Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Volume 2, Chapter XXVII

Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to Several Cardinals


6 October 1978


(This letter was sent to forty Cardinals, including Cardinal
Archbishop of Cracow, following the death of
Pope John Paul I.)



Your Eminence,

Once more Providence summons you to enter the hall of the Conclave to elect the future successor of Peter.

The state of the Church is such that only a Pope like Saint Pius X can check the auto-destruction which the Church is undergoing above all since Vatican Council II.

To follow the direction taken by that Council and by the post-conciliar reforms is to extend apostasy and lead the Church to her ruin. The tree is judged from its fruits, says Our Lord. Well, a short time from now many dioceses are going to find themselves tragically short of priests.

To keep, as the basis of the activity of the Church, documents such as "Religious Liberty," "The Church in the Modern World," "Non-Christian Religions," and many others which are at the origin of the post-conciliar reforms is to let "the smoke of Satan" into the Church.

The liturgical reform in particular and especially that of the Holy Mass attacks the Church in what is most essential and most dear to her the Holy Sacrifice of Our Savior with its infinite satisfaction.

A Pope worthy of the name, a true successor of Peter, cannot declare that he will devote himself to carrying out the Council and its reforms. By so doing he would break with all his predecessors and with the Council of Trent in particular.

The Church is essentially Tradition, that is to say, the faithful transmission of the deposit of faith from generation to generation, and she cannot tolerate a break like that of Vatican II without destroying herself.

That break was possible only by the pressure of progressive groups inside a "pastoral," "aggiornamento," council.

Nothing but the constant reaffirmation of the Catholic faith can be a source of unity. The authority of the Sovereign Pontiff is justified only at that cost. That is shown clearly by the circumstances in which it was conferred on Peter.

How can that venerable Authority be used in the service of an ecumenism which turns Catholics into Protestants, atheists or charismatics?

We implore Your Eminence to keep these thoughts present in your mind when you have to choose the successor Peter. We beg the Holy Spirit to give you Light and Strength so that the Reign of Christ may come.

With respect for Your Eminence, and fraternal devotedness in Christ and Mary.


+ Marcel Lefebvre,
formerly Archbishop-Bishop of Tulle



Chapter 26

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