“Lying lips hide hatred: he that uttereth reproach is foolish."- Proverbs 10:18
It is nearly certain that you've heard the name of Archbishop Thuc, but less likely that you've heard the real history of this man, so important to the survival of the true Church after Vatican II. His name is bandied about in chat rooms and whispered in private discussions to the point where the single syllable "Thuc" has nearly taken on mythical proportions. "Mythical" being the operative word. Unfortunately, the talk has too often been in the form of slanderous rumours and the name "Thuc" is ignorantly used as false ammunition against whole segments of the traditional Catholic community.
In Season 5, Trad Controversies, Episode 10: Validity Checkers in the Land of Absurdity on Restoration Radio, the late Father Cekada (may he rest in peace) answers the absurd allegations against Archbishop Thuc, and tells the fascinating and tragic story of the Vietnamese Archbishop’s life and what led to his consecration of bishops without Papal approval, an action which ended in his excommunication from the Novus Ordo church. With his typical wit and intelligence, Father Cekada destroys all arguments in the “Thuc line” debate explaining how claims against the Archbishop are nothing other than absurdities.
Of the few Traditional Catholic apostolates around the world, the truly valid priests and bishops can be traced back - almost to a man - to two archbishops who lived during the time of the Second Vatican Council and who kept alive the true sacraments through their own bravery and suffering. Almost no one in the traditional Catholic community questions the validity of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's actions or whether or not the sacraments he conferred were licit. Without viable evidence, however, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc has been consistently slandered and falsely accused, and his successors have been labelled impostors.
Father says, “Thuc has been slimed for thirty years now on the basis of something where there is absolutely no proof. Evidence has been brought forth that he was able to confer a sacrament and did confer a sacrament and now his reputation is being destroyed by old stories.”
The alleged claims against Archbishop Thuc typically stem from three different accusations:
- He is known to have consecrated bishops and ordained priests who were not worthy nor capable of receiving the sacraments validly.
- There is no evidence that the consecrations of Bishops des Laurier, Carmona and Zamora were validly performed.
- Archbishop Thuc was not in his right mind when he conferred these sacraments.
Concerning the suitability of his ordinands, Father Cekada admits that there are examples of Orders conferred by the Archbishop that were, in hindsight, poor decisions. This was also publicly stated by Archbishop Thuc shortly after the events. However, this in no way constitutes a reason for other Orders from his hands to have been invalid. Though mistakes were made, they did not strip him of his ability to consecrate bishops nor ordain priests.
For the second point, Father scoffs at the acceptance of accusations without evidence, especially when the result is the calumny and slander of an archbishop of the Church. Father Cekada brings to light the teaching of Holy Mother Church in regards to what is necessary for the witnessing of an Episcopal consecration, and how there is absolute proof that these measures were met at the consecrations of Bishops des Laurier, Carmona and Zamora. Father also points out that an out-dated argument regarding the missing documentation of the consecrations was rendered pointless when those documents were brought forth by Bishop Mark Pivarunas, who had been consecrated by Bishop Carmona and who received this written proof shortly following the latter’s death.
Finally, this document, written in perfect Latin in the Archbishop's own hand, shows without question that he was of sane mind and was perfectly aware of what he was doing while conferring these sacraments.
Father Cekada doesn't just make the case for the validity of the consecrations in question, and for the good and holy character of Archbishop Thuc, but bluntly states that, “You would have to be insane to believe any of this nonsense.”
He wraps up the discussion with this:
“The issues that were raised in the 1980s, when we were trying to puzzle this all out, have been resolved. What is required for a sacrament to be valid, the documentation, the facts that have come to light about his character and his conduct have been resolved. For the good of Traditionalists everywhere, these issues need to be put aside now.”