An Open Letter to Confused Catholics

His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre


12. Comrades and Fellow-Travellers

Let us take up where we left off. Christian common sense is offended in every way by this new religion. Catholics are exposed to desacralization on all sides; everything has been changed.  They are told that all religions bring salvation; the Church welcomes without distinction separated Christians and in fact all believers, whether they bow to Buddha or to Krishna.  They are told that clergy and laity are equal members of the “People of God,” so that lay people designated for particular functions take over the clergy's tasks. We see them conducting funerals and taking Viaticum to the sick, while the clergy take up the functions of the laity--dress like them, work in factories, join trade unions and engage in politics.  The new Canon Law supports all this.  It confers unheard-of prerogatives on the laity, blurring the distinction between them and priests and creating so-called “rights.” Lay theologians hold chairs of theology in Catholic universities, the faithful take over roles in divine worship which were once reserved to those in clerical orders: they administer some of the sacraments, they distribute Holy Communion and serve as witnesses at weddings.

We also read that the Church of God “subsists” in the Catholic Church--a suspicious formula, because immemorial doctrine has always said that the Church of God is the Catholic Church. If we accept this recent formula, it would seem that Protestant and Orthodox communions form equal parts of the Church--which cannot be, since they have separated themselves from the one Church founded by Jesus Christ: Credo UNAM sanctam Ecclesiam.

The new Canon Law was drawn up in such haste and confusion that, although promulgated in January 1983, a hundred and fourteen modifications had been added by November of the same year.  This too is disconcerting to Christians who are accustomed to think of Church law as something permanent.

If the father of a family (whether or not a regular church-goer wants his children to be well educated, he is bound to be disappointed. Catholic schools are in many cases mixed, sex education is given, religious instruction has disappeared in the higher classes, and it is not unusual to find teachers with Liberal or even Communist leanings. In one case which caused an uproar in the west of France, a teacher was removed owing to pressure from parents, then reinstated by diocesan authorities. He defended himself by saying, “Six months after starting at Our Lady’s (School), the father of one pupil wanted to get rid of me simply because I had shown myself from the start to be left-wing in every respect--political, social and religious. According to him, one could not be both a philosophy teacher in a Catholic school and a Socialist.”

Another incident occurred in the north of France.  A new head teacher was appointed to a school by the diocesan authorities.  After a short time the parents learned that he was a militant member of a left-wing union, that he was a laicized priest, married and with children apparently not baptized.  At Christmas he organized a party for the pupils and their parents with the support of a group which was known to be Communist. In such circumstances Catholics of goodwill must wonder if it is worthwhile to make sacrifices to send their children to Catholic schools.

At a girls’ school in the heart of Paris, a chaplain from the prison at Fresnes came to the catechism class, accompanied by a young (eighteen-year-old) inmate. He explained to the pupils how lonely the prisoners were, how they needed affection, outside contacts and letters. Any girl wishing to become such a “godmother” could give her name and address. But no mention of this must be made to parents because they would not understand. It had to remain confidential among the young people.

Elsewhere there was a teacher about whom complaints were received--this time from a group of parents--because she had taught her children sections of the catechism and the Hail Mary. She was supported by the Bishop, as was quite right. But it seemed so unusual that the parents’ letter was reprinted in a teachers’ magazine as something sensational.

What is to be made of all this? Catholic schools, when the French government decided to do away with them, proved vulnerable because in almost all cases, they had in one way or another ceased to fulfill their mission. Their opponents found it easy to say, “What are you doing for the educational system? We are doing exactly the same thing as you. Why have two systems?” Of course we still find some reservoirs of faith,  and we must pay tribute to the many teachers who are conscious of their responsibilities. But Catholic education no longer asserts itself clearly when confronted with state schooling.  It has gone a good halfway along the road that the zealots of secularism want it to go.  I have been told that at demonstrations some groups have caused scandal by shouting, “We want God in our schools!” The organizers had secularized the songs, slogans and speeches as much as possible in order (so they said) not to embarrass those who had come along without religious positions, including unbelievers and even atheistic Socialists.

Is it dabbling in politics to want to remove Socialism and Communism from our schools? Catholics have always rightly thought that the Church was opposed to these doctrines because of the militant atheism they profess. Communism holds radically different views about the meaning of life,  the destiny of nations and the way in which society is moving. It is all the more astonishing, therefore, to read in Le Monde on June 5, 1984 that Cardinal Lustiger (Archbishop of Paris), in reply to questions put by the paper and while making some very correct observations along the way, complained of having seen an historical opportunity lost with Parliament’s vote on Catholic schools. This opportunity, he said, consisted in finding some basic values in common with the Socialist-Communists for the education of children. What basic values can there be in common between the Marxist left and Christian doctrine? They are completely opposed to each other.

Yet Catholics observe with amazement that dialogue between the Church hierarchy and Communists is intensifying. Soviet leaders and also a terrorist such as Yasser Arafat are received at the Vatican.  The Council set the fashion by refusing to renew the condemnation of Communism. Finding no mention of it in the schemas submitted to them, 450 bishops--we would do well to remember--signed a letter calling for an amendment to this effect. They were referring to previous condemnations and in particular to the statement of Pius XI which described Communism as “intrinsically evil” meaning that there are no negative and positive elements in this ideology, but that it must be rejected in its entirety. We remember what happened: the amendment was not conveyed to the Fathers. The Secretariat General said they knew nothing about it. Then the Commission admitted having received it, but too late. This is not true. It caused a scandal which ended, on the Pope's orders, with an appendix to the Constitution Gaudium et Spes containing an additional remark on Communism.

How many statements by bishops have been made to justify and even to encourage collaboration with Communism, regardless of what Communism professes! “It is not up to me; it is for Christians who are responsible adults,” said Bishop Matagrin, “to see under what conditions they can collaborate with the Communists.” For Bishop Delorme, Christians must “fight for more justice in the world alongside all those who strive for justice and freedom, including the Communists.” The same tune from Bishop Poupard, who urges “working with all men of goodwill for justice in all areas where a new world is being tirelessly built up.” According to one diocesan magazine, the funeral oration of a worker-priest went like this: “He opted for a world of workers on the occasion of the local council elections. He could not be everybody's priest. He chose those who made the choice of Socialist society. It was hard for him. He made enemies but also many new friends. Little Paul was a man in his place.” A short while ago one bishop persuaded priests not to talk in their parishes about “Help to the Church in Need,” saying, “My impression is that this work appears in too exclusively an anti-Communist light.”

We notice with bewilderment that the excuse for this sort of collaboration lies in the intrinsically false idea that the aim of the Communist party is to establish justice and freedom.  We must remember the words of Pius IX on this point: “If the faithful allow themselves to be deceived by those fomenting the present intrigues, if they agree to conspire with them for the evil systems of Socialism and Communism, let them realize and reflect, they are laying up for themselves treasures of vengeance on the day of wrath; and in the meantime there will come forth from this conspiracy no temporal advantage for the people but rather an increase of misery and calamities.”

To see the accuracy of this warning--given in 1849, nearly 140 years ago--we need only to look at what is happening in all the countries that have come under the yoke of Communism. Events have proved the Pope of the Syllabus right, yet in spite of this the illusion remains just as bright and strong as ever. Even in Poland, a profoundly Catholic country, the pastors no longer treat the Catholic Faith and the salvation of souls as primary importance, for which all sacrifices must be accepted, including that of life itself.  What matters most to them is avoiding a break with Moscow, and this enables Moscow to reduce the Polish people to an even more complete slavery without serious resistance.

Father Floridi7 shows clearly the results of the compromise policy of the Vatican’s Ostpolitik:  “It is a known fact (he says) that the Czechoslovakian bishops consecrated by Cardinal Casaroli are collaborators of the regime, as are the bishops dependent on the Patriarchate of Moscow.  Happy to have been able to place a bishop in each diocese of Hungary, Pope Paul VI paid homage to Janos Kadar, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party and “principal promoter and authority in the normalization of relations between the Holy See and Hungary.” But the Pope did not tell the high price paid for this normalization: the installation in important positions in the Church of “peace priests.” In fact, Catholics were stupefied when they heard Cardinal Laszlo Lekai, the successor of Cardinal Mindszenty, promise to step up talks between Catholics and Marxists. Speaking of the intrinsic evil of Communism, Pius XI added, “and one can identify no grounds for collaboration with it by anyone who wishes to save Christian civilization.”

This departure from the teaching of the Church, added to those I have already enumerated, obliges us to say that the Vatican is now occupied by Modernists and men of this world who believe there is more effectiveness to be found in human and diplomatic artifices for the salvation of the world than in what was instituted by the divine Founder of the Church.

I have mentioned Cardinal Mindszenty; like him, all the heroes and martyrs of Communism, in particular Cardinals Beran, Stepinac, Wynszinski and Slipyj, are embarrassing to present Vatican diplomats, and it must be said, are silent reproofs to them; they are now fallen asleep in the Lord.

The same contacts have been established with Freemasonry, in spite of the unambiguous declaration by the Congregation for the Faith in February 1981, which was preceded by a declaration from the German Bishops’ Conference in April 1980.  But the new Canon Law makes no mention of it and deliberately imposes no sanctions. Catholics have recently found that B’nai B’rith Masons have been received at the Vatican and, recently, the Archbishop of Paris met for talks with the Grand Master of a Masonic lodge. In the meantime, certain churchmen are trying to reconcile this Synagogue of Satan with the Church of Christ.

They reassure Catholics by telling them, as for everything else, “The former condemnation of the sects was perhaps justified, but the Masonic brotherhood is not what it used to be.” But see how they go about their work.  The scandal of the P2 Lodge in Italy is still fresh in people's minds. In France there is no doubt whatever that the civil laws against Catholic private education were above all the   work of Grand Orient Freemasonry, which has increased its pressure upon the President of the Republic and his associates within the government and cabinet ministries, to the end that “the great unified National education service” may at last become a reality. For once they have acted openly. Some newspapers such as Le Monde have given a regular account of their maneuvers; their planning and their strategy have been published in their magazines.

Do I need to point out that Freemasonry is what it has always been? The former Grand Master of the Grand Orient, Jacques Mitterand, admitted on the radio in 1969, “We have always had bishops and priests in our lodges,” and made the following profession of faith:  “If to place man upon the altar in place of God is the sin of Lucifer, then all humanists since the Renaissance have committed this sin.” This was one of the complaints against the Freemasons when they were excommunicated for the first time by Pope Clement XII in 1738. In 1982, the Grand Master Georges Marcou said, “It is the problem of man which is paramount.” At the forefront of his concerns when he was reelected was subsidising abortion by the National Health Service saying, “Women's economic equality depends on this step.”

Freemasons have penetrated into the Church. In 1976 it was discovered that the man at the centre of the liturgical reform, Mgr. Bugnini, was a Freemason.  And we can be sure he was not the only one. The veil covering the greatest mystery hidden from the clergy and faithful has begun to tear.  We see more and more clearly with the passing of time--but so do also the Church’s secular enemies: “Something has changed within the Church,” wrote Jacques Mitterand, “and replies given by the Pope to the most urgent questions, such as priestly celibacy and birth control, are hotly debated within the Church itself; the word of the Sovereign Pontiff is questioned by bishops, by priests, by the faithful. For a Freemason, a man who questions dogma is already a Freemason without an apron.”

Another brother, Mr. Marsaudon of the Scottish Rite, spoke as follows of the ecumenism nurtured during the Council: “Catholics, especially the conservatives, must not forget that all roads lead to God. And they will have to accept that this courageous idea of freethinking, which we can really call a revolution, pouring forth from our Masonic lodges, has spread magnificently over the dome of St. Peter’s."

I should again like to quote for you a text which throws light on this question and shows which side hopes to prevail over the other in the contacts advocated by Fr. Six and Fr. Riquet. It is an extract from the Masonic review Humanism, the issue for November and December 1968:

“Amongst the pillars which will collapse most easily, we mention the doctrinal power endowed with infallibility, which the First Vatican Council, one hundred years ago, believed it had strengthened and which had sustained some combined attacks following the publication of the encyclical Humane Vitae. The Real Presence in the Eucharist, which the Church succeeded in imposing on the medieval masses, will disappear with progress in intercommunion and concelebration between Catholic priests and Protestant pastors: the sacred character of the priest, which derives from the institution of the sacrament of orders, will give place to an elective and temporary role; the distinction between the hierarchy and the lower clergy will yield to the dynamic working from the base upwards, just as in every democracy; and there will be the gradual disappearance of the ontological and metaphysical nature of the sacraments and most certainly the end of confession, sin having become in our civilization one of the most anachronistic notions that we have inherited from the harsh philosophy of the Middle  Ages, which itself was heir to biblical pessimism.”

You notice how interested the Freemasons are in the Church's future--in order to devour her.  Catholics need to be aware of this, in spite of the sirens who would sing them to sleep. All those destructive forces are closely interrelated. Freemasonry describes itself as the philosophy of Liberalism, which in its most extreme form is Socialism.  The whole comes under the phrase used by our Lord: “the gates of hell.”

7 Rev. U. Floridi, Moscow and the Vatican, Editions France-Empire


To Chapter 11

Home | Newsletters | Library | Vocations | History | Links | Search | Contact