Ngo Dinh Thuc Pierre Martin

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Image:Thuc.jpg Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô Đình Thuc (吴廷俶) (approximately pronounced "Ngoh Din Took" ) (October 6, 1897December 13, 1984), Roman Catholic Archbishop of Huế, Vietnam, was born in Huế, on October 6, 1897, of Catholic parents. His brothers were Ngô Đình Diệm, president of South Vietnam and Ngô Đình Nhu.


Early Ecclesiastical Career

Thuc entered the junior seminary in An Ninh at the age of 12. He spent eight years there before going on to study philosophy at the major seminary in Huế. After his ordination to the priesthood on December 20, 1925, he taught at the Sorbonne in Paris. He was then selected to study theology in Rome and returned to Vietnam in 1927 after being awarded three doctorates from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in philosophy, theology, and canon law.

He then became a professor at the College of Vietnamese Brothers in Huế, a professor at the major seminary in Huế, and Dean of the College of Providence.

In 1938, at the age of 41, Father Thuc was chosen by Rome to direct the Apostolic Vicariate at Vinhlong. He was consecrated bishop on May 4, 1938, being the third Vietnamese priest raised to the rank of bishop. On November 24, 1960, Pope John XXIII named Bishop Thuc Archbishop of Huế.

Thuc's brother, Ngô Đình Khoi, was buried alive because of his refusal to become a minister in the first communist government. Thuc's three other brothers, Ngô Đình Diệm, president of South Vietnam, Ngô Đình Nhu and Ngô Đình Can, his close collaborators, were all assassinated. President Diệm was assassinated on November 1, 1963. Of all his siblings, only Thuc and Luyen escaped assassination. Luyen was serving as ambassador in London and Thuc had been summoned to Rome for the Second Vatican Council. After the Council (1962-1965), for political reasons, Archbishop Thuc was not allowed to return to his duties at home and thus began his life in exile.

Palmar de Troya

Image:Thucpalmar.jpg Palmar de Troya, Spain, a town just outside of Seville, was the site of supposed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the late 1960s and the 1970s. The visionary and founder of the Palmarian sect, Clemente Domínguez y Gómez staged ecstasies and received the stigmata. Archbishop Thuc traveled to Spain due to the intervention of Rev. Maurice Revaz, who until he became convinced of the Palmar de Troya apparitions, had taught Canon Law at the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) seminary of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in Ecône, Switzerland. Revaz left the SSPX for the Palmar de Troya group. Archbishop Lefebvre himself did not believe in the apparitions of Palmar de Troya and often warned his faithful of the many recent apparitions being reported; even more after Rev. Revaz had left his own traditionalist Catholic seminary. Archbishop Thuc however did believe the apparitions initially. On January 11, 1976 Archbishop Thuc consecrated Dominguez Gomez and four others bishop after having earlier ordained them priest. These consecrated men had not received seminary training required by canon law for the priesthood. Since the consecrations were not done with the Pope's approval, Pope Paul VI excommunicated Archbishop Thuc.

Archbishop Thuc promptly broke with Palmar de Troya - not because of Paul VI's objections, but rather because he came to conclude that the Palmarian movement was deviant and illegitimate, and that the apparitions were fraudulant.


Dominguez Gomez and his followers proceeded to say mass, ordain priests and consecrate bishops, effectively setting up a parallel church in opposition to Rome. Upon the death of Pope Paul VI, Dominguez Gomez claimed to have been mystically crowned pope in a jail, only hours after the death news reached him, founding the Palmarian Catholic Church.

Image:Thucarms.jpg Archbishop Thuc then moved to Toulon in southern France, where he had a confessional in the cathedral and regularly celebrated the Novus Ordo Missae (the New Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969), until 1982. Archbishop Thuc proceeded to consecrate several bishops without papal mandate. On May 7, 1981 he consecrated a Dominican priest, theologian and former professor at the Roman Latern University, Guérard des Lauriers. On October 17, 1981, he consecrated two Mexican priests, Moises Carmona of Acapulco and Adolfo Zamora. Both of these priests were by then convinced, that the Papal See of Rome was vacant and the successors of Pope Pius XII were all heretical usurpators of Papal power. In February 1982, Archbishop Thuc issued his declaration declaring the See of Peter vacant. In his declaration he intimated he desired a Papal Election to end the vacancy, but his newly consecrated bishops instead became a fragmented group. On September 25, 1982 he conditionally consecrated the former Old Catholic bishop, Christian Datessen. It is also alleged that during this period, Archbishop Thuc consecrated various individuals of dubious character. The bishops consecrated by him rapidly proceeded to consecrate other bishops for all kind of Catholic splinter groups, most of them Sedevacantists.

Shortly after the Datessen consecration, Archbishop Thuc departed for the United States at the invitation of Bishop Louis Vezelis, a Franciscan, in whose New York friary he took up residence.

It is alleged (by the Vezelis group in particular) that Archbishop Thuc was abducted by a group of Vietnamese priests while in New York and was taken to Missouri and hidden away from the contact of his friends. There he was subsequently held incommunicado. It is possible he returned to union with Rome and abjured his former position of Sedevacantism although there is no confirmation one way or the other. Under these uncertain circumstances in the United States, Archbishop Thuc died on December 13, 1984.

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Antonin Drapier
Date of consecration: May 4, 1938
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Philippe Nguyen-Kim-Dien January 22, 1961
Michel Nguyen Khac Ngu January 22, 1961
Clemente Dominguez January 11, 1976
Manuel Corral January 11, 1976
Camilo Estevez January 11, 1976
Michael Donnelly January 11, 1976
Francis Sandler January 11, 1976
Michel Louis Guerard des Lauriers May 7. 1981
Moises Carmona October 17, 1981
Adolfo Zamora October 17, 1981

In addition to the consecrations above, Archbishop Thuc conditionally re-consecrated the following bishops of the Old Catholic Church; Jean Laborie on February 8, 1977, Roger Kozik on October 19, 1978 and Christian Datessen on September 25, 1982. Reportedly, Archbishop Thuc conditionally re-consecrated Michel Fernandez, formerly of the Palmarian Catholic Church on October 19, 1978.

It has been reported, but remains unconfirmed that Archbishop Thuc also consecrated Labat d'Arnoux on July 10, 1976, Claude Nanta de Torrini on March 19, 1977.

Finally, there is the case of Jean Charles Roux. Roux alleges that he was consecrated by Archbishop Thuc on April 18, 1982. However, it is reported that he was consecrated earlier and later by other bishops. There remains a cloud of doubt concerning the circumstances of Roux's ordination and consecration.

External links

fr:Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc zh:吴廷俶

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