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 Fr. Barbara - the real Archbishop Thuc 
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New post Fr. Barbara - the real Archbishop Thuc
From Fortes in Fide No. 12, 1993.


In every problem, and above all in the present situation,
there is no reason to fear the truth. Matters relating to the
faith have nothing to fear from the truth.

At the time of the consecrations I only knew one thing
about Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc: that he had consecrated the
visionaries of Palmar de Troya in Spain.


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 the 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 immediately 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

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 us 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.

I personally never knew the Vietnamese Archbishop before
the time of my two visits to his residence at 22 rue Garibaldi,
Toulon, in the district of Var, in France.

The first time was in March of 1981 when I went to ask him
about a Father Garcia who wished to work with me and claimed to
have been ordained by Archbishop Ngo.

The second time was on January 7, 1982, at which time I
was accompanied by Father Barthe, an elderly priest connected
with the association "Union pour la Fidelity." We had asked
for a meeting because a Mexican priest friend had come and told
us about the episcopal consecration of R. P. Guerard des
Lauriers and Fathers Carmona and Zamora. We were desirous of
having some information about their consecrations.

What follows is the summary of what happened at this visit
such as is available from notes in the archives of the "Union
pour la Fidelite."

"We arranged a meeting by telephone for Monday, the 5th.
of January. Arriving at Toulon, we presented ourselves at his
home at 8 o'clock in the morning. Despite the prearranged
meeting, Archbishop Thuc was not there. A local businessman
who knew the archbishop said to us: "You are looking for
grandfather?" (for such was he called in that part of town).
He is at the Cathedral. We went there and found him assisting
in the synaxe [i.e., the "Novus Ordo Missae"] of one of the
priests. Father Barbara approached him. The Archbishop
recognized him and came to him. On his own, he had us follow
him towards the exit and we accompanied him to his home.

"The Archbishop lived in a very poor and dirty apartment
on the first floor of an old tenement building. In appearance,
it was a simple flat that was longer than wide, with a small
side kitchen. On the right was a modest bed. In the corner
was a table on which he celebrated the traditional rite as
codified by Saint Pius V every morning. There were many pious
images, a pile of "pocket books," two chairs and five cats that
appeared to be everywhere. As he only had two chairs, the
Archbishop sat on his bed and Father Barbara sat opposite him.
The room was so small that Father Barthe had to place his chair
behind the Archbishop.

"Archbishop Thuc informed us that he celebrated Mass in
his apartment early every morning, and always in the
traditional rite. Afterwards he would go to the Cathedral
where the Archpriest had provided him with a confessional.
When there was no acolyte available, he served the mass (by
which I mean the synaxe). Father Barbara asked him what his
relations with the [Novus Ordo] bishop of the cathedral were.
He responded that the [novus ordo] Bishop of Toulon had given
him the task of providing the Vietnamese with Confession, and
also the powers of confession for anyone who came to him. Once
a year, on Holy Thursday, he invited the elderly Archbishop to
concelebrate mass with him in the new rite.

"Father Barbara reminded him that he had visited him
during the previous year to ask for information about a certain
Garcia of Marseille who the Archbishop had ordained.
Archbishop Thuc informed us that he regretted having done so,
because he had come to know that the Father in question was
mentally unbalanced. "He wished me to consecrate him a bishop.
I refused. But," he added, "why does everyone wish to be a

"Father then explained to him the reason for our visit. A
Mexican friend, Father Marquette, had informed us that he had
consecrated the cure of Acapulco, Father Moses Carmona, and
another Mexican, Father Zamora. The Archbishop admitted that
such was the case. I didn't know them. There were two
Germans, Heller and Hiller, who brought them to me and asked
that I consecrate them. I had confidence in these two
gentlemen because I knew Mr. Heller. He is a very fine person.
I knew him because he asked me to confirm his little daughter
and I had confirmed her. These Germans are very generous. The
two Mexican priests were consecrated here. I was able to speak
with them in Latin. Father Carmona spoke much better Latin
than did Father Zamora. The two Germans assisted. They had
brought along everything that was necessary for the
consecration. During the ceremony, they held the candles.

"Father Barbara then explained that we had also learned
from Mexico that he had consecrated Father R. P. Guerard des
Lauriers, O.P.

- "The Dominican?"
- "Yes"
- "It is true. I did indeed consecrate him. He is very
knowledgeable." He then went on to explain that it was Father
des Lauriers who had himself come and asked to be consecrated.
The Germans supported his request.

- "Did these gentlemen assist in his consecration?" asked
Father Barbara. We do not remember what he replied. On the
other hand the Archbishop told us that once the ceremony was
finished Father Guerard left without saying anything; but that
later he wrote a letter which he had great difficulty in
reading "because his writing is very small". Archbishop Ngo
gave him an attestation such as he did every time he
consecrated a person to be a bishop.

- "Have you consecrated other bishops?"
- "No!"
- "How about Arbinet?"

"The Archbishop took a moment to remember. He regretted
having ordained this person as a priest, but he denied that he
had consecrated him as a bishop. Since then he had learned
that this individual had been disowned by his own family.

"Father Barbara then respectfully, but firmly, rebuked the
elderly bishop:

"1 - With regard to the "Novus Ordo Missae" which the
Archbishop assisted at, and once a year concelebrated: Father
Barbara briefly explained that this "Novus Ordo" was not a
Catholic Mass but a Protestant service.

"2 - With regard to the heretical nature of Vatican II and
the new Church: Father Barbara explained that he must break
with this Church and not continue to be in communion with the
post-Conciliar hierarchy. Do not imitate Archbishop Lefebvre
who cries forth from the rooftops that he recognizes the
legitimacy of the post-Conciliar hierarchy, and at the same
time publicly disobeys them.

"3 - About the seriously illicit and culpable
consecrations which he had conferred. To consecrate bishops
without the authorization of John Paul II with whom you are in
communion is an act which is materially schismatic. Moreover,
the bishop who ordains without any precaution, assumes the
responsibility for the actions of those whom he ordains.
Father Barbara reminded Archbishop Ngo of the warning given to
consecrators: "the bishop should not impose his hands lightly."

"Father Barbara further reminded the elderly archbishop of
the need to be prepared for death - this at any age, but "how
much more at yours!" He invited him to come to Forges in order
to follow a course of Spiritual Exercises during a retreat. He
advised him to make a general confession in order to prepare
himself for the judgment of God.

"Father Barbara told the archbishop that he presumed to
make this warning, not to place burdens on him, but in charity,
for the love of God, the Church and himself. "Your excellence,"
he said, "if I could, I would say all this on my knees."

"Finally, Father Barbara warned him that he risked having
difficulties with the official Church. His consecrations were
becoming public knowledge. But there is nothing for you to be
upset about. They have no authority since they do not belong
to the [true] Church. On the other hand you should be worried
about the judgment of God.

"The Archbishop appeared very moved. He spontaneously
thanked Father Barbara, telling him that he understood that his
behavior was based on a good will and a great charity. He
asked for Father Barbara's address and told him he would get in
touch with him if he decided to do the Spiritual Exercises.
The Archbishop accompanied us to the front stairs of his house.

"Evaluation. Archbishop Ngo Din Thuc appeared to us as a
poor, simple, but good person. He did not seem to have
understood the crisis the Church had faced subsequent to
Vatican II. Also, perhaps he was unwilling to see that some
individuals were imposing on his goodness. Beyond this, he
gave us the impression that matters of licitness were not very
important for him."

* * *


The summary given above was written the day after our
visit of January 7, 1982. Since then, I have given further
thought to the matter and have discovered a different
Archbishop Thuc, one that I had not previously known.

First of all, one should read his autobiography. This is
important for those who only know the archbishop because of his
connection with Palmar de Troya, the essential details of which
I have reported.

Archbishop Peter-Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc was born at Hue, on
October 6, 1897, of profoundly Christian parents. His father
had wished to be a priest, and had undertaken studies with this
end in view.

His mother, born of a petite bourgeoisie family in
Quang-ngai (south Vietnam) was considered to be a saint by her
confessor. During a very prolonged illness from which she
died, she inspired the adoration of all who knew her.

His father, Ngo Dinh Kha, was an excellent Latinist and
worked very hard to introduce French into Central Vietnam.
After having been the preceptor to the young king Thant Thai,
and then Minister of the Imperial Household, he fell into
disgrace because he refused to vote against his sovereign.

His elder brother, Ngo Dinh Khoi, was an excellent
Christian. Because of his refusal to become a minister in the
first communist government, he, along with his son, was buried

The three other children of Ngo Dinh Kha are Diem, the
father of the Vietnamese Republic, Nhu and Can, his close
collaborators. They were assassinated by the C.I.A. Ngo Dinh
Can was not with his older brothers at the time they were
murdered. He was successful in hiding himself in a shelter
provided by the Redemptorist Fathers in Hue. He was betrayed
and delivered into the hands of rebellious generals by a shady
scheme inaugurated by the American consul. Before executing
him, the communists imprisoned him in a cage for over a year.
He was, despite this, able to receive holy communion every day,
thanks to the devotion of a Vietnamese Redemptorist Father. He
died very courageously with the rosary in his hand.

Of all the children of Ngo Dinh Kha, only two were able to
escape annihilation, Ngo Dinh Luyen and Ngo Dinh Thuc. The
first who had graduated from the Central School for Engineers
in Paris was at the time ambassador in London. The other was
in Rome where he was involved in the Second Vatican Council.

As a young man Thuc had entered the junior seminary in
Anninh at the age of 12. He spent 8 years there before going
on to study philosophy at the major seminary in Hue. He was
then selected to study theology in Rome and returned to his
country in 1927 after being awarded three doctorates, one in
philosophy, one in theology, and the third in canon law. In
addition, he received a license to teach from the Sorbonne.

His bishop successively nominated him to the rank of
professor at the College of Vietnamese Brothers in Hue, a
professor at the Major Seminary in Hue, and Dean of the College
of Providence.

In 1938, at the age of 41, he was chosen by Rome to direct
the Apostolic Vicariate at Vinhlong. He was appointed as the
titular bishop of Sesina on January 8, and was consecrated on
May 4, 1938. He took as his episcopal symbol "Miles Christi -
Soldier of Christ." He was the third Vietnamese priest raised
to the Episcopate.

The new pastor immediately dedicated himself to the
organization of his Vicariate.

Given the reverses that Christianity was sustaining in
this part of the world, Pope Pius XI, understood the urgency of
opening a Catholic university in South Vietnam for the
formation of Christians of the former French protectorate. The
Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith informed
the local bishops of the Pontiff's heart-felt desire and
further informed them that the Holy Father wished that one of
the official languages of this University should be French in
order that the ancient proteges of France, the Vietnamese,
Cambodians and Laotians could all go there for their formation.
The local bishops designated Bishop Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc as the
person who could best accomplish the wishes of the Holy Father.

Where could the necessary funds for such an enterprise be
found in a country engaged in a subversive war? Apart from the
blessing of the Pope and the bishop of Vinhlong, all he had was
a good will. This is hardly enough to establish a University,
even in a mission country. Without being discouraged, the good
bishop set to work. Thanks to the support he was able to count
on, he was granted by the government of Diem, the authority to
exploit an ancient forest. Thus, it was by his own industry,
his efforts and his tenacity, that Bishop Ngo rapidly
accumulated all the necessary funds to bring the task he had
undertaken to completion, thus fulfilling the desire of the
Pope and providing his country with a Catholic university. One
last detail worthy of being underlined: by means of his
industry, disinterest and foresight he provided this university
with sufficient income to guarantee its ability to persist as
an independent enterprise.

On November 24, 1960, John XXIII, who succeeded Pius XII,
transferred the Apostolic Vicarage of Vinhlong to the head of
the Metropolitan See at Hue, the city where Bishop Ngo was

1962 was the year of the Second Vatican Council. On
October 11, Bishop Ngo Dinh Thuc was in Rome. This absence so
far away from his native land at the moment when his brothers
were assassinated, saved his life.

After the Council was finished, like bishops from every.
country, those from South Vietnam returned to their own
dioceses. However the Archbishop of Hue was unable to obtain
permission to return to his See. In his Autobiography
Archbishop Ngo informs us that "The Americans forced the
Government of South Vietnam to refuse me permission to

He then approached Paul VI, thinking that he would in this
way obtain the necessary authorization. Did Montini intervene?
Once again, the Archbishop tells us in his autobiography: "Paul
VI used my inability to return to my See to force me to resign
and to name as my replacement one of his favorites, Bishop
Dien." From that time forward he led an uprooted life.

I who have written these lines and who am myself a "black
sheep," well know what it means to a priest not to belong to a
diocese and to have to support himself. Consider the absence
of eagerness with which new priests are welcomed by those who
are supposed to welcome them. For him, there appeared to be no
place in the vineyard of the Lord. Did the Master make a
mistake when he stated that "the harvest is plentiful, but the
workers are few?"

The Archbishop was not the kind of person who could remain
idle, and before concerning himself with his own needs, this
man who spoke fluent Italian looked in Italy for some ministry.
He wished to be useful and to support himself in a decent
manner. But he who no longer belonged to any diocese was also
a stranger in the House of his Mother.

Thanks to a prelate who had been apostolic delegate in
Vietnam, Archbishop Ngo was able to find food and lodging in a
reception center in Rome, but he had to pay a fee for this. In
order to obtain the funds to do this, he offered his services
to a cure in the parish. This priest was only too happy to
accept his offer ... and to exploit him.

Despite his priestly efforts he was unable to earn enough
to pay his bill at the Reception Center. Archbishop Ngo asked
the cure to provide him with an empty room at the vicarage, but
the cure refused. He was jealous of the Bishop who because of
his kindness and availability ended up seeing his confessional
besieged by all the penitents that formerly went to the cure.
Despite everything he did, he could not help but antagonize the
head of the parish who became increasingly unpleasant, and this
to such a degree that the Archbishop finally had to leave.

As he had previously known Dom Nivardo Buttarazzi, the
Reverend Abbot of the Monastery of Casamari in the center of
Italy, the ancient Archbishop went and knocked at his door. He
was received as a brother and given a room in the guest house.
For about one and a half years the Archbishop stayed there
contentedly. He made himself useful by confessing the faithful
of the parish which was dependent on the Abbey and the monks
who came to him. Unfortunately, one day, these religious
decided to organize an exhibition of nudes in the library of
the Monastery. The Bishop showed his disapproval with the
greatest of discretion. But this was more than they could
accept and they asked him to leave the place as soon as he
could make other arrangements.

Where could he go? The local bishop who had made his
sympathies known to the Archbishop on several occasions, asked
him to preside over certain ceremonies and to share his meals.
The Archbishop then went to the bishop's house. He begged his
confrere to give him a small church that had no priest where he
could serve, provided that it had a sacristy where he could
place a bed and stay.

The Bishop was agreeable and appointed him to the village
of Arpino which consisted of a dozen families. The titular
priest was happy to accept the assistance which Providence had
provided him through the bishop. "I was happy to stay there
with the small flock over which I was the secondary shepherd,"
he tells us in his biography, and I thought that Arpino would
be my last resting place in this world ... At that time a
priest came to me who I had formerly known in Econe,
Switzerland. He said to me point-blank: "Your Excellency, the
Holy Virgin has sent me to bring you at once to Spain in order
to render her a service. My car is waiting for you at the door
of the presbytery and we will leave immediately so as to reach
there by Christmas." Thrilled by this invitation, I said to
him: "If it is a service demanded by the Holy Virgin, I am
ready to follow you to the end of the world."

And this is how the adventure of Palmar de Troya came
about, an event which has attracted the attention of all those
who asked him for episcopal consecrations.

In Christ our King.

Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:40 am
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Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:27 pm
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Location: Germany
New post Re: Fr. Barbara - the real Archbishop Thuc
I am well aware of the problem to open old wounds. However I notice that the reliability of Father Barbara's account is questionable.

Here is a reply by Kurt Hiller against Father Barbara's claims: ... ey=Barbara

And after Father Barbara's death we read in Heller's magazine: ... ey=Barbara

Am 10. Oktober dieses Jahres verstarb P. Noël Barbara im Alter von 91 Jahren in seinem Haus in Tours/Frankreich nach längerem Leiden. Zunächst war er Pfarrer im Bistum Constantine in Algerien, schließlich Sekretär des dortigen Bischofs. Danach trat er als Novize bei den Patres von Chabeuil/ franz. Alpen ein. Da diese Patres der Reform verfielen, trennte sich Barbara von diesem Orden wie auch P. Barielle, sein ehemaliger Oberer und nachmaliger Spiritual von Ecône. Als Herausgeber der Zeitschrift FORTES IN FIDE klärte er über die Auswirkungen des Konzils und dessen Urheber, Paul VI., auf. 1973 hielt Barbara eine Pressekonferenz in Rom ab, auf der er Paul VI. anklagte wegen Schisma, Häresie und Apostasie. Er hielt Vorträge in Basel, Straßburg und München, um die verschiedenen Gruppen zusammenzuführen. Seine Reisen, um vermeintlich noch rechtgläubige Bischöfe zu sammeln, blieb erfolglos. Das bis dahin kooperative Verhältnis zwischen P. Barbara und dem Una-Voce-Freundeskreis fand ein jähes Ende, als Barbara durch den Verrat der bis dahin geheim gehaltenen Bischofsweihen durch S.E. Mgr. Ngô-dinh-Thuc diesen in eine solche Bedrängnis brachte, daß er zu uns nach Deutschland fliehen mußte. Barbara startete daraufhin eine Verleumdungskampagne gegen den vietnamesischen Prälaten. Im Zusammenhang mit der Veröffentlichung der Sedisvakanz-Erklärung von S.E. Mgr. Ngô-dinh-Thuc verstieg sich Barbara zu den öffentlich geäußerten Anschuldigungen gegen Herrn Dr. Hiller und mich, wir seien Häretiker und hätten Mgr. Thuc 'gekauft'... Vorwürfe, die er m.W. nie zurückgenommen hat. Später distanzierte er sich zumindest von seiner ablehnenden Haltung gegen S.E. Mgr. Ngô-dinh-Thuc. Es gab versöhnliche Töne zwischen Bischof Carmona und P. Babara, der dessen Angebot, ihn zum Bischof zu weihen, ablehnte. R.i.p.

Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:47 pm
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New post Re: Fr. Barbara - the real Archbishop Thuc
Dear Martin,

Yes, I understand that Fr. Barbara was somewhat erratic. Concerning that text you pasted in, the text to which you were replying was part of Fr. Barbara's retraction of his allegations against Archbishop Thuc.

Fr. Barbara seemed to have an overly personal reaction to things. He accused Archbishop Lefebvre of betrayal when the latter merely declined to support publicly whatever Fr. Barbara's latest project was.

In Christ our King.

Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:09 pm
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