Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Volume 3, Chapter XXXVII

Letters of Mgr. Lefebvre

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.

+ Marcel Lefebvre


Letter of Mgr. Lefebvre to Cardinal Palazzini
14 September 1980

Your Eminence,

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 Maria.

+Marcel Lefebvre

Chapter 36

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