I have done a little research on this subject. One article that I read on Archbishop Thuc was in the Four Marks paper but I don't remember when. Maybe someone will know which issue that was or maybe you can find it on the website: http://www.thefourmarks.com/
I also read a few articles on www.cmri.org You can search for papers on Archbishop Thuc by putting his name in the search engine on that site. Here's a letter from Archbishop Thuc himself: http://www.cmri.org/thucletter.html
I'm sure others can point you to other articles.
The Answers. By Fr. Kevin Vaillancourt. For the first time in one volume, a summary of the objections and answers to a controversy that rages among many Catholics today: Are the Orders derived from Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc (RIP) to be considered objectively valid or not? Here you will read the history of this controversy as well as the studied review of this subject by well-known and learned traditional Catholic authors, and of the witnesses who personally met the Archbishop and can an honest assessment about the man's mental state at the time he conferred the Sacred Orders on others. This is a must read for all who need to have this important topic settled in the minds and their hearts. 212 pages. PDF Available. $15.95 http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&start=20&q=cache:SWC7YSTHozcJ:http://www.olgpress.com/products.htm+the+answers+fr+kevin+vaillancourt&ct=clnk Trusting in Him
The time has come to consider the claims of the Society of St. Pius V (SSPV) against the validity of the consecrations and ordinations of Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc (October 6, 1897—December 13, 1984, the father of Catholicism in Vietnam, and a man with doctorates in Sacred Theology, Canon Law, and Philosophy.) Requiescat in Pace
Bp. Clarence Kelly, head of the SSPV,
1. Does not question: That Abp. Thuc was a true Catholic and valid bishop of the Church.
2. Does not question: That that’s the ultimate qualification to be a valid minister for an episcopal consecration (the sacrament that makes one a bishop.)
3. Does not question: The sacraments conferred by Abp. Thuc anytime prior to this point.
What does Bp. Kelly doubt?
1. Only the consecrations intended to safeguard tradition. [That is only the consecrations after Vatican II.—Editor’s postscript]
Believing their authenticity, Abp. Thuc had been convinced to consecrate bishops for followers of the alleged Marian apparitions in Palmar de Troya, Spain, in 1975.
Without speaking to Abp. Thuc, Bp. Kelly questions the validity of every episcopal consecration following Palmar, based on an admittedly poor choice of candidates and other facts as known retrospectively. His poor choices are interpreted by Bp. Kelly and others as a sign that Abp. Thuc was so mentally unbalanced that he could not validly perform a sacrament. But this is a “doubt”. They admit they don’t know. Nevertheless, that’s why Bp. Kelly and the SSPV are divorced from all Catholics associated with Abp. Thuc’s Apostolic line.
The SSPV is divorced from the Thuc-line Catholics even though Abp. Thuc later humbly and publicly renounced his consecrations at Palmar.
2. Bp. Kelly “doubts” the valid consecration of the reknown theologian Fr. Guérard des Lauriers, O.P., since it was after Palmar. But to doubt his consecration, one must believe that this theologian –said to have penned the Ottaviani Intervention-- didn’t notice that Abp. Thuc was too senile or mentally disturbed to adequately function as minister! That’s what Bp. Kelly bases his doubts on … Of course he wasn’t there, and in fact, the SSPV had not yet been formed.
But that’s why the SSPV remain severed from these Catholics. That’s why a SSPV policy forbids giving Thuc-line Catholics the sacraments: because Bp. Kelly isn’t sure the archbishop was mentally sound. Although he multiplies words, this is the whole of his argument.
Like Thomas and the other doubters, the SSPV say they lack sufficient proof. Their argument runs like this: Our doubts are strong; we must decide who and what is credible, and who are true Catholic priests.
I’m sure I don’t know
Where there is doubt, the Church brings certainty. Doubt is the attribute of the confused, not the clear-minded. For, if one forbids discussing a doubt he has made a point of publicly expressing, it does not seem like he has doubts. It seems more like: he must not want answers or reasonable solutions. A solution built on the untenable conclusion that Thuc-line priests were/are schismatic and may be returned to the Church only as laymen, is not honest, reasonable, or demanded by Church practice. Why would the SSPV seek to ostracize Catholics and penalize priests of good will? How can anyone—on grounds of doubt—justify a cruel and divisive policy, which refuses communion to a Catholic because he has attended a Thuc-line Mass, without proving that these priests are in schism? Moreover, shouldn’t the doubts themselves be doubted when the number of those who accept the policy are dwindling? Is it not a self-accusation that one doesn’t claim the theology to pass beyond his own doubt, but is so brazen as to withhold communion and bind men’s minds? Alas! A confession of doubt already includes the admission of ignorance. And why should the faithful follow shepherds of doubt?
Such a principle is unprecedented. In Her history, the Church has consecrated bishops who were mere boys, in all appearances unqualified; and elected true popes who were scoundrels and impious, with bastard children. But they are held as valid. In themselves, imprudent selections do not nullify. And if mortal sin and imprudent selections did not nullify a consecration then, it does not do so now.
Bishops are charged with sowing the faith, not confusing the faithful and between Faith and confusion is a gap so wide as to be considered infinite.
While competing priests vie for support, while some areas have no priests to serve them, laymen are left in the middle of a clerical tug-of-war. Priests suffer too. Instead of efficiently accommodating people in wide areas, our priests are forced to drive or fly, spending more time and money than if they would come together and cooperatively cover these areas.
Dear Fathers, step back for a moment and imagine how the layman or the Conciliar may evaluate this situation:
1. Poll online priests: There are many Lefebvre-line priests and those of the pre-Vatican II line that support the Thuc-line as valid and its priests as holy servants of Christ’s Church.
2. Size-up the original SSPV priests and their present approval of the Thuc-line validity: As many readers may know, The Nine (priests who founded the SSPV) are divided over this issue and to date nearly half have accepted the Thuc-line.
3. Prioritize according to their own needs: Who provides the sacraments where one lives? There are more Thuc-line churches than SSPV.
The layman is far less involved in pot-and-kettle polemics than the SSPV priests, which of course have no real bearing on the Thuc consecrations anyway. Although most of these laymen think for themselves, after learning from their Conciliar mistakes, many still give priority to whatever his priest says about the issue. Otherwise it can be seen this way: Bp. Kelly opposes the Thuc-line because the archbishop blew it on a number of occasions, and no matter what he was thinking, he permanently lost his power as bishop to consecrate anyone ever again. So says Bp. Kelly. Meanwhile, important scholars disagree. Trying to shore up his unproven point, Bp. Kelly mercilessly hammers on Abp. Thuc’s imprudent decisions. But saying it over and over won’t make earlier judgments nullify later actions. The bishop’s detractions are extremely inflammatory and misleading. And he still doesn’t prove his point. All we have is a convinced bishop who says that he is sure he doesn’t know…
Sacraments held as valid
And a crucial point: Bp. Kelly hasn’t proved that the sacrament does NOT enjoy the benefit of the doubt. Nor can he. Many laymen know that a sacrament like Matrimony enjoys the benefit of the doubt. Validity is presumed until proved to the contrary.1. (Since he claims doubt, he has no proof to the contrary. Furthermore, it must be proved before the appropriate official or Tribunal.) The onus is on the person who hopes to prove in a specific case that a sacrament was not valid, in this case Bp. Kelly. Christ’s Church is founded on perfect order, and were the priest of each sacrament to be scrutinized similarly, we would have a Church of Chaos. That validity is presumed is our protection, a guarantee by Our Lord that safeguards our sacraments. This principle alone is sufficient to alleviate the SSPV doubt.
If truly acting in kindness and love, the SSPV would work to resolve any other difficulties, just as through their motivation they found a way to have Father Kelly episcopally consecrated as a bishop despite the general practice of the Church and ecclesiastical laws prohibiting it like papal mandate, co-consecrators etc. Is not schism too dreadful and unity too vital to ignore?
Schism2. comes from the Greek for split or cut. It is the “refusal to submit to the authority of the pope” and the most pertinent part: “or to hold communion with members of the Church subject to him. … Anyone guilty of an external act of schism is ipso facto excommunicated… The sacraments may not be administered to schismatics, even those in good faith.”3. Why bring this up? Because the Society’s policy excludes itself and laymen from “communion with members of the Church subject to” a true pope. It’s evident that the Society shuns traditional Catholics and traditional priests with no solid excuse.
At what point, dear Fathers and readers, do I become culpable for my silence. Because I’m indebted to the SSPV who have provided me the sacraments, because of the anticipated conflicts and losses, I don’t want to write this. My only reason is a sense of urgent moral obligation. And so I beg readers to help me, to pray three Hail Marys —now—asking Our Lady to present this bouquet to her Son on behalf of our beloved priests and an end to this division.
It should be noted that the claim against the Thuc-line priests and bishops is not schism or heresy. The SSPV alleges that Abp. Thuc lacked good judgment in a number of related decisions, and that therefore they doubt the validity of those traditional lines. Although their assertion concerning the archbishop’s imprudent decisions is not disputed, their conclusions concerning the significance of those decisions as applied to the consecrations are based on exaggerated and unqualified observations and cannot be upheld. Little need be said about the SSPV fear that one must not act in doubt, especially concerning a sacrament, because the doubt we’re discussing does not concern their own action, nor are they in any way directly involved with the past decisions and sacraments of Abp. Thuc, since schism has not been proved.
The doubts have been sufficiently answered here. Most others could be resolved by reading the comprehensive quotes of the numerous reputable sources in The Answers by Fr. Kevin Vaillancourt. Why cling to the precious doubts when answers will restore unity and rectify the immediate need for cooperative efforts in every area, including the fight against accusations of anti-Semitism?!
Certainly when considering Abp. Thuc’s mental state, Bp. Kelly weighed things concerning his health. And in this regard, I can’t help but see that Bp. Kelly has been seriously ill for many years, a fact that often affects our ability to evaluate even simple matters. Because his illness has been shrouded in silence, the Thuc-line policy has been accepted by the SSPV priests, perhaps solely on their oaths of loyalty to a superior once in good health. And has the issue been sidelined rather than upset His Excellency?
Frankly, though I struggle to find worthy reasons to support Bp. Kelly, instead I find more and more that I have overlooked things that favor the huge body of Thuc-line Catholics, and point to a terrible injustice.
Yes, let this appeal reach every possible reader. Let the doubt be removed. I beg His Excellency Bp. Clarence Kelly to accept the opinion of Fr. Stépanich and embrace his brothers in Christ.
Fr. Martin Stépanich, OFM, STD, who has submitted a statement to The Four Marks reiterating his position accepting the episcopal consecrations of Abp. Pierre Martin Thuc, is a Doctor of Sacred Theology, earned in 1948. He had some 18 years of seminary (including minor seminary,) was a seminary and college professor, edited the Ave Maria (a Slovene language magazine), and in the past wrote for The Wanderer, The Remnant, and the Marylike Crusader. I have included his statement in this issue because he is eminently suited to alleviate this SSPV doubt, especially since he may claim objectivity.
1. Exposition of Christian Doctrine, Imprimatur 1919, p. 43 : “The presumption is in favor of the validity of an action till the contrary has been proved. It is in accordance with this principle that, in case of doubt, a confession should be presumed to have been valid.”
2. An exceptional article by John Daly concerning aspects of schism as it should and shouldn’t be applied may be found on www.sedevacantist.com/npis.html
3. A Catholic Dictionary, © 1931, Attwater, p. 476
—Kathleen Plumb, Editorhttp://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&start=10&q=cache:nDOE3bokSxUJ:http://www.thefourmarks.com/editorial.htm+the+answers+fr+kevin+vaillancourt&ct=clnk