Archbishop Lefebvre’s Sermon at the Priestly ordinations
in Ecône, June 29, 1987
In the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Dear Brethren, Let us give
thanks to God who allows us once more to meet together again in
Ecône to take part in the magnificent ceremony of priestly ordinations,
ceremony which is the reason for our seminaries' existence and their
crowning glory. Seminaries without ordinations would no longer be
seminaries of the Church. nor Catholic seminaries. For this reason,
having the joy of imposing hands on the new priests, we give thanks
to God for letting our seminaries continue to live and even to expand,
since Ecône has had to split in two to enable a larger number of
young men desiring the true Catholic priesthood, to find at Ecône
and Flavigny the training and graces needed for them to become true
and holy priests.
AND THE PRIEST
Dear Ordinands, I shall begin
by addressing to you a few words of edification and encouragement.
You are going to be ordained within the celebration of the Catholic
Mass, not a neo-protestant Mass, and this Catholic Mass has been,
is now, and will always be the great programme of the priestly life,
the great programme of Christian life. To change this Mass is to
change the ideal of the priest and Christian, the Catholic ideal.
For above all else, Holy Mass is the Cross of Jesus, the continuation
of the Cross of Jesus. The veil of the Temple was rent because Jesus
died on the Cross, the Old Testament was giving way to the New -
was everything changed? Yes and no. Undoubtedly the whole ritual
of the old law and a certain concept of God's law was changed, but
the essence of the Old Testament law was being transformed into
a living vision of the law of love.
AND THE LAW OF LOVE
What do the Ten Commandments
say, other than to love God and to love one's neighbour? Our Lord
Jesus Christ himself has told us so. And this law of love is henceforth
inscribed not only on stone tablets, it is inscribed in Our Lord
Jesus Christ's sacrifice, He is the law of love and He shows it
upon His Cross. What more beautiful manifestation of the law of
love and charity could Our Lord give us than to die upon the Cross
for the glory of His Father and the salvation of our souls? Hence
it is the law of love which Jesus preaches to us upon the Cross,
and which He preaches to us every day at the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass - the same law of love which was deposited in your hearts.
my dear friends, and in your souls, through the grace of Baptism.
Indeed the grace of Baptism
transformed you and united you deeply to Our Lord Jesus Christ for
the realization of His law of love. His law of charity. And the
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated - as I hope God will give
you the grace to do - every day of your life, will maintain that
baptismal grace. For just as your god-fathers and god-mothers said
on your behalf at your baptism that they were cleaving to Our Lord
Jesus Christ and shunning all the temptations of this world. so
you too, every day you celebrate Mass, will say: "My God, O
Jesus. I cleave to you forever, I wish to be your priest, one who
preaches the law of love by example and by word. Keep me free of
this world and all its temptations, shield me from all influences
of this world which are in the service of Satan and of disobedience
THE PROGRAMME OF THE PRIEST
In this way your souls will
take strength in the presence of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
of His Body and Blood which you will have in front of you on the
altar, and which you yourselves will draw down from heaven by pronouncing
the words of consecration. What a sublime mystery! God obeying men
so as to continue offering His sacrifice! Here will be the programme
of your priestly life: to penetrate the souls coming to you, to
penetrate the souls attending your Holy Sacrifice of Mass, with
the sentiments of love of God and love of neighbour, even to the
sacrifice of self - and God knows if Our Lord Jesus Christ gives
us the example of that! -even to the sacrifice of self, even to
death if need be, even to the shedding of one's blood, in order
to remain united to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let that be your programme!
And that is why you must cleave in life, in death, to the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass that you are going to celebrate with me today. Do not
let yourselves be seduced by the attractions and appeal of the world
into transforming the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a purely human
assembly. And it is my dearest wish that you remain in these sentiments
all the days of your life, all the days of your priestly life, and
that you be apostles like those who have gone before you, wherever
they have been sent, like the dear priests surrounding us here today
who are happy to impose hands on you -priests of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, priests of crucified love, priests of Jesus crucified, and
not priests of the world, nor priests for the world!
SIGNS OF PROVIDENCE
My dear brethren, allow me
also to make use of this occasion to bring you up-to-date with the
situation in which we find ourselves today, as indeed is our custom
on the occasion of this ceremony of priestly ordinations. Well,
I must tell you, I cannot pass it over in silence and I cannot hide
it: -this year has been serious, very serious, for the Catholic
Church, for us Catholics, for Catholic priests. You are aware that
in various writings appearing here and there I have had occasion
to say that, yes, I was waiting for signs from Providence to carry
out acts seeming to me necessary for the continuation of the Catholic
Church. Well, I have to admit that I am convinced that the signs
have come. What are they? There are two of them: -the ecumenical
meeting held in Assisi last October, and the reply Rome has made
to the objections we had sent them concerning religious liberty.
And I state further that
this reply made to us after Assisi -since Assisi took place on October
27, whereas the reply reached us this January - I state that Rome's
reply to the objections we made to the errors of Vatican II on religious
liberty, is graver than Assisi. Assisi is a historical fact, an
action; the reply to our objections on religious liberty is a stand
taken on principles, a statement of principles, and hence graver!
It is one thing to commit a grave and scandalous action; it
is quite another to state false and erroneous principles which
work out in practice in utterly disastrous conclusions!
Hence it is providential
that by a particular set of circumstances we wrote the book that
appeared just a few days ago, entitled: "They Uncrowned Him."
Who? Who did the uncrowning and who was uncrowned? Who was uncrowned?
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who uncrowned him? The authorities in Rome
today. And the uncrowning shows in a very clear way in the Assisi
ceremony. Jesus Christ is uncrowned. He is no longer King. Universal
King, the King we proclaim in our liturgy from Christmas
through to His Ascension. All the Liturgical feasts proclaim the
kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. . From end to end of the Liturgical
year we chant:
"King of Kings, Lord
of Lords," Our Lord Jesus Christ. But now instead of extolling
the kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, here they are instituting
a pantheon of all religions. And just as it was the Roman authorities,
or pagan emperors, who built the pagan Pantheon then, so too the
pagan pantheon of today, the meeting-place of all religions, is
being constructed by the church authorities of Rome! What an immense
scandal for souls, for Catholics who already question the universal
kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ!
This is exactly what is meant
by liberalism. Liberalism means establishing the freedom of man
from God; hence the man who believes in, hopes in, and professes
any religion whatsoever is just as worthy of respect as the man
who says he professes the true religion. According to Liberalism,
the State, or civil society. is no longer capable of knowing which
is the true religion. That much is stated in the document given
us by Rome: the State is incompetent in matters of religion, and
so cannot decide which is the true or false religion, and by that
very fact is bound to allow within the "autonomous social area”
-as they call it, autonomous social area meaning practically the
entire life of the State - is bound to allow all religious errors
to spread, whatever they be, because man is free to have his own
religion. Well, we say no, no, no!
And Holy Mass proves it to
us: there is one law, a law of love, and Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims
to us on the Cross this law of love. He preaches it to us. He tells
us. "You must obey the law of love. Whosoever does not obey
the law of love is not worthy of eternal life." Hence it is
a binding law. We are not free. Our holy religion is not a matter
of free choice, it is the only one, the one which Our Lord Jesus
Christ proclaimed from His Cross.
And liberalism has become
the idol of modern times, an idol now adored in most countries of
the world, even the Catholic countries -this liberty of man from
God, which defies God, which seeks to make its own religion, liberalism,
with its own commandments, the rights of man, with its secular states,
secular education, empty of God, godless - there is liberalism for
And how is it possible for
the authorities in Rome to be encouraging liberalism and professing
such liberalism in the Decree on Religious Liberty? That is what
is so very serious, as I see it. Rome is in darkness, in the darkness
of error. There is no denying it. Impossible to deny it. How can
we as Catholics, and all the more as priests, bear to look on the
spectacle placed before our eyes in Assisi, in St. Peter's Church
given over for the practice of their pagan worship to the Buddhists
who put their idol on the tabernacle of Jesus Christ, King
of Kings, and performed their pagan ceremony in front of this tabernacle,
empty no doubt, but capped with a Buddha, their idol. Is it conceivable?
In a Catholic Church, a church of Our Lord Jesus Christ? These are
facts which speak by themselves. We cannot conceive of an error
How is it possible? Let us
leave the good Lord to answer. He guides all things, He is the master
of events, Our Lord Jesus Christ, He knows what will come of this
triumph of error over Rome and over the highest authorities, from
the Pope to the cardinals and bishops of the entire world following
these ideas; for indeed the bishops of the whole world are following
the false ideas of the Council with their ecumenism and liberalism.
God alone knows where it is all going to end.
For our part, however, if
we wish to remain Catholic and to continue the Church, we have the
grave and imprescriptible duty binding us firstly to increase the
number of priests, priests believing in Our Lord Jesus Christ, in
His Kingship, in His kingship over society, according to the Church's
doctrine. That is why I am happy that the book on liberalism has
appeared today, my dear friends, so that you may nourish your minds
on it and grasp in depth what our combat is all about. It is not
a human combat! We are at grips with Satan! It is a combat requiring
all the supernatural strength we need to fight against the adversary
who means to destroy and uproot the Church, who means to destroy
everything Our Lord Jesus Christ did. He meant to destroy Our Lord
from the moment He was born, and now He means to continue destroying
His Mystical Body, to destroy the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
to destroy all His institutions whatsoever.
So we must be aware of this
dramatic and apocalyptic combat through which we are living, and
not play it down, because the moment we play it down, we no longer
wish to give battle, we become weaklings and we dare no longer proclaim
the Truth; we no longer dare to proclaim the social kingship of
Our Lord Jesus Christ because our godless and atheistic world does
not want to hear of it. To say that Our Lord Jesus Christ should
reign over societies is folly as far as the world is concerned.
"You are backward-looking, out-of-date fossils, stuck fast
in the Middle
Ages ", we hear, "that doctrine is over and done
with, it belongs to the past! Let's hear no more of Our Lord Jesus
Christ reigning over societies!"
And so we might tend to be
afraid of this public opinion opposing us because we stand for the
kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us in any case not be surprised
to find that any demonstrations of ours in favour of the Social
Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ come up against an army directed
by Satan to destroy us, to hinder and nullify any influence we might
Hence we are happy today
to be carrying out these priestly ordinations, and in all sincerity
we think it is not possible to abandon the Society of St. Pius X
placed in our hands by the good Lord. For it is not I that founded
it, it is truly Our Lord who founded it, in unbelievable circumstances.
And now, after some 17 years of existence,
our Society has spread throughout the world, seconded by other initiatives
which - thanks be to God - have arisen with us and around us: all
the religious and nuns with us today, who have stood up like ourselves,
to proclaim that Our Lord Jesus Christ is King, and not to desert
Him. Are we going to desert Him? Are we going to let Him be crucified
a second time? Are we going to quit the Church presently undergoing
her Passion, and not come to her aid ? And what will become of souls
if nobody dares any longer proclaim the divinity of Our Lord Jesus
Christ? And what will become of souls if we no longer provide them
with the true grace they need? All this is cryingly obvious, and
so let us be convinced of it.
And that is the reason why
it is likely that I shall give myself some successors to be able
to continue the work of our Society. Because Rome is in darkness,
because Rome at present can no longer hear the voice of truth -Rome
no longer hears the voice of truth. Then what are we to do? What
answer has there been to our appeals? For 20 years now I have been
going to Rome. I have been writing, I have been speaking, I have
been sending documents to say to them: -"Follow Tradition,
come back to Tradition, otherwise the Church will be ruined. You,
the appointed successors of those who built the Church, you must
continue to build and not to demolish!" They are deaf, stone
deaf to our appeals.
And the last document we
have just received from them proves it amply. They are shutting
themselves up in their errors, they are shutting themselves up in
darkness, and they are quite simply going to lead souls into apostasy,
the ruination of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the ruination
of the Catholic and Christian Faith. Well, if that is what God asks
of us, we shall not hesitate to provide ourselves with auxiliaries
to continue the work of the Society, for we cannot believe that
God wishes this work to be destroyed, to come to an end, to continue
no further, for souls to be abandoned and for the Church by that
very fact to have no more pastors.
We are living in a quite
unique age, we must realize that. The situation is not normal, least
of all in Rome. Read the Italian journal "Si, si, no, no",
edited by the dear Sisters who are here today, who have come to
see Econe and to get some encouragement for the work they are doing.
The journal "Si, si, no, no" gives us precise information
on the situation in Rome, a perfectly incredible situation, unparallelled
in all history! Never has there been anything like it!
Never! -The Pope making himself,
as I was saying a little while ago, into a sort of guardian of the
Pantheon of all religions, making himself the Pontiff of Liberalism!
Tell me, tell me, pray - has such a situation ever existed in the
Church? What are we to do, faced with such a reality? Weep, no doubt.
Oh. weep, we do! Our heart is grieved, our heart is crushed by this
situation! We would give our life, we would shed our blood to turn
it around -but there it is.
The situation is such, the
work placed in our hands by the good Lord is such, that faced with
this darkness in Rome, faced with the Roman authorities' pertinacity
in error, faced with this refusal to return to Truth or Tradition
on the part of those who occupy the seats of authority in Rome,
faced with all these things, it seems to us that the good Lord is
asking for the Church to continue. This is why it is likely that
before I give account of my life to the good Lord, I shall have
to consecrate some bishops.
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN
My dear friends, my dear
brethren, let us pray. Let us pray with all our hearts, let us pray
to the Blessed Virgin Mary! We shall go to Fatima on August 22nd
to ask Our Lady of Fatima to help us. They would not reveal her
Third Secret, they buried the message of the Virgin Mary. No doubt
this message was meant to prevent what is happening today. Had her
message been made known, most likely we would not be where we are
today, the situation in Rome, would not be what it is today. The
Pope refused to make public the Virgin Mary's message: well, the
punishments foretold by Mary are coming: the apostasy announced
in Scripture is on its way; the coming of the Anti-Christ draws
near, as is perfectly obvious. So, faced with this quite exceptional
situation, we too must take exceptional means.
There you have it, my dear
brethren, my dear friends, during this Mass we shall pray, especially
to the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, guardians of the Church: may
they enlighten us! May they help us! May they obtain for us the
Gift of Strength and the Gift of Wisdom to continue their work,
to carry on the work of Peter and Paul and all their successors.
Let us ask for this from the Blessed Virgin Mary above all, and
let us consecrate our persons, our families, our cities to the Hearts
of Jesus and Mary.
In the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
Vol. X, No.
7, July 1987