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We Cannot Through Servile Obedience Go Along With The Schismatics

Interview with Archbishop Lefebvre in Écône, of August 2nd, 1976 and published in the French magazine Le Figaro, August 4, 1976. It is important for us to read this text again, 26 years later.

Le Figaro: "After the suspension 'a divinis' which struck him (in 1976), Archbishop Lefebvre by no means considers to submit. He does not believe in the possibility of a reconciliation with Rome and risks the pronouncement of an excommunication against him and his disciples."

-"Your Excellency, are you not bordering on schism?"

-Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: "That is the question that many Catholics ask after reading of the latest sanctions taken by Rome against us! Catholics, for the most part, define or imagine schism as a rupture with the Pope. They do not go any further in their investigation. You have ruptured with the Pope or the Pope has ruptured with you, therefore you are going into schism.

"Why does a rupture with the Pope cause schism? Because where the Pope is, there is the Catholic Church. Thus, in reality, it is to depart from the Catholic Church. Now the Catholic Church is a mystical reality that exists not only in space and on the surface of the earth, but also in time and in eternity. For the Pope to represent the Church and to be its image, he must not only be united to her in space but also in time (throughout History), as the Church is essentially a living tradition.

"To the degree that the Pope departs from this tradition, he becomes schismatic, he breaks with the Church. Theologians such as Saint Bellarmine, Cajetan, Cardinal Journet and many others have studied this possibility. It is not something inconceivable.

"But it is the Second Vatican Council and its reforms, its official orientations, which concern us more than the personal attitude of the Pope, which is difficult to discern.

"This Council represents, both in the opinion of the Roman authorities as in our own, A NEW CHURCH which they call themselves the "CONCILIAR CHURCH".

"We believe that we can affirm, taking into consideration the internal and external critique (review) on Vatican II, that is, in analysing the texts and in studying its circumstances and its consequences, that the Council, turning its back on Tradition and breaking with the Church of the past, is a SCHISMATIC COUNCIL. The tree is known by its fruits. Since the Council, all the larger newspapers throughout the world, American and European, recognise that it is destroying the Catholic Church to such a degree that even the unbelievers and the secular governments are worried. A non-aggressive agreement has been made between the Church and masonry. It was covered up by calling it aggiornamento, reaching out to the world, ecumenism. From the time of the Council, the Church has accepted to not be the only true religion, the only way to eternal salvation. She recognizes the other religions as sister religions. She recognizes the right granted to the nature of the human person to be free to choose its religion and that consequently, a Catholic state or government is no longer acceptable.

"Accepting this NEW PRINCIPLE, all the doctrine of the Church must change, as well as its cult, its priesthood, its institutions, because everything in the Church until the Council had demonstrated that she alone possessed the Way, the Truth and the Life in Our Lord Jesus Christ, Whom she kept in person in the Holy Eucharist, and Who is present thanks to the continuation of His sacrifice. Thus a total overturning of Tradition and of the teaching of the Church has occurred since the Council and through the Council.

"All those who cooperate in the application of this overturning accept and adhere to this new "Conciliar Church", as His Excellency Mgr. Benelli called it in the letter that he sent me in the name of the Holy Father last June 25, and they enter into the schism. The adoption of the liberal theses by a council could only have taken place in a pastoral council that was not infallible and cannot be explained except through a secret and meticulous preparation, that the historians will end up discovering to the great astonishment of the Catholics who confuse the eternal Roman Catholic Church with human Rome, susceptible of being invaded by enemies covered in scarlet.

"How could we, through a servile and blind obedience, go along with these schismatics who demand us to collaborate in their attempt at the DESTRUCTION OF THE CHURCH?

"The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, to the bishops and to the priesthood in general is at the service of the faith in His divinity and of the transmission of His own divine life. All the divine or ecclesiastical institutions are meant for this end. All the rights, all the laws, have no other end but this. To use the laws, the institutions and the authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and to no longer communicate life, is to practice spiritual abortion or contraception. Who would dare to say that a Catholic worthy of his name could cooperate in a crime worse than corporal abortion?

"That is why we submit ourselves and are willing to accept all that which is in conformity with our Catholic faith, such as has been taught by her for two thousand years, but we refuse all that which is opposed to it.

"They object: you are judging the Catholic faith. But is it not the most serious duty of all Catholics to judge the faith (the doctrine) that is being taught to them today by that which has been taught and believed for twenty centuries and which is written in the official catechisms such as that of Trent, of Saint Pius X and in all the catechisms before Vatican II? How have all the true faithful acted when faced with heresies? They have preferred to shed their blood rather than betray their faith.

"That the heresy come to us from someone that be as elevated in dignity as possible, the problem is the same for the salvation of our souls. In this regard many of the faithful are in grave ignorance as to the nature and the extension of the infallibility of the Pope. Many think that every word that comes from the mouth of the Pope is infallible.

"On the other hand, if it appears certain to us that the faith which was taught by the Church for twenty centuries cannot contain error, we have much less of an absolute certitude that the Pope be truly Pope. Heresy, schism, ipso facto excommunication, and invalid election are some causes which could make it happen that a Pope never was one or would cease to be one. In this obviously very exceptional case, the Church would be in a situation similar to that which occurs after the death of a sovereign pontiff.

"Because in fact a serious problem is being posed to the conscience and to the faith of all the Catholics since the beginning of the pontificate of Paul VI. How is it that a Pope, the true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, could preside at the destruction of the Church, the most profound and the most widespread in history to occur in so little space of time, that which no heretic has ever succeeded in doing?

"This question will have to be answered one day, but leaving this problem to the theologians and the historians, the reality forces us to a practical response, according to the counsel of Saint Vincent of Lerins: 'What should the Catholic Christian do if a part of the Church were to detach itself from communion with the universal law? What other side could he take but to prefer instead of the gangrenous and corrupted member, the body in its whole which is healthy? And if some new contagion would poison not only a small part of the Church but the entire Church all at the same time! Then again, his great concern would be TO STAY WITH THE ANTIQUITY, which, of course, can no longer be seduced by any lying novelty!'

"Therefore we have firmly decided to continue our work of restoring the Catholic priesthood no matter what happens, persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Church, to the Pope, to the bishops and to the faithful. May they let us to test or experience (as they say) Tradition."

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Écône, August 2, 1976.
(06-16-2012, 07:07 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: [ -> ]And:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TtB...%2C1684962

Nice find!
But he also said

Quote: In this climate of divisions that are cropping up everywhere and are the work of the devil, we must above all avoid fruitless discussions. God knows that there are fruitless discussions among traditionalists. It is continuing, and it is only getting louder and more widespread. Maybe some of you have heard about the sorts of little pamphlets that are circulating against me, against my Letter No. 16, against my travels, my contacts with the pope and with Rome, haven’t you?

Personally, you know, it doesn’t matter much to me, but it is unfortunate when it comes from good friends, friends on whom you thought you could count and who sometimes say exactly the same thing as the worst of the progressives. Because I made these good friends treat me like a traitor, because, supposedly, I am making compromises, I am abandoning the Old Mass, handing the traditionalists over to Satan, etc.

Here’s what I mean: when I arrived in Chile, there were articles in the newspapers reporting that, “Cardinal Silva Henriquez says that Archbishop Lefebvre is a traitor and a Judas.” Well, there you have the worst of the progressives, don’t you, Cardinal Silva Henriquez of Chile, who was the friend of Allende [a Communist who became president of Chile - Ed.], and then in contrast others who call themselves enemies of these progressives who also say that I am a traitor just the same. Well, you have to think that they are beginning to agree and that they are – ultimately - closer to each other than they think.

In any case, if that can add something to the little merit that I have, so much the better. If it can add something... they say that I am Pilate. I believe that I have not yet betrayed you. But I think rather that this is like the men who spat on the face of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I really think that that is so, because it is vile to say that I prefer to avoid scandal than to defend the truth. You be the judges.

...[some are upset] by things that are being said now.... But they are all just fruitless discussions. Leave the responsibility to those who say that, all those who spread things of that sort, some of whom were raised in this house. Anyhow - Lord have mercy! - I cannot enter into those discussions.... the only thing that we have to do, what is essential to our work, is to continue quite simply the Tradition of the Church. The work, the building up of the Church by the catechism, by the sacraments, by preaching, plainly and simply.

And if by our prayers and our efforts we can manage to bring it about that instead of being only a few thousand, let’s say, traditionalists who are faithful to Tradition, if we can manage, by breaking the iron curtain that surrounds us and constrains us, to act in such a way that [there are] millions and millions of souls and perhaps hundreds of thousands of priests who again say and participate in the Sacrifice of the Mass according to Tradition, the Mass of All Ages, I think that we are obliged in conscience to do all that we can to attain that. If we don’t, we don’t.

At least we will have done all that we can, but that is the only goal that I have in all these procedures that I will initiate with Rome. I have no other goal than to try to break this iron curtain that constrains us and act in such a way that millions of souls are saved because they will once again have the source of grace in the true Mass and in the true sacraments, in the true catechism, in the true Bible: well, I think that we will not have wasted our time. And so I ask you to pray for this. Next Tuesday I will be in a meeting with Cardinal Seper, and in the afternoon there will be a private conversation with him, and I will make every effort to try to convince him finally to act so that the Mass of Our Lord, the true Mass, will truly have a place of honor in the Church....
A seminary conference
given at
St. Pius X Seminary
in Econe, Switzerland
on May 3, 1979



Ultimately I think this 'quotes game' is pointless, it is not possible to say with absolute certainty what Archbishop Lefebvre would or wouldn't have done, but we do know to whom he entrusted such decisions, the superior general and both the current superior general Bp Fellay and his predecessor Fr Schmidberger support the talks with Rome and a possible 'reintegration' of sorts. He did not entrust the society to the bishops, and he himself never took the line which a frankly lunatic fringe in the Society do opposing any talks or deal with Rome, this 'lunatic fringe' has to a large extent caused much of the disrepute the society suffers from in the press, I refer especially to +Williamsons imprudent and scandalous remarks vis a vis the holocaust and they also the sort that spread all sorts of venom and bile over at Cathinfo. Though you personally in no way suffer from this condition, many of those opposed to the deal come across as bitter and full of venom, they appear incapable of using reason and instead make appeals to emotion, make ad hominems and generally act in a most unchrist like manner. On the contrary those that support a deal are generally calm and collected, awaiting the will of God, whatever it may be. That persuades me to a large extent that a deal is the will of God, but we shall see what happens.
Quote:Though you personally in no way suffer from this condition, many of those opposed to the deal come across as bitter and full of venom, they appear incapable of using reason and instead make appeals to emotion, make ad hominems and generally act in a most unchrist like manner. On the contrary those that support a deal are generally calm and collected, awaiting the will of God, whatever it may be. That persuades me to a large extent that a deal is the will of God, but we shall see what happens.

Thank you. I realize that many "hardliners" act in unbecoming ways. Everyone does make mistakes. Although I may not agree with Bisho Fellay or others, I never called them "Bernie" or traitors or Judases. I may not like e.g. Max Krah, but I don't think disrespect leads anywhere.

I oppose a deal for different reasons than eg Fr. Pfeiffer or the Three. Ecclesiologically I believe they are wrong, but I do not want a Catholic group with valid sacraments to make what I believe to be a huge mistake.
In September 1976, ABL also said this:
Quote:"Holy Father, let me continue. You have the solution of the problem in your hands. You need say only one word to the bishops: receive fraternally, with understanding and charity all those groups of traditionalists, all those who wish to keep the prayer of former days, the sacraments as before, the catechism as before. Receive them, give them places of worship, settle with them so that they can pray and remain in relation with you, in intimate relation with their bishops. You need say only one word to the bishops and everything will return to order and at that moment we shall have no more problems. Things will return to order. As for the seminary, I myself shall have no difficulty in going to the bishops and asking them to implant my priests in their dioceses: things will be done normally. I myself am very willing to renew relations with a commission you could name from the Congregation of Religious to come to the seminary. But clearly we shall keep and wish to continue the practice of Tradition. We should be allowed to maintain that practice. But I want to return to normal and official relations with the Holy See and with the Congregations. Beyond that I want nothing.”

But as TrentCath said, playing the quotes game is essentially useless.
Neither Paul VI nor JPII let the archbishop continue. BXVI is in favor of Vatican II as well.
(06-16-2012, 07:51 PM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: [ -> ]Neither Paul VI nor JPII let the archbishop continue. BXVI is in favor of Vatican II as well.

Perhaps, but Archbishop Lefebvre did not point blank refuse to talk to Rome simply because the pope accepted Vatican 2.
(06-16-2012, 07:20 PM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:Though you personally in no way suffer from this condition, many of those opposed to the deal come across as bitter and full of venom, they appear incapable of using reason and instead make appeals to emotion, make ad hominems and generally act in a most unchrist like manner. On the contrary those that support a deal are generally calm and collected, awaiting the will of God, whatever it may be. That persuades me to a large extent that a deal is the will of God, but we shall see what happens.

Thank you. I realize that many "hardliners" act in unbecoming ways. Everyone does make mistakes. Although I may not agree with Bisho Fellay or others, I never called them "Bernie" or traitors or Judases. I may not like e.g. Max Krah, but I don't think disrespect leads anywhere.

I oppose a deal for different reasons than eg Fr. Pfeiffer or the Three. Ecclesiologically I believe they are wrong, but I do not want a Catholic group with valid sacraments to make what I believe to be a huge mistake.

I am sure your concern is appreciated  Smile
(06-17-2012, 08:51 AM)TrentCath Wrote: [ -> ]
(06-16-2012, 07:51 PM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: [ -> ]Neither Paul VI nor JPII let the archbishop continue. BXVI is in favor of Vatican II as well.

Perhaps, but Archbishop Lefebvre did not point blank refuse to talk to Rome simply because the pope accepted Vatican 2.

The doc talks happened.
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