Documentary related to John Paul II excommunicated archbishop Thuc
VATICAN CITY (NC) Pope John Paul II has excommunicated an exiled Vietnamese archbishop and six of his followers, including an American. The Church decision was directed against Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc, the 85 year old former archbishop of Nue, (sic - Hue) Vietnam, who currently lives in France.
A document called a ''notification" signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the excommunication was ordered "by special mandate" of Pope John Paul because of Archbishop Thuc’s illicit ordinations (sic - consecrations) of bishops and preists and his statement last year that the Holy See is vacant. The Archbishop had been excommunicated in 1976 for ordaining bishops in Spain without the authorization of Pope Paul VI. The excommunication was lifted the next year by the Vatican after Archbishop Thuc asked pardon from Jose Cardinal Bueno y Monreale of Seville, Spain, for the "immense damage suffered by the Church, since its unity was placed in danger."
One of the Spaniards illicitly ordained a bishop in 1976 was Clemente Dominguez Gomez, now 37, who declared himself "Pope Gregory XVII" after Pope Paul’s death in 1978 and continues to insist that the current pope is not a valid successor of Peter.
The excommunication of Archbishop Thuc centers on the 1981 episcopal ordinations (sic) of French Dominican Guerard des Lauries and two Mexicans, Noise (sic - Moises) Carmona and Adolpho Zamora. Carmona in turn ordained two Mexicans and an American, George Musey, to the priesthood.
Archbishop Thuc comes from a once prominent Vietnamese family which was politically powerful in South Vietnam during the early years after the 1954 split of the country into North and South. His brother, Ngo Dinh Diem, ruled South Vietnam from 1955 until 1963 when Diem and another brother were killed during a coup.
Declaration of Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc
How does the Catholic Church appear today as we look at it? In Rome, John Paul II reigns as "Pope," surrounded by the body of Cardinals and of many bishops and prelates. Outside of Rome, the Catholic Church seems to be flourishing, along with its bishops and priests. The number of Catholics is great. Daily the Mass is celebrated in so many churches, and on Sundays the churches are full of many faithful who come to hear the Mass and receive Holy Communion.
But in the sight of God, how does today’s Church appear? Are the Masses — both the daily ones and those at which people assist on Sundays — pleasing to God? By no means, because that Mass is the same for Catholics as it is for Protestants — therefore it is displeasing to God and invalid. The only Mass that pleases God is the Mass of St. Pius V, which is offered by few priests and bishops, among whom I count myself.
Therefore, to the extent that I can, I will open seminaries for educating candidates for that priesthood which is pleasing to God.
Besides this "Mass," which does not please God, there are many other things that God rejects: for example, changes in the ordination of priests, the consecration of bishops, and in the sacraments of Confirmation and of Extreme Unction.
Moreover, the "priests" now hold to:
3)the adoration [or cult] of and;
4)the freedom to embrace any religion whatsoever;
5) the unwillingness to condemn heresies and to expel the heretics.
Therefore, in so far as I am a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, I judge that the Chair of the Roman Catholic Church is vacant; and it behooves me, as bishop, to do all that is needed so that the Roman Catholic Church will endure in its mission for the salvation of souls.
February 25, 1982 Munich
+ Peter Martin Ngo-dinh-Thuc
The Mental Health of Archbishop Thuc
A Commentary on the Ordinations of Archbishop Thuc
by Rama P. Coomaraswamy, M.D.
Dr. Rama Coomaraswamy is a psychiatrist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, he has been in the practice of medicine for over thirty years and is a member of the American Psychiatric Association.
February 27, 1994
I have been asked me to comment on the diagnostic acumen of those who declare Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc to be senile. Before doing so, I should like to make a few brief comments.
As you know, I have been acquainted with many of the traditional priests in this country from the inception of what has been called the "traditional movement." Who of us can claim that we were not confused during the upheavals initiated by Vatican II?
I have seen practically everyone involved grow and change opinions on major issues. Such is normal and a process that we have all gone through and continue to go through, for the very nature of the struggles in which we are engaged demands that we constantly clarify our thinking as we try to bring our hearts and minds into conformity with the heart and mind of the true Church. This being the case, decrying acts committed and quoting opinions expressed years and often decades ago reflects nothing other than the spirit of controversy engaged in for its own sake or for some lesser motive. If there is no traditional priest alive today who has not changed his mind about issues of major importance such as the authority of the post-Conciliar "popes" or the validity of their sacraments, it seems an arrogance for us to demand of Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc that he should have had, from the moment he was exiled from his country, the perspicacity to understand the entire nature of the post-Conciliar subversion. Let it be noted in passing that almost every party to the present controversy was at one time a staunch supporter of the Lefebvrist deviations.
The Archbishop is accused of scandal. I know of no priest today who is not guilty of scandal--the very nature of the current controversy is, to say the least, scandalous, and those with any sensus Catholicus left are more than weary of it. There are, of course, different degrees of severity with regard to scandal, and I for one refuse to engage in any debate as to which individual is guilty of the greater offenses. However, while on this issue let two things be quite clear:
1) Scandal, regardless of degree, does not and never has invalidated a sacrament. As Pohle Pruess states, the thesis that "The validity of a sacrament does not depend on the personal worthiness of the minister," is a proposition that "embodies an article of faith."
2) For every scandalous act that Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc is accused of, I can match an equally serious scandal on the part of Archbishop Lefebvre--including that of celebrating in the Novus Ordo rite and performing inappropriate ordinations. In fact, some of the theological opinions officially embraced by him and his Society go well beyond the realm of scandal.
Much has been made of Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc's consecrations at Palmar de Troya. These, we are told, "caused initial observers to wonder about his mental competence." What are the facts? Allow me to quote from Father Noel Barbara's Forts dans la Foi:
"Archbishop Lefebvre knew Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc quite well from the Second Vatican Council. He considered him to be a bishop with good doctrinal views. Like himself, this bishop belonged to the conservative group. It was because he considered him to be a Catholic bishop, committed to faith, devoted to Mary, and having nothing to do, that he encouraged him to work with the emissaries of Palmar de Troya who had come to Econe in order to solicit his episcopal services. I heard these facts directly from Archbishop Lefebvre.
"One day a canon of Saint Maurice named Father Revas arrived at the seminary in Econe. He was accompanied by a priest who spoke English. A lover of the extraordinary, both had come from the location of the apparitions. They came straight from Palmar to beg Archbishop Lefebvre to come to this location because the Blessed Virgin was waiting for him. She was insisting that a Catholic bishop come in order to confer the episcopacy on those she planned to designate.
"The Archbishop excused himself and advised them to 'approach Archbishop Thuc. He is orthodox and he is not at present occupied. Go and seek him out. He will most certainly agree with your request.' The two messengers immediately left and had no difficulty in convincing the elderly Vietnamese Archbishop to respond to the Virgin's request.
"As I explained, I have these explanations directly from the mouth of Archbishop Lefebvre. He informed me of these facts on the occasion of a visit I made to Econe when someone brought up the name of Archbishop Thuc at the dinner table."
It is my understanding that the professor of Canon Law at Econe accompanied Archbishop Thuc on this venture. If this episode is to be used as the basis of demonstrating the "senility" of Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc, then one must argue that Archbishop Lefebvre and his canon lawyer must have been equally senile. Of course, Father Noel Barbara is elderly and occasionally forgetful. Perhaps he is also senile. And what are we to say of Bishop Guerard and Bishop Carmona's inability to recognize that they were being consecrated by a doddering old fool? (Quod absit.) Are we then to consider anyone whose thoughts or actions we find offensive as senile?
Let us now turn to the issue of senility, or to use the more precise psychiatric term, dementia. Here we indeed have an example of fools stepping where angels fear to tread. Few things are more difficult to determine that the presence of minor and subtle degrees of dementia. Moreover, when and where dementia is present, there is obviously a spectrum of deficit reflected in memory and cognitive function. Consider memory. It is suggested without any evidence whatsoever, that Archbishop Thuc suffered from loss of "short term memory." Technically, this means not the forgetting of what one ate for breakfast or where one misplaced one's glasses, but the inability to remember three items at five minutes on a mental status exam. Kaplan and Sadock define it as "the reproduction, recognition, or recall of perceived material within a period of up to 30 seconds after presentation." Absolutely no evidence for short term memory loss has ever been presented in the case of Archbishop Thuc.
Polemicists speak of the necessity of the "full command of reason." If by this phrase one understands that the individual is at all times logical, then almost everyone involved in the current controversies-where lack of reason is so often manifested--would be administering invalid sacraments. I would suggest, however, that what is meant by this phrase is not that a priest at all times be some paragon of reasoning ability, but that he know what he is about when confecting a sacrament. There is absolutely no evidence that Archbishop Thuc did not know what he was doing or that he was acting unwillingly. It is absurd to suggest that a person can go through a three-hour relatively public and highly-demanding ceremony such as an episcopal consecration, and not know what he is doing. What makes this criterion particularly offensive is that those who insist on it are perfectly willing to accept orders administered by an elderly bishop (Alfred Mendez) who is in full communion with the post-Conciliar establishment, a person who refuses to publicly avow his actions, and an individual who, I am informed by a most reliable source, has a special penchant for girly shows. So much for the "full command of reason."
How the forces of subversion must enjoy our absurdities! Perhaps God allows us to repeatedly shoot ourselves in the foot so as to discourage others from shooting us in the head.
Most offensive is the suggestion that Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc was actually "insane." Quoting Msgr. Pohle, the good Archbishop is listed as among "lunatics, children and others who have not the full use of reason." We are told that "a moment's reflection is all that is needed to grasp the ramifications this has on the Thuc consecrations." To make matters worse, "Dr." Weiskittel's diatribe distorts Father Sanborn's comment about the Archbishop being "guile-less and somewhat naive" as supporting evidence that he had the "mind of a child" as used in the above quotation. Is it possible that he has forgotten Christ's admonition, "Unless ye become as little children..."
Only slightly less offensive, though actually rather humorous, are the following statements with regard to Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc. Having listed "loss of short-term memory, loss of long-term memory, paranoia, depression, diminished judgment, isolation, etc.", our author contends (with absolutely no evidence) that "Msgr. Thuc most definitely exhibited some of these symptoms." He goes on to inform us that "considered alone they mean little, but when taken as a whole they are compelling proof that he [Msgr. Thuc] was assuredly not compos mentos (that is, of sound mind). Although senile, his impairment was relatively mild, else he would not have been able to compose his autobiographical reflections (written between 1982 and 1984 [he passed away in 1984, RIP]). And he never displayed the symptoms of full-blown senility. But it must be remembered that the mildly senile person is still one who, however slowly, is losing his mind. The 'full command of reason' required of her priests by the Church is not present." Such a series of non sequiturs strongly suggests that the author is suffering from what could be called a "formal thought disorder" and/or is indulging in "projective identification."
"Dr." Weiskittel seems somewhat confused about the distinction between senescence(aging) and senility. He informs us that senescence typically involves the "shrinking of the brain." He seems unaware that the process of senescence starts about or before the age of thirty, which means that we are all in the same degenerating boat. He is also unaware of the fact that despite this defect, "the belief that old age is invariably associated with profound intellectual and physical infirmity is a myth. Most aged persons retain their cognitive ability and physical capacity to a remarkable degree." One is tempted to suggest that those who are willing to make firm psychiatric diagnoses without evidence and without training are suffering from a different condition--namely, swelling of the brain.
Allow me to conclude by stating that the diatribes asserting that Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc was suffering from "senile dementia," "mental impairment," "doubtful lucidity," or "lacked the full command of reason," to say nothing about their declaring him "insane," are patently absurd and the supposed evidence offered for such affirmations only exists in the minds of those who would use insinuation and innuendo to assassinate his character. Even if appropriate testing had been performed and some mild loss of memory or cognitive function demonstrated, there would be no grounds for declaring him incompetent. What is at issue is competence and in psychiatry, as well as in theology, an act is considered "sane" or "rational" (sacramental theology would add "human'') when the person who performs it knows what he is doing and freely wills to do it.
Not having examined the Archbishop personally, I am not in a position to give any psychiatric opinion as to the state of his mentation. However, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it seems patently obvious that we must consider him to have been fully aware of what he was doing and in no way either "conned" or coerced. In essence, we are forced to assume that he acted in his right mind and was fully competent, We simply cannot go around declaring those whose actions, judgments and thoughts we find personally abhorrent are somehow mentally defective. To do so is plain and simple calumny.