Commentary on contemporary issues of Church and State from a traditional Catholic perspective guided by the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Archbishop Lefebvre Topples the Big Tent: "We are Counter-Revolutionaries"
Lefebvre's address to his priests given in Econe, Switzerland on September
6, 1990. Transcribed and
slightly adapted from the original French.
the future, I would like to say a few words on questions which the laity
may ask you, questions which I often get asked by people who do not know
too much about what is happening in the Society, such as, "Are
relations with Rome broken off? Is it all over?"
received a few weeks ago, maybe three weeks ago, yet another telephone call
from Cardinal Oddi:
Excellency, is there no way to arrange things, no way?" I replied,
"You must change, come back to Tradition. "It is not a
question of the Liturgy, it is a question of the Faith."
No, no, it is not
a question of Faith, no, no. The pope is ready and willing to receive you.
Just a little gesture on your part, a little request for forgiveness and
everything will be settled.
is just like Cardinal Oddi.
he is going nowhere. Nowhere. He understands nothing, or wants to
understand nothing. Nothing. Unfortunately, the same holds true for our
four more or less traditional Cardinals, Cardinals Palazzini, Stickler,
Gagnon and Oddi. They have no weight, no influence in Rome, they have lost
all influence, all they are good for any longer is performing ordinations
for St. Peter's Fraternity, etc. They are going nowhere. Nowhere.
the problem remains grave, very, very grave. We absolutely must not
minimize it. This is how we must reply to the layfolk who ask such
questions as, "When will the crisis come to and end? Are we getting
anywhere? Isn't there a way of getting permission for our liturgy, for our
the question of the liturgy and the sacraments is important, but it is not
the most important. The most important question is the question of the
Faith. This question is unresolved in Rome. For us it is resolved. We have
the Faith of all time, the Faith of the Catechism of the Council of
Trent, of the Catechism of St. Pius X, hence the Faith of the
Church, of all the Church Councils, of all the Popes prior to Vatican II.
Now the official Church is persevering, we might say pertinaciously, in the
false ideas and grave errors of Vatican II, that much is clear.
Fr.Tam is sending us
from Mexico a number of copies of a piece of work he is doing, most
interesting work, because he is compiling cuttings from the Osservatore
Romano, hence cuttings from Rome's official newspaper with speeches of
the Pope, of Cardinal Casaroli and Cardinal Ratzinger, official texts of
the Church, and so on. It is interesting, because such documents of public
record are irrefutable, being published by the Osservatore Romano,
so there is no doubting their authenticity.
an ancient struggle
these texts are astounding, quite astounding! I shall quote you a few texts
shortly. It is incredible. In the last few weeks (since I am now
unemployed!) I have been spending a little time re-reading the book by
Emmanuel Barbier on Liberal Catholicism. And it is striking to see
how our fight now is exactly the same fight as was being fought then by the
great Catholics of the 19th century, in the wake of the French Revolution,
and by the Popes, Pius VI, Pius VII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo
XIII, and so on, Pius X, down to Pius XII. Their fight is summed up in the
encyclical Quanta Cura with the Syllabus of Pius IX, and Pascendi
Dominici Gregis of Pius X. There are the two great documents,
sensational and shocking in their day, laying out the Church's teaching in
face of the modern errors, the errors appearing in the course of the
Revolution, especially in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. This
is the fight we are in the middle of today. Exactly the same fight.
are those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi, and there
are those who are against. It is simple. It is clear. Those who are against
are adopting the principles of the French Revolution, the modern errors.
Those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi remain within the
true Faith, within Catholic doctrine. Now you know very well that Cardinal
Ratzinger has said that as far as he is concerned Vatican II is "an
anti-Syllabus". Therewith the Cardinal placed himself clearly
amongst those who are against the Syllabus. If then he is against
the Syllabus, he is adopting the principles of the Revolution.
Besides, he goes on to say quite clearly, "Indeed we have now
absorbed into Church teaching, and the Church has opened herself up to,
principles which are not hers but which come from modern society,"i.e., as everyone understands, the principles of 1789, the Rights of
stand exactly where Cardinal Pie, Bishop Freppel, Louis Vueillot stood, and
Deputy Keller in Alsace, Cardinal Mermillod in Switzerland, who fought the
good fight together with the great majority of the then bishops. At that
time they had the good fortune to have the large majority of the bishops on
their side. Bishop Dupanloup and the few bishops in France who followed
Bishop Dupanloup were the odd ones out. The few bishops in Germany, the few
in Italy, who were openly opposed to the Syllabus, and in effect
opposed to Pius IX, they were the exception rather than the rule. But
obviously there were the forces of the Revolution, the heirs of the
Revolution, and there was the hand reached out by Dupanloup, Montalembert,
Lamennais and others, who offered their hand to the Revolution and who
never wanted to invoke the rights of God against the rights of man - "We
ask only for the rights of every man, the rights shared by everyone, shared
by all men, shared by all religions, not the rights of God," said
must not waver
we find ourselves in the same situation. We must not be under any
illusions. Consequently we are in the thick of a great fight, a great
fight. We are fighting a fight guaranteed by a whole line of popes. Hence,
we should have no hesitation or fear, hesitation such as, "Why
should we be going on our own? After all, why not join Rome, why not join
the pope?" Yes, if Rome and the Pope were in line with Tradition,
if they were carrying on the work of all the Popes of the 19th and the
first half of the 20th century, of course. But they themselves admit that
they have set out on a new path. They themselves admit that a new era began
with Vatican II. They admit that it is a new stage in the Church's life,
wholly new, based on new principles. We need not argue the point. They say
it themselves. It is clear. I think that we must drive this point home with
our people, in such a way that they realize their oneness with the Church's
whole history, going back well beyond the Revolution. Of course. It is the
fight of the City of Satan against the City of God. Clearly. So we do not
have to worry. We must after all trust in the grace of God.
is going to happen? How is it all going to end?" That is God's
secret. Mystery. But that we must fight the ideas presently fashionable in
Rome, coming from the Pope's own mouth, Cardinal Ratzinger's mouth,
Cardinal Casaroli's mouth, of Cardinal Willebrands and those like them, is
clear, clear, for all they do is repeat the opposite of what the Popes said
and solemnly stated for 150 years. We must choose, as I said to Pope Paul
VI: "We have to choose between you and the Council on one side, and
your predecessors on the other; either with your predecessors who stated
the Church's teaching, or with the novelties of Vatican II." Reply
- "Ah, this is not the moment to get into theology, we are
not getting into theology now." It is clear. Hence we must not
waver for one moment.
we must not waver for one moment either in not being with those who are in
the process of betraying us. Some people are always admiring the grass in
the neighbor's field. Instead of looking to their friends, to the Church's
defenders, to those fighting on the battlefield, they look to our enemies
on the other side. "After all, we must be charitable, we must be
kind, we must not be divisive, after all, they are celebrating the
Tridentine Mass, they are not as bad as everyone says" - but
THEY ARE BETRAYING US - betraying us! They are shaking hands with the
Church's destroyers. They are shaking hands with people holding modernist
and liberal ideas condemned by the Church. So they are doing the devil's
those who were with us and were working with us for the rights of Our Lord,
for the salvation of souls, are now saying, "So long as they grant
us the old Mass, we can shake hands with Rome, no problem." But we
are seeing how it works out. They are in an impossible situation.
Impossible. One cannot both shake hands with modernists and keep following
Tradition. Not possible. Not possible. Now, stay in touch with them to
bring them back, to convert them to Tradition, yes, if you like, that's the
right kind of ecumenism! But give the impression that after all one almost
regrets any break, that one likes talking to them? No way! These are people
who call us corpse-like Traditionalists, they are saying that we are as
rigid as corpses, ours is not a living Tradition, we are glum-faced, ours
is a glum Tradition! Unbelievable! Unimaginable! What kind of relations can
you have with people like that?
is what causes us a problem with certain layfolk, who are very nice, very
good people, all for the Society, who accepted the Consecrations, but who
have a kind of deep-down regret that they are no longer with the people
they used to be with, people who did not accept the Consecrations and who
are now against us. "It's a pity we are divided", they say, "why
not meet up with them? Let's go and have a drink together, reach out a hand
to them" - that's a betrayal! Those saying this give the
impression that at the drop of a hat they would cross over and join those
who left us. They must make up their minds.
is what killed Christendom, in all of Europe, not just the Church in
France, but the Church in Germany, in Switzerland - that is what
enabled the Revolution to get established. It was the Liberals, it was
those who reached out a hand to people who did not share their Catholic
principles. We must make up our minds if we too want to collaborate in the
destruction of the Church and in the ruin of the Social Kingship of Christ
the King, or are we resolved to continue working for the Kingship of Our
Lord Jesus Christ? All those who wish to join us, and work with us, Deo
Gratias, we welcome them, wherever they come from, that's not a
problem, but let them come with us, let them not say they are going a
different way in order to keep company with the liberals that left us and
in order to work with them. Not possible.
right down the 19th century were torn apart, literally torn apart, over the
Syllabus: for, against, for, against. And you remember in particular
what happened to the Count of Chambord. He was criticized for not accepting
to be made king of France after the 1870 Revolution in France on the
grounds of changing the French flag. But it was not so much a question of
the flag. Rather, he refused to submit to the principles of the Revolution.
He said, "I shall never consent to being the lawful King of the
Revolution." He was right! For he would have been voted in by the
country, voted in by the French Parliament, but on condition he accept to
be a Parliamentary King, and so accept the principles of the Revolution. He
said "No. If I am to be King, I shall be King like my ancestors
were, before the Revolution." He was right. One has to choose. He
chose to stay with the Pope, and with pre-Revolutionary principles.
too have chosen to be Counter-revolutionary, to stay with the Syllabus,
to be against the modern errors, to stay with Catholic Truth, to defend
Catholic truth. We are right!
II is profoundly wrong
fight between the Church and the liberals and modernism is the fight over
Vatican II. It is as simple of that. And the consequences are far-reaching.
more one analyzes the documents of Vatican II, and the more one analyzes
their interpretation by the authorities of the Church, the more one
realizes that what is at stake is not merely superficial errors, a few
mistakes, ecumenism, religious liberty, collegiality, a certain Liberalism,
but rather a wholesale perversion of the mind, a whole new philosophy based
on modern philosophy, on subjectivism. A book just published by a German
theologian is most instructive. It shows how the Pope's thinking,
especially in a retreat he preached at the Vatican, is subjectivist from
start to finish, and when afterwards one reads his speeches, one realizes
that indeed that is his thinking. It might appear Catholic, but Catholic it
is not. No. The Pope's notion of God, the Pope's notion of Our Lord, come
up from the depths of his consciousness, and not from any objective
revelation to which he adheres with his mind. No. He constructs the notion
of God. He said recently in a document - incredible - that the
idea of the Trinity could only have arisen quite late, because man's
interior psychology had to be capable of defining the Trinity. Hence the
idea of the Trinity did not come from a revelation from outside, it came
from man's consciousness inside, it welled up from inside man, it came from
the depths of man's consciousness! Incredible! A wholly different version
of Revelation, of Faith, of philosophy! Very grave! A total perversion! How
we are going to get out of all this, I have no idea, but in any case it is
a fact, and as this German theologian shows (who has, I believe, another
two parts of his book to write on the Holy Father's thought), it is truly
they are no small errors. We are not dealing in trifles. We are into a line
of philosophical thinking that goes back to Kant, Descartes, the whole line
of modern philosophers who paved the way for the Revolution.
John Paul II's ecumenism
me give you a few relatively recent quotations, for example, on ecumenism,
in the Osservatore Romano of June 2, 1989, when the Pope was in
Norway: "My visit to the Scandinavian countries is a confirmation
of the Catholic Church's interest in the work of ecumenism, which is to
promote unity amongst Christians, amongst all Christians. Twenty-five years
ago the Second Vatican Council insisted clearly on the urgency of this
challenge to the Church. My predecessors pursued this objective with
persevering attention, with the grace of the Holy Ghost which is the divine
source and guarantee of the ecumenical movement. Since the beginning of my
pontificate, I have made ecumenism the priority of my pastoral
concern." It is clear.
when one reads a quantity of documents on ecumenism - he makes speech
after speech on ecumenism because he receives delegation after delegation
from the Orthodox, from all religions, from all sects, so the subject is
always ecumenism, ecumenism, ecumenism. But he achieves nothing - the
end result has been nothing, nothing at all, except on the contrary
re-assuring the non-Catholics in their errors without seeking to convert
them, the confirming of them in their error. The Church has made no
progress, not the least progress, by this ecumenism. So all that he says is
a veritable mish-mash, "communion", "drawing
closer", "desire of imminent perfect communion", "hope
of soon communing in the sacrament", "in unity", and so
on - a mish-mash. No real progress. They cannot progress this way.
next Cardinal Casaroli, from L'Osservatore Romano in February, 1989,
speaking to the United Nations Commission of the Rights of Man - just
see what a speech it is! "In responding with great pleasure to the
invitation extended to me to come before you, and bringing to you the
encouragement of the Holy See, I desire to spend a few moments, as all of
you will understand, on one specific aspect of the basic liberty of thought
and action in accordance with one's conscience, religious liberty."
Such things coming from the mouth of an archbishop! Liberty of thought and
action according to one's conscience, hence religious liberty!
John Paul II did
not hesitate to state last year in a message for the World Day of Peace,
that religious liberty constitutes a cornerstone in the edifice of the
rights of man. The Catholic Church and its Supreme Pastor, who has made the
rights of man one of the major themes of his preaching, have not failed to
recall that in a world made by man, and for man...
Cardinal Casaroli's own words! -
organization of society only has meaning insofar as it makes of the human
dimension a central preoccupation.
God? No divine dimension in man! It is appalling! Paganism! Appalling! Then
he goes on:
Every man and all
of man, that is the Holy See's preoccupation; such, no doubt, is yours
can you do with people like that? What do we have in common with people
like that? Nothing! Impossible.
Ratzinger's way out
to our well-known Cardinal Ratzinger who made the remark that the Vatican
II document Gaudium et Spes was a Counter-Syllabus. He finds
it nevertheless awkward to have made such a remark, because people are now
constantly quoting it back to him, as a criticism: "You said that
Vatican II is a Counter-Syllabus! Hey, wait a moment, that is
serious!" So he has found an explanation. He gave it just a little
while ago, on June 27, 1990.
know that Rome recently issued a major document to explain the relationship
between the Magisterium and theologians. With all the problems theologians
are causing them on all sides, Rome no longer knows what to do, so they
have to try to keep the theologians in line without coming down too hard on
them, so they go on and on, page after page after page in this document.
Now in the presentation of the document Cardinal Ratzinger gives us his
thinking on the possibility of saying the opposite of what Popes have
previously decided one hundred years ago or whatever.
Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, says the cardinal,
"states for the first time with such clarity..." -
and indeed I think it is true! -
...that there are
decisions of the Magisterium which cannot be and are not intended to be the
last word on the matter as such, but are a substantial anchorage in the
ah, the cardinal is an artful dodger! So there are decisions of the
Magisterium (that is not just any decisions!) which cannot be the last word
on the matter as such, but are merely a substantial anchorage in the
problem! The Cardinal continues - "...and they are first and
foremost an expression of pastoral prudence, a sort of provisional disposition..."
- Listen! - definitive decisions of the Holy See being turned into
provisional dispositions!! The Cardinal goes on -
remains valid, but the individual details influenced by the circumstances
at the time may need further rectification. In this regard one can refer to
the statements of the Popes during the last century on religious freedom as
well as the anti-modernistic decisions at the beginning of this century,
especially the decisions of the Biblical Commission of that time...
are the decisions the cardinal could not digest! Hence three definitive
statements of the Magisterium may be put aside because they were only
"provisional"! Listen to the cardinal, who goes on to say that
these anti-modernist decisions of the Church rendered a great service in
their day by "warning against hasty and superficial
adaptations", and "by keeping the Church from sinking into
the liberal-bourgeois world...But the details of the determinations of their
contents were later suspended once they had carried out their pastoral duty
at a particular moment" (Osservatore Romano, English
edition, July 2, 1990, p. 5). So we turn over the page and say no more
you see how the Cardinal has got out of the accusation of going a bit far
when he calls Vatican II an Anti-Syllabus, when he opposes the
Pontifical decisions and the Magisterium of the past? - He's found
the way out! - "...the core remains valid..."
- what core? No idea! - "...but the individual details
influenced by the circumstances at the time may need further
rectification..." - and there he has it, he is out of his
by way of conclusion, either we are the heirs of the Catholic Church, i.e.,
of Quanta Cura, of Pascendi, with all the Popes down to the
Council and with the great majority of bishops prior to the Council, for
the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ and for the salvation of souls; or else
we are the heirs of those who strive, even at the price at breaking with
the Catholic Church and her doctrine, to acknowledge the principles of the
Rights of Man, based on a veritable apostasy, in order to obtain a place as
servants in the Revolutionary World Government. That is it. They will
manage to get quite a good place as servants in the Revolutionary World
Government because, by saying they are in favor of the Rights of Man,
religious liberty, democracy and human equality, clearly they are worth
being given a position as servants in the World Government.
strength is in the Lord
think that if I say these things to you, it is to put our own fight in its
historical context. It did not begin with Vatican II, obviously. It goes
much further back. It is a tough fight, very painful, blood has flowed in
this fight, and in quantities! And then the persecutions, separation of
Church and State, religious and nuns driven into exile, the sequestering of
Church property, and so on, and not only in France but also in Switzerland,
in Germany, in Italy - the occupation of the Pontifical States
driving the Pope back into the Vatican - abominations against the
are we with all these innovators, and against the doctrine professed by the
Popes, against their voice raised in protest to defend the Church's rights,
Our Lord's rights, to defend souls? I think we have truly a strength and a
base to stand on which do not come from us, and that is what is good
- it is not our fight, it is Our Lord's fight, which the Church has carried
on. So we cannot waver. Either we are for the Church, or we are against the
Church and for the new Conciliar Church which has nothing to do with the
Catholic Church, or less and less to do with it. For when the Pope used to
speak about the Rights of Man, to begin with he used to allude also to the
duties of men, but no longer. No longer. The Rights of Man, and this
insistence on everything for man, everything by man. Truly appalling!
Society fights on
wished to lay out a few of these thoughts for you to fortify yourselves and
to realize the fight you are carrying on. With the grace of God, because it
is obvious we would no longer be in existence if the Good Lord was not with
us. That is clear. There have been at least four or five occasions when the
Society of St. Pius X should have disappeared. Well, here we are, still,
thanks be to God! And goodness gracious, we carry on. We should especially
have disappeared at the time of the Consecrations in 1988. So we were told
beforehand. All the prophets of doom, and even amongst those close to us
said: "No, no, your Grace, do not do that, that is the end of the
Society, you can be sure, we assure you, that is the end, it will all be
over, you can close down." Yet we survived!
the Good Lord does not want his fight to come to and end, a fight in which
there have been many martyrs, the martyrs of the Revolution and all those
who have been moral martyrs by dint of the persecutions they underwent
through the nineteenth century. Even in our own century, St. Pius X was a
martyr. All there heroes of the Faith, the persecuted bishops, the
sequestered convents, the exiled nuns; all these are to be nothing? That
whole fight is to have been a fight for nothing, a fight in vain? A fight
which condemns those who were its victims? And martyrs? Impossible. So we
find ourselves caught up in the same current, in the continuation of the
same fight, and we thank God.
Society being persecuted
we are being persecuted is obvious. How could we not be persecuted? We are
the only ones to be excommunicated. No one else is. We are the only ones
being persecuted, even in material matters. For example, our Swiss
colleagues are being obliged again to do their military service. That is
persecution by the Swiss government. In France they are persecuting the
Society's French District by blocking legacies from being handed over to
the District, this in the attempt to stifle us, by cutting off our income.
This is persecution, of such a kind as history is full of, it is merely
continuing. And God works his way round it. Normally, our French District
should have been stifled, and we should have had to shut down our schools,
to close down all the institutions which cost us money, but that situation
has now gone on for over two years and Providence has allowed for our
benefactors to be generous and for the funds to come in, so we have been
able to continue despite this iniquitous persecution. Iniquitous, because
the law, the state of the law is on our side. But there is a letter to the
French Minister from Cardinal Lustiger asking him to block our legacies,
and this letter did not come out of nowhere, it was written under the
influence of Msgr. Perl. It is he, the damned soul. It is he. He was all
smiles when he came on the official Visitation of the Society in 1987, but
he was the evil genius of that Visitation. He thought he had us where he
wanted us when he cut off our funds!
we must not worry, for when we look behind us, we see we are still not as
unfortunate as those Catholics expropriated at the beginning of this
century, who found themselves out on the street with nothing. That may
happen to us one day, I do not look forward to it, but the more we expand,
the more we will arouse jealousy on the part of all those who do not care
for us. But we must count on the Good Lord, on the grace of the Good Lord.
is going to happen? I do not know. Perhaps the coming of Elias! I was just
reading this morning in Holy Scripture, Elias will return and put
everything back in place! "Et omnia restituet" -
"and he will restore all things." Goodness gracious, let him
come straightaway! I do not know. But humanly speaking, there is no chance
of any agreement between Rome and ourselves at the moment.
was saying to me yesterday, "But what if Rome accepted your bishops
and then you were completely exempted from the other bishops'
jurisdiction?" But firstly, they are a long way right now from
accepting any such thing, and then, let them first make us such an offer!
But I do not think they are anywhere near doing so. For what has been up
till now the difficulty has been precisely their giving to us a
Traditionalist bishop. They did not want to. It had to be a bishop
according to the profile laid down by the Holy See. "Profile".
You see what that means! Impossible. They knew very well that by giving us
a traditional bishop they would be setting up a Traditionalist citadel able
to continue. That they did not want. Nor did they give it to St. Peter's
Society. When St. Peter's say they signed the sane Protocol as we did in
May, 1988, it is not true because in our Protocol there was one bishop, and
two members of the Roman Commission, of which their Protocol had neither.
So they did not sign the same Protocol as we did. Rome took advantage of
drawing up a new Protocol to remove those two concessions. At all costs
they wanted to avoid that. So we had to do as we did on June 30, 1988...
the bright side
any case I am happy to be able to encourage you and congratulate you on the
work you are doing - the complaints now are rare, and how many people
write to me their gratitude for the work of the priests of the Society of
St. Pius X. For them the Society is their life. They have rediscovered the
life they wanted, the way of the Faith, the family spirit they need, the
desire for Christian education, all these schools, together with all that
our Sisters and Fathers are doing, and all our friends who work together to
continue Tradition. All that is marvelous, in the age we are living in. The
people are truly grateful, deeply grateful. So carry on your work and
organize - I hope that little by little our various communities will
be able to increase in numbers so as to provide more mutual support for you
all, moral and physical, so that you can maintain your present fervor.
wish to thank all the Superiors for their zeal and devotion. I truly think
the Good Lord has chosen the Society, has wanted the Society. In November
we reach the Society's 20th anniversary and I am intimately convinced that
it is the Society which represents what the Good Lord wants, to continue
and maintain the Faith, maintain the truth of the Church, maintain what can
still be saved in the Church, thanks to the bishops grouped around the
Superior General, playing their indispensable part, of guardians of the
Faith, of preachers of the Faith, giving the grace of the priesthood, the
grace of Confirmation, things that are irreplaceable and absolutely
all that is highly consoling. I think we should thank God, and enable it to
carry on, so that one day people are forced to recognize that although the
Visitation of 1987 bore little fruit, it showed that we were there and that
good was being done by the Society, even if they did not wish to say so
explicitly outside of our circles after the Visitation. However, one day
they will be obliged to recognize that the Society represents a spiritual
force and a strength of the Faith which is irreplaceable and which they
will have, I hope, the joy and the satisfaction to make use of, but when they
have come back to their Traditional Faith.
Let us pray to
the Blessed Virgin and let us ask Our Lady of Fatima for all our intentions
all the pilgrimages we make in various countries, that she come to the
aid of the Society, that it may have numerous vocations. Obviously we would
like to have some more vocations. Our seminaries are not filled. We would
like them to be filled. However, with the grace of God, it will come. So,
once more, thank you, and please pray for me that I die a good and holy
death, because I think that is all that I still have to do!
Breaking News: John Salza has left the SSPX and has returned to the Novus Ordo church. Our source, who has worked with him on True and False Pope , says that he came to this decision "after studying sedevacantism."
This is the only image I have of the Fake Sister Lucy with Cardinal Ratzinger. He met with her, had a picture taken to portray to the world that this was the real Sister Lucy. He knows that this is a fraud and that his portrayal of the Third Secret was also a complete fraud. Why don't these men ever come clean? Even when facing death and judgment?