Died on Thursday, December 13, 1984
(5th Bishop, left to right, looking at camera, hands on table, next to empty chair of photographer.)
(Everyone, even including the photographer, at this private dinner with Archbishop Thuc, D.D., was either already a Consecrated Bishop [all Episcopal Consecrations were done with the Catholic Traditional pre-Vatican 2 PONTIFICALE ROMANUM], or soon would be Consecrated Bishops. This was accidental and most definitely not planned. We happened to notice this fact years later after this photograph was taken [January, 1983]. However, Episcopal Consecrations were not the purpose for this Clergy meeting and this subject never even came up, whether before, during or after this dinner or during the time this Clergy conference lasted.)
In Memory of
Archbishop Peter Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, D.D.
Dear Fellow Catholics:
Archbishop Peter Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, D.D. was a kindly, well-respected Prelate, even by his own people. We recall eating in a restaurant with the Archbishop and another Bishop. As soon as this other Bishop mentioned to the waiter that the visitor dining with us was Archbishop Thuc, we had lots of visitors at our table, from the Vietnamese owner to the waiters, to the cooks, and even some of the other patrons! Without exception, they all treated him with great respect.
We personally observed the Archbishop to be a person who was very much mentally alert, instantly responsive, energetic, reserved, humble, meek, but very much aware of his surroundings and circumstances, and who listened intently to the various conversations and warmly greeted and acknowledged everyone who approached him. He was definitely not a senile dim-wit with which some people, unfortunately too many so-called "clergy" with their own agendas, try to saddle him. After visiting many people in nursing homes over the years and seeing first-hand what senility really is, there is no way Archbishop Thuc could ever be considered to be senile or somehow mentally incompetent. IF he became that way after he was kidnapped on Thursday, January 19, 1984, almost exactly one year after the above photograph was taken, it would have been drug-induced!
Bishop des Lauriers, O.P., D.D. wrote a tribute to Archbishop Thuc which We understand has been in the public domain on the Internet for some time now. Here is the text of his testimonial. Hopefully, it will help to clear up whatever misunderstandings may have been making the rounds among the so-called "Traditionalist Catholics"?
We understand that the title "Monsignuer", is used by the French to designate Bishops. It does not mean, as it does in the United States, a Priest who has received an honorary title or dignity by having been appointed a "Roman Prelate" or "Prelate of the Roman Court", Romanae Curiae Antistites, to the Papal Court as a Domestic Prelate Illustrissimus et Reverendissimus, the title in English being "Right Reverend Monsignor". (Such was the title given to the local Pastor of Our Parish Church for whom We served many, many Masses for many years.)
Other honorary titles include "Monsignor" and "Reverend Monsignor". The abbreviation for Monsignor is "Msgr.".
By keeping these distinctions in mind, it will hopefully avoid any confusion concerning what the author writes about ARCHBISHOP Thuc when he refers to him as "Monsignuer" Thuc, or by the abbreviation he uses for "Monsignuer", namely "Mgr".
Happy reading and God bless you!
In the Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary
MONSIGNEUR PETER MARTIN NGO-DINH-THUC
X M.L. Guerard des Lauriers, O.P.
The transports of joy, patience in suffering, the mystery of the tomb wherein both a peace and glory are manifest. The life of the incarnate Word and of His Mother which is retraced in the mysteries of the Rosary shows how such events are inherent in very human life; and how, rather than being a constantly recurring failure, they are a providentially ordained fulfillment. Such a theme is easily demonstrated when we consider the life and pay our respects to the recent death of Mgr. Peter Martin, Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, a highly respected member of the hierarchy in the Church during the reigns of Pius XI and Pius XII and a witness to the persecution of the Faith during the times of Paul VI and Wojtyla. He was a sent forth as "sign of contradiction" (Luke II, 34) that "the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed" (Luke II, 35).
It is with regard to the second point that we offer these brief considerations. On the one hand, they presume the first, and become the basis for a third; and on the other, they allow for the exposure of truths that have been obscured by the malicious controversies which have surrounded this individual. Let us remember that Mgr. Peter Martin NGO DINH THUC was the victim of persecution (1); and that, contrary to general opinion, he never ceased to be a witness to the Faith (II). Let us also remember that Mgr. Thuc remained, even during his final days, an instrument which Christ our Chief used in order to govern His Church (III).
I. Mgr. Peter Martin Ngo-Dinh-Thuc as a victim of persecution:
Reviewing his early life we encounter a period of happiness, simplicity; a life full of providential events which redounded to the service of God
The principle facts related to his persecution are well known. Mgr. Thuc did not have an easy life. He left the city of Hue and came to Rome to participate in the Council. Every member of his family which included President DIEM (his brother ), with the exception of one sister (Oceanie) and a brother who lived in the suburbs of Paris, were savagely massacred by the communists, an affair in which the ambassador of the United States was traitorously involved. The Archbishop of Hue, enticed to Rome by Paul VI, found himself a refugee, first of all in Italy where he lived in a run-down convent, and then in Toulon in a run-down boarding house which was "charitably" provided by a communist family, while he was no less "charitably" denigrated by certain traditional groups.
Finally, Mgr. Thuc finished his life by being "abducted" in the United States and imprisoned by Vietnamese clergy attached to the Wojtylian "Church." The word "imprisoned" is appropriate, for, as many individuals are willing to bear witness to the fact that it was impossible to communicate with Mgr. Thuc during the last year of his life.
It is certainly true that many other bishops, priests and faithful were or are at present being persecuted. None of these are unknown to God. It is we regard to each and every one of these witnesses that it is said that "the death of his saints is precious in the eyes of God" (Ps. CXV. 15).
II. Mgr. P.M. Ngo-Dinh-Thuc was a witness to the Faith.
I - his problems:
Many of the faithful, especially among so-called traditionalists, raised doubts as to whether Mgr. Thuc was an authentic witness to the faith. Let us first of all make it clear that with regard to this matter we are in full possession of the truth.
The First difficulty:
Mgr. Thuc, at least by his actions and in the external forum, even if he didn't intend to, juridically, recognized Paul VI as the supreme "authority" of the Church militant.
This is clear from three considerations, namely:
aa) Mgr. Thuc submitted his "resignation" as Archbishop of Hue to Paul VI. (We will provide the history of the outrageous circumstances surrounding his second "resignation" which occurred on the 17th of March, 1982.)
ab) Mg. Thuc concelebrated the Novus Ordo (a single time, on Holy Thursday, 1981) with the Bishop of Toulon.
ac) Whenever Mgr. Thuc officially signed a document, he used to follow his name with the title, "Former Archbishop of Hue, and now Bishop of Bulla Regia": to do so is to twice over, at least "materialiter," recognize Paul VI as the supreme "authority" in the Church.
On these grounds it is argued that, based on his personal acts, Mgr. Thuc OBJECTIVELY participated in the schism of Paul VI. As a result, IN LAW, ipso facto, in conformance with Cannon 188, Section 4 (which retains its normative force even though it is currently not enforced), Mgr., Thuc lost the office which he had ; and that in the Church militant which is currently in a state of privation (i.e., temporarily lacking a pope that can govern), and no one can give this office back to Mgr. Thuc. On the contrary, Mgr. Thuc retains the munus (function) of this office because the procedure carried out after said privation by a pseudo-authority is in law, completely null. We therefore hold that, until he passed away, Mgr. Thuc was, as such, MATERIALITER, but not formaliter (MATERIALITER TANTUM, sed non formaliter) Archbishop of Hue.
Some "traditionalists" have affirmed that Mgr. Thuc, despite his "resignation," also conserved his office, and they have attempted to justify this opinion on the basis of "epikeia." It is opportune to explain why, under the present circumstances (i.e., in view of justifying the retention of ordinary jurisdiction by Mgr. Thuc), such cannot be based on epikeia. In essence, epikeia consists of not being held to the letter of the law in a situation which was not foreseen by the legislator, when in actuality the letter of the law finds itself running counter to the good which was envisioned by the law. It follows that epikeia only applies for human laws. It cannot be applied to those laws which are formally and explicitly divine. Now, it is Christ Himself who in Person expressly established, with regard to SESSIO, the monarchical nature (Monos-arche = unique principle) of the Church militant: "You are Peter, and on this rock..." (Matt. XVI, 18). Every jurisdictional power in the Church has its origin, and hence normally proceeds from no other source than the Pope, the Vicar of Christ. Epikeia does not allow for any deviation from this principle.
b) Second difficulty:
The illegal Episcopal Consecrations and Sacerdotal ordinations.
(By "illegal" one means whatever supports the opposition, be it by impeding or by contradicting, the letter of the law. By "illicit" one means whatever supports the opposition, be it by impeding or contradicting the good which the law has in view, and from which it draws its justification.)
aa) The Consecrations or Ordinations conferred on subjects not previously consecrated or ordained.
Such illegal acts were consummated By Mgr. Thuc at Palmar de Troya on the 21st of January, 1976; and at Toulon in May, October and December 1981.
These events have been skillfully utilized by Mgr. Thuc's adversaries to attack both his person and those who derive their orders from him. Some even go so far as to pretend that Mgr. Thuc and "Gregory XVII" are working together. However, as against these constantly repeated calumnies of Mgr. Lefebvre, the author of the present essay has never been to Palmar de Troya; and he has directly obtained from Mgr. Thuc, early in 1981, the assurance that he had broken off all connections with Clemente as of August 6, 1978, the date when Clemente believed he received the function (munus) and the office (officium) of Pope (under the name of Gregory XVII). There is therefore no basis at this time, for distinguishing between the Consecrations and Ordinations confected at Palmar from those accomplished in 1981. The former, followed by the rupture between Mgr. Thuc and Clemente as of August 6, 1978, far from having a schismatic character, actually conform the fact that, by proceeding with all these consecrations, Mgr. Thuc in no way recognized the supreme Authority of the reigning Pontiff, and in no way envisioned the creation of a "parallel Church". Mgr. Thuc has always maintained and implemented the same design: to promote the good of souls, which is, according to Pius XII, the "supreme norm in the Church militant."
bb) The conditional re-Consecrations, conferred on subjects already consecrated.
The most notorious of these re-Consecrations was that of Mgr. LABORIE, in Toulon. Mgr. LABORIE and the others whose consecrations were considered valid but illicit by Rome, desired by this means to assure themselves of a proper ecclesiastical relationship.
c) Third difficulty:
This difficulty results from the confusion on the part of Mgr. Thuc, at least subconsciously, between the two motivations which are directly connected with the first two difficulties.
That Mgr. Thuc illegally Consecrated and ordained in such an open manner, shows that he clearly wished to do so; his instinct for the Faith and his observation of the "machinations" accomplished during the course of Vatican II gave him a clairvoyance with regard to the state of the Church. But the illegal actions at Palmar resulted in Mgr. Thuc being excommunicated, and as a result, being deprived of all financial support. And those who he had assisted did little to help him. Overcome by these problems, and perhaps also by his isolation which so many sorrows made even more difficult, Mgr. Thuc sought and received reacceptance into the official "Church."
However, the imperious demands of the Light remained active and immanent in the conscience of Mgr. Thuc. I am myself the proof of this. In effect, what finally induced Mgr. Thuc to confer the Episcopal consecration on me was (and continues to be) my clear understanding of the situation with regard to nature of the existing "authority" in the Church; this is the position which Mgr. Thuc asked me about and assured me that he agreed with (April-May of 1981); it is moreover the position which is confirmed by the declaration which Mgr. Thuc made in Munich in March of 1982. Mgr. Thuc was once again excommunicated. And then, a second time, at least MATERIALITER and only in the EXTERNAL FORUM, Mgr. Thuc sought and received reacceptance into the "official Church." (July 1984)
These are the facts which can be observed in the EXTERNAL FORUM, facts commented on by certain Canadians who pretend to have their eyes open, or by others greatly enamored of Canon Law ("Times feminam unius libri"): "Thuc frequently changes his mind, it is crazy to trust him." Such is in substance (if one can put it that way) of the third difficulty.
II - Mgr. P.M. Ngo-Dinh-Thuc was an authentic witness to the faith despite these difficulties which appear to contradict this statement.
a) The facts considered in the light of Authority:
Every day makes the demands of truth more clear. True witnesses to the faith are not only those who speak about the Truth, but even more those who act in conformity with the truth, and by so doing it make It manifest.
In the Church under normal circumstances, the real witnesses to the truth are those who do the works of Truth in those situations and places where they find themselves placed by a true mandate of properly established Authority, which is to say, a mission established by the Incarnate Word.
Such was clearly the case with Mgr. Thuc. Pius XI had confidence in him as did Pius XII. He was the individual who under these two Pontificates consecrated each and every bishop in Vietnam; and was as a result, ipso facto in a certain sense the father of a large segment of Christianity, a segment which by the grace of God was very prosperous.
In the post-Conciliar Church which is deprived of any Pontifical Authority. the witness to whom is confided the Mission [of witnessing to the Truth ] because "he has been established by the Holy Spirit in order to feed the sheep" (Acts XX.28), finds himself confronted with a demanding situation which is at one the same time both doctrinal and pastoral, a situation in which these two entities have become not only antagonistic, but in fact diametrically opposed to each other.
In effect, the witness who is truly a witness is such by his conformity and resemblance to "He who is The Witness" (Apoc.I, 5). Such a person becomes at one and the same time the Bonus Pastor - Good Pastor (John X, 1,16) and the Magister Docens -Teaching Master (Matt. VII, 29; John XIII, 11).
On the one hand this witness should guard the integrity and assure the perpetuity of the OBLATION: which being the Mysterium fidei recapitulates concretely and in fact the integrity of the Deposit of the Faith. Such, with regard to Witnessing, is principal, and the authentic witness should resonate with an inward awareness of this. This inner resonating is so obfuscated by the "profane sacrifice" [i.e., the Novus Ordo] that it should cause a cry of distress to pour fourth from our lips - Misereor super SACRIFICIUM - which plea alone can give expression to the reality of our agony.
On the other hand this authentic witness ought to be the faithful steward, and even more, have the gentle qualities of the Bonus Pastor. This second function, even though subordinate to the first, is no less essential for authentic witnessing. This is shown by the crowd that followed Our Lord in order to hear from His own lips the list of Beatitudes who Himself said "Misereor super turbam" (Mark, VIII, 2).
Now, after Mgr. Thuc was forced to renounce his intent to return to his diocese in Hue, so close to his heart, he found himself, more subconsciously than by force of reason, shaken, or more precisely torn apart by the underlying cadence of these two cries.
Misereor Super SACRIFICIUM: from this follows the Consecrations and Ordinations. If they were in a certain sense illegal, they were never illicit. Jesus Himself transgressed the Sabbath in order to heal (Mark, III, 11) and in order to feed [the apostles] (Luke VI, 1); would He not approve the bypassing of the law for the sake of the OBLATIO MUNDA? The Sabbath is "for man" (Mark II, 27); the OBLATIO is for God. It follows - it must follow that the OBLATIO MUNDA be perpetuated.
Misereor super turbam: here we have the "submission" "for the form" (or, in more precise language, "materialiter, tantum". (Mgr. Thuc had no sympathy for Paul VI, especially after he was played the fool by him.) He did this in order to some degree supply for the immense needs of the exiled and destitute sheep [the Vietnamese community in France], a flock mired in misery and without hope.
Misereor, Misereror... As a result of the machinations of official Rome, the one Misereor excludes the other. This is the real reason why Mgr. Thuc, a dispossessed Archbishop and desolate Pastor, went back and forth. He was always ardent, both with regard to his serene faithfulness in prayer, and to his tireless concern for each of his sheep. We do not justify this vacillation in which he gave precedence, sometimes to one and at other times to the other of these two Misereors. We believe we satisfy the needs of justice by exposing the dramatic origin, in the depths of a heart always moved by Love, even though terribly wounded, anguished, and humanly reduced to a desperate state; a heart that despite this constantly repeated "Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo - I will sing forth the mercies of God in eternity" (Ps. 88.2). And we can only stigmatize the stupid and niggardly criticisms of detractors whose hateful cunning and overwhelming pride, make it impossible for them to discern in the "shocking" vacillations of Mgr. Thuc anything other than the meanderings of a senile old man.
Let us briefly sketch, in contrast to this, a situation which helps to clarify the issues:
Those who brandish anathamas by demanding the conditions of a false orthodoxy based on excessive legalism be fulfilled, while paying no heed to the needs of the faithful which this arbitrary intransigence deprives of sacraments, are no authentic witnesses to the Faith. They proclaim the form of "Misereor super SACRIFICIUM" but do not practice it in their lives. And in the last analysis, at least objectively, and perhaps in defense of their own cliques, they go on as if they were totally ignorant of the "Misereor super turbam."
Those who submerge every doctrinal norm under the satanic slogan "we must change nothing" are not authentic witnesses to the Faith. Nor are those who flock to every location where the traditional form of worship is established in order to recruit partisans; who attack those who, because they have no alternatives, assist at a Mass which is said "una cum Wojtyla" and declare that such are guilty of sacrilege - at least objectively, and who then, in one way or another, induce said partisans who become fanatically faithful followers to nourish attitudes of duplicity in themselves every time they participate in the most sacred of realities. Such sectarians are not authentic witnesses to the Faith because they are not pure reflections of the Witness who is the Truth (John XIV, 6). They refer to Miserior super turbam"; but they are ignorant of the repercussions and the profound demands [of this concept] because in their lives and in reality they have profaned the OBLATIO MUNDA, and in so doing demonstrate concretely and essentially that they are, to say the least, strangers to "Misereor super SACRIFICIUM." (A)
There are then two Misereors which are immanent in the Church militant just as there are two commandments. "Misereor super SACRIFICIUM", and "Misereor super turbam." In the present state of privation in which the Church militant finds itself, these two Misereors are immediately affected and their essential unity made tragically and fearfully clear. Whosoever concretely and in their daily life ignores one of them, in reality sees neither.
We therefore conclude that Mgr. Thuc was an authentic witness to the Faith.
Notwithstanding his defects which we will discuss below, Mgr. Thuc has shown, by his actions which constitute the single most important criteria for judging an individual's real thoughts, that it is clear that that his sentiments were those of Jesus Christ (Phil. II.5); The mind of the Witness who was the Author and consummator of the Faith (Heb. XII,2); Priest and Victim of the OBLATIO MUNDA consummated "for the redemption of a great many." It is in Him, and by Him, and by His Mother united with Him, that the authentic witness to the Faith should sweetly unite, in a single living soul the two modalities which are in reality those of Love crucifying and crucified: Misereor super SACRIFICIUM", Misereor super turbam."
Such indeed was the ideal which inspired Mgr. Thuc throughout his life and which in a prudent manner, radiated from him, especially towards the end of his life when Jesus Himself, the same Jesus who was scoffed at and mocked, deigned to affix the Archbishop with the seal of His own Agony. "Arise, good and faithful servant, and enter thou into the joy of the Lord" (Matt. XXV, 23).
b) The Resolution of difficulties - what exactly is their significance?
We say "difficulties" in the sense that the facts discussed above appear to preclude Mgr. Thuc being an authentic witness to the Faith. We will see that in reality these facts reveal themselves to be only a minor obstacle that, on a deep psychological plain Mgr. Thuc could not overcome; this because it is the reverse side of a quality.
ba) Examination of the third difficulty (1c above)
This is the most spectacular difficulty... seeming for all the world like the Roman crowds who bowed down derisively to Christ decked out in royal robes (Mark XV. 16-19).
And indeed, this difficulty could not but be spectacular. And this because the so-called petition of July 1984 in which Mgr. Thuc had to ask for reintegration into the "official church" was imposed on Mgr. Thuc.
That Mgr. Thuc submitted to such a violation under conditions that appeared non violent, is clear from several indications. We will consider three:
1) It was impossible to communicate with Mgr. Thuc after he was gratuitously "abducted" and sequestered . (The Seraph, Catholic Forever, reviews published in America).
The "New Mass" was celebrated at his funeral despite the fact that he had always made clear, in both word and deed, and apart from Holy Thursday in 1981 without any vacillation, his most faithful attachment to the traditional rites.
The document spelling out his submission to JP-2, and said to be signed freely by Mgr. Thuc in July of 1984, was followed by an "exhortation." This exhortation was addressed to the three bishops (of which I am one) consecrated in 1981 by Mgr. Thuc urging the three bishops to follow in the footsteps of Mgr. Thuc and submit to JP-2. Now if Mgr. Thuc really had such sentiments and was not under pressure, he would have told me so himself. But, the fact is that Mgr. Thuc did not respond to the letter which I sent to him at this time and I still don't know if he received it. Let me add that Mgr. Thuc, even if less than candid, was sufficiently perspicacious to be capable of knowing that an exhortation coming directly from him would impress me, while one coming from the mediation of official Rome could not in my eyes appear other than ridiculous! This exhortation "via Wojtyla" (who Mgr. Thuc abhorred even more than Paul VI if such is possible!) was a joke! The production of Ratzinger, this exhortation smells of cosmic falsity - and this because it emanates from hell. It is signed "pseudo- Thuc" or by the "ectoplasm of Thuc" - every aspect of Thuc but the real Thuc.
It is futile to insist on this third difficulty.
It is nothing other than a blow struck by Satan such as he produces from time to time. Canadian eyes have failed to see what is going on. But there is still time! Yes, the time to reconsider the facts: Mgr. Thuc, at the beginning of 1981, after the events in Palmar de Troya, was aware of having made a error in requesting reentrance into the post-Conciliar Church . He was increasingly firm in his determination to have nothing to do with said "church"; and it was this determination which he made public in Munich in February of 1982. And after this, as long as he remained "compos sui," he continued to hold to the same position, as can be confirmed by his remaining in the Franciscan Monastery in Rochester (A Monastery of strict observance, faithful to Tradition, of which the superior is Mgr. Vezelis). It was from this location that he left in order to "preside over a ceremony" in honor of his assassinated brother; a situation which led to his being "abducted" and sequestered (19 January 1984. Cf. The Seraph, September 1984). This episode put an end to his liberty and led to the other actions falsely attributed to him. So much then for the third difficulty.
bb) Consideration of the second difficulty (1b).
The illegal Episcopal Consecrations and priestly Ordinations performed by Mgr. Thuc raise two questions; the first with regard to the very principle of the sacred act, and the second to the choice of those consecrated or ordained.
1) The Principles which govern the status of sacral acts.
These principles have been discussed in B.O.C. No 84. What follows is a summary of the details which is presented in three parts.
First: to illegally consecrate or ordain raises up the issue of epikeia. And this in turn being admitted, raises the issue of a clause which we have always insisted on, namely: The bishops illegally consecrated do not have ordinary jurisdiction, even though, according to the hierarchy of orders, they have the fullness of the priesthood and the power to communicate this fullness.
Christ Himself has reminded us of this (1a, at the end), for He established for the Church militant the supreme norm of SESSIO: "To es Petrus..." ( Math. XVI. 18); et similarly for MISSIO: "Euntes, docete..." (Matt. XXVIII. 19-20.
On the other hand, Christ gave to the Church the responsibility for determining the modalities and manner in which these two, MISSIO and SESSIO, should exist. It follows that the laws governing MISSIO and SESSIO are divine. As such they exclude any recourse to epikeia. However the laws dealing with the connection between MISSIO and SESSIO are, as far as their modalities are concerned, ecclesiastic and as such totally human. It follows that the [normal] application of these modalities can be considered as suspended in virtue of epikeia.
Secondly: the recourse to epikeia is not justified excerpt when there is (such is sine qua non) the intent of assuring, even though minimally, the good which is normally envisioned by the law.
Under the circumstances the good which is envisioned by the laws of the Church is the perpetuation of the MISSIO. This perpetuation necessarily requires (divine law) that Bishops be consecrated. And this function of assuring that such consecrations occur is incumbent on the Church. The manner in which this occurs is part of ecclesiastical law. Under normal circumstances the Pope has jurisdiction over the entire Church, and it falls upon him to designate those who should be consecrated. For example, the Pope who is bishop of Lyon, as he is Bishop of every other diocese, in order to rule the diocese of Lyon (the extent of the diocese being designated by him) chooses another Bishop to rule this diocese with him; another bishop who is ipso facto established over the sheep of this diocese, established not by the Pope, but by "the Holy Spirit" (Acts XX, 28). In the Church in a state of deprivation (which is the result of the "formal" vacancy of the Apostolic See), this ecclesiastical law whereby the Pope designates those priests who are to be candidates for the episcopacy, is not applicable because there is no Authority having the power to do so. It is therefore necessary to ignore the letter of the law (Epikeia consists of this), if such is unavoidable in order to realize that good which is envisioned and normally assured by the law, namely the perpetuation of the MISSIO.
Thirdly, the uses of epikeia
It is necessary with regard to this, and conforming to what has been said above (1ba, bb), to distinguish the Consecrations and Ordinations conferred by Mgr. Thuc according to whether or not the subjects consecrated or ordained had already been validly consecrated.
With regard to those individuals not previously consecrated or ordained, the actions of Mgr. Thuc were necessary in order that the MISSIO be perpetuated. Such acts, far from compromising his witnessing to the Faith, were and remain an integral part of that witnessing. The bishops consecrated by Mgr. Thuc in 1981, and those who in turn were subsequently consecrated by these, incarnate, and indeed, they alone at this time do so - the living hope (the "hope against all hope" Rom. I, VI, 18), that the OBLATIO MUNDA will continue on this earth.
Concerning those individuals who had already been validly consecrated or ordained, the actions of Mgr. Thuc do not appear to us to be justified on the grounds of Epikeia. With regard to the perpetuation of the MISSIO, these conditional repetitions related entirely to "bene esse," and not to simple esse. It does not seem to us that this suffices for going contrary to an ecclesiastical law which even though it has been deprived of executive power, still conserves its directive value.
Mgr. Thuc, at least in the practical order, and without any excessive concern about Epikeia, based these actions on different grounds. One can, if not justify them, at least explain them on psychological grounds.
a) Asiatic mentality, a transient urge, allergic to juridical attitudes, especially those of a Roman character.
b) The personal temperament of Mgr. Thuc: his open, good natured personality, his spontaneous desire to please others, to smooth away difficulties, and a tendency to circumvent problems.
c) Usury as a result of solitude for which the past had never prepared Mgr. Thuc. "vera dicentes solent persecutionem pati; nec tamen ideo Prophetae antiqqui timore persecutionis a veritatis praedicatione defecerunt" (St. Augustine, De Sermone Domini) (Whosoever affirms the truth is usually persecuted. However, the Prophets of old never failed to bear witness to the Truth for fear of being persecuted.) With a wealthy background, Mgr. Thuc was accustomed with regard to his interpersonal connections, to live in an atmosphere of comfort and prosperity. Solitude, which is the price of witnessing, therefore went against his nature. One can understand then that, spontaneously and without any calculation, he was inclined in these re-consecrations to "patronize" the individuals involved, and without any disproportionate psychological commitment, to "patronize" the halls of the wealthy which reflected his own apostolic soul, and which also gave sustenance to his great financial needs. Those who fight desperate battles find, in those who they vanquish, a reason to live which secretly sustains them. The supreme test is that of solitude which intrudes into the land of the Strong. Such was the lot of Jesus in His Passion, and of Mgr. Thuc in his final dereliction. If Mgr. Thuc on occasion succumbed to this insidious temptation, it is those who are with out sin who should cast the first stone and condemn him.
2) The choice of the persons who were illegally consecrated or ordained by Mgr. Thuc
The choices were distinctly made by Mgr. Thuc himself. The proof in the fact that he said NON to a certain individual who sought him out, and who, being angry, repeated the refrain of Master Renard: "He is to green... the miter bestowed by Thuc is good for the schismatic, heretics, .... those excommunicated, by the laws of the Holy Church." The choices were thus primarily inspired by the motivations which we have indicated above (2a), precisely characterized by the two modalities "Misereor super Sacrificium," "Misereor super turbam."
That the decisions were influenced by "overtones" of a natural order, especially such as by what might be called "psychological usury" which we have alluded to above (1)c), possibly blended with other motivations in the subconscious of Mgr. Thuc, is certainly possible. But even if we suppose that such was the case, we could only conclude yet once again that "Errare humanum est - to err is human." And such in no way leads us to question the totality of his actions, and much less the correctness of his intention.
We by no means argue that all the choices of Mgr. Thuc were opportune, which is to say, effectively chosen for the ends he had in view. But on the other hand we denounce, as a grave injustice, any attempt to accuse Mgr. Thuc of schism and heresy under the pretext that he consecrated or reconsecrated individuals who are themselves charged with being "schismatics, notorious heretics or criminals." Considering that the Apostolic See is formally vacant, no one is qualified with absolute certitude (which is to say, without their immediate sensible perceptions assuming the authority of governance) to state that such and such a person is formally a heretic, or not a member of the Church
Those who claim the right to impose such affirmations with absolute certitude usurp Authority. It is impossible to have, with regard to these issues, absolute certitude, or even moral certitude (to do so would be to elevate one's immediate impressions to the level of a law). Even though they would defend the Church, their witness with regard to ecclesiastical realities is deprived of any reality.
bc) With regard to the first difficulty (1a); I.e. that Mgr. Thuc recognized Paul VI as having Authority.
The same reasons which we have already mentioned (bb) apply. That which above all applies is the need he had for support: partly personal, because of his fear of solitude, partly in order to help others.
To explain is not to justify. To recognize someone who is clearly in schism as having authority is clearly incompatible with witnessing to the Faith. But, we repeat, early in 1981, Mgr. Thuc renounced his errors. However he did not immediately hasten to correct his relationships with some of the individuals he associated with. Locked in misery, Mgr. Thuc was very receptive to human warmth such as the Bishop of Toulon showered on him, along with the most welcome income which he received from the Cathedral. This was in sharp contrast to the lack of logic demonstrated by the fact that he celebrated the traditional Mass every morning by himself. Mgr. Thuc succumbed to a seductive process in that he frequented said cathedral and on one occasion even concelebrated the Novus Ordo.
God alone can judge to what degree this lapse constituted a sin (the Church does not judge a persons inner intention). The other principal difficulty follows from the role that the state of his mentality may have played. That the intelligence be "rational" is certainly connatural with human nature. However, observation proves that different individuals, and even different ethnic groups, often fail to present the same efficacious spontaneity in their mental responses, especially with regard to the brilliance which reason should have. Indeed, at least in this respect the Vietnamese, (for they are excellent in linguistic skills as reflected in the "verbum oris"), are among the "poor relatives" of the human race; at least, they are not "born diplomats." Can one blame the Romans for this?
Whatever the case may be with regard to the GOD WHO IS, what would have been unpardonable for a "Cartesian" would not necessarily be a sin on the part of a person from Vietnam. "Noli judicare, si non vi errare."
The witness to the Faith is prudent. It follows that this does not consist in excelling on every single issue: what is essential is doctrinal rectitude and activities that imply real charity. A witness to the faith combines both and in this way makes it clear that their origin is divine. This is why, despite a passing weakness which is explained though not excused by the great suffering he underwent, we hold that Mgr. Thuc was and remains an authentic witness to the Faith.
Did not Peter, whose name Mgr. Thuc carried, fall; and was he not raised
up? "Being once converted, confirm thy brethren" (Luke, XXII. 32). This
is precisely the situation with Mgr. Thuc who like Peter succeeded in his
mission, at least at the time when lived on this earth.
III - Mgr. P.M. Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, designated by Christ Himself, and by His Mother and offered to the members of the Church who wend their way in this world
Ecce positus est hic... in signum cui contradicetur" (For a sign which shall be contradicted (Luke II.34).
According to St. Ephrem who lived in the second century, "No one knows the earthly finish of the Mother of God." Similarly, no one knows the nature of the earthly finish of Mgr. P.M. Ngo-Dinh-Thuc who passed away in America on December 13, 1984.
Is such a comparison excessively bold" It appears justified to anyone who formally considers it and bases himself on what the facts reveal. Is it not possible that Mary, "she who had believed" (Luke I, 45), She who watches over the Faith of the Church (militant) till the end of time - the Church of which she is the Mother. She was wrapped around as a "great sign" (Apoc. XII, 1) when she left the earth in that obscurity which truly is appropriate to the earth. Is it not possible that Mgr. Thuc, witness to the faith in this time of torment, a witness who was predestined to bear with persecution, "to fill up in himself those things which were lacking" (Col. I. 24) showed by the darkness that surrounded his departure from this world, at least hypothetically, that dark cunning which is of the nature of the "Mystery of Iniquity" (II. Thes. II.7)? We will leave the problem of responding to this question up to the reader who is virtuously foreign to the opposing passions that prevail with regard to Mgr., and who aspires to wisdom in serenity.
Certain people obviously know the facts about the last few days of Mgr. Thuc in this world. They prove their complicity by their silence. They are like the guards who were paid off (Matt. XXVIII. 11-15). And as a result of their silence has it not happened that the one residential Bishop (materialiter tantum, alas!) who dared say NO to Wojtylian Rome has seemingly disappeared into thin air, and his sterility being, as it were, guaranteed under an official seal.
This voice, while not "formal," is real, and that is too much. It is necessary to silence him. The "official Church" has magisterially and satanically rejected him . Father Denifle O.P. has shown that Luther, in order to claim that tradition supported him, altered the texts by means of which traditional was transmitted. Since this time, Satan helping, many advances have been made. We are more sophisticated and now know how, not only to alter documents, but even living people. That which Luther tried to do to the Church, the "Conciliarists have succeeded in doing by annihilating Mgr. Thuc in July of 1984.
Defunctus, adhuc loquitur (Heb. XI. 4). Dead, he still speaks. He speaks, not by words which flatter and fly away in the breeze, but by actions which are effective and continue to be effective. Already there are many of these, and indeed, many more than those of LEFEBVRE and CASTRO MAYER and their colleagues, individuals who deplore what is going on in their words, but who go along with the desecrations by their acts, and who dared to introduce scandalous duplicity in the very heart of the most sacred realities? The bishops consecrated by Mgr. Peter Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc are those who REFUSE to act like this and who continue, from the heights of heaven, to oppose the Wojtylian imposture. "Non possumus no loqui - it is not possible to remain silent "(Acts IV.20), It is the voice of the real Truth! that which is one and the same with BEING and not "minimized" or "intellectualized" ("Diminutae sunt veritatas a filiis hominum -Truths are decayed from among the children of men"(Ps. XI, 2). It is the voice of this Truth which delivers (John VII.32) the world and the Church from the snares concocted by the "father of lies" (John VIII,44). The sure sign of this is that this real Truth, the very nature of which demands witnessing, is that it never fails to arouse that very contradiction which opposes a "lesser truth" to that which is the Truth. One could have forgiven Jesus for his arguments, but only on condition that he did not live them out in his acts which demanded, beyond the level of reason, the need to witness.
And so, it is this necessity of witnessing (John XV.27) which Jesus "set for a sign of contradiction" (Luke II, 34), and thus "out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed" (Luke II, 35). Mgr. Peter Martin NGO-DINH-THUC was a "Miles Christi - a soldier of Christ" (such was his heraldic device), and had the honor of living out his life on earth after the pattern of his Commander in Chief.
May this voice of the real truth continue to be expressed until Victory is achieved. This is the grace which we ask for in memory of Mgr. Thuc, as a sign of his intercession. This is the highest honor we can render him. "Vera dicentes solent persecutionem pati; nec tamen ideo Profhetae antiqui, timore persecutionis, a veritatis praedicatione defecerunt" (St. Augustine, De Sermone Domini.
Quot antiqui potuerunt, et non possumus...
In Nomine DOMINI
+ M.L. Guerard des Lauriers, O.P.
The DECLARATION of Mgr. GUERARD DES LAURIERS
With regard to Mgr. Thuc's renunciation of the Archdiocese of Hue in 1970, being a recognition of Paul VI as having supreme Authority and a participation in his "great schism" (at least juridically, if not by intention), and as a result having ipso facto lost jurisdiction FOR HIS ACTS, I have both orally and in writing affirmed the following whenever opportune.
These affirmations were and remain founded, not only on certain remarks, but also on information that prudence made it necessary for me not to spread them abroad. Certain lay people and even certain clerics have recently raised questions about these issues and because of this I believe it is my duty before God to declare the following.
1) The resignation of Mgr. Thuc:
This fact was (and unfortunately still is) a matter of great importance for the ecclesiastical ordinance of the traditional remnant. Now, on Wednesday, March 16, 1982, I responded with alacrity to the warm invitation of Mgr. THUC and went to Munich. I spent a long time with him. 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. This Monsignor then placed this document on the table and said to me: (I quote the words which Mgr. Thuc used, words which made a great impression on me.) "I come as a representative of the Pope. You must sign the resignation at once." Mgr. Thuc avowed this with great sadness. It was pitiful. I was greatly moved by his simplicity and his humility.