The Episcopal Masters of Disaster:
Doubtfully valid clergy still duping Traditionalists
© Copyright 2005; revised 2009 T. Stanfill Benns (This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.)
While Traditionalists themselves realize the Novus Ordo is invalid and the New Order of the Mass (NOM) is heretical in and of itself, they fail to hold their bishops and priests to the very standards they themselves profess. Many of the clergy now offering the Latin Tridentine Mass either attended or celebrated the NOM prior to their “conversion” to Traditionalism. This constitutes heresy, yet how many were absolved from this heresy by a competent authority before being ordained or consecrated? A public heresy is to be absolved publicly and a declaration issued publicly by the offender abjuring the heresy. As is evident from numerous doctrinal cases found in Henry Denzinger’s “Sources of Catholic Dogma,” this always has been the practice of the Church and is a principle of Canon Law. Traditionalists who adhere to sedevacantism or the Cassiciacanism, material/formal or sedeprivationist positions are as guilty of heresy as those celebrating or attending the NOM for reasons that will be explained below.
Traditional clergy operating today ignore every objection presented by those who have researched the matter at length. Their pet bishops regularly consecrate and ordain then present their creations to the faithful as full-fledged Catholic clergy, in the same sense that such clergy existed prior to Pope Pius XII’s death in 1958. This often in spite of the lack of proper seminary preparation and examination, any lengthy retraining (if such candidates were Novus Ordo, Anglican, Orthodox, or Old Catholics), or any truly serious attempt to determine if such candidates incurred irregularities or impediments. All is handily swept under the rug of necessity — and the right of the faithful to the sacraments — with the broom of private judgment. It covers everything from what is listed in this paragraph to the dismissal entirely of any need to even consider the lack of dimissorial letters and/or a papal mandate as any real obstacle to proceeding. The laity, browbeaten into believing that they cannot and must not study on their own or question their superiors docilely follow whatever issues from the mouths and pens of their hireling-leaders. Yet as the scholastic theologian Rev. A. C. Cotter states, “Authority clothed with the necessary conditions is true authority. False authority makes the same claims although it lacks these conditions. Authority is not the last criterion of truth or motive of certitude.”
As predicted in Holy Scripture, the operation of error has seized the majority of Catholics in its grip and is not about to let go. While few if any can escape its allurements and embrace the truth, error must yet be exposed. The faithful erroneously believe that these men are truly Catholic, and they themselves are genuine Catholics, and this is unquestionably diabolical. Only the Devil himself could retain such a hold on the elect. And yet we know it has happened before – to Catholics in England, France, Russia and elsewhere across the globe, even before the advent of the Great Apostasy, now in its final stages. God alone can halt the advance of Antichrist, but until He intervenes, it is incumbent upon the watchdogs to sound the alarm.
It is not inappropriate to examine Bp. Ngo-dinh-Thuc’s past for any possible indications of a contrary intention or affiliation; rather it is a duty and an act of charity to the faithful who might suffer spiritual harm should they believe themselves at present to be receiving certainly valid Sacraments from any of his “successors.”
Some will remember that Thuc was a member of the Ngo-dinh-Diem family and was the older brother of the Vietnam president Ngo-dinh-Diem. He was related by marriage to the Van Trans, prominent in government circles. During his ecclesiastical career, Pope Pius XI consecrated him the titular bishop of Sesina and also the Vicar Apostolic for this region in 1938. John 23 later appointed him titular bishop of Hue. During these years, he also was a working cog in the Vietnam government’s power structure, especially during the mid-1950s, providing wood from his lumber investments for brother Diem’s soldiers to cut in preparation for sale. Later this wood was used to build army barracks. Even as a cleric, Thuc was heavily invested in apartment houses, rubber interests, and other commercial concerns. Together the family labored to obtain aid from America and France to advance what the Vatican would later interpret as an unhealthy political regime.
Hillaire du Berrier, who recounted Diem’s machinations in his book, “Background to Betrayal: The Tragedy” of Vietnam (also quoted extensively by Peregrinus in “Two Bishops in Every Garage” ) expressed the Vatican’s displeasure with Diem for his boldness and overt nationalistic aspirations. These activities, du Berrier reported, earned Diem a “black file” in Rome. But it was the threatened arrest of the head of the Society of Foreign Missions, Msgr. Sieltz, on the charge of pro-communist sympathies after the monsignor refused to take an oath of allegiance to him, that sealed Diem’s fate. The Vatican intervened before the monsignor was arrested and charged.
DuBerrier described Diem’s attempt to set up no less than a Church-state in Vietnam, and the situation did not escape the scrutiny of American journalists prior to the Vietnam War. In the course of his drive for nationalism, Diem did not hesitate to use Thuc as a rabble-rouser among the faithful for his political causes, organizing militia operations within the parishes themselves. Thuc even went so far as to pit these groups against each other to heighten competition. “The Vatican was aware of the harm Thuc was doing,” du Berrier commented, which explains Pope Pius XII’s refusal, following the Msgr. Sieltz affair, to make Thuc a cardinal and the Bishop of Saigon, per his brother’s request. Diem protested, sending Thuc to Rome to appeal the decision. In the meantime the Vatican announced the appointment of a relatively unknown cleric as the Apostolic Vicar to Vietnam, a man not sympathetic with Diem’s political agenda. Diem’s response was to order Vietnam postal authorities to seize all mail announcing the priest’s appointment to the bishopric. Thuc not only lost his bid for cardinal, but the new bishop threatened Diem with excommunication.
Also of great concern to the Vatican was the persecution of Buddhists during Diem’s reign, and the motivating factor for this persecution, which included imprisonment and gas attacks, was appalling. “The cardinal’s hat was not the extent of Thuc’s ambition,” du Berrier observed. “Mgr. Thuc intended to become pope; nothing less.” The author then went on to explain that brother Diem knew “the Supreme Pontiff is chosen from among the prelates of a country where the Catholic majority is absolute…” Diem deliberately pared down the official figures for Buddhism in the country to 20 percent, and then set out to drive the Buddhists from their pagodas. “This religious fanaticism began to disturb the Vatican,” du Berrier wrote. But the persecution of Buddhists eventually backfired, resulting in a resurgence of the sect. Misrepresentation of Buddhist numbers in Vietnam was subsequently detected by a visiting apostolic delegate, who later commented that the 70 percent figure originally assigned by Diem to Catholics belonged instead to “the people of the pagodas.”
The coup that toppled the Diem regime resulted in the civil war observant Catholics had long predicted. Fears that those Catholics loyal to the Diem regime would be hunted down by the Viet Cong were realized. But Bp. Thuc would not remain in his country to witness its destruction. “His presence at (the illegal) Vatican II council probably saved his life,” Peregrinus commented in his “Two Bishops in Every Garage.” Thuc scarcely took a conservative stance at the council; one author reports he openly favored religious liberty and even complained that not enough representatives from other religions had been invited to the council. He also served on several of the same committees as Lefebvre, which may explain his loose affiliation with the only other power structure similar to his family’s own — the Society of St. Pius X, operated by his Vatican II friend Marcel Lefebvre.
Thuc consecrations re-examined
Two lines primarily feed the Traditional hierarchy – those consecrated and ordained by Marcel Lefebvre (now deceased) and the successors of the late Bp. Ngo-dinh-Thuc. Hugo Maria Kellner and others have successfully demonstrated the apostasy of Lefebvre’s consecrator, Achille Lienart, and in so doing cast grave doubt on Lefebvre’s validity and the validity of any he ordained and consecrated. In addition Kellner and others have exposed Lefebvre’s embroilment in the Trinitarian heresy, adding fuel to the fire. Although Thuc resided at Lefebvre’s Econe seminary for a time, it appears his allegiance to Lefebvre was influenced by information provided by Kellner on Lienart and the rivalry that later erupted following his consecration of those who would eventually consecrate Vezelis and Musey. In a letter written to Lefebvre by Bp. Thuc and posted on the Internet by Gordon Bateman, Thuc tells Lefebvre his orders are invalid and offers to consecrate him and reordain all his priests.
Until only recently Bp. Thuc was considered orthodox by many, and his consecrations and ordinations valid if illicit. But a closer look at Thuc’s activities suggest that far from escaping unscathed, he occupies the same boat with Lefebvre and for similar reasons. Below the testimony of five individuals — two priests, a Catholic scholar, a Catholic author and a Traditionalist layman — will be presented to demonstrate this accusation.
(Fr.) Anthony Cekada, in his examination of the Thuc consecrations, offers the following evidence concerning Thuc’s state of mind at the time of the consecrations. Speaking of letters he read from Thuc himself forwarded by others. Cekada wrote: “The last (des Lauriers) document is a 1982 letter (in Latin) responding to an inquiry from Bp. Guérard. Several months after his consecration, Bp. Guérard heard that Abp. Thuc had once previously concelebrated the Novus Ordo on Holy Thursday, 1981 with the Bishop of Toulon. The Archbishop admits it was true — but closes with this touching phrase: ‘I hope that God has not judged me so cruelly, for I erred in good faith.’”
Confirming and strengthening this lapse on Thuc’s part, Fr. Noel Barbara, in his 1984 evaluation of the consecrations writes: “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…” Barbara states that this time period of Thuc’s affiliation with the Novus Ordo at Toulon began with Thuc’s arrival in France in 1978 following the death of Paul 6. Previously Paul 6 excommunicated Thuc for his consecration of Clemente Dominguez Gomez in Spain at the behest either of Marcel Lefebvre himself or one Mgr. Revaz at Lefebvre’s seminary in Econe. (“Archbishop Lefebvre knew Archbishop Ngo-dinh-Thuc quite well from the Second Vatican Council,” Fr. Barbara related.) Later Thuc reconciled himself with Rome on Sept. 7, 1976 after apologizing to Jose Cardinal Bueno y Monreale for “the immense damage suffered by the Church since its unity was in danger.” In her article, Frazier refers to the consecrations as valid but illicit owing to Thuc’s failure to obtain the required papal mandate. Another source confirms this statement. Since Thuc was apparently in full communion with the Novus Ordo church both prior to and following his consecration of Gomez and ordination of several priests in Spain, was Gomez’ consecration performed in the old rite or the new? (One author claims that the new rite was used; others are uncertain.) Was Paul 6 likely to identify the old rite as valid in light of his constitution advancing the new rites of Holy Orders, where he states: “It is our will that these our decrees and prescriptions be firm and effective now and in the future, notwithstanding, to the extent necessary, the apostolic constitutions and ordinances issued by our predecessors and other prescriptions, even those deserving particular mention and amendment.” Was Thuc acting with semi-approval in performing the old rite, given Montini’s reference to “not withstanding, to the extent necessary” his predecessors’ constitutions, etc…, “even those deserving particular mention and amendment?” And what exactly should we make of Montini’s cryptic reference “to the extent necessary?” Was he referring to whatever might be necessary to mislead and pacify Traditionalists with empty ritual and/or create sacrilegious clerics?
In May of 1981, Bp. Thuc consecrated Rev. Guérard des Lauriers only one month after concelebrating the Novus Ordo mass in Toulon, and according to Fr. Barbara, while still attending and functioning in the Novus Ordo church in Toulon. He consecrated three bishops — des Lauriers, Adolfo Zamora and Moises Carmona — between May and October of 1981. Frazier and the online encyclopedia “Science Daily” report that John Paul 2 held these consecrations “lawful but illicit.” It is important to note that no one is sure of the origin of the holy oils used for Thuc’s consecrations, but one thing is certain. Assuming that Fr. Barbara is right about Thuc (and other evidence confirms this) and given that the Novus Ordo still observes the practice of consecrating holy oils only on Holy Thursday, these oils were those most readily available to Thuc. (The use of holy oils in the sacrament constitutes remote matter.) Following Vatican II, oils used for sacramental rites often were not olive oil, which always had been prescribed by the Church in the past, for obvious reasons.
And so there are many things to consider, many doubts. After all, Thuc did not issue his Munich Declaration declaring the See vacant until Feb. 25, 1982. Even then, he signed himself as the Archbishop of Bullae Regiae, an appointment he received from Paul 6. Thuc presented no Profession of Faith or abjuration of his heresy with his Declaration; no denunciation of Vatican II, which he signed and attended side-by-side with Lefebvre. Fr. Barbara cites this as an indication of his still existing ties with the Novus Ordo and states he twice warned Thuc that his actions were destructive of the Church. Barbara also claims that of the eight bishops consecrated by Thuc (and some claim there were others), only des Lauriers, Carmona and Zamora were not apostates. Other authors support this evaluation. (As stated above under “Decisions,” below, the Church never has considered the ordinations or consecrations of apostates valid.) In addition to his Novus Ordo affiliations, Thuc apparently at least entertained the material/formal view of des Lauriers concerning the occupancy of the Holy See up to the time of his Declaration. This is confirmed in a letter written by Mme. Heidi Hagen of Switzerland, his primary defender and ardent supporter. Fr. Thomas Vaillancourt had written to Hagen on April 14, 1988, asking whether Thuc’s signature as Archbishop of Bullae Regiae indicated he yet recognized Paul 6 as pope, since he recognized the validity of the appointment. “If so, how did he justify the consecrations?” Vaillancourt queried Hagen. Hagen responded as follows in a letter dated April 21, 1988: “Msgr. Thuc accepted the materialiter/formaliter thesis of Mgr. Guérard des Lauriers, i.e. he recognized the validity of the appointment of Paul 6 but did NOT follow the heresies of Vatican II, as clearly demonstrated by his further actions.” (Really??? This certainly sounds like an acceptance of the material/formal position.) Father Barbara notes that only after des Lauriers had explained the material/formal thesis (Cassiciacum) to Thuc, and Thuc agreed with him on this position that des Lauriers agreed to go ahead with the consecration. But Mssrs. Hiller and Heller, publishers of the German publication “Einsicht,” reported that des Lauriers held material/formal only until confronted on its orthodoxy by Thuc before his consecration. They report that des Lauriers then threw his thesis out the window in order to become a bishop. Another account however reports that Thuc readily agreed with des Lauriers’ thesis and this is why he consecrated him. Yet Thuc’s actions as late as 1982 and his main supporter’s testimony seem to be the most reliable evidence of Thuc’s true position.
While the des Laurier version of this heresy is considerably more elaborate, (Peregrinus claims it runs to “hundreds” of pages), the basic thesis is the same. Gallicanism’s entire thrust was to place the government of the Church in the hands of the clergy and laity, for they held a Council superior to the Pope, and rejected the idea of papal infallibility. In effect, this is exactly what Traditionalists today have done. Gallicanism was condemned by Alexander VIII Pope Pius VI and finally by Pope Pius IX and the Vatican Council. The condemnations made by Pope Pius VI in “Auctorem Fidei” contain numerous other references to disorders proposed in his day that have become a reality in our own time. In the world of Traditional selective Catholicism, holding the material/formal position may seem to be an accepted stance, since so few Traditionalists know their faith. But in the real Catholic world it is considered a heresy and an old one at that, and moreover a heresy that desires to set up a democratic Church presided over only by a figurehead pope. This is the movement that paved the way for the Protestant Reformation and later resulted in the creation of the Old Catholic Church. As the proofs below indicate, this leaves Traditionalists without a leg to stand upon concerning their claim to true Catholicism. For if the successors of Lefebvre and Thuc are doubtfully priests and bishops, then neither can their followers be certain they are receiving the Sacraments and practicing the Catholic faith, when certitude is demanded of Catholics where the Sacraments and the faith are concerned. This leaves them with only one choice, according to Pope Innocent XI: to safeguard the validity of the Sacraments they must refrain from receiving them completely. Even where a probable opinion for their validity exists (and the doubtful validity of the clerics above can scarcely qualify as probable) the safer opinion must always be used in regard to the Sacraments.
Four Traditionalists doubt the consecrations
We already have presented the testimony of Fr. Noel Barbara concerning Thuc’s celebration of the Novus Ordo Missae, but Fr. Barbara was not alone in doubting the validity of the Thuc consecrations. In 1986, Rev. George Paront, Director of St. John the Evangelist Institute of Roman Catholic Studies, circulated audiotapes and corresponding photostats corroborating Rev. Barbara’s statements. He believed that Thuc continued to hold Novus Ordo views and for this reason he assumed Thuc consecrated des Lauriers, Carmona and Zamora in the new rite of ordination/consecration introduced by Paul 6. He bases this on the fact that Thuc retained his title as Abp. of Bulla Regiae, a titular title granted him by Paul 6, even signing his 1982 declaration that the Roman See is vacant using this title. He noted that Thuc accepted his removal by Paul 6 from the titular see of Hue granted him by John 23 and in so doing recognized Paul’s authority. He noted that bishops of titular sees possess no jurisdiction according to Can. 348. He cuts Thuc no slack in the knowledge department, noting that ignorance can be ruled out as a mitigating factor since Thuc possessed three doctorates, two from pontifical universities and one from the University of Sorbonne. He strengthened his case by referring also to Bp. Zamora’s doubts concerning his reception of valid episcopal orders. Paront also believed that Carmona admitted being consecrated in the new rite in a letter printed in “Sangre de Cristo Newsnotes” and circulated to various Traditionalist Mass centers. The letter does seem to confirm Paront’s observation that Carmona is more concerned about being suspended than he is about the validity of the rite used in his consecration. Carmona, oddly, never flatly denies the new rite was used and the letter is generally ambiguous. Paront stresses throughout his tapes that the consecrations are in serious doubt for a variety of reasons, noting that such doubt is all that is necessary to avoid those receiving orders.
To prove his belief that the new rite was used for the consecrations, Paront points to Thuc’s February 1982 declaration. In the French and Latin translations, this declaration reads that “God chooses to refuse the grace” of the new sacramental rites introduced by Paul 6. Such a refusal is certainly not the same as claiming invalidity for these “sacraments.” The English version, however, reads: “Besides this “mass,” which does not please Our Lord, are many things which are rejected by God, such as the new rites…” Also, in listing the sources on which his declaration is based, Thuc mentions only the “Pontificale Romanum, de Consecratione electi in Episcopum, Forma Juramente.” Paront asks, “Which one?” since no date for the pontifical is provided. Refusing grace to a sacrament indicates a lack of liciety, not validity, as when a valid but illicit priest celebrates Mass and consecrates the Host. If Thuc truly believed the rites illicit but valid, there is no reason why he would have hesitated to use the new rite in the consecrations.
Based on this and other reports, Prof. Benjamin Dryden announced in his “For New Problems, a New Canon,” (1982) that if Thuc was a functional member of the Novus Ordo church at the time of the consecrations, which to all appearances he most certainly was, then “the consecrations were illicit for that reason and could not be made licit” by the February 1982 declaration. Dryden further observed that the allegations made against Thuc were confirmed by “biographical data later published by “Einsicht” magazine, friends and supporters of the Vietnamese prelate” and Thuc’s own admissions of his activities.
Mme. De Boismenu of France, in a letter to the “Francinta Messenger” took those to task touting the consecrations as legitimate, reminding Traditionalists that Pope Pius XII declared schismatic bishops ipso facto excommunicated in 1951; therefore the matter is settled. De Boismenu noted that:
• Rev. Guérard des Lauriers kept his consecration by Thuc a secret for months
• When discovered, he admitted he acted contrary to theological and canonical laws
• During des Lauriers’ consecration all the preliminary ceremonies where the candidate swears allegiance to the Pope and submission to the Traditions of Holy Church were omitted
• Bp. Thuc was pressured by “Einsicht” publishers Hiller and Heller to perform the consecrations and he did not understand the declarations he signed
• Thuc attends conciliar ceremonies in Toulon Cathedral (this in 1983)
• Thuc recently consecrated a notorious homosexual (Datessan?) who also is in full communion with the Conciliar church and JP2
• This most recent consecration raised a huge scandal, which “Einsicht” carefully stifled
In short, there were many who did not accept the Thuc consecrations as legitimate at the time, and as a closer examination will reveal, with good reason.
The curious case of Jean Gerard Roux
One of many bishops Thuc is said to have consecrated, Jean Gerard Roux, popped up suddenly in 1993 claiming Thuc consecrated him in 1982, two months after the release of Thuc’s first declaration. He was allegedly consecrated by Thuc in Loano, Italy on April 18, 1982, yet in their March, 1994 “Einsicht” publishers Hiller and Heller denied this was possible, attesting that on that day Bp. Thuc was with Heller’s family in Munich. “Einsicht” launched an investigation into Roux’s background but was unable to verify his ordination. At best, Hiller stated, Roux was clerici vaganti of the Orthodox persuasion, so was scarcely material for episcopal consecration. Several possible dates and ordaining bishops appear in Roux’s “lineage” and the Orthodox “Bp.” Joel de la Bernadie as well as Richard Bedingfield of South Africa also are named as consecrating bishops. “Einsicht” chides Mme. Heidi Hagen for her promotion of Roux and warns the faithful that unless and until Roux proves his orthodoxy, he is to be avoided. But the damage has been done. Roux has created several “bishops” of his own, among them Thomas Fouhy, the married “priest” from New Zealand and Jose Lopez-Gaston, (also married). Lopez-Gaston in turn consecrated Emmanuel Korab, now a “cardinal” appointed by Victor von Pentz (Linus II), and he ordained Rama Coomeraswamy, reportedly with the assistance of the late Rev. Malachi Martin.
In his Feb. 1994 edition, Heller already had exposed Hagen as promoting Thuc, who never authorized her “Ouevre missionaire sacerdotale Mgr. Pierrre Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc” organization, nor even knew the woman personally. He accused Hagen of circulating false and misleading information, promoting Bps. Roux and Main, recommending them as consecrators and establishing another so-called society not sanctioned by Bp. Thuc. “Thanks to the convincing maneuvers of Mme. Hagen, a number of candidates have been consecrated who lack every qualification and are in fact purely mitre bearers who only have damaged the resistance,” Heller wrote. He warns Traditionalists not to cooperate with her or lend any credence to her circulars. He accuses her not only of acting against the best interests of the Church but of disrupting unity and “weaken(ing) the resistance, only to make it ridiculous.”
Unfortunately Heller did not mention another equally scandalous “prelate” by name in this issue, one whose lineage was at least as questionable as Roux’s and who, despite these flaws, Hagen actively promoted for the office of Pope. This man is “Bp.” Oliver Oravec, better known to his critics simply as “Ollie O.” Bp. Robert McKenna consecrated Oravec Oct. 21, 1988, but obviously failed to conduct the necessary research to determine his qualifications for consecration. The renegade Czechoslovakian bishop Felix Maria Davidek ordained Oravec, after spending time in a Czechoslovakian prison from the early 1950s until 1964. When Davidek was released, his first impulse was to contact one Ludmilla Javarova, who had expressed aspirations to the priesthood. Davidek “was an impassioned man who, from the beginning of his seminary studies, had difficulty with the official Church.” One of his “passions” was a thirst for the theology of Teilhard Chardin. Davidek ordained Ludmilla in 1970, after holding a council in 1968 to explore the issue of the people’s role in the church and women’s role in particular. Davidek ordained Oravec in February, 1968.
According to the “National Catholic Reporter,” Davidek consecrated some 17 bishops without Vatican approval (and a total of 68 priests altogether). “Serious doubts exist about the validity of some ordinations, particularly those performed by Davidek,” the article stated. “Davidek suffered from schizophrenia… and doubted the validity” of several of his ordinations.” Even though this is the NO church speaking here, Davidek cannot have been orthodox, as revealed by his actions, and may well have been deranged mentally from his prison experience. This definitely calls into question his ability to form the proper intention necessary to priestly ordination. Certainly Oravec’s ordination is in doubt, since Davidek could not have possessed the intention to “do what the Church does” if he was contemplating (and the dates show he was so contemplating) the ordination of women. A doubtful priest cannot accept episcopal “consecration.” But this did not prevent McKenna from consecrating, or Heidi Hagen from praising Oravec to the skies and recommending he become Pope.
Mention of her promotion of Oravec is made in a letter addressed to Nicholas Hettinga, Utrecht, the Netherlands, from Bp. Moises Carmona, In his letter Carmona cautioned Hettinga about Oravec, stating: “In view of Father Oravec’s consecration, Bp. McKenna must have been in a hurry…to add …to…the number of bishops who think as he himself does, that the See is not vacant…’Papa–materialiter.’” This view “causes one to laugh, saying a heretical pope loses his jurisdiction, but keeps his dignity…This Father Oravec has never been mentioned as a ‘Traditionalist’ and not until now has his name come into the limelight. Some have suggested that he be a candidate for the papacy in an Incomplete Council, but we’ve got many reasons to distrust him, for he belongs to the Society of Jesus…Had he been an authentic Traditionalist, he would have denounced that Society, as Fr. Saenz Arriaga has done. (By) staying in it, one can say that he has been in agreement with everything that the Jesuits have now brought about.”
Hettinga sent a copy of the letter to this author, noting that “Heidi Hagen…can apparently, and without the least difficulty, …suggest as candidate for the Pope Oliver Oravec on the one hand, and on the other…Fr. Jan Sieradzen.” Sieradzen promoted a papal election briefly in his “Regnum Dei.” He held, however, the strange position that bishops are not the successors of the Apostles, (a clearly de fide teaching of the Church, DZ 2145.) but only delegates of the pope. This betrays a gross misunderstanding of the true teaching on this subject, confusing the power of orders with that of jurisdiction. Bishops are the successors of the Apostles, but they must receive their jurisdiction from the pope. “A bishop then is only a successor of the Apostles when he belongs to that body which was instituted for the government of the Church. Now he cannot belong to that body without being admitted (cf. Tridentine Session 23, Can. 8) or confirmed by its head, the pope; for all members of a body must be subordinate to the head and receive their influence from it.” Sieradzan did, however, ask Oravec to submit proof of who ordained and consecrated him. Oravec owned property in Ontario, Canada. He spent time in Ontario with Sieradzen in the late 1980s during the build-up for a papal election in the U.S., which Sieradzen worked in concert with Hagen to promote. Eventually it was discovered that Sieradzen had Jovite sympathies, (the Jovite “pope” Gregory XVII, was “mystically appointed” in 1968). This would not be worth mentioning if the Jovites had not ordained women priests. This affiliation automatically excluded Sieradzen from inclusion in any conclave or Imperfect Council.
Jones and Hagen corresponded for many years and in the early 1990s Oravec took up residence with Jones in his Westcliffe, Colo. home. (The “Wet Mountain Tribune” in Westcliffe covered a visit by Oravec in 1986). Jones also published many pieces for Nicholas Hettinga after Hettinga denounced the 1990 “papal election” in Delia, Kansas. Jones also continued to support the “Siri Theory” for many years in his newsletter. It is not too far-fetched to speculate that Jones, Sieradzen and Oravec, along with Hettinga and Hagen may have attempted to prevent the discovery and attendance of true bishops and priests at any potential Imperfect Council or conclave. Later, in 1993, Dan Jones joined the Jovite sect and became one of their “bishops.” And it is not idle speculation that Oravec’s association with Sieradzan and probable sympathies for the ordination of women accounted for this.
Today Oravec lives once again in Czechoslovakia where he has been joined off and on by “Cardinal” Emmanuel Korab of the Linus II persuasion. Ollie O also moderated an Internet discussion group here in the States for a time and more than once blocked the posting of papal encyclicals and Catholic doctrine quoted from pre-1959 books to support the “vacant see” position. His presence in a country where there are possibly true priests is a sad testimony to the true extent of the damage Hagen wrought. Before her death, Hagen was busy pushing for a council and papal election, and certainly Ollie O was at the top of her list.
The Church requires that only worthy candidates be considered for ordination, and many of those ordained and consecrated by Thuc certainly did not qualify as worthy candidates. Clemente Gomez was obviously mentally unfit, considering his visionary nature and later behavior and probably was never validly consecrated at all. As a follower of Paul 6, he also was a heretic. Guérard des Lauriers for all his earlier orthodoxy prior to Vatican II publicly advanced the Gallicanist heresy (material/formal) and therefore was unworthy because of his heresy. Adolfo Zamora initially accompanied Moises Carmona from Mexico as a priest witness and had no intention of being consecrated: Thuc suggested it only after his arrival in Europe, on the spur of the moment. Zamora very well could have been an unwilling candidate, and the theologian Herve classifies unwilling candidates as unfit. Or Zamora’s doubts could have arisen from a different source. He later questioned his consecration in a May 21, 1984 letter to Bishop Louis Vezelis after Traditionalists in Mexico raised questions concerning his validity. Zamora does not specify the source of these objections, but Moises Carmona in a May 16, 1982 letter to a Mexican layman (Alvaro Ramirez Arandigoyen) on the same situation fills in the gaps, although his letter raised more questions than it answered. Carmona gave as his reasoning for receiving consecration the worn-out Traditional excuses based on rules written by Pope Boniface VIII for general use during a sede occupante: “Necessity makes licit what is illicit,” and “One sins against the rule who adheres to the letter and leaves aside the spirit,” (epikeia, also a Gallicanist invention). He admits in his letter that Mexican Traditionalists later questioned the validity of the consecrations, writing: “Some said without any foundation that our consecrations have been invalid because we were consecrated with the new rite; others more serious, based on Canons 953 and 2370 said that the consecrations were valid but illicit and consequently we were suspended…(But) we have relied on these rules, conscious and certain that given the circumstances in which we live these consecrations would not only be valid but licit.” It is possible that Zamora had second thoughts on returning to his native country. Of the two priests, Zamora was the seminary instructor and by all reports Carmona was a simple rural pastor, so the possibility that Zamora was more learned in such things could explain his regrets had he been carried away by a spur-of-the-moment decision.
Were Carmona and Zamora then consecrated in the new rite as Rev. Paront maintained? Carmona is either stating that he and Zamora were consecrated in the new rite, but it is valid; or he is saying he was consecrated in the old rite and there is no basis for the allegations. If this was the case, why did he not clearly insist that the old rite was used exclusively? And what was the real source of Zamora’s doubt? If Fr. Barbara is correct, the remainder of Thuc’s “bishops” were apostates and therefore unworthy candidates altogether. Since these men were not Catholic and Thuc was clearly a schismatic, such consecrations are viewed by the Church as having never occurred. How are we to view the plethora of aberrations in these consecrations? Surely no one who truly desired to embrace the traditional teaching and practice of the Church would have allowed so many omissions and discrepancies to creep into a rite purportedly performed to re-establish the hierarchy in the one true Church of Christ. Had Thuc truly intended to accomplish this, then why were his actions so erratic? Surely the “gullibility” later attributed to Thuc by his less ardent critics cannot efface the sacrileges committed by this man, and the many souls endangered by his actions. While some believe they judge him charitably, the Church holds bishops to a higher standard and Canon Law judges them according to these standards. Bishops are bound to know Canon Law and its penalties in order to teach and govern the faithful and guide their pastors, and clearly Thuc, although familiar with Canon Law, did not take it seriously owing to the general epikeia mentality then prevailing. The rigor of these Canons, however, does not support the wrist-slap of gullibility.
The sanity issue
Were certain critics of Thuc, including Barbara at one point, justified in questioning his sanity, seeing that his consecrations and choices of candidates were suspicious at best? It depends on one’s definition of sanity. One amusing but fitting definition often repeated by those familiar with the AA program runs as follows: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Thuc repeatedly violated the Canon Laws demanding a papal mandate for episcopal consecration to create bishops. He was twice excommunicated for this by the Conciliar church and in addition incurred several ipso facto excommunications, reserved specialissimo modo to a true pope, according to the 1917 Code. This alone prevented him from performing any licit ecclesiastical acts, (Canons 2217 §2, 2222, 2259, 2264). Because he generally chose unworthy candidates, his consecrations seldom failed to create at least local scandal.
Probably the most disturbing aspect of Thuc’s patchwork history is his failure to draw logical conclusions from his own statements and actions, then proceed accordingly. According to Thuc’s own testimony in his autobiography, he stayed briefly at Econe prior to the Palmar consecrations, which Marcel Lefebvre even admits were done at his request, perhaps to spare Thuc embarrassment. In all honesty, Thuc’s reasons for conferring orders at Palmar fell just short of truly delusional. He succumbed to the voices of a false visionary, then almost immediately recovered his “senses,” apologizing to Paul 6 for the Palmar affair and the harm done to the Church. Yet almost immediately he was consecrating bishops once again, this time the occultist Old Catholic Laborie in 1977 and d’Arnoux in 1978. He assisted at the Novus Ordo services in Toulon up to 1982 then abruptly changed direction and issued his first declaration condemning the new “mass” and ecumenism in February 1982. He stated the See of Rome vacant in this declaration, cited Pope Paul IV’s Bull, “Cum ex Apostolatus Officio,” then signed himself as the Abp. of Bullae Regiae, a title voided by Paul IV’s Bull. He issued a second declaration, declared that Angelo Roncalli was never pope, and STILL signed himself as Archepiscopus, whether of Hue, as appointed by Roncalli and hence, revoked by “Cum ex…,” or of Bulla Regiae by Montini, also revoked by Cum ex. Thuc possessed three doctorates and in order to be appointed “archbishop” of Hue, even by Roncalli, he was expected to be of above average education, competence and intelligence. Yet none of these qualities shine forth either before or after the 1981 consecrations. He presented and is represented as a saintly and courageous champion of Tradition, yet he never bothered to defend his often puzzling actions to Traditionalists, denounce allegations harmful to the Traditionalist cause or the faith of Catholics, or even establish the seminary promised in his declaration. In short, Thuc at best was an enigma and at worst was a vacillating fool uncertain of where his true loyalties lie; a man indifferent to the very tenets of faith and morals he professed to hold. Senility; diabetes which he was reportedly suffering from in old age or even the existence of a personality disorder may not be clinically verified, but such a neuropsychiatric diagnosis is not necessary to cast further doubt on Thuc’s true intention in the consecrations.
Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey taught in his seminary textbooks that if a minister possesses two mutually contrary intentions (he gives the example of desiring to baptize but not wishing to do what the Church of Rome does) “that one should be regarded which, all circumstances considered, is predominant…It may be supposed that the intention of Baptizing is prevalent and therefore the Baptism is valid. But the case would be otherwise if the contrary intention certainly prevailed.” For 63 years Thuc was a Catholic in the true sense of the word, albeit an ambitious and worldly one if the accounts of his brother’s presidency are true. For 22 years, after accepting Roncalli’s appointment as titular archbishop of Hue, and subsequently Montini’s appointment to Bulla Regiae; following his acceptance of positions in the Conciliar church and participation in its services, he became a member of the Novus Ordo church and remained one despite exposure to the Traditionalist cause at Econe in 1975. For a bare two years he was identified with Traditional Catholics as the de facto head of the sedevacantist movement. Then came his “kidnapping” by exiled Vietnamese in New York, (some say he went with them willingly) and reports he reconciled with the Conciliar church, retracted his declarations and presumably died “absolved” from his excommunications. Is this last-minute turnaround not perfectly in keeping with the easily influenced, fickle Thuc, the final proof of his true allegiance in the ongoing tug of war between the old and the new? Is it not also proof of a predominant, contrary intention concerning the identity of Christ’s true Church on earth, invalidating the orders he conferred? Because in the final analysis, by his silence or omissions, his perpetual indecisiveness, in apparently returning to the Novus Ordo before his death, he demonstrated his true affiliations. As Terrence Boyle so aptly observed, “(Thuc’s) lineage includes the broadest conceivable spectrum of theologies ever likely to be held by men all claiming to possess valid “Catholic” priestly and episcopal orders that are derived from a single prelate in their lifetimes.” This is truly Thuc’s epitaph, and the question of his sanity becomes irrelevant once the full import of his schismatic behavior is appreciated.
If Thuc did not posses such a contrary intention, if he truly had severed all ties with the Novus Ordo church and intended to confer the consecrations in a solemn and serious manner, how can the following be explained:
1. His continued affiliation with the Novus Ordo Church immediately prior to the consecrations;
2. His retention of the title “Archbishop of Bullae Regiae,” conferred by Paul 6, seen on both the 1982 and 1983 declarations (Thuc’s handwritten draft of the 1982 declaration clearly reads not just Archepiscopus, but Archepiscopus Bulla Regiae);
3. His ties with Marcel Lefebvre, linked to Masonic and other shady activities as Thuc himself was aware: Lefebvre’s own ordinations and consecrations are equally as doubtful as Thuc’s. Isn’t it clear that the minute Lefebvre’s influence began to wane, Thuc was introduced as a backup? Doesn’t this suggest collusion on the part of these “old friends” to actually assure there were no true priests and bishops or possibly to neutralize and monitor the direction of the sedevacantists, especially those in Mexico? Was not this the intention of Paul 6 all along, to destroy the remnant?
4. Uncertainty concerning the rite used for the consecrations despite the “testimony of two witnesses,” (neither Mssrs. Hiller or Heller could at first recall if Thuc used the Roman Missal or the Roman Pontifical). These same two witnesses publicly deny the necessity of the papacy, and on this account are publicly notorious heretics who are ipso facto excommunicated and cannot be considered trustworthy
5. The uncertainty regarding the use of Holy Oils for consecration, when the only logical source of these was the Novus Ordo; also Thuc’s consecration of Gomez, des Lauriers and others on days other than the feast days of the Apostles, as the Church prescribes — a strange departure from “Tradition”;
6. His failure to separate from the Novus Ordo church and issue his declaration that the See was vacant until after the three consecrations were completed;
7. His omission of a public Profession of Faith and abjuration of heresy prior to the consecrations; also Thuc’s failure to specifically condemn Vatican II and the new rite of ordination in either of his declarations;
8. His apparent acceptance of the Gallicanist heresy proposed by des Lauriers and consecration of des Lauriers despite his public propagation of this heresy;
9. His overall failure to thoroughly examine the character and qualifications of every candidate he consecrated and ordained, and his strict obligation to repel the unworthy;
10. His further consecration of apostates (according to Fr. Barbara) following his declaration, indicating his vacillating nature and inconstancy, even possibly mental aberration;
11. His inexplicable failure to use those bishops already consecrated (des Lauriers, Zamora, Carmona) as co-consecrators in future consecrations, to satisfy the requirements of Canon Law;
12. The secret nature of the consecrations;
13. The setting for the consecrations, (Thuc’s tiny apartment, according to Thuc himself in his autobiography. One account includes the mewing of Thuc’s Siamese cats during the consecrations. A photo taken of the Carmona and Zamora consecrations clearly shows a telephone sitting on Thuc’s makeshift table-altar.) These circumstances, also all Thuc’s previously indiscriminate and random consecrations, obviously indicate a lack of reverence for the Sacrament, and Pope Leo XIII required such reverence for validity.
14. The disregard of Thuc and his “bishops” for the papal mandate required for licit ordinations/consecration and their refusal to believe that “in these times” the violation of this law incurs the penalty attached; also his violation of Canons 2331, 2334 and 2336 censuring those who conspire against the authority of the Pope and prevent the exercise of ecclesiastical (especially papal) jurisdiction;
15. The failure, despite early indications to the contrary, of the Thuc bishops to proceed to a papal election, the only possible justification for the consecrations; (with Thuc’s acceptance of material/formal, this obviously was never a serious consideration). At one time, rumors also circulated that Lefebvre would consecrate bishops who would then elect him pope.
16. Thuc’s indifference to the actions of Heidi Hagen and his failure to order Hagen to cease and desist from representing herself as his apologist and official voice.
17. The gravely sinful proliferation of hundreds of likewise doubtfully valid priests as a result of ordinations performed by the bishops he consecrated. Rev. Cornelio Byman, author of “Who Is Msgr. Ngo-dinh-Thuc?” foresaw this situation shortly after Thuc’s consecrations. He wrote: “We Traditionalists are already in trouble with dozens, if not hundreds of false bishops and bastard priests, consecrated and ordained by schismatics. If we don’t stop our apathy in so serious a case, the Catholic Church may be flooded in a short time by hundreds or thousands of vocationless imposters, consecrated and ordained arbitrarily, or having bought their orders.” Fr. Barbara advised Traditionalists to avoid the Thuc priests and bishops entirely owing to communicatio in sacris.
18. Thuc’s apparent return to the Novus Ordo before his death, and his request that those he ordained and consecrated return to that church. This final act clearly defines Thuc’s true intention in administering Holy Orders – the creation of clergy quasi-obedient to Rome per the material/formal umbrella — despite any histrionic objections made by those claiming he was kidnapped and brainwashed.
In 1994, Daniel Leonardi wrote a convincing four-page essay contending that Bp. Thuc could not validly create priests or bishops. He reasoned that without jurisdiction, essential to the mark of apostolicity in the Church, and the papal mandate necessary to licit ordination/consecration, his bishops could not possess any jurisdiction and hence could not be apostolic or belong to the true Church. Add to this the evidence brought forth concerning Thuc’s formal membership in the Novus Ordo; his irreverence in conferring the Sacraments numerous times on unworthy men, and the doubt concerning his true intentions and validity is dealt a mortal blow. P. Pourrat, in his “Theology of the Sacraments,” stated that: “The intention of the minister is that of the church he represents.” This is an important statement because the Catholic Church has never recognized as valid the orders of any sect other than Her own where the matter and form of the rite was lacking. As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the orders bestowed by the NO mirror those confected by the Anglican Church and their Novus Ordo rite of ordination greatly resembles the Edwardine Ordinal. In fact on examination, it could be said that the ordinal is more specific in many points than the NO rite. Certainly those conservative Catholics who supported John Paul 2 and now support Benedict 16; also others among the Traditionalists who recognize these men as true heads of the Church but deny their authority can rightly be reckoned as belonging to this Church, even if only nominally. Thuc was officially affiliated with the Novus Ordo right up to the time he consecrated Carmona and Zamora. The intention of the Novus Ordo and its antipopes has ever been to destroy and tear down all that was ever known as the true Catholic Church. The NO is more than just a non-Catholic sect, it is the anti-church, headed by the abomination, as Pope Paul IV envisioned in writing “Cum ex…”
In his dissertation “The Communication of Catholics With Schismatics,” Rev. Ignatius Szal, stated in 1948 that “Because of recent developments among schismatics in general, much doubt has been cast upon the validity of the orders of certain schismatic priests, and consequently each individual case should be judged on it own merit.” Szal also cites a decision issued by the Holy Office in 1709 considering a request whether heretical and schismatical bishops could be used in Armenia because no others were available for ordaining priests in Isaphan. The Holy Office replied that in no way could this be allowed and that those who had been so ordained were irregular and suspended from the exercise of their Orders. As Szal explains from the beginning of his work, communication with schismatics in religious rites is forbidden because of accompanying dangers such as perversion of faith and scandal to others. This prohibition of the Church, found in Canon 1258, extends not only to active participation with schismatics in rites that are of their nature non-Catholic, but also excludes communication with them in rites which, though peculiarly Catholic, are exercised under the auspices of a non-Catholic sect. This would apply to Traditionalists, who do not qualify as “remnant” Catholics since they cannot pretend to comprise the Church without at least acknowledging the need for a visible head to direct their bishops, who in turn must direct their priests.
In the Appendix to his work “Sacramental Theology,” Rev. Bernard Leeming referred to the opinion of one Pere Bouesse that the Sacraments must be delivered within a “vital context” that encompasses the sacramental sign and the signification of that sign, which is the grace the Sacrament confers. While Leeming noted that this opinion cannot apply to Matrimony, he agreed that the “ecclesiological and sacred setting” of the Sacrament, in its vital context, “has definite application to the case of ‘hole and corner’ ordinations by wandering bishops and deserves further pondering as to that application.” Sacraments conferred outside the will of Christ and the mind of the Church cannot retain their necessary vital context.
Leonardi laid the burden of proof for valid orders at the feet of the Thuc bishops and priests, and this is precisely where it belongs. He entreated his fellow Catholics to follow the teachings of Pope Pius XII in “Mystici Corporis” and “Ad Apostolorum Principis.” He demonstrated that no true Catholic wishing to retain membership in the Church could attend the Masses of those not certainly valid without committing communicatio in sacris, as Fr. Barbara also taught. This, he explained would be using a doubtful opinion in the matter of the validity of the Sacraments, a practice condemned by Pope Innocent XI. Leonardi particularly emphasized that simply by casting these doubts, the orders of those questionably ordained or consecrated were of no use to the laity. This is true because all modern theologians teach that where the validity of the Sacraments, one’s eternal salvation or the rights of a third party are concerned, a probable opinion can never be used to receive the Sacraments. Predictably, his essay was ignored.
As Rev. Byman noted, the apathy of Traditionalists keeps all that has happened in their particular sect in place and assures that all enjoy the continuum of the status quo. Sadly the condition of Traditionalists cannot even be laid to apathy, but to a self-induced state of positive denial concerning their lamentable condition and its remedies. Apathy has descended to an entrenched quietism as Pope Pius XII warned, and this quietism has subsequently assumed such a permanency that there can be little hope of disentangling the majority from its grasp. The question must be asked: What part of the infallible teaching of the Vatican Council on the nature of the primacy is it that Traditionalist clergy fail to understand? And why do they so resolutely resist the Divine principle that a church that refuses to recognize the very premise upon which Christ established it cannot create ministers in His name? It is time that the Traditional church is publicly recognized for what it truly is — an heretical sect without even a pretext to Catholicity; yet another dissident sect operated solely by canonically castrated ministers.