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Abp. Thuc: A Conversation with Fr. Cekada

A video from True Restoration Media and some links


Thuc Guer Anoint

Abp. Thuc consecrating Bp. Guérard, 1981

ANYONE familiar with my writings and the history of the traditionalist movement knows that while I was initially skeptical of the validity of the episcopal consecrations Archbishop Pierre-Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc conferred on three traditional Catholic priests in 1981, I became firmly convinced of their validity, once I researched the theological and factual issues myself.

The result was The Validity of the Thuc Consecrations, which appeared in the priests’ magazine Sacerdotium in Spring, 1992. Since that time, I produced a few other pieces touching on this matter, including a short article on the claim that Abp. Thuc had incurred automatic excommunication (Pius XII, Excommunication and Traditional Catholic Bishops), and a brief discussion of validity again in the concluding section of The Great Excommunicator, an article dealing with a number of related controversies.

My research and writings on the question, together with those of the then-Father Donald Sanborn, eventually led eight of the twelve former-SSPX priests who had formed the Society of St. Pius V to accept Abp. Thuc’s consecrations as valid. Since then, an ever-increasing number priests in the traditionalist movement have accepted the consecrations, to such an extent that only a small number of hold-outs among the traditionalist clergy still exists, and this among Bishop Clarence Kelly’s SSPV/CSPV

In January 2013, Stephen Heiner of True Restoration Media interviewed me about how I came to my conclusions. I am now happy to present that video here.

In the foregoing video, I mention that in 1989 Father Kelly’s principal objection to the validity of the Abp. Thuc’s consecrations was that no certificate existed. About three years later, however, I discovered a certificate which Abp. Thuc wrote out in Latin in his own hand the day after he consecrated Bps. Carmona and Zamora. (See accompanying document) In translation the text reads:

Thuc Cons Cert“We, Peter Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc, Titular Archbishop of Bulla Regia, give notice of the following to all: on the 17th day of the month of October, in the year 1981, we conferred the episcopal rank of the Catholic Church on Father Moses Carmona Rivera, with all rights pertaining to said rank. Given on the 18th day of the month of October, in the year of Our Lord 1981. [signature] +Peter Martin Ngô-dinh-Thuc. The eyewitnesses were: Doctor Kurt Hiller and Doctor Eberhard Heller. [signature] Dr. Kurt Hiller. [signature ] Dr. E. Heller.

Once this came to light, Fr. Kelly denied that the foregoing was a consecration certificate (not really “authentic,” “official,” “formal,” “public,” etc.), and in a series of monthly bulletins in the 1990s, began began attacking Abp. Thuc’s “mental state.”

The argument was so ridiculous (Insufficient “mental state” to confer a sacrament one day, but able to write about it in Latin the next?), that my response in 1994 was a satire, written in the same, grim, choppy, Fr. Kelly style, entitled The Dental State of Abp. Thuc. (= there was no authentic certificate to prove that the prelate’s teeth were not decayed; tooth decay could have interfered with how he pronounced the essential sacramental form; therefore the consecrations were “doubtful,” etc., etc.)

For those interested in further pursuing such issues (apart from that of tooth decay…), I highly recommend the site and Mario Derksen’s January 2011 Open Letter to Bp. Kelly. Mr. Derksen presents unassailable evidence and airtight arguments that lead to an inescapable conclusion.

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  1. […] the issue and conducted an extensive investigation, the story of which I told in a post and video, Abp. Thuc: A Conversation with Fr. Cekada. Eight of the original twelve Society of St. Pius V priests would eventually accept the validity of […]