Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre
Volume 2, Chapter XXX

Further Correspondence with Cardinal Seper

 

30 November 1978

Sacra Congregatio
pro Doctrina Fidei
Prot. N.1144/69
00193 Romae,
Piazza del S, Uffizio,11

 

Your Excellency,

Because of events you know, I have not been able until now to send you the sequel of my letter under the same protocol dated 16 June 1978. I am now able to do so.

I mentioned a probability to you in that letter, and I now ask you to be so good as to take part in a conference which will be held at the seat of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Such a meeting is the normal conclusion to the examination of your positions by our Congregation, an examination in which you assisted in our previous exchange of letters. The conference will take place according to the prescriptions and with all the guarantees of the Ratio agendi in doctrinarum examine of this Congregation, notably articles 13 and 14 (cf. AAS 63,1971, pp. 234-236). It is of course indispensable that it take place in the most absolute discretion.

As for its duration, I ask you to count on two consecutive days (as far as possible a Thursday and a Friday, to allow for the other regular meetings of the Congregation); and as to the date I suggest that you choose between next 21 and 22 December and 11 and 12 January 1979.

I shall be grateful if you will kindly let me know as soon as possible, through the Apostolic Nuncio in Switzerland, which of those dates you choose, or an alternative date if you are unable to accept either of them.

I thank you in advance for your reply, and with respect and devotedness in the Lord I am Your Excellency's

Franc. Card. Seper
Prefect

 

12 December 1978

Letter of Mgr. Lefebvre to Cardinal Seper

 

Your Eminence,

Through the Nunciature I have received your invitation to come to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

You offer me two dates. The 11 and 12 January suits me better, and I shall go to Albano to be ready for that date.

It would help me very much to know beforehand the special subjects of the interview. I should tell you, in this connection, that if it is a question of doctrine it would be more effectively dealt with in writing than in speech.

Is it possible for you to tell me who are the persons I shall be meeting?

On the occasion of my conversations with R. Fr. Dhanis and R. Fr. Duroux, Mgr. Benelli authorized me to have a companion. I think you will allow me to be accompanied on this occasion also.

With respect and cordial devotion in Christ and Mary,

+Marcel Lefebvre

 

19 December 1978

Letter of Cardinal Seper to Mgr. Lefebvre

Sacra Congregatio
pro Doctrina Fidei
Prot. N.1144/69
00193 Romae,
Piazza del S, Uffizio,11

 

Your Excellency,

I thank you for your reply, dated 12 December last, to my letter of 30 November 1978, which reached me through the Apostolic Nunciature in Switzerland.

I note that you accept the date, 11 and 12 January 1979. We shall expect you at the seat of this Congregation on Thursday, 11 January, at 10 o'clock.

As I have already told you in my previous letter, the conference will be held according to the prescriptions and with all the guarantees of the Ratio agendi in doctrinarum examine of this Congregation. That Ratio does not provide that the person being heard shall be assisted by anyone else. Its article 14 prescribes the drawing up of a protocol the only document receivable in evidence submitted for approval and for possible observations to the person heard, who can later be given a copy.

I can tell you that your interlocutors will be the higher Authorities of the Congregation, assisted by one or two experts. The interview will not deal with the sum of the doctrinal questions, which have already been touched upon extensively in writing, but only with some precise points concerning doctrine and the discipline of the Church together, points already raised in our correspondence and on which the questions to be asked will not require previous preparation.

At the approach of the Christmas feasts I send you my best wishes, with an assurance of prayers.

Yours respectfully and devotedly in the Lord,

Franc. Card. Seper
Prefect

 

 

Chapter 29

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