LEFEBVRE and the
from the Media
the months of June and July (1988) many newspapers and magazines
carried articles on Archbishop Lefebvre. The two which
are excerpted here are especially notable.
30 Days (June 1988)
Gagnon was interviewed by 30 Days at the beginning of June.
For him, many of the faithful who follow Archbishop Lefebvre
were scandalized because:
Gagnon: …[M]any things have been done too fast and without
taking time to explain to the people what was happening....I think
there was a lack of patience and prudence as a result.
So you think that the implementation of the vernacular Mass
was too swift...
Gagnon: Oh, yes, sure. It was too swift.
When we were in the Seminary, we were taught that changing
a word in the Canon of the Mass was a mortal sin. And
then, all of a sudden, all that is changed.
for Cardinal Gagnon, the only problem was the rapidity of the
change. He does not see the Protestant spirit which permeates
the new liturgy. The purpose of the “reconciliation” in
his eyes was to give the time to traditional faithful to make
the change at their own pace. This is unacceptable.
America (June 18, 1988)
D. Dinges, Professor in the Department of Religion at the Catholic
University of America in Washington, D.C., acknowledges that the
faithful attached to Tradition are not slow-minded faithful, incapable
of changing fast enough. He sees the problem at its proper
level, the doctrinal level:
traditionalism—is not a form of naivete. It does not
arise unaware of a new intellectual or theological order; it stands
in opposition to it, defending a world view and governing assumptions
of religious experience that have lost much of their credibility
and legitimacy in the wake of Vatican II. Traditionalism,
especially among its intellectual and clerical elite, is a repudiation
of the historical consciousness, the “anthropocentric turn” toward
the subjective, and other hermeneutical, relativising and praxis
tendencies that characterize contemporary consciousness and much
modern theology, and that are reflected in one fashion or another
in key documents of the Council.”
first characteristic of modern theology is its incomprehensibility!
We have here a great concession. Modern theology is
characterized by this “anthropocentric turn toward the subjective.”
What does that mean? It means that everything is centered
on man (anthropos) rather than God, rather than Jesus Christ.
Indeed, we do reject this anthropocentric turn! Modern
theology subjectivizes everything. Faith is no longer the adherence
to the objective Truths; it is the subjective expression of religious
feelings. This is the Modernist faith condemned by St. Pius X.
Professor William D. Dinges, who wrote the America article,
witnesses that these new characteristics of modern theology “are
reflected in one fashion or another in key documents of the Council.”
The Professor continues:
the classic tendency to absolutise the cognitive aspects of religions
and to reify111
the constituent symbols of religious identity....[It is]
a strongly rationalistic (orientation) in which religion is based
on a standardized objective knowledge of God...the emphasis on “correct
belief” as the primary datum of religion and norm for all other
forms of religious self-understanding animates all of Archbishop
Lefebvre’s writings and public pronouncements and is his real casus
of Catholic traditionalism lie in…the logical development and extension
of anti-modernist theological trends; the reaction against new epistemological
and hermeneutical frames of reference that decisively penetrated
Catholicism—and that were legitimated within Vatican II...in particular,
the de-objectification of the liturgy brought about by the reforms
following Vatican II, like the de-objectification of Scripture accompanying
Protestantism’s earlier embrace of historical-critical methods...”
modern theology is incomprehensible, but when one begins to understand
this jargon one is horrified to find nothing less than the pure
Modernism condemned by St. Pius X. The Professor does not acknowledge
any objective Truth, especially in religious matters. Faith
is just the expression of a religious feeling, there is no objective
“correct belief...” Yes! Archbishop Lefebvre and all true
Catholics reject this Modernism “that was legitimated within Vatican
II” and this is the real casus belli with the Vatican.
i.e., to consider as real, e.g., to consider God as
a real being, not just a symbol.
i.e., the cause of the war.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109