Volume 3, Chapter
14 September 1980
Most Holy Father,
With the aim of dispelling
any doubts which may still exist as to my attitude, I declare once
more what I declared to Your Holiness in my letter of 8 March 1980,
namely that I quite agree with what Your Holiness stated on 6 November
1978 concerning Vatican II: "The Council must be understood
in the light of the whole of holy Tradition, and on the basis of
the unvarying Magisterium of Holy Mother Church.”
In the audience which
Your Holiness granted me in November 1978, Your Holiness expressed
joy at the thought that there was no problem of Faith which separated
us, and asked me if I was ready to sign this declaration. I have
reaffirmed my readiness many times since that audience.
What explanation can
there be, then, for the fact that the unjust situation in which
we have been placed continues indefinitely?
May God grant that for
the good of the Church and of souls Your Holiness will make a helpful
decision as soon as possible.
May Your Holiness
deign to allow me to express my feelings of filial respect and submission
in Christo et Maria.
of Mgr. Lefebvre to Cardinal Palazzini
14 September 1980
The interest which Your
Eminence has shown towards a solution to our case touches my heart,
and I thank you for it, the more so as despite all my goodwill,
inexplicable delays continually defer the case to later dates.
There can be no doubt
that your dedicated efforts are encountering strong opposition.
Accordingly the unjust situation in which we are put continues with
all its consequences for the Church and the salvation of souls.
Those responsible for this sad state of affairs will answer for
it before God.
This is why I beg you
to be so kind as to send to the Holy Father this final declaration,
which should at last allow the difficulties to be resolved. If I
call to your attention only that part of my declaration that concerns
the Council, this is because this problem is by far the most important
and because the other points are subsumed into the first. I do this
also to avoid giving rise to sterile polemics which risk delaying
a solution still further.
It will soon be two
years since the Holy Father entrusted this matter to Cardinal Seper.
In the course of this period nothing has changed. It is clear that
during this time our work has continued providentially to make progress,
and groups of the faithful who are independent of us, and who intend
to keep the Faith, have been growing in numbers considerably. It
is accordingly inconceivable that this renewal of the Church should
not be supported, encouraged and continued. To admit that the Holy
Ghost is at work in this healthy reaction on the part of the faithful,
will it be necessary to wait for whole countries to be deprived
of priests, and for the majority of the faithful to have become
indifferent, or atheists, or members of non-Catholic sects?
How can anybody imagine
that we could abandon Tradition – which today brings forth,
as it always has done, many holy vocations – in favor of novelties
which produce none but bitter fruit, stifling souls and spreading
only blasphemies and desecrations?
How could we state that
we were wrong to maintain Tradition and to refuse to participate
in the "self-destruction of the Church”? If our seminaries
are praiseworthy it is precisely because they reject novelties.
Furthermore, diocesan seminaries can be considered as sound to the
extent that they distance themselves from these novelties.
In the hope
that Your Eminence will succeed, with the help of God and grace,
in obtaining from the Holy Father a solution that will be just and
beneficial for the Church, I ask you to deign to allow me to express
my feelings of respect and heartfelt gratitude in Christo et
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