Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Volume 3, Chapter XXVII

Archbishop Hunthausen

The Remnant -16 May 1980

Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen of Seattle has approved recipes for Eucharistic bread containing salt, oils (oil, shortening, butter or margarine) sweetenings {e.g. honey, brown sugar, molasses), baking soda or baking powder. He also says milk may be substituted for water. His approval came in a reply dated March 4th to inquiries of certain members of his Seattle Archdiocese. He told the inquirers that he was author of a statement showing regret over an advertisement by CUF chapter on the question. Both the Archbishop’s statement (in the form of a news release) and the advertisement appeared in the Northwest Catholic Progress.

Archbishop Hunthausen’s letter was silent concerning a warning about such recipes for Eucharistic bread which was released from Cardinal Franjo Seper last June 4th to Archbishop John R. Quinn, President of the NCCB. The Seper letter, meant for "all of the bishops of the Episcopal Conference, " specifically described those ingredients which would make the Eucharistic bread either illicit or even invalid. If priests used invalid matter, they must either repeat the Masses by using valid and lawful hosts, or return the stipends for such Masses to the donors. The Vatican letter on recipes for hosts is, of course, the last word on the subject, and no episcopal conference or liturgical office may overrule it.

Commenting on Archbishop Hunthausen's act of defiance, Father Tom O'Mahoney of El Paso, Texas, stated:"Catholics should not attend Masses said with invalid hosts, as there is no consecration in such Masses " (Most Holy Trinity Parish Bulletin, May 11, 1980)

As for the approved ingredients for Eucharistic bread listed in Archbishop Hunthausen’s March 4th letter, it appears that the Archbishop has authorised the use of recipes that would render the bread invalid matter for confecting the Eucharist.

Meanwhile, the Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship has informed inquirers from the Seattle Archdiocese that the decision by that diocese "to allow Communion of the chalice to be given every Sunday, has not been confirmed by this Congregation. It is therefore necessary to remain within the limits established by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal(1975 edition), nos. 240-243"). The letter, dated Feb. 22, 1980, and signed by Msgr.Virgilio Noe, associate secretary, also insisted that no permission has been given by Rome to use girls as "altar servers", which reportedly has been done not only in Seattle , but elsewhere as well.


Archbishop Lefebvre has been attacked frequently for allegedly celebrating Mass according to an illicit rite, i.e., a rite which is not sanctioned by the law of the Church. He is also censured for urging the faithful to assist at such Masses rather than Mass in the new rite. The 18 April 1980 Universe report, which has been discussed at length on pages 142-150, terms the Tridentine Mass "a challenge to the Pope," and accuses those who assist at it of rejecting "Vatican instructions on how Mass must be said." It may well be that Vatican officials and the Pope himself considered the Tridentine Mass to have been forbidden, but the fact is that when the authorities in Church or State wish to forbid something they must do so according to accepted legal forms. Wanting something to be forbidden, or believing something to be forbidden, does not place it within the category of legally forbidden practices. Under the strict terms of Canon Law the Tridentine Mass has never forbidden, but let us assume for the sake of argument ,that it was illicit. In this case, Tridentine Masses would have constituted a breach of church discipline, but not even the worst enemy of Archbishop Lefebvre would have suggested that they were invalid. A true sacrifice is always offered at such Masses, and the faithful are able to receive the Body of Christ in a valid Holy Communion.

Archbishop Hunthausen, and other American prelates did not simply countenance illicit Masses, e.g , Masses with Communion under both kinds on Sundays or Masses involving altar girls, but invalid Masses, Masses with no Sacrifice and no valid Communion. Not only did this make it impossible for the faithful in such parishes to fulfil their Sunday obligation, but those who have provided stipends were defrauded! The enormity of this situation is something to be remembered when reading attacks upon Archbishop Lefebvre. Why has Archbishop Hunthausen not been suspended a divinis? This did not happen even when, at a later date, he handed over his cathedral to homosexuals to celebrate a Mass glorifying their perversion. Needless to say, The Universe has never had one critical word to say concerning Archbishop Hunthausen, another facet of the true face of conciliar Catholicism.

Chapter 26

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