is no doubt that the audience you granted me was willed
by God. For me it was a great comfort to be able quite freely
to explain the circumstances and the grounds for the existence
of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X and of its seminaries,
and the reasons which led me to continue the Work in spite
of the decisions by Fribourg and Rome.
flood of novelties in the Church, accepted and encouraged
by the Episcopate, a flood which ravages everything in its
path – faith, morals, the Church’s institutions – could
not tolerate the presence of an obstacle, a resistance.
then had the choice of letting ourselves be carried away
by the devastating current and of adding to the disaster,
or of resisting wind and wave to safeguard our Catholic
faith and the Catholic priesthood. We could not hesitate.
5 May 1975, the date of our decision to hold fast whatever
the cost, three and a half years have gone by and they justify
us. The ruins of the Church are mounting: atheism, immorality,
the abandonment of churches, the disappearance of religious
and priestly vocations are such that the bishops are beginning
to be roused and that the fact of Ecône is constantly evoked.
Opinion polls show that a large part of the faithful, sometimes
a majority, are in favour of the attitude of Ecône.
is plain to any impartial observer that our Work is a nursery
of priests of the sort the Church has always desired and
the true faithful want. We are justified in thinking that
if the Church would admit the fact and give it the legality
to which it is entitled vocations would be even more plentiful.
Father, for the honor of Jesus Christ, for the good of the
Church, for the salvation of souls, we beg you to say a
single word as Successor of Peter and Pastor of the Universal
Church to the bishops of the whole world: "Let them
carry on - We authorize the free use of what multisecular
Tradition has used for the sanctification of souls.”
difficulty is there in such an attitude? None. The bishops
would decide the places and the times reserved for that
Tradition. Unity would be discovered again at once at the
level of the bishop of the place. On the other hand, what
advantages for the Church: the renewal of seminaries and
monasteries, great fervor in the parishes. The bishops would
be stupefied to find in a few years an outburst of devotion
and sanctification which they thought had disappeared forever.
Ecône, its seminaries and its priories, everything would
become normal, as it is for the Congregations of Lazarists,
Redemptorists…the priories would serve the dioceses by preaching
parish missions, giving Ignatian Retreats, and supplying
in parishes, in full submission to the Ordinary of the place.
the state of the Church would be improved by that simple
means, so like the maternal spirit of the Church, which
does not reject what comes to the help of souls, and does
not extinguish the smoking wick, but rejoices that the sap
of Tradition is still full of life and hope!
is what I thought I should write to Your Holiness, before
going to meet His Eminence Cardinal Seper. I am afraid the
prolonged and subtle discussions will not have a satisfying
result but will drag out the search for a solution which
I am sure you see as urgent.
solution cannot, in fact, be found in a compromise which
in practice would bring about the disappearance of our Work,
adding one more item to the work of destruction.
entirely at the disposition of Your Holiness, and I beg
you accept my profound and filial respect in Jesus and Mary.
formerly Archbishop-Bishop of Tulle