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