Archbishop LEFEBVRE and the VATICAN

May 5, 1988

Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to the Pope

On May 3, Cardinal Ratzinger asked Archbishop Lefebvre that the consecrations be delayed indefinitely. After new meetings between Cardinal Ratzinger, Archbishop Lefebvre, and each’s respective experts, a more precise Protocol of Accord was established on May 4. It was signed by Cardinal Ratzinger at the Vatican and counter-signed by Archbishop Lefebvre at Albano on May 5, Feast of St. Pius V.

Most Holy Father,

At the request of His Eminence Cardinal Ratzinger, I write you these few lines at the conclusion of the Visit of Cardinal Gagnon, and of the work of the Commission instituted by your care.

Through the grace of God, this initiative which you have deigned to take has reached a solution acceptable by both parties.

Thus, please find enclosed the declaration duly signed. If Your Holiness accepts it, it could be the starting point of the several measures which will give back to us a legal status in the Church: the legal recognition of the Society of Saint Pius X as a society of pontifical right, the use of the liturgical books of John XXIII, the constitution of a Roman Commission and the other measures indicated in the Protocol of Accord.

The members of the Society and all the persons who are morally united to it are rejoicing at this agreement and give thanks to God and to yourself.

Deign to receive, Most Holy Father, my respectful homage and my filial and respectful gratitude in Jesus and Mary.

† Marcel Lefebvre
Archbishop Emeritus of Tulle

This letter shows the goodwill of Archbishop Lefebvre. It was handed by him to Fr. Klemens, envoy of Cardinal Ratzinger, even before signing the Protocol. Fr. Klemens, after giving the Protocol to His Grace to sign, gave him the text of the communication which Cardinal Ratzinger intended to be released on May 8, and the draft of another letter to be addressed to the Holy Father, which you will find after the text of the Protocol (p.80). This letter of apology requested of the Archbishop was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and was the cause of His Grace’s letter to the Pope on May 6.


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

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