All Souls Day
The following link is posted on a site that has promoted (Peter) Tran Van Khoat as Gregory XVIII, Giuseppe (Cardinal) Siri’s “successor,” for the past two decades: (http://www.tcwblog.com/182861438/6821741/posting/manifest-heretic-khoat-van-tran-in-plush-vn-pad-w-wife). It reveals that Khoat is married (his wife’s name is Nguyen Thi Giang Huong) and has been an international businessman for all these years. Another site lists Khoat as the father of at least two sons (http://ourladysresistance.org/peter-khoat-van-tran.html. (This link is provided only for reader reference; the website creators falsely teach Pope St. Pius X was the last true pope.)
This, of course, is no surprise. Since 1989, I have warned Catholics away from Khoat. Why? His 1967 ordination was never confirmed by Traditionalists and could not be confirmed. He is not listed in the Catholic Directories for 1967 or 1968. He arrived in the U.S. with no proof of his ordination, at least none that has ever been seen or could ever be verified. The NO hierarchy may not have been able to easily confirm his credentials because of the war years (1960s, 1970s). They later declared him excommunicated for functioning without their jurisdiction, initially as a Pius X Society “priest,” but were they sure he was ever qualified to possess it? Only they can answer that question.
A 1975 article in a Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas newspaper quotes the head of a “Catholic Conference of Chaffee” as reporting that Khoat had been “relieved of his duties in Saigon and was no longer a representative of any (emph. mine) religious group.” So did NO church officials sanction him or government officials? The South Viet Nam government was not interfering with the functioning of the NO church at that time; this occurred only after 1975, (see https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/vietnam-catholic-church). Was Khoat dismissed by NO officials because he was married? Was he possibly involved in other non-Catholic religious activities as well? The visuals on this Vietnamese language site might offer readers some clues: (http://hotranvietnam.vn/index.php/home/chitiethodongtrantoc/1. And one reader conducting additional research alleges that Khoat may actually be a Viet Nam Buddhist who belongs to the Tran Dynasty! This seems further supported by information below.
I received correspondence regarding this situation with Khoat and his fatherhood/ business dealings several years ago. Because revealing it would have involved crossing Today’s Catholic World editor David Hobson, and because I had been advised by others to wait until a more opportune time to address it, I did not post it to my website. In 2008, Hobson threatened to sue me for comments posted about Khoat. I did correct a typo he objected to, but that was not enough. He eventually attacked my website, which cost me a good chunk of change to rebuild. I had no desire to tangle with him again and every reason to believe he would respond just as hatefully as he did the first time if I tried to forward the information. I have kept all those emails if anyone is interested in corroborating this.
Catholic theologians teach no one is obliged to correct someone if there is good reason to believe they will not listen. Neither Hobson nor his followers have ever given the slightest indication they are open to any criticism of Khoat or the Siri fantasy. But now Hobson has been forced to admit Khoat has perpetrated a gigantic hoax on those belonging to his papal restoration crowd. And to his credit he has corrected at least some of the record, but only after Khoat self-published his Catholic Manifesto book. He has yet to take down his many pages supporting Khoat and the Siri “papacy.”
The whole tragedy could have been avoided if the laws and teachings of the Church had been followed in the first place. A doubtful cleric is no cleric at all. It is the unanimous opinion of theologians, the theological manuals state, that a doubtful opinion regarding the validity of the Sacraments is not sufficient to justify their reception. And being unanimous, such an opinion must be followed, according to the teaching of Pope Pius IX. We have grave doubt that Khoat received valid ordination — if he received orders at all, it was from an NO bishop who possessed no jurisdiction to ordain him in the first place. Ecumenical councils and the continual magisterium have consistently nullified all the acts of antipopes and their illegitimate hierarchies. We have only Khoat’s say-so that he was ordained in 1967, in the old rite, and there is nothing to back this up. Do we really trust this man to tell anyone the truth?!
The laws governing papal election and clergy functioning without papal approval are deadly serious matters, but no one takes them seriously. Pope Pius XII made obedience to papal and church law a necessity for Church membership, so those not obeying these laws and openly flaunting them cannot be considered Catholic. But who listens to the popes? Who follows their teachings and instructions? Certainly not Traditionalists who would rather receive “Catholic” truths from men Christ considers hirelings and false shepherds. It is total disregard for and outright hatred of both papal laws and Canon Law that has led all these people down this road; that and the refusal to perform due diligence in vetting the “clergy” to whom they entrust the most precious gift of all — their eternal salvation.
The following background on Khoat could have been discovered by those who truly value their faith, and the people so zealously promoting these fraudulent characters. Why did they failed to uncover it? That is a question that demands answers.
A little history
President Ngo dinh Diem (a Catholic) was the leader of (South) Vietnam during the 1950s and up to his assassination in 1963. He had several brothers, two of whom were Ngo dinh Nhu and Ngo dinh Thuc, the Traditionalist bishop. In his capacity as bishop, Ngo dinh Thuc helped his brother rule South Vietnam; his assigned area was Cochin, China. He was very ambitious and his brother actively campaigned to have him appointed cardinal.
Cochin China was a hotbed for criminal activity dating back to the 1920s. Chinese criminal organizations infiltrated existing Viet Nam gangs and crime families during this time period and set up camp there. This region was often referred to as the birthplace of the “Vietnamese Mafia.” A young street thug named Bai Vien headed the criminal activities of what was known as the Binh Xuyen in Cochin during this time period. After spending many years in prison, Bay Vien escaped and went back to his old haunts and habits. His organization later evolved into a secret society. In August 1945 the Viet Minh’s chief of Cochin China, Tran Van Giau, formed an alliance with Bay Vien and others against the French.
Competing for power with Bai Vien were two sects, one of which was “the monotheistic, syncretic religion officially established in the city of Tây Ninh in southern Vietnam in 1926 known as Cao Dai, or Caodaism.” The official name of the religion means “The Third Great Universal Religious Amnesty… Caodaism teaches that, throughout human history, God the Father has revealed his truth many times through the mouths of many prophets, but these messages were always either ignored or forgotten due to humanity’s susceptibility to secular desires. Adherents believe that the age has now come when God speaks to humanity directly” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caodaism). The sect has its own “pope” and “hierarchy. (Compare this definition to Khoat’s description of his new book, “A unique book that prepares us for the “true new time” on Earth…Khoat’s next book “will be about ‘God Our Heavenly Father’s “True New Time” on Earth …called the Catholic Revolution” (https://outskirtspress.com/catholicmanifesto; also https://selfpublishingauthor.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/introducing-rev-khoat-van-tran-ph-d-author-of-catholic-manifesto-a-trilogy/). So was Khoat claiming all this time to be a Caodaist pope or a Catholic Pope?! Was he a Caodaist, a Buddhist or both? At this point, only Khoat himself knows, and he isn’t telling.)
Ngo dinh Nhu, brother of Ngo dinh Diem and Ngo dinh Thuc, was married to a Buddhist woman who converted to Catholicism. Madame Nhu’s maiden name was Tran van. Her father, Tran van Chuong was the Vietnamese ambassador to Washington, Canada, Argentina, and Brazil, and his wife was a Vietnam representative to the UN. The historian Hilaire du Berrier (Background to Betrayal, p. 46) wrote that Diem established his political base on his brothers and immediate family, and then, “Beyond them would come the in-laws, and their in-laws, spreading downward through ever widening rings of cousins…Wherever one looked there were only Ngo dinhs and Tran vans…” Du Berrier describes the Ngo dinhs and Tran Vans as Viet Nam royalty. Khoat claims to have met Ngo dinh Thuc only once after coming to the U.S., but we suspect there is far more of a connection there than Khoat was willing to reveal.
The Viet Nam war began in earnest during the Johnson administration, ending in 1975. It was at this time that Khoat emigrated to the U.S., according to court documents later filed in 1996 (https://www.courtlistener.com/opinion/1657831/tran-v-fiorenza/). We believe Tran van Khoat may be related to Madame Nhu, which is how he obtained citizenship so quickly, long before the “boat people” he came with were able to do so. In 1977 Khoat bought a Baptist church he used for services to minister to the Vietnamese — Vietnamese Resurrection Church dedicated by Marcel Lefebvre. Eventually these Vietnamese left him to open their own church within the Novus Ordo diocese there. In the mid-1980s, Khoat sold the Baptist church to the Buddhists. Where the money came from originally to purchase this church and where it went when it was sold is not clear.
As the court document shows, Khoat represented a number of fishermen from a village in Viet Nam. He said they were distant relatives and acquaintances but one article states none of them even knew him until he began organizing the immigrants in Ft. Chafee, Arkansas in 1975 (see quotes from article above). While he contended with Novus Ordo authorities for years over running Resurrection Church under their auspices, he eventually joined forces with Lefebvre who then dedicated the church. The Novus Ordo declared he had been automatically excommunicated for this action and for not deeding the church over to the diocese, as the court documents demonstrate. If they knew anything about his Saigon separation, they do not indicate it. But transparency on this subject would have gone a long way to clarify the situation and protect others from being duped by Khoat.
A Tran Van Khoat also is connected with a company called Keystone Development Management SA in Switzerland, which could be connected to the Keystone Development Co. in the U.S. Two separate articles in the Stroudburg, Pennsylvania Pocono Record, written in 2001 detail what homeowners describe as the unethical mortgage maneuvers used by this company to acquire real estate and what they suffered as a result of these practices. (Google Unreal Deals: inflated prices spur mortgage mess). In 2010, the Keystone Development Management SA was deleted from the commercial register in Geneva, Switzerland. The firm went bankrupt in June 2005 shortly after a Swiss financial publication reports that Keystone went into “liquidation,” as reported here: (https://www.moneyhouse.ch/en/company/keystone-development-management-sa-en-21474044571. Tran Van Khoat is listed as the contact for liquidation along with a Quang Thach Ngo. In the autobiography for his newly released book, Catholic Manifesto, Khoat mentions his business activities (https://selfpublishingauthor.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/introducing-rev-khoat-van-tran-ph-d-author-of-catholic-manifesto-a-trilogy/), identifying Switzerland as one of his bases of operation.
“Fr.” Khoat and Siri
Later Khoat accepted money sent to Gary Giuffre by Hutton Gibson to visit Siri in Italy, then eventually declared himself to be Siri’s successor. All this was based only on Khoat’s accounts of his trip to Italy. No documentation from Siri was ever presented confirming the fact he was pope, that he discussed his “papacy” with Khoat, that he was a “prisoner,” that Khoat’s “orders” were regularized as he claims on Hobson’s site, etc. Several Traditionalist writers, including Hutton Gibson, eventually abandoned the Siri theory as promoted by Gary Giuffre, who miserably failed to prove his case for Siri as pope. And the funding of that project began in earnest in 1991, following David Bawden’s “election”! They eventually abandoned their efforts because the facts could not and did not prove the case. In his January 2006 newsletter, The War Is Now, Gibson concludes: “Gary was an extremely selective investigator who thought to cover the fact that he covered facts.” Nuff said.
My personal experience with Khoat occurred in March of 1989 when, at the invitation of David Bawden, I attended a religious retreat Khoat hosted in Port Arthur, Texas Bawden had been in contact with Khoat since October of 1988, when he traveled to Texas to speak to him about Khoat’s meeting with Siri that May. He later went to Port Arthur to study under Khoat in February of 1989. When I first entered Khoat’s rectory, I was shocked to find a large picture of Karol Wojtyla hung over the entrance to his office. When I asked Bawden about it, the excuse was given that he used it to lure people in, then would explain the Traditionalist stance. But I wasn’t convinced. The slide presentation I attended given by Giuffre to promote the Siri “papacy” was not convincing either. Something was off, and I would later find out why my radar was sending urgent signals.
During the retreat, Khoat made several outrageous statements, suggestive of what Bawden had already revealed in a letter: his intention to establish a Catholic Secret Society based on the Essenes, an idea favored by Traditionalists Dennis D’Amico (aka Ely Jason) and Spark* editor Christopher Shannon. He was very interested in the Essenes, as were those who were connected with Britons Catholic Library. Towards the end of the retreat, he denied that the documents of the ordinary magisterium could contain infallible statements and limited the incidence of infallibility to rare occasions. He also endorsed the material/formal heresy, as did the Thucites. On hearing these heresies, I stood up during the retreat session, told him he was teaching heresy, left the retreat and returned home a few days later, in time for Easter. (There were several witnesses to this among those also attending the retreat.) Bawden remained in Port Arthur for an indefinite period of time after my departure. He did not leave Texas for Kansas until April 19. From April 5-April 8, 1989, Bawden does not make it clear exactly where he was.
In 2007 or 2008, Bawden posted on his website that Khoat officiated at a Buddhist wedding on April 8 but does not say whether this ceremony was held or how he knew about the ceremony. (I left Bawden in March 2007.) Bawden states on his site that Khoat’s family had recently converted from Buddhism and notes that under Canon Law, by marrying the Buddhist couple, Khoat was more or less guilty of communicatio in sacris. Bawden also lists some of Khoat’s questionable business dealings. In March of 2008, David Hobson posted documents on his website that prove Bawden had completely accepted the Siri “fact,” as Hobson called it and had even approached a “Siri bishop” for ordination while in Texas with Khoat. This is documented with Bawden’s own letters at http://www.todayscatholicworld.com/mar08tcw.htm#kook-in-kan. I have signed letters from Bawden which show I never realized he accepted the Siri theory and did not approve of his studies with Khoat. This even before I journeyed to Texas for the retreat.
In attempting to counter Bawden’s claims regarding Khoat’s business practices, Hobson wrote on his site: “Fr. Khoat did no wrong here. I have gone through hundreds of documents concerning his life and business dealings — what is the point, here?” Well the point is that where there is smoke a fire often exists, and a meticulous investigation needs to be conducted. I am sure Mr. Hobson is beginning to understand this, now that he has been badly burned and his followers blinded by the dense smoke this fire created for so many years. But if he isn’t aware of all the background information above, he cannot possibly come completely clean with his readers. And he still has yet to admit that those who divested themselves of Giuffre, for failing to prove Siri was really the pope elected following John 23, were right all along. He also claims that the “sacraments” Khoat administered to the papal restoration group were valid until only recently, when he “suddenly” became a heretic. But there was nothing sudden about Khoat’s change of heart; no one can be certain he was ever a priest in the first place.
As documented in The Phantom Church in Rome and elsewhere, Siri was not a Catholic cardinal going into the conclave to begin with. He proved this beyond a reasonable doubt by remaining a prominent member of the Novus Ordo hierarchy, excommunicating himself by accepting John 23 as a true pope and participating in succeeding conclaves. What “prisoner pope” elects a new “pope”? Following such theories down the proverbial rabbit hole and trying to make sense of anything only leads to a condition approaching total insanity. We decided a long time ago we were not going there. Who needs drama and make-believe when we have1,958 years of Catholic teaching to guide us!