Volume 3, Chapter
16 October 1980
Most Holy Father,
On the occasion
of the second anniversary of your election to the Pontificate, deign
to accept our felicitations, our best wishes, and the assurance
that we shall pray for you. May God come to your aid to restore
to the Church the position and the rights which are Her due, for
the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
me to tell Your Holiness of the grief suffered by those thousands
of priests and millions of the faithful who are desirous of preserving
intact their Catholic Faith and of receiving the graces that they
need so as to remain members of the Mystical Body of Our Lord, and
who because of their fidelity are persecuted and despised by those
who ought to encourage and comfort them.
In the hope
that at least the universal Father of the faithful will recognize
their fidelity and their devotion to the Apostolic See, they await
impatiently the result of proceedings undertaken with Your Holiness
by the Society of St. Pius X.
Yet this is
the seventh letter in two years which I send to Your Holiness; many
a times, at your request, I have gone to talk to Cardinal Seper
and Cardinal Palazzini. No reply, no solution has come to light
I have made
a positive response to the demands for a declaration which were
put to me, with no result.
So as to make
a last effort, I attach to this letter a form of declaration which
I am ready to sign, appending
thereto those requests which appeared just to those who questioned
me, and which evidently seem necessary for a true renewal of the
Church. Accordingly I await a reply to this suggestion.
I am growing
older, the time for my resignation draws near; it is essential that
I should make provision for my succession in the near future. It
seems desirable that a solution to our problems should be found
while I am as yet at the head of the Society.
In all conscience,
I believe I can affirm that I have done all that I could to make
my modest contribution to the work of the Church. Our Lord Himself
will judge as to the obstacles which are constantly set in the path
of the Church's true renewal. The very facts already have within
them the crushing verdict.
It is in complete
confidence and filial affection that I submit these thoughts to
Your Holiness, begging you to accept that I wish to be a good and
faithful servant in Christo et Maria.
The Declaration which His Excellency Mgr. Lefebvre is Ready to Sign
In my wish
to show my attachment to the Church from which I have never separated
myself, I declare that although I have acted in good conscience
and in my capacity as a bishop, circumstances have not allowed me
to carry out the ordinations in a manner which conforms in every
detail with the letter of Canon Law.
I declare that I agree with the words of His Holiness John Paul
II of 6 November 1978 on the subject of the Pastoral Council, 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.”
As to the Novus
Ordo Mass, I have never said that in its original Latin edition
it was invalid per se.
An Agreement Suggested by the Cardinals and Experts
which would be Accepted Officially
at the same time as the Document was signed
1. As to what
concerns the Liturgy:
to use the Missal, Ritual, Pontifical and Breviary in the 1962
edition of Pope John XXIII.
- The establishment
by the hierarchy of special parishes for those who use the liturgical
books of Pope John XXIII.
2. A declaration
as to the nullity of Mgr. Lefebvre’s “suspension a
recognition for the Society of St. Pius X by the Sacred Congregation
for the Clergy.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109