LEFEBVRE and the
May 30, 1988
of the Situation
Here is the account of the situation written by
the hand of Archbishop Lefebvre, which he gave to the superiors
of traditional communities and to some priests with whom he met
at the Society’s retreat house of Le Pointet, France. Present
were Benedictine monks and nuns (including Dom Gérard), Dominican
monks and nuns, Franciscan monks and nuns, Carmelite nuns, Fr.
Coache, Fr. André, Fr. Lecareu....
Explanation of the Situation Concerning
What Rome Calls “Reconciliation”
years of opposition to the doctrinal deviations of the Council
and the reforms issuing from this conciliar spirit, to remain
faithful to the Faith and the sources of edifying grace.
- To abide in this fidelity we undergo the persecution of Rome
and conferences of bishops, and religious congregations.
- Being involved in the same struggle, we have helped each other
to consolidate and develop the works which Providence has put
in our hands and which it has visibly blessed.
- Providence has permitted us to have a bishop, thanks to which
we have had the grace of ordinations and confirmations, an indispensable
aid to our fidelity.
- Fifteen years of traditional ecclesial life, 15 years of blessings,
of life with the Eucharistic Sacrifice, prayers, reception of
valid and fruitful sacraments, a bishop, priests, brothers, nuns,
Christian families united in the Faith. Fervor,
generosity, full spiritual and material growth in the midst of
trials, crosses, scorn...etc.
- The bishop formed the moral bond and even the ecclesial bond
with the present Modernist Rome.71
- It must be recognized that the efforts to correct the spirit
and reforms of the Council were in vain, as well as requests to
officially authorize the “experiment of Tradition.”
vital problem is posed for fidelity to Tradition with the disappearance
of the bishop. As Rome refuses to agree to the permanence
of Tradition, the necessity of the salvation of souls becomes the
On June 29,
1987, the decision to create some bishops to ensure the episcopal
succession is announced.
On July 14,
1987, a final request is made of Rome, both by letter and in person.
On July 28,
1987, a serious hope of a solution appears. Rome seems
frightened by the threat of episcopal consecrations.
does not reject the idea of an episcopal succession, but after legal
recognition of the Society, the liturgy, the traditional seminaries
are authorized. They no longer speak of a doctrinal
document. They will return to that. An
Apostolic Visitor is envisaged. What would we do?
- The visit of Cardinal Gagnon is decided on and takes place
from November 11 to December 9.
- The report is given to the Pope on January 5.
- A Commission is proposed on March 18.
- A Commission of experts meets April 13-15. Signature
of a proposal takes place on April 15.
- Meeting of the Commission of experts, Archbishop Lefebvre and
the Cardinal, May 3 and 4. Signing of the Protocol,
May 5, Feast of St. Pius V.
- Procedure for putting into application. Question
of the date of the consecration?Put off sine die
(indefinitely). Letter of His Grace to the Pope
of May 5, 1988.
difficulties of putting into application begin:
- Letter of May 6 to the Cardinal. Threat to proceed
with the consecrations on June 30.
- Response of the Cardinal on May 6.
- Project of the letter to the Pope asking pardon, the letter
of May 5 being too administrative (brought by Fr. du Chalard).
- Fr. du Chalard confirms to the Cardinal that I intend to consecrate
on June 30. The Cardinal asks that I come to Rome.
- Letter to the Pope and letter to the Cardinal on the subject
of the date and number of bishops and membership of the Roman
Commission, May 20 and May 24.
- Meeting with the Cardinal and the secretaries on May 24.
- The letters are delivered. Then the Cardinal
mentions August 15 as the date for the consecration, but does
not respond to the other problems. As for the secretaries,
they allude to the other problems by saying that the requests
can be looked into! The Cardinal gives me another
project of a letter to the Pope.
- On May 28, the Pope confirms the date of August 15.
of these contacts and talks, the reflections of both sides during
the conversations, clearly manifests to us that the desire of the
Holy See is to bring us back to the Council and to the reforms,
also to place us back into the bosom of the Conciliar Church as
a religious congregation:
- The Bureau at Rome will be provisional. (Special
- The Bishop is not necessary, and grudgingly conceded.
- The Catholic Church is the Church of Vatican Council II.
- Acceptance of the conciliar novelties. St. Nicolas!
(Cardinal Ratzinger had asked for the celebration of a
Mass of Paul VI each Sunday at St. Nicolas, in Paris.)
- The religious congregations are to be returned to their respective
orders, with a special statute!
- We are given a doctrinal note to be signed.
- Again we are expected to ask pardon for our faults.
seems to be a political, diplomatic “trump card” to offset the excesses
the following moral problem, in which I do not feel entitled to
act without your counsel, since you are directly concerned.
(Recall of Fr. Schmidberger from America.)
We must realize
that a new situation will appear after the application of the accord.
Let us state
- Canonical normalization of our works. Renewal
of relations with Rome for each one of our works.
- At the same time we retain a certain independence, for the
safeguarding of Tradition,
through the Liturgy.
through the formation of our members and the faithful.
by relations with the bishops, and the conciliar world.
- suppression of apprehensions and reticences (to a certain extent).
- facilitation of relations with certain civil administrations.
- easier missionary contacts to convert priests and faithful
- a flow of vocations and the faithful to our works.
- a bishop consecrated with the approval of the Holy See.
us state the disadvantages:
- a limited but definite dependence on modernist and conciliar
Rome through the Roman Commission directed by Cardinal Ratzinger.
- its principles are the same ones which alienated us from modern
- disassociation of our moral unity created around my person,
which disappears, partly in favor of Cardinal Ratzinger, and partly
in favor of the different superiors general who report directly
to Rome, but who can continue to have recourse to the bishop consecrated
for Tradition. We risk having less unity and less
- Relations with the congregations and orders. They
are to have a special statute, but in spite of everything a moral
dependence, which Rome would like to see transformed as early
as possible into a canonical dependence. Danger
- Relations with the conciliar bishops, faithful and clergy.
In spite of the broad exemption, as the canonical barriers
disappear, there will necessarily be courtesy contacts and perhaps
offers of cooperation, for the student unions—superiors’ unions—priests’
meetings— regional ceremonies, etc...This whole world of
the conciliar spirit— ecumenical and charismatic.
- Only one bishop. Less protection, more danger.
Up until now
we were naturally protected, the selection was assured by the necessity
of a rupture with the conciliar world. From now on,
continual caution is necessary, to keep us always on guard against
the atmosphere in Rome, against the atmosphere in the dioceses.
This is why
we want three or four bishops and the majority in the Roman Commission,
but they turn a deaf ear. They have agreed to only
one bishop, after continual threats, and delayed the date.
They consider it inconceivable that we treat them as a contaminated
atmosphere, after all they are granting us.
Thus, a moral
problem is posed for all of us.
- Must we run the risk of contacts with this modernist atmosphere
in the hope of converting some souls, and with the hope of fortifying
ourselves beforehand with the grace of God and the virtue of prudence,
and thus remain legally united to Rome according to the letter,
as we are in reality and in spirit?
- Or must we, before all else, preserve the traditional family
to maintain its cohesion and vigor in the Faith and in grace,
considering that the purely formal tie with modernist Rome cannot
be as important as the protection of this family, representing
those who remain faithful to the Catholic Church?
- What do God and the Holy Trinity, and Our Lady of Fatima ask
of us in response to this question?
It is clear
that four bishops will fortify us better than just one. The decision
must be taken within 48 hours.
Pray. Please give me your opinion, even in
writing if you wish, and it will be my duty, with the help of the
Holy Ghost, and Our Lady the Queen, to make a decision.
Msgr. de Castro
Mayer has promised to come June 30, for the episcopal consecrations,
with three priests of his diocese.
i.e., Rome occupied by modernists.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109