Archbishop LEFEBVRE and the VATICAN

June 29, 1988

Telegram of Cardinal Ratzinger
to Archbishop Lefebvre

The Apostolic Nunciature was requested to deliver to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Emeritus of Tulle, the text of the following telegram addressed by His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, in the name of the Holy Father:

Dated: Vatican June 29, 1988 at 2:00pm

For the love of Christ and His Church the Holy Father asks you with paternal firmness to leave today for Rome without proceeding to the episcopal consecrations on June 30 which you have announced. He prays the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to inspire you not to betray the episcopate the care of which you have received, nor the oath you have pronounced to remain faithful to the Pope, successor of Peter. He asks God to keep you from leading astray and scattering those whom Christ Jesus came to gather in unity. He entrusts you to the intercession of the most Holy Virgin Mary Mother of the Church.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Archbishop Lefebvre was willing to see the Holy Father at any time before, but not to play the delaying game for ever. It belongs to the virtue of prudence to choose the right time for action. Archbishop Lefebvre had already delayed the Consecrations four times.75

If the Holy Father would have made a concrete proposal for a concrete date in the near future, he would have undoubtedly accepted. But this telegram only seems to hinder the possibility of such a concrete solution.


75. He had not made known which were the previous three dates he had fixed.

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

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