. After the close of Vatican Council II, Paul VI would not permit him to return to Vietnam, so Bishop Thuc started his life as a disgruntled exile in Rome. In 1968, Paul VI appointed Bishop Thuc as Titular Archbishop of Bulla Regia (an ancient, now vacant see in Tunisia).
The massive “Consecrations” startWhile living in Rome, Bishop Thuc got to know Fr. Ravaz, who at the time was teaching in Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s seminary in Switzerland. In the mid-1970’s, Fr. Ravaz became involved with a group of “visionaries” in Palmar de Troya, Spain, headed by an insurance broker, Clemente Dominguez Gomez, who believed that the “real” Paul VI was a prisoner of the Vatican and that the visible Paul VI was a living duplicate of the imprisoned one. (After Paul VI died in 1978, Dominguez claimed that Christ had mystically crowned him pope and he took the name of Gregory XVII. He subsequently started his own church and declared Paul VI to be a martyr-saint.)One day Fr. Ravaz told Bishop Thuc that “Our Lady” had work for him to do in Palmar de Troya, and so off went Bishop Thuc. On December 31, 1975, Bishop Thuc ordained Clemente and four other lay men to the priesthood, and just 12 days later he consecrated two of the five newly ordained men and three others to the episcopacy for the Palmar de Troya group. (As an aside, in less than 2 years Clemente “consecrated” to the episcopacy no less than 70 men.)Because Bishop Thuc did this without a mandate (permission) from Rome, on September 17, 1976, Paul VI “excommunicated” him. Thereupon Bishop Thuc quickly “repented” and renounced what he had done in Spain, and Paul VI lifted up the “excomunication”.On July 10, 1977, just six months after the Palmarian consecrations, we find Thuc consecrating his first bishop for the Old Catholic Church , Labat d’Arnoux (scismatics who left the Catholic Church after refusing to acknowledge the Council Vatican I). On February 2, 1977, Bishop Thuc conditionally consecrated another Old Catholic by the name of Jean Laborie (who, incidentally, had been previously consecrated four other times). Over the next few years, Bishop Thuc will consecrate at least three more bishops for the Old Catholic Church.1In 1978, Bishop Thuc moved to Toulon, France and took up residence with a Buddhist Vietnamese family. While there, he regularly assisted the Conciliar Bishop, Barthe de Frejus, at his Cathedral in Toulon.On April 16th, 1981, Holy Thursday, Bishop Thuc was caught concelebrating the New Mass with Barthe de Frejus. Yet a mere three weeks after this event, Bishop Thuc had his first flirt with traditional Catholicism and consecrated Guerard des Lauriers on May 7, 1981.Then on October 17, 1981, Bishop Thuc consecrated two traditionalists Mexican priests, Moises Carmona and Aldolfo Zamora.On April 18, 1982, and then again on September 25, 1982, Bishop Thuc consecrated two more traditionalist bishops, Luigi Boni and Christian Datessen respectively.Later in 1982, Bishop Thuc moved to New York to live with a traditionalist bishop of Thuc lineage – Louis Vezelis.On March 12, 1983, John Paul II excommunicated Bishop Thuc for once again consecrating without a mandate from Rome.On January 8, 1984, Bishop Thuc moved to Carthage Missouri to live at a Conciliar Vietmenese seminary located there, and it is there that he died on December 13, 1984.So in the course of six years, Bishop Thuc consecrated 15 men: 5 for the Palmarian Church, 5 for the Old Catholic schismatic church, and 5 for various sedevacantist groups headed mainly by the secret sect so called “catholic” called “LOS TECOS”.2 Was all of this done in an effort by Bishop Thuc to preserve traditional Catholicism, as some claim? The answer to this question can be clarified by examining the conduct of Bishop Thuc himself, being cognizant of the fact that a man’s actions do indeed, speak louder than his words.
2. BISHOP THUC – THE “TRADITIONALIST
”The fact that Bishop Thuc, at least at certain times in his life, embraced some traditional practices is beyond dispute. Here is some of the evidence to support it:* Father Noel Barbara, a traditionalist priest, accompanied by Father Barthe, met with Bishop Thuc on two occasions, once in March, 1981 and again in January, 1982. He wrote of his visits:“Archbishop Thuc informed us that he celebrated Mass in his apartment early every morning, and always in the traditional rite… In the corner [Thuc’s apartment] was a table on which he celebrated the traditional rite as codified by Saint Pius V every morning.” 3* In 1988, several “traditionalist priests” flew to Germany to interview Drs. Hiller and Heller, two traditional Catholic Germans who produce a publication called Einsicht. Drs. Hiller and Heller, friends and advocates of Bishop Thuc, had personally known the then deceased Bishop and had been active participants in several of the Thuc consecrations. These interviews with Drs. Hiller and Heller were recorded and excerpts of them put into print:“Hiller said of Thuc: He said to himself, ‘I have nothing to lose. There is only one thing to continue the Catholic Church… When I ordain priests or consecrate bishops, perhaps, the Catholic Church will have a chance to continue.’” 4[It is outside of the scope of this article to address this and the other theological errors expressed by Bishop Thuc.]* The above named Einsicht published Bishop Thuc’s autobiography, reportedly written between 1978 and 1980. In this unauthenticated biography Bishop Thuc wrote:“Vatican II seems to have the same goal as Communism: temporal human bliss. The following scandal therefore occurred: Prohibition of the least attack against Communism. Therefore the dogma: ‘the natural goodness of all types of beliefs.’”
The publisher of this articule is not Sedevacantist, but Bishop Thuc declared himself to be “sedevacantist” in February, 1982, in an unauthenticated public declaration of Bishop Thuc, doctrine which does not match with his liberal doctrine within few years either before or after this declaration. We will take a closer look at this Declaration shortly, but here is the English translation, presented in its entirety:
“Declaration of Bishop Peter Martin Ngo Dihn Thuc
How does the Catholic Church appear today as we look at it? In Rome, John Paul II reigns as “Pope,” surrounded by the body of Cardinals and of many bishops and prelates. Outside of Rome, the Catholic Church seems to be flourishing, along with its bishops and priests. The number of Catholics is great. Daily the Mass is celebrated in so many churches, and on Sundays the churches are full of many faithful who come to hear the Mass and receive Holy Communion.
But in the sight of God, how does today’s Church appear? Are the Masses both the daily ones and those at which people assist on Sundays pleasing to God? By no means, because that Mass is the same for Catholics as it is for Protestants therefore it is displeasing to God and invalid. The only Mass that pleases God is the Mass of St. Pius V, which is offered by few priests and bishops, among whom I count myself.
Therefore, to the extent that I can, I will open seminaries for educating candidates for that priesthood which is pleasing to God.
Besides this “Mass,” which does not please God, there are many other things that God rejects: for example, changes in the ordination of priests, the consecration of bishops, and in the Sacraments of Confirmation and of Extreme Unction.Moreover, the “priests” now hold to:1 modernism;2 false ecumenism;3 the adoration [or cult] of man;4 the freedom to embrace any religion whatsoever;5 the unwillingness to condemn heresies and to expel the heretics.Therefore, in so far as I am a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, I judge that the See of the Catholic Church in Rome to be vacant; and it is necessary for me, as bishop, to do all that is needed so that the Catholic Church in Rome endures for the eternal salvation of souls.February 25, 1982
+Peter Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc, Archbishop”
* Another piece of evidence is a joint declaration made by Bishop Thuc and the two Mexican priests he consecrated in 1981. It was published on May 26, 1983:“The Roman Catholic Bishops, united with His Excellency Archbishop Ngô Đình Thục, declare:
That we support him in his valiant public declaration made regarding the vacancy of the Apostolic See and the invalidity and illicitness of the New Mass. We hold with him that the Apostolic See has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII by virtue of the fact that those who were elected to succeed him did not possess the canonical qualifications necessary to be legitimate candidates for the Papacy.
… Based upon the Bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio of His Holiness Pope Paul IV, we hold that Angelo Roncalli was never a legitimate Pope and that his acts are completely null and void.
We declare that the New “Mass” is invalid. … We declare that the introduction of this New “Mass” also signals the promulgation of a new humanistic religion in which Almighty God is no longer worshipped as he desires to be worshipped. … Those who have accepted this New ‘Mass’ have, in reality and without taking notice of it, apostatized from the true faith; they have separated themselves from the true Church and are in danger of losing their souls, because outside the Church founded by Jesus Christ no one can be saved. For this reason, we invite the faithful to return to their Faith from which they have strayed.
We reject the heretical Decree on Religious Freedom which places the divinely revealed religion on an equality with false religions. This decree is a clear and evident sign of the denial of our holy traditions by the apostate and schismatic hierarchy.
We declare that no one can oblige us to separate ourselves from the true Church, from that Church instituted by Christ Himself and which is destined to last until the consummation of the world just as He instituted it. … We give thanks to God for the integrity of our Faith and we beseech His grace that we may be able to persevere in it. We pray for those who have lost this Faith by accepting the heretical changes that have given rise to a new Church and to a new religion.”
The final piece of evidence is another declaration which Bishop Thuc along with five other Thuc “bishops,” purportedly signed in Mexico. This declaration is quite lengthy even in its abridged form, which was published by the traditionalist magazine, The Seraph. As this declaration contains nothing not already addressed in Thuc’s other two declarations, and as its abridged form is three full pages long, it has not been reproduced here. It is of interest, however, that this declaration bears the same date as the one just reproduced above: May 26, 1983 – for this feeds the theory of some that Bishop Thuc’s public traditionalist stands were being orchestrated by others.
3. BISHOP THUC – TRADITIONALIST? REALLY?
The above “declarations” are only one face of the many-faced Bishop Thuc had.
Vatican Council II – 1962-65
If Bishop Thuc had been a true traditional Catholic bishop, he would have been faithful to the great responsibility God had placed on his shoulders as a successor of the Apostles, i.e., to recognize that all his “efforts must aim at preserving the truth faith.” (Cath. Ency., Bishops, Obligations) When Vatican Council II was threatening to shipwreck the spiritual welfare of his flock, his obligation to take a firm stand with orthodoxy was greater than ever, for “if it is dangerous for the helmsman to leave the ship when the sea is calm, how much more so when it is stormy.” (Pope Nicholas I, cf. VII, qu. i, can. Sciscitaris). His solemn responsibility, as a chosen vessel of God, was “not to personally desert his flock, neither on account of any temporal convenience nor on account of any imminent personal danger, as the good shepherd ought to lay down his life for his sheep.” (St. Thomas, Summa, 2nd of 2nd, 185, 5) Such is the role of a bishop in relation to his flock when spiritual danger lurks.
So when it became obvious that Vatican Council II was attempting to destroy Catholicism, and do not to preserve it, where was Bishop Thuc? Where is to be found the record of him “preserving the true faith” at Vatican Council II? The answer is that there is no record of him doing this. He was silent while Catholicism was being assaulted. Was the reason that Bishop Thuc didn’t speak out at the Council in defense of true Catholicism due to the fact that he was simply a timid old man, too cowardly to speak out, as some have suggested? The record shows that he was not afraid to speak out, and speak out as he indeed did so but never against the errors of Vatican Council II though; on the contrary, shockingly, he railed against the Council because it wasn’t liberal enough! Below are two quotes from Bishop Thuc given at Vatican Council II:
Much of the quoted material given below in this section on Bishop Thuc is grammatically ungainly, but in an effort to preserve accuracy, it is presented without modification, unless otherwise noted.
“With great consolation I see present in these assemblies the delegates of the non-Catholic Christian Churches, to be witnesses of our fraternity, sincerity and liberty. But where are the delegates or observers of the non-Christians? Do they then not need this wondrous sight of the unity of the Catholic Church? Or do they not need an explanation of our Christian faith? What! do the people whom they represent not form a third part—or rather more truly the greater part— of these scattered sheep that Christ eagerly desired to enter into one sheepfold? The scandal coming to the whole world from the absence of any invitations sent to the chiefs of the non-Christian religions I expounded in the central commission—but in vain. I earnestly begged the council to make good the omission, so that this most loathsome discrimination between some religions and religions may not longer be found. This absence of an invitation to the heads of the Christian religions confirms in a certain manner that prejudice creeping through the Asiatic and African world: ‘The Catholic Church is a church for men of white color and not for colored men.’” (Acta Synodalia Vaticani II, vol. 2, part 1, pp. 358-359)
“…it seems to me an extraordinary thing that in the schema concerning the people of God, express mention is nowhere made of women, so that the Church appears totally masculine, whereas the reality is quite different. Do not women constitute the greater part of the laity—even of ecclesiastical prescriptions? Of course I well know the Church had to behave like this in order not to offend the prejudices of those ages. Thus, St. Paul imposed the veil on women in Church, lest they displease the angels. So why must men proudly enter the church bareheaded which is contrary to the custom of clerics today both in the West and the East? In the same way, silence was imposed on women whereas in this Basilica the walls recently resounded to the voices of the Fathers. So to, nuns must obtain the permission of churches to wash the sacred linens. And likewise this unjust discrimination appears here and now in this conciliar hall… Why is it that in our atomic age, when almost everywhere in the world women have obtained juridical equality with men, it is only in the Church of Christ that they still suffer these injurious discriminations… I eagerly seek… these discriminations against the most valiant sex be eradicated. Last of all I shall be grateful to him who can present me with a plain apodictic text of the Gospel which excludes the sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the sacred functions.” (Acta Synodalia Vaticani II, vol. 2, part 3, pp. 513)
Since the focus of this article is concerning the validity of Thuc’s consecrations, all of the errors contained in these two paragraphs will have to be addressed elsewhere. It is sufficient to note here that out of his own mouth he established himself to be anything but a traditional Catholic, for while the very heart and soul of Catholicism was under attack, his concerns were with ecumenism, with non-Christians, and with equal rights for women. Sadly, it didn’t end there.
- In reference to the Palmar de Troya consecrations, as noted above, Paul VI excommunicated Bishop Thuc. Did Bishop Thuc ignore the “excommunication” on the legitimate grounds of the state of necessity as Archbishop Lefebvre did, consecrating as “survival operation”? Bishop Thuc, far from it, in fact acknowledged the excommunication as valid:
“The Prelate [Bishop Thuc], as soon as he realized the gravity of the facts, deplored and repudiated what he had done, and sought to impede further abuses. He then humbly placed himself at the disposition of ecclesiastical authority. For this purpose he hastened to request from the Holy Father absolution of the excommunication he had incurred and he wrote to His Eminence Cardinal Bueno y Monreal, Archbishop of Seville, a letter in which, recognizing his own error, he asked pardon for ‘the grave scandal given to the faithful and for the immense harm caused to the Church by placing in danger its unity.’” (L’Osservatore Romano, English Edition, Sept. 17, 1976)
In Bishop Thuc’s autobiography, written between 1978 and 1980, he praises the mason Pope John XXIII:“The second Vatican Council was due to John XXIII’s initiative. His epithet was “the good”, but in my insignificant opinion, this very devout, very saintly Pope was a weakling.”
Father Barthe, referenced above, writes further of Bishop Thuc’s when he and Father Noel Barbara went to France to meet with Bishop Thuc on January 7, 1981. Again we cite his article – Fortes in Fide, #12: “He [Bishop Thuc] is at the Cathedral. We went there and found him assisting in the synaxe [i.e., the “Novus Ordo Missae”] of one of the priests…”
“With the authorization of the conciliar bishop of Toulon, Thuc had a confessional allotted to him in the conciliar bishop’s cathedral, and until the beginning of 1982, Thuc served daily at the new masses celebrated in this same cathedral.”
“Father Barbara asked him what his relations with the [Conciliar] bishop of the cathedral were. He responded that the [Conciliar] Bishop of Toulon had given him the task of providing the Vietnamese with Confession, and also the powers of confession for anyone who came to him. Once a year, on Holy Thursday, he invited the elderly Archbishop to concelebrate mass with him in the new rite…”
* In a recorded debate between traditionalist “priests” William Jenkins and Anthony Cekada has Jenkins making this unchallenged statement:“We know that Archbishop Thuc, allegedly before he consecrated Father Guerard des Lauriers, had to state categorically that John Paul II was not the pope. Then he appears to consecrate Guerard des Lauriers, and we have it on the authority of Hiller and Heller, that he was constantly invoking John Paul II’s name in the ceremony, as authorizing him to consecrate Guerard des Lauriers.”
“It is a fact, we have it on record, we have the sworn testimony, that during the consecration of Guerard des Lauriers, that Guerard des Lauriers himself had to continually intervene in the ceremony and tell Archbishop Thuc ‘you can’t say that.’ Because he continually invoked John Paul the II’s name in spite of the fact that just two weeks before he said that he’s not the pope.”5
* Bishop Thuc died on December 13, 1984, at the Conciliar Seminary of Our Lady of the Ozarks, Carthage, Missouri. Five days after his death the following was published as his last public statement:“I, undersigned, Peter Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, Titular Archbishop of Bulla Regia, and Archbishop Emeritus of Hue, wish to publicly retract all my previous errors concerning my illegitimately ordaining to the Episcopate, in 1981, several priests, namely Revs. M. L. Guerard des Lauriers, O. P., Moses Carmona, and Adolpho Zamora, as well as my denial of the Second Vatican Council, the new ‘Ordo Missae’, especially the dignity of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, as actually legitimate successor of St. Peter…I wish to sincerely ask you all to forgive me, praying for me, and redressing all scandal caused by such regrettable actions and declaration of mine. I would also like to exhort the above mentioned priests who had illegitimately been ordained to the Episcopate by me in 1981, and all others whom they have in turn ordained bishops and priests, as well as their followers, to retract their error, leaving their actually false status, and reconciling themselves with the Church and the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II.”
Bishop Thuc consecrated at least 15 men, why is he singling out here only three of them? Did he find no error in consecrating the others? Why have these three and these three alone drawn out from him a final mea culpa?So, Bishop Thuc’s final statement neatly sums up in words what had in fact been his conduct in life, that with the exception of a period spanning less than three years, Bishop Thuc had been accepting implicitly or explicitly the errors of Vatican II; that’s how he lived, that’s where he died, and that’s what he professed to believe when he died.
4. BISHOP THUC – WEIRD THEOLOGY
We have already seen some of the strange notions put forward by Bishop Thuc during his attendance at the Council of Vatican II. His own biography gives us even further insight into his liberal and unorthodox mentality:
Irregularities in Conferring OrdersBishop Thuc was a well educated man, having received doctorates in philosophy, theology, and Canon Law, as well as a license to teach from the renowned Sorbonne. So if really he was absent from suffering from some kind of dementia, he would have certainly known the gravity of bestowing Orders upon unworthy candidates, as well as the gravity of conferring Orders contrary to the manner prescribed by the Church. Yet, this is exactly what he did; he ordained and consecrated people wholly unfit for Orders and sometimes did so contrary to Church law governing such matters.
* Again, we turn to Fathers Barbara and Barthe as witnesses:
“Father Barbara reminded him that he had visited him during the previous year to ask for information about a certain Garcia of Marseille who the Archbishop had ordained. Archbishop Thuc informed us that he regretted having done so, because he had come to know that the Father in question was mentally unbalanced…”
“Father then explained to him the reason for our visit. A Mexican friend, Father Marquette, had informed us that he had consecrated the curé of Acapulco, Father Moses Carmona, and another Mexican, Father Zamora. The Archbishop admitted that such was the case. ‘I didn’t know them. There were two Germans, Heller and Hiller, who brought them to me and asked that I consecrate them. I had confidence in these two gentlemen because I knew Mr. Heller. He is a very fine person.”
“Evaluation. Archbishop Ngo Din Thuc… gave us the impression that matters of licitness were not very important for him.”
* Dr. Hiller was asked about Bishop Thuc’s consecration of a member of the schismatic Old Catholic Church:“‘[H]ow could he [Thuc] think to continue the Catholic Church through an Old Catholic?’ Dr. Hiller replied: ‘He thought that when he would be ordained as a priest or consecrated, he would be a Catholic, a Roman Catholic, not an Old Catholic. He knew exactly that the Old Catholic Church isn’t the Roman Catholic Church.’”And this from a man who possessed three doctorates!
* As already noted, in 1978 Bishop Thuc consecrated two men, Roger Kozik and Michel Fernadez. These two individuals present yet another case against Bishop Thuc for imposing his hands on unworthy candidates.“‘Brought before the criminal court of Agen, Messrs. Kozik and Fernandez were charged with racketeering, and then released. Then they were prosecuted in the court of appeals for fraud, and were sentenced to eight months in prison with parole… A police investigation determined in 1989 that the total of the contributions, which had passed through their private accounts, reached seventy-five million francs, or 7,500,000,000 old French francs.’ [A footnote says the sum was equal to fourteen million U.S. dollars.]” 6
* There is also an interesting letter written by Father Adolfo Zamora in which he expresses doubts about the validity of his own consecration:“Ever since my episcopal consecration two years ago, I have not been officially recognized as a bishop [by the organization to which he belonged: Union Catolica Trento]. Now I do not know if I am a bishop.”7And that’s the crux of the problem Father, neither does anyone else.
5. SOUNDNESS OF MIND?
The soundness of Bishop Thuc’s mind is a frequently recurring issue, and it is so for good reason. Much has been said elsewhere about Bishop Thuc enabling the Palmarians in founding their new Church by ordaining and consecrating clergy for them. His gullibility in this instance is truly astonishing, as he recorded in his own autobiography:“Then a priest came to me, one I had met before in Ecône, Switzerland. He told me outright: ‘Excellency, the Holy Virgin sends me in order for me to send you to central Spain immediately to render her a service. My car is ready for you at the parsonage’s door and we will immediately depart in order to be there for Christmas.’”
“Stunned by this invitation, I said to him: ‘If it is a service that the Holy Virgin required, I am ready to follow you to the end of the world, but I must inform the priest because of the Christmas Mass and must pack my bag.”
Soundness of mind, what others have observed:• “A newsletter which supports Mgr. Ngo describes him as a ‘timid Asiatic who was easily influenced,’ and continues: ‘Once again, realize the fact that Mgr. Ngo, physically and psychologically worn out, … only wants peace and quiet … It should be noted that this prelate has acquired some complexes, and that age doesn’t help things.’”8• “Mgr. Thuc said he ‘had the mind of a child,’ meaning that ‘he was guileless and somewhat naïve in dealing with others, a fact which explains why he did certain consecrations which he later regretted.’”9• “According to one priest at the time who met him, Mgr. Thuc ‘went in and out of lucidity.’”10• “Conciliar Bishop Gilles Barthe, with whom Mgr. Thuc publicly concelebrated the New “Mass” and in whose diocese he finally settled, told in the French monthly La Documentation Catholique (February 21, 1982) of his concerns surrounding the elderly prelate’s activities. ‘I voice the most express reservations about the value [validity] of these ordinations,’ he stated, then going on to question Mgr. Thuc’s lucidity during the rites: ‘It is even less [clear] for the ordinations done in his house at Toulon. It is permitted to ask oneself up to what point he was well aware of the acts which he did and to what point his liberty went…’”11
One author summarized Bishop Thuc’s activities quite well:“He [Bishop Thuc] seemed to do and say what those around him wanted him to do and say. He acted as if he did not have a mind of his own. When he was under the influence of the Novus Ordo clergy, he did and said what they wanted. When the Old Catholics came to him for episcopal consecration, he did what they wanted. When under the influence of Hiller and Heller, he accommodated them. Then, when he was back under the influence of the Novus Ordo, he did what they wanted and repudiated what he had done and said under the influence of Hiller and Heller.”12We hope and pray that Bishop Thuc did in fact have a mental deficiency, because in considering all of the evil that has emanated from his reckless ordinations and consecrations, this successor of the Apostles, who possessed three doctorates and other degrees of learning, would have been horribly culpable before the judgment seat of God, unless he did indeed “have the mind of a child.”
6. BISHOP THUC’S CREDIBILITY
So far, we have produced a significant amount of evidence challenging the notion that Bishop Thuc was a traditionalist whose only intention in conferring Orders was to preserve true Catholicism. Standing in opposition to all of this evidence, are some statements attributed to Bishop Thuc himself. If Bishop Thuc had been a credible man, then his statements might carry some weight. But was he credible? Simply because he said something, do we have good reason for believing it?According to Bishop Thuc’s own autobiography, when he was snookered into going to Palmar de Troya to bestow Orders, he found himself in a little bit of a pickle, because it was Christmas Eve and he was scheduled to offer Christmas Mass in the local Conciliar church. So, did he tell the priest, at whose parish he was assisting, the truth about why he could not offer Christmas Mass? Or if unwilling to tell him the truth, did he simply inform him that he was unable to offer the Mass for personal or private reasons? No, he didn’t do that, instead, he chose to lie.“I called the Sexton [sacristan] and asked him to inform the priest about Christmas Mass. I told him that I would immediately go to France because of urgent family matters and would return promptly in two weeks…”The Palmar deceits didn’t end there:“When asked about the fiasco of Palmar de Troya, Dr. Hiller tried to excuse Thuc saying that he did what he did because ‘he was a very simple believing man.’ When Thuc was asked about this by Vatican authorities, Dr. Hiller said: ‘Thuc said to Rome after this catastrophe which happened there. He thought that he had been told to him that Paul VI was in bilocation there in Palmar.’”
“Hiller said that Thuc knew exactly what he was saying when he said this and that this allusion to the bilocation of Paul VI, as his excuse for doing the Palmar de Troya consecrations, was an exercise in diplomacy and that Thuc often gave such answers. Hiller said of Thuc: ‘He had had a lot of answers in this direction, yes. When asked him not very intelligent [sic] or one thought he wasn’t clear he gives such answers.’” 13It has already been noted above that after Bishop Thuc was “excommunicated” for the Palmar consecrations, how he “recognized his own error” and issued his mea culpa for it. And yet, barely 4 months later, we find Bishop Thuc laying hands on Jean Laborie to make him a bishop of an anti-Catholic Church, the Old Catholic Church. So, was Bishop Thuc’s acknowledged error and contrition real? Or was it done simply to deceive the Vatican in order to get his “excommunication” lifted? Another “exercise in diplomacy” that Dr. Hiller referred to?
Bishop Thuc Inadvertently Judged Himself to be An ApostateFurther in his 1983 Declaration:“We declare that the New ‘Mass’ is invalid… We declare that the introduction of this New “Mass” also signals the promulgation of a new humanistic religion in which Almighty God is no longer worshipped as he desires to be worshipped… Those who have accepted this New ‘Mass’ have, in reality and without taking notice of it, apostatized from the true faith; they have separated themselves from the true Church and are in danger of losing their souls…”If Bishop Thuc believed that the New “Mass” was invalid, then why did he concelebrate the New Mass in France and why did he regularly serve it as an Acolyte? By doing so, isn’t he, by his own definition, admitting to partaking in a “new humanistic religion”?And furthermore, doesn’t concelebrating the New Mass and serving it as an Acolyte constitute Bishop Thuc as having “accepted this New ‘Mass’”? And consequently, didn’t he, according to his own Declaration, “apostatized from the true faith” and “separated [him]self from the true Church”?We don’t need to pass judgment on Bishop Thuc, he just passed judgment on himself: in virtue of his own Declaration, he judged himself an apostate.13
We continue with his 1983 Declaration:“We reject the heretical Decree on Religious Freedom which places the divinely revealed religion on an equality with false religions. This decree is a clear and evident sign of the denial of our holy traditions by the apostate and schismatic hierarchy…”He was part of that “apostate and schismatic hierarchy”! He participated in Vatican Council II! He was one of the culprits responsible for enacting this “heretical Decree on Religious Freedom”! So by the above statement, Bishop Thuc is actually affirming that he too was part of that hierarchy guilty of denying the holy traditions of the Faith.So how does one explain these evident contradictions? How does one reconcile such opposing statements? Was he suffering from a mental disorder? Was he simply everybody’s yes-man? Or was there perhaps something else motivating him?
7. MITRE FOR HIRE?
The sin of simony is the buying and selling of spiritual things. If a bishop were to ordain or consecrate someone for monetary gain, he would be guilty of the sin of simony, which besides being a sacrilege, would cause him to be both suspect of heresy and suspended.“All persons, even those of episcopal dignity, who through simony knowingly promote a man or are promoted [themselves] to orders, or who administer or receive other sacraments through simony, are suspect of heresy; clerics, moreover, incur a suspension reserved to the Holy See. (Canon 2371)There is evidence that Bishop Thuc was guilty of simony:Father Barbara explained:“What follows is the substance of what he said to me (Thursday, March 17, 1982), and I swear to its accuracy before God.‘I was then (1970) in Rome facing the impossibility of returning to Hue which I wanted to do. Paul VI called me. Expressing great friendship, he offered me a very large sum of money (Mgr. Thuc never told me the amount of the sum, and I never asked him). I was in great need of funds for the many [Vietnamese] refugees which I was obliged to help. I ended up by accepting his offer. As a result I was very happy and grateful to Paul VI. Fifteen days later Paul VI sent a Monsignor to my place of residence. This individual carried a prepared document with him: it was my resignation from the archdiocese of Hue.’”For 30 pieces of silver…It is tragic that instead of putting his trust in God’s caring providence, Bishop Thuc sold out for monetary considerations. God would have taken care of him, if only he had put God first.“Therefore I say to you: Be not solicitous for your life, what you shall eat, nor for your body, what you shall put on… seek not what you shall eat or what you shall drink: But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice: and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 12)
8. THE FINAL DEATHBLOWS TO BISHOP THUC’S INTEGRITY
A sacrilege is the irreverent treatment of sacred things. For example, if someone goes through the external motions of conferring a Sacrament (a sacred thing), but withholds his intention of actually conferring that Sacrament, then no Sacrament takes place, as was noted above; instead a sacrilege occurs. This type of conduct is referred to as simulating (faking) a Sacrament. Like simony, the sacrilegious simulating of a Sacrament is a grievous sin and offense against God.Now since no one can ever be 100% certain that the minister of a Sacrament has the intention of “doing what the Church does,” the integrity of the sacramental minister is obviously of upmost importance. If a valid minister of a Sacrament employs the proper matter and form, and gives no cause for one to suspect his intention, we accept the Sacrament as valid. But what if the minister gives us cause to suspect him?
Bishop Thuc Admits to SimulationWhen inquiry was made about Bishop Thuc concelebrating the new mass with the Vatican II bishop of Toulon, the following testimony was given:“According to Drs. Hiller and Heller, who are close associates of him, and who are defenders of him, they claimed that they asked him how he could possibly do this? And his answer was, because the bishop of the diocese had been so kind to him, allowing him to hear confessions in the cathedral church, that he felt that he owed it to him to concelebrate the new mass with him. But, Archbishop Thuc said to these men, and we have this on tape, not just is writing, we have this on tape, their own voices; they said, that Archbishop Thuc told them, for what it is worth, that he withheld his intention in the process of doing this, that is, he simulated the sacrament of consecrating.”14 (William Jenkins)
It is worth noting that this testimony was admitted to during the above mentioned Cekada-Jenkins debate by Cekada himself, a pro-Bishop Thuc defender:“Father Jenkins, I concede all of this…” (Cekada) “I knew you would because they are facts and you know them as much as I do.” (Jenkins) “Sure, you got them from my articles.” (Cekada) “Well, no, no. We got them straight from the horses mouth, we got them from… yeah, we got them from your article, and from Hiller and Heller.” (Jenkins)Here we are presented with two witness (Hiller and Heller) who heard from Bishop Thuc himself that on at least one occasion he faked a Sacrament of the Church – he simulated saying Mass.15 As a consequence, he has parted company from those men whom the Church presumes to be trustworthy ministers of the Sacraments. He has given us reason to distrust him with the Sacraments of the Church.To help clarify this, consider this hypothetical scenario: Suppose you owned a bank and a prospective employee told you that he had once robbed a bank, would you hire him? Or if you were in charge of security and a prospective employee told you that he had been guilty of espionage in the past, again, would you hire him? No. For the simple reason that they could not be trusted. And if this is true in things pertaining to one’s temporal welfare, how much more is it true pertaining to one’s spiritual welfare? If a person cannot be trusted with your material assets or with your temporal security, how much more should he not be trusted with the eternal welfare of your soul? After all, what is the potential loss of material assets or physical security compared with the potential loss of God and eternal life?But this is what one must deal with when a minister of God has been discovered to have been so duplicitous as to go through the externals of having offered Mass and yet at the same time withheld his Sacramental intention.
Bishop Thuc Admits to Simulating Yet AgainThis admission by Bishop Thuc naturally gives rise to a follow-up question: If he admitted to doing it once, has he done it more than once? When he laid his hands on these various men of doubtful reputation, did he withhold his intention of conferring the Sacrament of Orders upon them? He says he did:“So after the questionable ordinations [Palmar de Troya], Bishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc renounced his actions and published a letter saying that the ‘orders’ he had conferred were null and void because he had withheld all intention of conveying orders to the Palmar de Troya sect.” (Angelus Magazine, June 1982 edition – emphasis supplied)So we now have a second and independent source citing yet another admission from Bishop Thuc in which he stated that he simulated the Sacraments of the Church, with the end result being that at least 5 of his 15 so-called consecrations were certainly invalid, null and void; because by his own admission Bishop Thuc intentionally botched them.But, are these two statements true? Did Bishop Thuc in fact fake a “mass” and did he withhold his intention when conferring consecration? These are the questions the supporters of Bishop Thuc immediately raise as they impulsively jump to his defense. But if we are to apply the very same standard that the supporters of Bishop Thuc use in trying to defend the validity of his acts, i.e., the credibility of witnesses (in this case, two of the three witnesses are the very ones they themselves most often rely upon – Hiller and Heller), then one must accept the testimony just cited as factual evidence of the truth. If there was rebuttal evidence to be found, that would be one thing, but there is no rebuttal evidence to be found anywhere. This absence alone speaks volumes.In the normal course of events, if any bishop was falsely charged with such a serious crime as simulating the Sacraments of the Church, one would expect a very loud and vocal denial of the accusations, followed by immediate demands for correction and retraction. Perhaps a defamation suit might even be in order. But in the case of Bishop Thuc, the record is absolutely silent. The article in the Angelus magazine was published two and one-half years before his death, and yet there is not a peep of protest against it to be found anywhere. And the publication of the Angelus article is not the only instance of a mooted Bishop Thuc.Before Anthony Cekada was “pro-Thuc,” he was “anti-Thuc,” and he published a highly critical article against Bishop Thuc entitled “Two Bishops in Every Garage.” In this article, published two years before Bishop Thuc’s death, he charges that Bishop Thuc “simulated the celebration of Mass – simulation of a sacrament.” And yet again, nothing from Bishop Thuc – just more silence. Where are the denials and demands for retraction for the serious accusation against him found in this article? The fact of the matter is that there are none. And why not? Because in all probability, Bishop Thuc knew that this article and the one found in the Angelus magazine were both factual and correct. He had indeed simulated the Sacraments of the Church. After all, how could he deny it, when he had already admitted to it in the presence of witnesses?But no matter what angle you view this from; that is, Bishop Thuc really did void these acts by withholding his necessary Sacramental intention, or that Bishop Thuc just made those statements to get himself out of a pickle, the end result is the same – his integrity as a trustworthy minister of the Sacraments of the Church has been ruined. His conduct has come short of the minimum standard of moral certainty required by the Church for accepting the validity of the Sacraments conferred by him – most especially in the area of episcopal consecrations.
Facts Casting Grave Doubt About the Validity of the Thuc Consecrations:
• He attended the Vatican Council II and signed its decrees;• He publicly chastised the whole Council for not being ecumenical enough;
• He tried to get the Council to accept female equality in the church;
• With the possible exception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, he never stated that the Sacraments of the Vatican II church were at least doubful, rather only that they were rejected by God;• He referred to John XXIII as a saintly pope;
• He accepted Paul VI’s excommunication as valid;• He ordained great numbers of men as priests and bishops without requiring them to renounce their false sects;• He ordained and consecrated men wholly unfit to be ministers;
• He regularly served as an acolyte at the new mass when in France;
• He concelebrated the new mass with a Vatican II bishop on at least several occasions;• He heard confessions with the permission of a modernist bishop;• Before his death, he exhorted some of his progeny to return to the Vatican II church;
• He complained that certain oriental eating customs were excluded from Holy Mass;• He was said to have been physically and psychologically worn out;
• His mental soundness had been publicly questioned by his contemporaries;
• Monetary gain has been acknowledged by his friends as being a motivating factor in his conferring of Holy Orders;
• He admitted lying to a Vatican II priest in his autobiography;
• His own friend said that he would often speak with duplicity;• He only acted like a traditionalist when around other traditionalists;
• He admitted to simulating “mass”;• He admitted that he withheld his sacramental intention when conferring Sacred Orders.
Now to recap what was already proven above; the Church’s minimum requirement for accepting the validity of a Sacrament is “moral certainty.” Moral certainty is one “which excludes all prudent fear of error, such that the opposite is reputed as altogether improbable.”Now in weighing all of the above evidence, the question becomes:• Does the certainty of Bishop Thuc’s consecrations reach such a level as to exclude all prudent fear of error?• Is the possibility that he did not validly consecrate, altogether improbable?It seems to me that no objective person possessing the use of right reason could conclude that Bishop Thuc’s consecrations were certain to the degree that they excluded all prudent fear of error, such that the opposite is reputed as altogether improbable.Catholics, therefore, must reject the validity of Bishop Thuc’s consecrations. And if we must reject Bishop Thuc’s consecrations, we of course must also reject all of the ordinations and consecrations emanating from the Thuc progeny, for the Thuc bishops cannot supply for what was originally wanting to the Sacrament of Orders – one cannot give to others that which they do not possess themselves. So the lack of moral certitude by which Catholics must reject the validity of Bishop Thuc’s Orders must also be applied to Bishop Thuc’s progeny.
01Claude Nanta of Torrini – 3/19/77, Roger Kozik and Michel Fernadez – 10/19/78
02Some claim the number is actually higher and some claim the number is lower, but these 15 men claimed to have received consecration from Bishop Thuc and are generally accepted as such.
03Fortes in Fides, #12
04The Sacred and the Profane – recorded interview, Dr. Kurt Hiller, February 10, 1988, Munich, Germany, page 60.
05Cekada-Jenkins video debate (9/17/02), part 14 of 16. The pro-Thuc Cekada acknowledged the factual accuracy of this statement by Jenkins.
06Warning, Concerning A Sect, Fr. Barbara
07A letter written by Aldolfo Zamora, which was translated from Spanish and published May 21, 1984.
08Anthony Cekada – Two Bishops in Every Garage, citing Rene Rouchette, “Mise au point au sujet du sacre de Mgr. Guerard des Lauriers,” Lettres non-conformistes, no. 28, (Apr., 1982)
09The Athanasian citing Donald Sanborn – The Thuc Consecrations: A Postscript, 1993.
11The Athanasian citing William Jenkins – The Thuc Consecrations: An Open Appeal To Father Donald Sanborn, 1993
12The Sacred and the Profane – p. 50.
13The Sacred and the Profane – recorded interview, Dr. Kurt Hiller, February 10, 1988, Munich, Germany, page 61.30Fortes in Fides, #1214The Sacred and the Profane – recorded interview, Dr. Kurt Hiller, February 10, 1988, Munich, Germany, pages 47-48.15Cekada – Jenkins debate, ibid.
14The Sacred and the Profane – recorded interview, Dr. Kurt Hiller, February 10, 1988, Munich, Germany, pages 47-48.15Cekada – Jenkins debate, ibid.