LEFEBVRE and the
February 20, 1988
Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre
to Cardinal Gagnon
Fr. du Chalard
has faithfully transmitted to me the letter in which you let me
know the dispositions of the Holy Father after you had communicated
to him your report.
Surely I do
not doubt that the Holy Father has not only our problem to solve.
But I fear that the procedure chosen for a solution would
prolong indefinitely and thus put me in a moral obligation to proceed
with the episcopal consecrations without the authorization of the
Holy See which should be able to be avoided.
I take the liberty to write to the Holy Father through your intermediary,
giving you a copy of this letter, in order to encourage him to make
a decision, even a temporary one, that would not engage the future
and would allow the experience of the exercise of tradition, in
a manner officially approved by the Church.
problems could be the object of discussions after the canonical
solution, otherwise we would be back at the starting point.24
thing was your friendly visit with Monsignor Perl, which certainly
consoled and encouraged all those who had the advantage to come
close to you and to listen to you. It would be sad
that they be disappointed by the passivity of Rome.
By the way,
I hope that we will be soon able to receive a copy of your report
and that we will not be deprived of this as in the visit of 1974.
We put our
hope in God and in Our Lady, but also in you, Eminence, who are
the only one at the Vatican to understand our fight for the Faith
and for the salvation of souls.
Deign to receive,
Eminence, my very grateful and fraternal feelings in Jesus and Mary,
Emeritus of Tulle.
the first visitation in November 1974, which ended in the illegal
suppression of the Society of Saint Pius X, no report of the visitation
was given to Archbishop Lefebvre. Neither was the request
of a copy of the report granted after the second visitation in
December 1987 by Cardinal Gagnon. If the report was bad,
the Vatican had all advantage to release it, so as to prove that
it was right to condemn Archbishop Lefebvre. If the report
was good, then why did it not grant the solution proposed by Archbishop
Lefebvre in order to continue its good work?
has been reported Cardinal Gagnon theorized that if Archbishop
Lefebvre would proceed with the episcopal consecrations without
the Pope’s approval, 80% of the faithful attached to Tradition
would abandon him. The attachment of the faithful to Rome
and to the Pope, which Cardinal Gagnon had been able to witness
in all traditional centers, probably made him say so. However,
he had not sufficiently assessed the fact that the faithful were
rightly attached to what the Pope represents more than to his
own person. It is the magisterium of the popes of all times
that the traditional faithful uphold, not the novelties of any
single modern pope.
In his letter of July 28, 1987, Cardinal Ratzinger did not ask for
such a doctrinal declaration: that had pleased Archbishop Lefebvre
and giving him hope that a solution could be found promptly. See
October 1, 1987, p.28.
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