Saturday, April 14, 2007


Open Letter to Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher OFM Cap.

24 August 1989

Dear Father Lucian,

Seven years ago today, on the feast of St. Bartholomew, I was consecrated a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in the church of the Sacred Heart, Buffalo, New York. This consecration was done publicly before a number of clergymen in the sanctuary, with the attendance of perhaps one hundred people (I did not count them) and with ample coverage in the local press.

The purpose of this consecration was to assure the essential mark of the true Church of Jesus Christ APOSTOLICITY. I had been invited by Roman Catholic bishops to accept this consecration and obligation for the good of the Church. The Church is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. It has an invisible aspect and a visible one.

In order to be visible and intact, the Church must be represented by valid successors of the Apostles. The saintly pontiff, Pope Pius XII stated this truth very clearly when he wrote in his encyclical Mystici Corporis:

"That those who exercise sacred power in this Body are its chief members must be maintained uncompromisingly."

Dear Father Lucian, it seems to me that to deny this truth makes a person a heretic. To accept this truth in theory and deny it in practice is a deception. It is, plainly speaking, a lie. The dividing line between orthodoxy and heresy is razor thin. Nevertheless, the line is there. The vast majority of alleged Catholics are actually heretics. Whether formal or simply material is not always an easy distinction to make in some cases.

Pope Pius XII gives the basic reason for the above statement:

"It is through them, by commission of the Divine Redeemer Himself, that Christ's apostolate as Teacher, King, and Priest is to endure."

The Holy Father also refers to what we already have learned in theology, namely, that the Mystical Body is an organic whole. There can be no separation. Therefore, if anyone says that he is a member of this organic whole, yet rejects for whatever reason and on whatever pretext that which was instituted by Jesus Christ, cannot be in communion with that organic entity.

A Church without authentic successors to the Apostles (bishops) is not the Roman Catholic Church. Among other errors which traditionalists promote, this the outstanding: they have the illusion that priests and faithful without an orthodox bishop as their shepherd can somehow be Catholic and pleasing to God.

This is basically the position of every Protestant Sect. Yet, even some of them have realized their inconsistency and have consequently made for themselves "bishops" whom they can conveniently control. This, in effect, is what many hope to attain among "Latin Mass· offering" sects: an authority which they need not obey. The mind is tricky; but the will is trickier.

Dear Father Lucian, you know well the difficulty of maintaining one's balance amid confusion and anarchy. The painful history of the Church has taught those who wish to learn what danger lurks in heresy and schism. But more than that, how the remedy provided by some often aggravates the problem. A good example of that is the case of our own St. Francis. Even the Pope was getting weary and wary of all the well-meaning but badly advised reformers and saviors of the Church.

That's why the Pope resisted the apparently sincere ambitions of Francis. They all look and sound so sincere, don't they? Granted, we cannot sit in judgment of others because this is the prerogative of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, we have an obligation of minimizing insofar as we arc able dangers to faith and morals. But, if we arc not protected by the grace of God, both internal and external, how can we be certain that the Devil has not deceived us? Is it enough to say that we are "following our conscience" when we have an obligation to be correctly informed, yet fail to do so? So many "sincere" people remind me of Pope Pius XII's words in the encyclical HUMANI GENERIS:

"Men easily persuade themselves in such matters (religious) that what they do not wish to believe is false or at least doubtful."

For this very reason, Father, I am convinced that the majority of people who fancy themselves to be traditional Catholics are thinly-disguised Neo-Protestants of the Modern­ist design. Yet, they wish to style themselves "Catholic".

I am writing this letter to you, Father on this seventh anniversary of my consecration. It is the first letter I've ever written to you. I am writing it not as a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, but as a confrere drawn by the same spirit of St. Francis. We are urged by St. Francis to love each other even more than a mother loves her son according to the flesh. Ought we not appeal to those sublime and noble ideals of the Seraphic Order to prepare our minds and hearts to look clearly at everything going on about us? We have both undergone similar formations. It is not my wish to be insulting or untruthful. I assume you would feel the same way. For this reason, Father, I wish to address myself to the public statements that you have made concerning Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc.

The final cause is the first in intention and the last in execution. It is the purpose for which something is done. Therefore, I ask myself: "What would be your purpose in making the kind of statements you have made publicly and in print?” If you are motivated by sincere zeal for the salvation of souls and the honor of Holy Mother Church, then it would seem that serious investigation would be demanded before any bold statement were presented to others as incontrovertible fact.

I am at a loss to exculpate what appears as rash temerity. I have a problem: I wish to believe well of you and in your dedication to your vocation. Yet, I cannot harmonize your attitude and actions with your teachings which you say arc based on Catholic doctrine.

If we pose a cause willingly, we are responsible for the effects flowing from that cause. Since we know so little about natural science, less about philosophy and even far less about theology, we must humbly admit that our knowledge is very fragmentary. Yet, observe with what case other human beings arc judged and condemned without caution or remorse. In crass violation of the very principles of morality and the spiritual life, chiefs of the Mystical Body are denied at the stroke of a pen. Anarchy rules and rebellious clergymen are kings. It seems to me that they have not only dethroned their legitimate superiors, they have even dethroned Christ. One would think it were some kind of demonic urge to destroy, rather than to build up.

Someone has been kind enough to send me the statements you arc making concerning Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc personally and what is of even more serious nature, your theological conclusions which have dire consequences.

Father, if my information is cor­rect you were born on March 20, 1918. You were ordained a priest on June 5, 1946. You have been a priest for forty-three years. You are 71 years old. I, in comparison to yourself, am much younger in the priesthood having been ordained on June 16, 1956 by Emile Cardinal Leger, Archbishop of Montreal. There is a difference of 20 years between us. I would expect to look to your wisdom based on learning and experience to guide me.

You claim to have information regarding Archbishop Ngo. Whatever that information may be, I will challenge as false and/or irrelevant when it comes to the essential matter at hand: the validity of the consecrations performed by him. This should be your foremost consideration, Father, not only in Archbishop Ngo's case, but especially in the case of Marcel Lefebvre, whom you so easily dismiss as being a valid priest and bishop when precisely it is Lefebvre’s entire operation that is under a serious cloud.

I would expect - as any trusting Catholic would expect - that as a representative of the Roman Catholic Church that you would be dedicated to the furtherance of the Church which ultimately means the honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls. This mis­sion entails an unswerving loyalty to truth and goodness to which WE MUST CONFORM OURSELVES AND NOT HAVE TRUTH AND GOODNESS CONFORM TO US. The first is the true sign of a Catholic; the second is a sign of the heretic whose teacher is not Jesus Christ, but Satan.

I am shamed to consider the possible motives behind your unfounded statements regarding Archbishop Ngo. Right reason forces an analysis of purposes. And the only purpose that might reasonably be deduced from your approach seems to be the justifying of the raging religious anarchy.

If you were to entertain these thoughts yourself and did not strive to convince others of their truth, little harm could be done other than to yourself. But, since you promote these ideas with the intention of convincing others of their truth and to justify to others the ecclesiastical posture you have adopted, it is necessary to address these statements.

I will not judge you, Father, because only God can judge correctly. Nevertheless, your statements must be evaluated in the light of Catholic doctrine and morality. If you are correct, Father, then all loyal Catholics must accept your views and give their moral and material support to you. However, if you are in error and willingly accept the fact of having been mistaken, you would be bound in conscience to do all in your power to rectify what I say are calumnies (should they prove to be so) which you have believed from others and have continued to spread. What could be more Catholic and fair than that?

I have had to interrupt this letter because of other demands on my time. I return today, the feast of that great saint, bishop and doctor of the Church, St. Augustine. I invoked his aid this morning at Holy Mass so that he would guide me in dealing with the questions that have been raised.

As the basis for the observations that I will make, I will use your own text of a printed newsletter and a letter addressed to Mr. Hettinga which apparently, is one of those "private/public" letters so common among "traditionalists".

On page two of the newsletter before me, you have a paragraph entitled ARCHBISHOP THUC. Before getting into the heart of the matter, I would like to correct a very common error and point of etiquette with regard to the Archbishop's name. His family name is not "Thuc". Orientals, like Koreans and Vietnamese and possibly others, use the family name FIRST- the personal name is given LAST. The Archbishop's family name is NGO. It is pronounced as the English negation "no". It is an insult to refer to another person by his first name unless one is a very close friend or a superior. The proper respect to Archbishop Ngo would be to refer to him in this manner: Archbishop Ngo.

An important point of departure is a statement which you make in this article. You state: "This is my studied judgment". Your "studied judgment" is directed to two important pronouncements. The first deals with Marcel Lefebvre and the second with Archbishop Ngo.
Since we are interested in the truth which is fundamental to the validity of sacraments, I would like to preface my remarks with the practical position of the Roman Catholic Church regarding certain sacraments whenever a question of validity or invalidity arises.

The teaching and practice of the Church must be our guides and a study of these teachings must be the basis of any studied judgment we may make.

Obviously, our conclusions will depend upon the degree of our studied judgment. I fail to understand how calumnious rumor can become the basis for a studied judgment. The first statement follows:

I hold that when Archbishop Lefebvre uses the correct rite for ordinations he confers valid orders. When he uses the Novus Ordo rite (as he did for a "Fr." Coller) I hold the ordination is invalid."

Thus for "Archbishop" Marcel Lefebvre.
Now, for Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc:

"On the contrary I hold that all the ordinations of Archbishop Thuc to be invalid." I have deliberately left the grammatical errors in your text as they appear in the text so that no one may accuse me of tampering with your words. You affirm your statements with what appear to be infallible decrees: THIS IS MY STUDIED JUDGMENT. You will proceed to give your reasons for what you yourself admit is a "harsh stand". Actually, if you are convinced of the truth of your own statements, you could not say that your stand is "harsh". Truth is not harsh. If anything is harsh, it is error. Truth frees; error enslaves. Truth becomes the source of supernatural grace and salvation; error becomes the source of continued evil and ultimate damnation. Truth makes us humble; error makes us proud. And this is simply because humility IS truth and error (deliberate) IS a lie. He who serves truth, serves God who IS Truth; he who serves error serves Satan who is a liar and murderer from the very beginning. So much for a brief observation concerning a simple, but revealing phrase from your own heart.

Observation: In dealing with both the individuals whom you mention by name, you have assumed the role of an approved. professional medical psychiatrist. Not only that, Father, but you have gone even further: you have never actually met the man so that you are not even able to make a common sense judgment on a first impression. Lacking even the most primitive human experience of a first impression [which is not necessarily infallible, to be sure], you have drawn conclusions of the most hideous kind: you actually say the man is INSANE! In moral theology and in any professional consideration, an INSANE MAN is not "sui compos".

I will here give all the possible definitions and applications of the term "insane.” I restrict myself to the laymen's understanding of the term because I do not wish to enter the professional field of normal and abnormal psychology at this point. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "insane" means:

1. State of being insane; unsoundness or derangement of mind. esp. without recognition of one’s own illness. INSANITY is rather a social and legal than a medical term, and implies mental disorder resulting in inability to manage one's affairs and perform one's social duties. The term covers a variety of disorders, such as manic-depressive insanity, dementia praecox, paranoia, general paralysis, and the alcoholic insanities. Mental deficiency is not usually included.
2. LAW: Such unsoundness of mental condition as, with respect to any matter under action, modifies or does away with individual legal responsibility or capacity.

3. Extravagant folly, or an example of it.

Under synonyms we find the word "insanity" to mean: chiefly a legal term, implies unfitness to manage one's own affairs or perform one's social duties...

Now, Father, we have some basis to begin our evaluation of your studied judgment. We have established the first term of the argument, "insanity". We understand, then, what we are talking about. Should you reject this meaning of the term you employ, there is no longer any basis for discussion from whence intelligent conclusions can be drawn.

I do not think that you will accuse me of misunderstanding or dishonesty when I say that your thesis comes down to this:

Insane persons cannot perform intelligent and voluntary acts. Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc was insane. Therefore, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc cannot perform intelligent and voluntary acts. But, the consecration of a bishop is an intelligent and voluntary act. Therefore, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc could not consecrate anyone.

And following this logic, you have concluded that, consequently: "I hold that all the ordinations of Archbishop Thuc to be invalid."

Of course, Father, I am assuming (and you may correct me if I assume falsely) that there is some point in time that you would admit the validity of ordinations to the priesthood and consecrations to the episcopacy in the episcopal career of Archbishop Ngo. If my assumption is correct, would you kindly tell me AT WHAT POINT IN TIME (according to your studied judgment) DO YOU NO LONGER JUDGE THE ARCHBISHOP LEGALLY COMPETENT TO PERFORM HIS LEGAL AND SOCIAL OBLIGATIONS! Incidentally, did you know that the Archbishop executed a legal document, a power of attorney, before our lawyer and witnesses so that I could take care of his personal affairs in France? Would you say that this lawyer and everyone else were equally "insane" and incompetent to perform legal and social duties? I think more highly of you than that, Father Lucian... at least until I have proof to the contrary. You then proceed to instruct your readers as to reasons upon which you base your psychiatric diagnosis of Archbishop Ngo. Although you do not mention the point in your newsletter, you do mention it in your letter to Mr. Hettinga. Namely, and I quote:

"Rome" says nothing about them [i.e., episcopal consecrations]. Likewise, it says nothing about the ordinations performed by the new Lefebvre bishops.

You apparently have not read the ROMAN CATHOLIC QUARTERLY of Fall, 1988. An objective and thoughtful reading of that issue which dealt with the Archbishop should have answered many questions. It is surprising that your informants did not provide you with a copy of this booklet.

Permit me to address your statement quoted above. If those in Rome, Italy, considered the Archbishop insane, they certainly would not have sent him letters to cease and desist from his actions- those in Rome would not have attempted to "excommunicate" those whom the Archbishop consecrated (myself included).

As for the ordinations which you attribute to Marcel Lefebvre's agents, I would take the part of those same individuals in Rome and say: What was once condemned need not be repeatedly condemned. How many times was Marcel Lefebvre "suspended"? Was he suspended annually for the "ordinations" he performed even though at no time was his suspension lifted? Once a suspension is incurred, you can't be suspended any more than you are. Repeated suspension is nonsense. Unlike sin, the gravity does not increase with each act meriting suspension. One does not become "more suspended than before".

It would behoove you to present to people with equal objectivity the reasons for your studied judgment concerning the validity of Marcel Lefebvre's priestly ordination and episcopal consecration. The consequences are far more-reaching in his case than in Archbishop Ngo's simply from the numerical point of view: Lefebvre's consequences reach far more people, involve the destruction of far more vocations. Is it not a serious matter whether or not a young man is a valid priest, or not?

It is peculiar that the Church allegedly "supplies" all defects in the case of Marcel Lefebvre and his "priests"; whereas, the Church mysteriously condemns (through you) the conse­crations performed by Archbishop Ngo on the grounds of his ALLEGED incompetence.

Observation: You state: "He, while a full time N.O. Bishop, made a visionary (Clemente) a bishop." My first question is this: "WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR DETAILS AS TO WHAT TOOK PLACE IN SPAIN?" Do you have some kind of documentary evidence to substantiate your judgment (it is more than a "claim") to show that what you allege is true, namely, that the Archbishop was a "full time N.O. Bishop"? What do you mean by a "full time Bishop in the N.O"? a "full time Bishop in the N.O."1 Do you mean that he was functioning somewhere as a bishop in a diocese: that there were priests under him acting according to his directives, etc.? Did you have any kind of personal contact with Archbishop Ngo during this time so that you could determine by some external form of evidence what he was actually doing? The only honest answer is in the NEGATIVE.

Secondly. you ASSUME too much and prove NOTHING. You ASSUME that the Archbishop was completely aware of what was going on in Palmar de Troya. Did you ask him about the situation? When did you ask him? What did he tell you? Or did you get your "information" from Rev. Noel Barbara whose importunate phone calls to the Archbishop finally stopped when the Archbishop would not make him a bishop?

When Rev. Barbara condemned the consecrations, I myself was not involved in any way with the Archbishop. But to anyone with the least bit of objectivity, it was clear that Rev. Barbara's condemnations were based on one main reason: Rev. Barbara was not among those consecrated. How do I know this? BECAUSE ARCHBISHOP NGO TOLD ME THIS DURING A TAPED CONVERSATION.

I wonder to what extent the Archbishop was aware of Clemente's situation. As a week-long guest in a monastery, do you think a visitor knows EVERYTHING that is going on? Did you know the mature priests from different countries who were living an austere religious life there in Palmar de Troya and that it was the attitude of these mature priests from different countries that impressed him.? The Archbishop never claimed to be indefectible. He erred in ordinations and consecrations like many a bishop and pope before him. Did Pope Pius XII deliberately make Montini the Secretary of State only to dismiss him later? If popes make studied judgments only to realize with experience that their judgment was mistaken, why should we demand indefectibility and infallibility in anyone outside of that clear area of supernatural faith and morals?

There are just too many questions that must first be answered before any studied judgment can be made to condemn Archbishop Ngo. And particularly when one intends to discredit something like the validity of Holy Orders. This is very serious.

There is also another important consideration. It is this: Do you deny that there can be true mystical experiences termed "visions" in mystical theology? I would suggest the names of several clergymen (one who is quite well known to you personally) who are involved with "visionaries" and like yourself, are the most opposed to any normal channels for maintaining right order and orthodoxy. Unfortunately, these clergymen are involved with "lady visionaries", There are a lot of "Catherine of Siennas" roaming the United States!

Observation: You seem intent on demeaning this Archbishop because you use language that lacks objective honesty. How was he "struck down by Paul VI”? This choice of words is peculiar. You might have said more simply and without any subjective emotion on your part that the Archbishop incurred a suspension (which is all that legal censure could impose according to Canon Law). But you seem to have a need to use such forceful, exaggerated vocabulary. One would almost imagine Paul VI physically striking this Archbishop as one would strike a disobedient or unruly servant. You seem to have a need to rob the Vietnamese Archbishop of his archiepiscopal dignity. Might I ask why? I am puzzled by your choice of words. Once again, I point out to you, Father that your choice of words tells more about you than about the subject you are treating. Take the next part of this statement "he came back to him, begging pardon."

First of all, how do you know all this? How do you know that Archbishop "came back to him” {[Paul VI} “begging pardon”? What were the Archbishop's motives for not separating himself from the post-Vatican hierarchy? Actually, for all practical purposes, he was separated from the Pope because he was not permitted to return to Vietnam. He was a virtual prisoner in Italy, forced to find shelter wherever he could: And as for saying that he was "begging pardon", I would assure you that you do not know Archbishop Ngo. There's a man who does not go "begging pardon" of anyone. If anything, I would suggest that he made some kind of "reconciliation" (if that!) for very practical reasons. His denunciation of subsequent events in Spain should only emphasize the fact that he realized he had been used. However, you do not seem to comprehend the theological necessity prompting the Archbishop to take these great risks.

When God punished the world with a deluge, He spared only one family. But, for the sake of saving one family- that of Noe - God permitted many errors and many apostasies from Him. Yet, for the sake of ONE loyal man and his family, God allowed the rest to fall into error and incur His wrath. And Jesus told us that in the last days it will be as it was in the time of Noe

Observation: You claim that Archbishop Ngo was somehow "insane" because, (according to you), "while in good standing with Paul VI he made three bishops in France." Now you seem to think this is a very serious matter because you urge your readers to keep this "most essential" (?) point in mind. As if giving a kind or "coup de grace", you triumphantly state that "he did not denounce Paul VI as an anti-pope until AFTER he made those bishops in France." Whatever point you wish to make is missed.

If you will recall your courses in philosophy, Father, you will perhaps remember the axioms concerning final causes. It is stated: "The end is first in intention, last in execution." Now, if you look carefully at the Archbishop's conduct, you will see that he certainly had the intention of what you simply do not wish to accept: that he acted in a manner that already implied that which you arbitrarily demand he make known at a time convenient to YOU. By consecrating bishops, he already indicated his position. It is really just that simple: he knew the laws of the Church (he was a doctor of Canon Law). He, therefore, knowingly by­passed Paul VI which is tantamount to saying "he's not a Pope". What his tactical reasons may have been is not a matter for us to decide. He acted according to HIS studied judgment as any responsible Superior, Religious or Ecclesiastical, would do. In effect, Father Lucian, what appears to be the matter here is that you wish your readers to be loyal to you rather than to a valid bishop as required by the Roman Catholic Church. By impugning the intelligence and right intention of the Archbishop, you wish to negate the very thing that is a fundamental sign of the true Church.I wish there were some way that you might avoid this terrible spiritual trap. If you cannot surmount it, Father, you may as well call yourself a Protestant and be honest with the rest of them. But, I don't wish to believe this of you.

There is need for incontrovertible evidence to establish all the causes which were involved in the actions, both internal and external, of Archbishop Ngo before anyone is competent to make any negative judgment. Even criminal law requires evidence beyond reasonable doubt before convicting anyone. You have declared Archbishop Ngo to be mentally incompetent to perform legal and social duties. Yet, you have never seen the man- you do not know what he was thinking; you do not even know what he did. You imagine you know and with your imagination you construct a convenient system of "facts" which serve your purpose. Are we not entitled to ask: What is your purpose?

You ask the rhetorical question: "As a "sane" man what was he doing to save the Church?" The answer to this question is evident to anyone who knows what the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches. The Archbishop knew that the true Church is hierarchic - this means it is constituted of a SACRED ruling class by divine institution. I refer you to the words of Pope Pius XII: "That those who exercise sacred power in this Body are its chief members must be maintained uncompromisingly."

You do not maintain this truth uncompromisingly, Father Lucian, and that is why you tell people that you are responsible only to Jesus Christ. This is what every Protestant says. You deny by your actions and your words the doctrinal teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that the Church is one, undivided, visible, constituted organically and hierarchically.

You ask what the Archbishop did to save the Church. This is what he did: He made certain to the best of his ability that the Roman Catholic Church would remain until the end of time as it must: one, undivided visible constituted organicallv and hierarchicallv. By conse­crating bishops - whether THEY were in good faith or not - Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc provided that which he was able to do: he provided the Church with successors of the apostles.

Observation: You state that "He did the consecrations in secret. That is not to be done unless there is need for the secrecy."

There are two points to comment on. The 1st one: You state categorically and as one having knowledge that "he did the consecrations in secret". But, my dear Father Lucian, the exact OPPOSITE is the case. The first consecrations in Spain were most public. He wished to do them in secret for reasons any intelligent man would understand (Do you wish to be included?) but he relented when the religious in Palmar URGED him to do them PUBLICLY. Had he done them as he perceived they ought to have been done, in secret, the valid bishops would have been able to carry on the Church in secret even under the very noses of the apostates.
Other consecrations were performed publicly, in the sense that they were performed before witnesses. There are many cases in Church history where ordinations and consecrations were performed in secret, yet no one would reasonably doubt them. The late retired bishop of Fort Worth, TX, Bishop Gorman, ordained one man and consecrated another in true secrecy. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortunately for them) you were not aware of their existence for you surely would have denied their validity. Had the Archbishop realized the strange mentality of so many claiming to be traditional Catholics, he would have insisted on the greatest publicity.

There is another case of a known clergyman who submitted to episcopal consecration in Necedah, WI at the hands of Palmar de Troya bishops. He knowingly went through the ceremony, but when he became fearful, he tried to deny his own validity by appealing to the consoling declaration of a "visionary" to the effect that he has nothing to worry about since "his consecration did not take place"! It's like telling a pregnant girl: Don't worry, honey, you're not really pregnant! Then, this same clergyman aligned himself with a crackpot in Arizona who "absolved" him from his "non-consecration".

Observation: This final observation of your statements is closer to home. Namely, you give a very brief negative criticism of what you allege took place in Rochester. It is closer to home because I am the one who had to provide for the safety of the Archbishop. When I went to France to escort him to the United States, I was filmed by someone with a movie camera as I entered the Archbishop's quarters in Toulon, France. We were also filmed while awaiting the aircraft at the airport in Paris. Who these people were, I have no idea other than to conclude that they were not fans of the Archbishop.

Importunate callers from among the ambitious clergy were only too eager to impress the Archbishop with their outstanding episcopal potential. One came all the way from California with the hope of convincing the Archbishop to come with him and be the head of the heretical sect this man and a few others like him were operating. The tired and weary Archbishop sat for several hours patiently listening while this man droned on and on trying to convince the Archbishop of the Feeney Heresy. In his accustomed manner, the Archbishop just sat and listened without comment. His silence is all the comment needed.

A similar occurrence took place in Baton Rouge, LA when the Archbishop was imposed upon to attend a "clergy meeting". The Archbishop was not happy to sit for hours in airports waiting for the planes. In Baton Rouge, Reverends McKenna and Vida Elmer were trying to impose themselves to be consecrated. The Archbishop just sat patiently and silently while Rev. Vida Elmer tried to impress upon the Archbishop how urgent it was that he be made a bishop. Rev. Vida Elmer's famous words were: "Hodic aut numquam" -It's now or never. It turned out to be "numquam" (never) because later the Archbishop asked me while shaking his head: "Why do they want to be bishops?" It's a good question.

When this man, Rev. Vida Elmer, returned to his private little sect near Albany, NY, he vented his anger through his "newsletter". He protested that he would obey these bishops only on condition that they could produce a mandate from the Pope (Rev. Vida vehemently preached that there was no pope!) or perform a first class miracle. Later, having arranged to get himself consecrated, Rev. McKenna soon proceeded to consecrate his buddy Rev. Vida Elmer whose original candidature McKenna first promoted then vetoed. Where are these individuals now?

Well, one seems deathly silent after all his advice to others about marching on Rome, etc. The other one contents himself seeking publicity in cheap newspapers as a "werewolf exorciser" in conjunction with Protestant "ghostbusters", and specializing in consecrating and ordaining crackpots. As for some of the others, they are specialists in re-ordaining and re-consecrating validly ordained priests and validly consecrated bishops. Admittedly, Father, you do have grounds for some legitimate complaint. But you should not either blame the Archbishop, nor should you deny Catholic doctrine.

Those who claim that the Archbishop was "never permitted" to go to the phone are untruthful. The Archbishop received calls from Vietnamese priests and other Vietnamese. He was protected from those whose purposes were self-serving. Actually, had we kept the Archbishop under some kind of "house arrest" he may not have been abducted. As it is, our simplicity and lack of understanding of the serious nature of this entire matter made us vulnerable to the schemes of less simple individuals. If these people do not hesitate to remove Popes when necessary, do you think they will stop with an aged Archbishop?

The last and final insult that you injudiciously heap upon Archbishop Ngo, Father Lucian, is to say to people that he "came back to the Novus Ordo”, and in that "wonderful" state commitment he died." Actually, it is not very clear what you really mean by these words. I can only quote them as you wrote them.

But, as for begging pardon once again and dying in the Novus Ordo Church, that is absolutely false. The last communication I had with the Archbishop was when we spoke on the telephone between Rochester and New York City. He had been rushed off to the Apostolic Delegate's residence in Washington, D.C. against his will. There, even when efforts to detain him and to have him make a statement disavowing his second attempt to provide bishops had failed, they turned to more drastic measures. I know because I was in that miserable hotel in New York where they held him prisoner.

It is easy to make rash statements when the facts are not known. Members of our community and I were in the hotel where the Archbishop was being held prisoner. The whole Novus Ordo was mobilized to abduct and sequester him away. Even the Catholic police force of New York City cooperated with the Church authorities. Vietnamese bishops and priests gloated over their victim. The man was drugged when I last saw him and he could hardly recognize me. He recognized my voice as I attempted to escort him out of the room. But Vietnamese Novus Ordo priests (including a bishop) pushed him down on a bed to keep him from leaving. He had been drugged somehow and was lying on a bed with glassy eyes. It was a terrible experience and a tragic sight to see what vicious people these clergymen really arc. One young Vietnamese priest was taking pictures of the Archbishop all the while. And this is the man whom you say returned to the Novus Ordo "begging pardon"! After being forced to leave, my last statement to the Vietnamese bishop and priests was this: “You have dishonored the Catholic Church, your country and this great man by your deeds today." And as there is a good God in heaven, I expect that these traitors to Jesus Christ and the Vietnamese people will be judged for their heinous crimes.

The Archbishop resided with us from December, 1982 to January, 1984. During this time, he said daily Mass and helped out on Sundays; he taught Gregorian chant to the seminarians and tutored some in French. His long-planned abduction took place in January of 1984 when he was lured from our friary on the pretext of the lunar new year when friends of his brother's former government wished to honor him with a dinner in New York.

After dogmatically declaring that Archbishop Ngo-Dinh-Thuc was insane and that "all his ordinations arc invalid", you very calmly brush aside the fact of his abduction by saying nonchalantly: "After that I heard such things as being captured and the like. I never did get the story straight."

And that, Father Lucian, is about the extent of your basis for a studied judgment which can be best summed up in your own words: "I never did get the story straight." Not only do you base your studied judgment on stories (fables) but you can't even get them straight. I wonder, then, what kind of spiritual guide you can possibly be to people who come to you for spiritual help. Is it possible that you can't even get THEIR stories straight?

It really amazes me how readily you believe what you want to believe even if it comes from apostates. You give more credence to apostates from the faith than you do to those who struggle like yourself to preserve the faith. However, one can only conclude that somehow you can't be in the same Church as those whom you attack.

Your final statement is a subconscious confession of your total subjectivity. Your standards of sanity and insanity have not even been established objectively. You simply declare your opponents to be insane and they are, by YOUR STANDARDS, insane. You emulate quite well your Jewish friends whose best tactic is to declare their enemies "insane".

Then, to escape what you already suspect in the depths of some corner of honesty that still remains, you add a second condition: you say that in order to call Archbishop Ngo sane it is necessary to have different "facts" to work on (as you put it).

Note, Father, that you find it necessary here to make certain that your reader will keep to YOUR DOCTRINES by not even giving anyone else the credit of having some facts that contradict what you have deemed to call facts, namely, those whose purposes were not attained: the frustrated would-be bishops; the pagans who made a comfortable living stealing his money while he was in France; the N.O.. "boys" (as you call them) who wanted to do away with him because he had become the only real threat to their demonic conspiracy to destroy the Church.
You enclose the word facts in quotation marks. Grammatically, then, you are saying that these facts arc not facts but merely so-called facts -thereby indicating that they arc lies at worst, distortions at best.

Father Lucian, I have taken the time to write this long letter which is intended to be a public, open letter to you so that the many people whom your newsletter has misinformed may be able to make a more honest evaluation of something as serious as the validity of consecration.

In the case of Marcel Lefebvre, a long consideration of about ten years duration was employed before making a declaration concerning his invalidity and that of his alleged priests. It is sincerely hoped, Father Lucian, that with the good will I pray that you have, you will be led to give further attention to your position. You are close to the truth. If you go to the logical conclusion, you will change completely and will then do all you can to be a faithful supporter of the Church for which Archbishop Ngo labored faithfully and despite persecution.

May these lines serve to bring that day closer before you reach that point of no return: confrontation with your Maker. You will then have to answer for every thought, word and deed. Like everyone of us, the breath we take this side of eternity will place us before Someone whose "studied judgment" of each one will be exact. I urge you, therefore, Father, to restudy your studied judgment.

It is interesting to observe that the Lefebvrites accuse me of being "crazy" because of a studied judgmcnt (ten years worth of effort) concerning the question of Marcel Lefebvre's validity or invalidity. We have even printed such a letter in its entirety in TIlE SERAPH because we want our readers to know exactly what kind of fanatics they are following. We are insulted, but we do not insult. We consider the evidence and draw logical conclusions from it. You claim to do likewise. Fine. Show us the proof. But you do not. Ex ore tuo judico – I judge from your very own words. When I told our people of what you have written, all those who got to know the Archbishop here in Rochester, NY, were highly indignant and most offended that you would insult him thus. He was very much liked here.

May Jesus and Mary lead you to truth and may the example of St. Francis inspire you with a deep desire to that spirit which has guided your life.

+ Fr. Louis Vezelis, O.F.M.

P.S. Just a few lines regarding a studied judgment on the orders of Marcel Lefebvre.

1. No one doubts the evidence establishing Lienart’s affiliation with a religion diametrically
opposed to the Roman Catholic Church, i.e . the Freemasons.

2. It is essential to have a clear understanding of the very nature of Freemasonry in order to draw the necessary logical conclusions affecting the validity of Sacraments.

3. What is the nature of Freemasonry?

a) It is a religion at the center of which is the worship of Lucifer.
b) Lucifer is the archenemy of Jesus Christ and of His Mystical Body, the Roman Catholic Church.
c) A Freemason of high degree knows what the Church teaches and his declared intention is to defeat the purpose of the Church, viz., the salvation of souls.
d) The Freemason uses (by stealth and subterfuge) all means possible to destroy the Catholic Church and undermine the salvation of souls.
e) One of the most effective means to undermine the supernatural life of the soul is to deprive it of valid sacraments. dissimulating them in order to deceive the recipients. The only thing present through such administration is the outward sign devoid of the reality.
f) The Church leaches that the internal intention is necessary for the validity of a Sacrament.
g) The Freemason, being a positive and militant enemy of the Church cannot have the minimum intention of doing what the Church docs in the administration of a Sacrament. It is tantamount to trying to be and not be at the same time. Here we face the principle of contradiction.
h) Jesus Himself said: You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve Jesus Christ and Lucifer.
i) Conclusion: Marcel Lefebvre's priestly ordination must be deemed highly suspect because there is a definite, prudent and positive doubt. Where there is such a doubt, Catholic practice requires that such a Sacrament be conditionally reiterated: Every sacrament may be reiterated when there is a prudent and reasonable doubt. Some sacraments MUST BE REHERATED EVEN IF THERE IS MERELY A MINOR DOUBT [DUBIUM SIT TANTUM TENUE]. In this latter category are to be found: Baptism, Penance. Even the consecration must be reiterated in such case so that the faithful will not be exposed to material idolatry. Likewise HOLY ORDERS must be reiterated to assure the administration of valid sacraments. (Cfr. Noldin).
j)lt is the practice of the Church to do precisely that.
k)Only a valid priest can be validly consecrated a bishop. Ergo....

With interest I have just finished reading your "Open Letter..." Something that made it even more interesting was the fact that I had just finished listening to an interview that a Fr. Webster (who admits having been at your seminary in Rochester)had given concerning the sanity of Abp Ngo.

Something I found very interesting was your correction of so many people (Fr. Webster included) who make the mistake of refering to Abp Ngo as Abp "Thuc", which, as you pointed out is to address the Abp incorrectly.
Additionally I wish to say that I did not find some of the things that Fr. Webster said as convincing...things which he said in such context as to depict Bp Vezelis in a bad light.

I find it hard to believe that Bp Vezelis would practice hypnotism considering that such (hypnotism) is condemned by the Church.
Greetings in Saint Francis!

I am wondering what is the Bishop's official policy toward those baptized in the Novus Ordo Rite?

Is it valid? Dubious? Absolutely null and void?

I've been reading the Scholor from Oyster Bay, Bishop Clarence Kelly, he seems to be "rigid" and "harsh" on such cases of moral theology. I heard he rebaptizes all people who join his communion. Did not the Donatists and Novatians do that? Not sure if you hold communion with him? He seems to be a "valid" bishop.

I think there is no salvation in the Novus Ordo, based on my private reading of the Roman Catechism, the Summa theologica of St. Thomas, Church History, and now this new controversial book called "A Moral-Theological Conclusion On The New Modernist Rite of Baptism", that I've beed reading:

I must say, if anyone is dubiously baptized he cannot receive salvation, correct?

And how about the "priests" ordained for the Latin Mass who have such a dubious baptism, are they valid? Or not? Is there such a thing called "Priesthood of Desire"?

I am wondering, the whole dubious intention scares me, not sure if there is an implicit intention that supplies the defect? Perhaps you can tell me more about this.

Thank you.
Would you kindly remove the "OFM Cap." from the end of Lucian's name since he was dismissed ipso iure from the Capuchin Order in 1998 for apostasy.
To all who have commented here, Bishop Louis has not used this blog since its last post. Please see His Excellency's blog at Thank you.
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