Archbishop LEFEBVRE and the VATICAN

June 2, 1988

Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre
to Pope John Paul II


Most Holy Father,

The conversations and meetings with Cardinal Ratzinger and his collaborators, although they took place in an atmosphere of courtesy and charity, persuaded us that the moment for a frank and efficacious collaboration between us has not yet arrived.

For indeed, if the ordinary Christian is authorized to ask the competent Church authorities to preserve for him the Faith of his Baptism, how much more true is that for priests, religious and nuns?

It is to keep the Faith of our Baptism intact that we have had to resist the spirit of Vatican II and the reforms inspired by it.

The false ecumenism which is at the origin of all the Councilís innovations in the liturgy, in the new relationship between the Church and the world, in the conception of the Church itself, is leading the Church to its ruin and Catholics to apostasy.

Being radically opposed to this destruction of our Faith and determined to remain with the traditional doctrine and discipline of the Church, especially as far as the formation of priests and the religious life is concerned, we find ourselves in the absolute necessity of having ecclesiastical authorities who embrace our concerns and will help us to protect ourselves against the spirit of Vatican II and the spirit of Assisi.

That is why we are asking for several bishops chosen from within Catholic Tradition, and for a majority of the members on the projected Roman Commission for Tradition, in order to protect ourselves against all compromise.

Given the refusal to consider our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of this reconciliation is not at all the same in the eyes of the Holy See as it is in our eyes, we believe it preferable to wait for times more propitious for the return of Rome to Tradition.72

That is why we shall give ourselves the means to carry on the work which Providence has entrusted to us, being assured by His Eminence Cardinal Ratzingerís letter of May 30, that the episcopal consecration is not contrary to the will of the Holy See, since it was granted for August 15.73

We shall continue to pray for modern Rome, infested with Modernism, to become once more Catholic Rome and to rediscover its 2,000 year-old tradition. Then the problem of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist and the Church will experience a new youth.

Be so good, Most Holy Father, as to accept the expression of my most respectful and filially devoted sentiments in Jesus and Mary.

Ü Marcel Lefebvre

 

72. Note the expression. The Society of Saint Pius X never departed from the Church. It remains united with 20 centuries of popes and saints. Those who need to “return” are those who have engaged themselves in new paths of doctrines and practices.

73. L’Osservatore Romano and others have objected to this sentence. Archbishop Lefebvre does not say here that the Holy See agrees with all the particular circumstances of the consecrations, merely to its principle.


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