19 June 1980
du Chalard, Superior of our house in Albano, has informed me of
your intervention with the Holy Father to try to reach a solution
to the problem of “traditionalists” within the Church,
amongst whom the Society of St. Pius X is one of the most active
occasioned by the post-conciliar reforms, far from becoming less
serious is growing in the face of confusion in ideas and the truths
of the Faith, brought about by the implementation of these reforms.
The destruction is evident everywhere.
of souls is at stake. A healthy reaction on the part of fervent,
faithful Catholics was only to be expected. They sought for priests
who had remained faithful to Tradition and asked them for teaching
in the Faith and the sure transmission of grace through the sacraments
and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, according to the best and
surest tradition of the Church.
incredible though it may appear, these priests, these believers,
and I myself found ourselves considered by Church authorities
as disobedient, as rebels, even though the Apostles, the Church
Fathers and all the popes up to Vatican II justify our position
and oblige us to act in this way.
among the Catholic population show that the majority of Catholics
support us and approve of us.1
What is to
be done to avoid continual discord between the bishops and these
documents show some recent attempts to achieve this end, which
have been successful. But if the climate of recent discussions
between the Vatican and myself has markedly improved, there have
been no concrete results.
Seper, the intermediary chosen by the Pope himself, promised me
in the course of our most recent discussions that there would
soon be a decree from the Holy Father, leaving priests freedom
to choose between the new and old rites. I have never, however,
seen this decree, and I have waited for it in vain for almost
So as to
facilitate its appearance I have delayed ordinations, suspended
confirmations, come to Rome every two months to see Cardinal Seper,
but to no avail.
Your Eminence, agreed to take up Cardinal Seper's work. I am pleased
at this and hope that your efforts will be crowned by success.
You asked me for a declaration a month ago, and I have prepared
it and signed it as you wish.
I have attached
a short memorandum to this letter. All I can do now is to pray
and to wait. I can do no more.
which urgently needs a solution is not that of Ecône and
its founder, but that of the Liturgy. It is of the greatest importance
to the whole Church. “Let there be no more persecution of
those who keep the traditional Liturgy!" This is what we
beg the Holy Father to say, and to instruct the entire episcopate
to this effect.
the question of Ecône and all the traditional religious
initiatives will easily find a solution for the good of the Church
and of souls.
Seper has approved this method of procedure. This is what will
help to solve everything. The climate is now favorable in every
quarter. The declaration on the Holy Mass will be well received
in the main.
permit me to consider as final the most recent declaration which
you have requested from me, and which I have had passed on to
you by Father du Chalard. Henceforth millions of souls, thousands
of priests will wait for a word from the Pope, for a gesture on
his part in the matter of the old Liturgy, restoring it to a position
it ought never to have lost. This would be the salvation and the
true renewal of the Church.
I invite you, Your Eminence, to come and visit Albano and Ecône,
let us say in October when the seminarians are present. You will
then perhaps better understand the urgency of a happy solution.
We pray for
this intention with all our heart; and I beg you, Your Eminence,
to allow me to express my respectful and brotherly feelings in
Christo et Maria.