Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Volume 3, Chapter XXVI

Letters to the Pope and Cardinal Palazzini

6 May 1980

Letter of Mgr. Lefebvre to the Sovereign Pontiff

Most Holy Father,
Since your accession to the Pontificate I have always nourished the hope that the total devotion of my Society and my person to Holy Mother Church would be recognised and that we should be allowed to work freely and in submission to the Church for the salvation of souls, by an increase in the numbers of holy priests.

Your wish for a solution to be found, your struggle against errors spread by theologians whose spirit is tainted with Modernism, such as Hans Kung, Schillebeeckx, Pohier; your efforts to restore normality to Holland; your latest encyclical recalling the principles which are the foundation of the Sacrifice of the Eucharist, all these have been so many occasions to hope for such a solution, since we concur entirely with your thinking and wishes in all these fields.

Furthermore, the principal aim of the Society of St. Pius being the formation of true priests of the Roman Catholic Church, we rejoiced every time that Your Holiness called to mind the principles which should govern the training of priests and which are precisely those that have been used in our seminaries since their foundation.

It could be thought, reading the latest document published by the Congregation entrusted with seminaries, on the subject of the year of spirituality, that it is the example given by our seminaries which is the origin of this letter addressed to the episcopate of the entire world.

On the other hand I do believe that I have done everything possible to demonstrate my sincere desire to find a solution to our problem.

I have never hesitated to come to Rome on being summoned by the Curia or the Secretary of State. Since Your Holiness entrusted my case to Cardinal Seper I have come to see him five times. I must add that I am rather sad at seeing no improvement in our position. While the penalties inflicted upon heretical theologians are very mild, I am still said to be suspended a divinis, even though I profess the Catholic Faith in its fullness.

The enemies of the Church, Masons, Communists, Modernists, with all the media at their disposal, fight fanatically against my work and against me, showing by this very fact that we are the best defenders and supporters of the Church, which they wish to destroy at any cost.

It is for this reason that a solution is urgently needed for the good of the Church. Your Holiness can, with complete confidence, count on us and on our priests to support you in your work of restoring the Truth and Sanctity of the Church, based on the indestructible rock of Tradition, the source of the ever renewed youth of the Church. Your Holiness could discern in the eyes and faces of our young priests this youth, the fruit of spiritual vitality.

Since His Eminence Cardinal Palazzini is willing to be the bearer of this request, could he not, in concert with Cardinal Seper, submit a definite plan for a solution, concerning firstly the Liturgy , then the official recognition of the Society of St. Pius X, as well as the institutes of male and female religious orders which have developed thanks to the maintenance of sound doctrine and traditional observances.

In entrusting this request to the Virgin Mary, may Your Holiness deign to allow me to express my most respectful and filial regards in Jesus and Mary.

+Marcel Lefebvre


Letter of Mgr.Lefebvre to Cardinal Palazzini

Your Eminence,

Father du Chalard has informed me of your desire to help reach a solution to the problem of Econe, and of those who in this troubled time cling ever more firmly to Tradition.

To this end you were kind enough to make some suggestions for the writing of a letter to pass on to thw Holy Father.

I thank you most profoundly, convinced that our efforts to renew the Church’s priesthood are being blessed by God.

If the Holy Father wished it, I should readily come and meet you, and we could further discuss practical solutions, for I must admit my five conversations with Cardinal Seper have led to nothing. We are still where we started.

The Cardinal of Toledo, whom I met in Toledo a few days ago, is also willing to intervene in favor of freedom of Lithurgy and a solution which could preserve the work of Econe.

I pray for such an intervention with all my heart and assure you of my feelings of respect and gratitude in Christo et Maria.

+Marcel Lefebvre

11 May 1980

Archbishop Lefebvre Visits Marseilles

The 11th of May, 1980, was a memorable day for the faithful Catholics of Marseilles, France. It was on this day that literally thousands of people gathered at the largest sports stadium in Marseilles to attend the Solemn Pontificial High Mass which was offered by Archbishop Lefebvre. His Grace was assisted by some of the best known traditionalist Catholic priests of France. Present were Monsignor Ducard-Bourget, valiant leader of traditionalists in Paris. Abbe Louis Coache of Flavigny, monks of the monastery of St Madeline in Bedoin, France(the monastery founded by Dom Gerard, O.S.B. and which follows the Rule of St Benedict, as in former times), and many, many others.

This Solemn Pontificial Mass was the first offered by His Grace in Marseilles. It was organised largely by the members of the chapel of the Society of St Pius which was established there last year. Father George Maurel is the priest in residence.

In the evening, His Grace gave Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at which three to five thousand, conservatively estimated, assisted.


Chapter 25

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