Archbishop LEFEBVRE and the VATICAN

June 29, 1987

Ordination Sermon of
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

Ecône, Switzerland7

My dear Brethren,

Let us give thanks to God, Who allows us to meet again here at Ecône to participate together in this magnificent ceremony of priestly ordination, which is the raison d’être [i.e., the reason for its being] and the crowning event of our seminaries.

Seminaries without ordinations would no longer be Catholic seminaries, seminaries of the Church. And this is why, having the joy of imposing our hands onto these new priests, we thank God, who has permitted our seminaries to continue to live and even to expand, since Ecône has spread to Flavigny and thus a larger number of young people who want to become true Catholic priests can find both the formation and the graces necessary to grow into true and holy priests.

My dear friends, I am first going to direct to you some words of edification and of encouragement. You are going to be ordained in the Catholic Mass. You are not going to be ordained in the neo-Protestant Mass. And this Catholic Mass has been, is still, and always will be the great priestly program, the great program of the Christian life. To modify this Mass is also to change the priestly ideal and the Christian ideal, the Catholic ideal. Indeed, this Holy Mass is, before all else, the Cross of Jesus, the continuation of the Cross of Jesus. The veil of the temple is torn because Jesus died on the Cross. The Old Testament disappeared in order to give place to the New Testament. Was everything then changed?Yes and no. Without a doubt all the rites of the ancient law and a certain conception of the law of God were changed; but the main point of the law of the Old Testament was transformed into a living vision of the law of love. What are the Ten Commandments, if not to love God and to love our neighbor?It is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who told us this. And this law of love from now on is no longer inscribed only on stones but in the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the law of love and He has shown it on the Cross. What more beautiful manifestation of this law of love and of this charity could Our Lord give than dying on the Cross for the glory of His Father and for the salvation of souls?

It is then this law of love that Jesus preached to us on the Cross and that He preaches to us every day at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is this law of love that has been put into your hearts and into your souls, my dear friends, by the grace of baptism, which, indeed, has transformed and deeply united you to Our Lord Jesus Christ in order to bring into effect His law of love and of charity.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which, as the Good Lord is going to give you the grace for it, you will celebrate—I hope—all the days of your life, will keep up this grace that you have received at your baptism, when your godfather and godmother said that they were devoting themselves to Our Lord Jesus Christ and renouncing all the temptations of this world. That is what you will repeat every day from now on: “My God, O Jesus, I devote myself to Thee forever. I want to be Thy priest, he who preaches the law of love by example and by word. Remove me from all of this world and from its temptations. Keep me from all the influences of this world, which is in the service of Satan, and from disobedience to God. ”

In this way your souls will be comforted before the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, before His Blood, before His Body, which you will have in front of you on the altar and which you yourselves will make come down from Heaven by the words of consecration that you will pronounce. What a sublime mystery: God obedient to men to offer and continue His Sacrifice. That will be the design of your priestly life: to penetrate the souls who will come to you and who will take part in your Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with these sentiments of love towards God, of love towards your neighbor, right up to the sacrifice of yourself. And God knows that Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the example for this: up to the sacrifice of self, up to death if necessary, up to pouring out your blood to remain united to Our Lord Jesus Christ. May that be your resolution. That is why you must be attached to the life and death of Our Lord at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that you are going to celebrate with me.

Do not let yourselves be seduced by the attractions of the world and by its appeal in order to transform this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a purely human assembly!

I desire ardently that these sentiments remain in you for all of your priestly life. Be apostles, as the older priests are, every place where they have been sent, like these dear priests who are present here, who are gathered around you and who are happy to lay their hands upon you. Priests of Our Lord Jesus Christ, priests of Love Crucified, of Jesus Crucified, and not priests of the world and for the world.

My very dear brethren, permit me to take advantage of these circumstances to point out to you the situation in which we find ourselves today, as we customarily do on the occasion of this ceremony of priestly ordinations.

It must be said. I cannot remain silent. I cannot hide it. This year has been a very serious year for the Catholic Church, for us Catholics, for us Catholic priests.

You know this, different writers have reported it, that I have had the occasion to say that I was waiting for signs from Providence to carry out the acts that seemed to me necessary for the continuation of the Catholic Church. I must acknowledge now that I am convinced that these signs have come.

What are they? There are two: Assisi, and the response that has been made to us from Rome to the objections that we had formulated with regard to religious liberty.

Assisi took place last October 27th, and the answer from Rome to our objections on the errors of Vatican II relating to religious liberty reached us at the beginning of March. In itself it is even more serious than Assisi. Assisi is an historical fact, an action. But the response to our objections on religious liberty is an affirmation of principles, and so that is very grave. It is one thing simply to perform a grave and scandalous act; it is something else to affirm false and erroneous principles, which as a consequence have disastrous conclusions in practice.

This is why Providence has willed that by a certain joining of circumstances we have drawn up a book that has just appeared, Ils L’ont Découronné—They Have Uncrowned Him. 8They have uncrowned Him! Who has uncrowned, and who has been uncrowned?

Who has been uncrowned? Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who has uncrowned Him? The Roman authorities of today.

And this uncrowning was manifested in an obvious way at the time of the ceremony of Assisi.

Jesus Christ is uncrowned. He is no longer the King, the universal King, the King whom we proclaim from the Feast of Christmas right up to His Ascension. All the religious feasts proclaim the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ. All during the liturgical year, we sing: Rex regum, et Dominus dominantium—King of kings and Lord of lords!

And behold!Instead of magnifying the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a pantheon of all religions is instituted!Just as the pagan emperors of Rome had made that pantheon of all the religions, today it is the Roman authorities of the Church who are doing it!

This is a tremendous scandal for souls, for Catholics, to see thus cast into doubt the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is precisely that which is called Liberalism.

Liberalism is the institution of man’s freedom vis-à-vis God. As a consequence, the man who in his conscience believes, hopes, professes any religion becomes as respectable as the one who says that he is professing the true religion.

The State, civil society, is no longer capable of knowing what is the true religion. This is what has been stated to us in the document that we have received from Rome. The State is incompetent in religious matters and thus cannot decide which is the true or the false religion. By this fact itself, the State must let all religious errors, whatever they are, spread out in this “autonomous social space”—as they call it—which is, in practice, all the life of the State, because man is free to have his own religion.

We say, “No, no, and no!”

And the Holy Mass shows us this. There is a law, a law of love, that Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross claims, proclaims, and preaches to us. He says to us, “You must obey the law of love. Whoever does not obey the law of love is not worthy of eternal life. ”It is then an obligatory law. We are not free to choose our religion. There is only one!The one that Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed from the height of His Cross.

Liberalism has become the idol of our modern times, an idol that is now adored in most of the countries of the world, even in the Catholic countries. It is this liberty of man in regard to God, which defies God, which wants to make its own religion, of the rights of man, its own commandments, with its lay associations, with secular States, with a secular education, without God—that is Liberalism. How is it possible that the Roman authorities profess and encourage this Liberalism in the declaration of Vatican II on Religious Liberty?It is that which, in my view, is very serious. Rome is in darkness, in the darkness of error. It is impossible for us to deny it.

How can we tolerate, from our point of view as Catholics and so much the more from our viewpoint as priests, that spectacle that could be seen at Assisi: St. Peter’s Church, which was given to the Buddhists to celebrate their pagan worship there?Was it conceivable to see them perform their pagan ceremony in front of the tabernacle of Our Lord Jesus Christ—no doubt empty—but covered by their idol, by Buddha, and this in a Catholic church, a church of Our Lord Jesus Christ?There they are; the facts speak for themselves. It is impossible for us to conceive a more serious error.

How could that actually be done? Let us leave the answer to the Good Lord. It is He Who manages all things. It is Our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the master of events. It is He Who knows what will be the future of this hold of errors on Rome and the highest authorities, from the Pope and the Cardinals and passing through all the bishops of the world, for all the bishops of the world follow the false ideas of the Council on ecumenism and Liberalism.

God alone knows where that is going to lead; but, for us, if we want to remain Catholic and if we want to continue the Church, we have some indefeasible duties. We have serious obligations which oblige us, first of all, to multiply the priests who believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His royalty, in His social Kingship according to the doctrine of the Church.

That is why I am happy that the book on Liberalism has appeared,9 so that everyone can be nourished by it and understand well the struggle we are carrying on.

This is not a human battle. We are in close combat with Satan. It is a struggle that demands all the supernatural forces which we need in order to fight against him who wants to destroy the Church radically, who wishes the destruction of the work of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He has wanted this ever since Our Lord was born, and he wants to go on abolishing and destroying His Mystical Body, wiping out His reign and all His institutions, whatever they may be. We have to be conscious of this dramatic, apocalyptic struggle in which we live and not minimize it. To the extent that we minimize it, our eagerness in the battle grows less. We become weaker and dare no more to proclaim the Truth. We no longer dare to proclaim the social Kingship of Our Lord, because that sounds bad to the ears of the secular and atheistic world. To say that Our Lord Jesus Christ should reign in society seems to be a folly to the world. We are taken for laggards, old-fashioned, frozen in the Middle Ages. “All of that belongs to the past. It is finished. That time has ended. It is no longer possible that Our Lord Jesus Christ can reign in society. ”We could perhaps suffer a little of the tendency to be afraid of this public opinion that is against us, because we affirm the Kingship of Our Lord. Let us not be surprised then that the demonstrations that we can hold in favor of the social Kingship of Our Lord raise up in front of us an army directed by Satan in order to impede our influence from growing and even to destroy it.

This is why we are happy today to do these priestly ordinations, and we sincerely think that it is not possible to abandon this work which the Good Lord has put into our hands. For, in truth, it was not I who founded it, but indeed Our Lord—and that in unbelievable circumstances. Now, after 15 years of existence, our Society has reached worldwide dimensions.

Thanks be to God, many other initiatives have also risen up with us, around us. All the men and women religious who are attending this ceremony have also risen up themselves to proclaim the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and they will not abandon Him.

Are we going to abandon Him, let Him be crucified a second time, and also leave the Church in the state of the Passion that she is living right now, and all that without our coming to her aid?

What will become of souls if no one any more proclaims the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ?What will become of them if we do not give them the real grace which they need for their salvation?

It is a question of obvious necessity. We must be convinced of this. This is why it is likely that I will give myself some successors in order to be able to continue this work, because Rome is in darkness. For now, Rome is no longer listening to the voice of Truth.

What echo have our appeals received?

There you have 20 years that I have been going to Rome—writing, speaking, sending documents to say: “Follow Tradition. Come back to Tradition, or else the Church is going to her ruin. You who have been placed into the succession of those who have built up the Church, you must continue to build Her up, and not demolish Her. ”They are deaf to our appeals!

The last document that we have received proves this fully; they are closing themselves up in their errors. They are locking themselves into darkness. And they are going to lead souls into apostasy, very simply, to the ruin of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to the destruction of the Catholic and Christian Faith.

This is why, if God asks it of us, we will not hesitate to give ourselves auxiliaries in order to continue this work; for we cannot think that God wants it to be destroyed, that He wills that souls be abandoned, and that by this fact itself the Church will have no more pastors. We are living in an age that is completely exceptional. We must realize this. The situation is no longer normal, quite particularly in Rome.

Read the newspaper, SiSiNoNo [available bi-monthly since 1993 in The Angelus magazine from Angelus Press], published by the dear sisters who have come to see Ecône, and to find here an encouragement to pursue the work that they are accomplishing. This newspaper gives some very precise indications about the Roman situation. A situation that is hard to believe, such that history has never known one like it. Never has history seen the Pope turning himself into some kind of guardian of the pantheon of all religions, as I have brought it to mind, making himself the Pontiff of Liberalism.

Let anyone tell me whether such a situation has ever existed in the Church. What should we do in the face of such a reality?Weep, without a doubt. Oh, we mourn and our heart is broken and sorrowful. We would give our life, our blood, for the situation to change. But the situation is such, the work which the Good Lord has put into our hands is such, that in face of this darkness of Rome, this stubbornness of the Roman authorities in their error, this refusal to return to the Truth and to Tradition, it seems to me that the Good Lord is asking that the Church continue. This is why it is likely that I should, before rendering an account of my life to the Good Lord, perform some episcopal consecrations.

My dear friends, my dear brethren, let us pray with all our heart. Let us pray to the Most Holy Virgin Mary. We are going to go to Fatima on August 22 to ask Our Lady of Fatima to help us.

They have not wanted to reveal her secret. They have buried the message of the Virgin Mary. Without a doubt this message was supposed to prevent what is happening today. If her message had been known, it is very probable that we would not have gone so far and that the situation in Rome would not be what it is today. The popes have refused to publish the message of the Most Holy Virgin. The punishments pronounced by the Virgin Mary are coming. The apostasy foretold in the Scriptures is arriving. The coming of the Antichrist approaches. This is clearly evident.

Faced by this completely exceptional situation, we must also take exceptional measures.

My very dear brethren, my very dear friends, during this Mass we are going to pray particularly to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, guardians of the Church, so that they will enlighten us, so that they will help us, so that they will grant us the gift of Fortitude and of Wisdom, in order to pursue their work and that of all their successors.

Let us ask this above all of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, and let us consecrate our persons, our families, our cities, to the Hearts of Jesus and of Mary.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


7. Reprint from The Angelus, July 1987 (available from Angelus Press).

8. They Have Uncrowned Him, published by the Angelus Press, in English, and by Edi­tions Fideliter in French.

9. They Have Uncrowned Him, by Archbishop Lefebvre.


Courtesy of the Angelus Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109

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