Rorate Caeli

A man worthy of remembrance

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Exactly 20  years ago, Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre died in Martigny, Switzerland. Regardless of one's opinion of some events of his life, or of some of his decisions, or of some of his stronger words, it would be unjust not to acknowledge that without him the struggle for the preservation of much of what we cherish would probably have been lost. The fact that 20 years after his death "the question of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre" is still discussed in the highest halls of the Church, that his name is still mentioned among the words included in some of the gravest decisions of the Supreme Authority of the Church (cf. Letter to Bishops regarding the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum), and that the universal Church experiences in our age the great impact of the publication and implementation, not without hurdles, of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum show that the global movement for the advancement of the Traditional Roman Rite is inseparably linked to the life of this passionate man.
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108 comments:

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Everyone who cherishes all that is good and holy of the Church's tradition owes this great man a huge debt of gratitude.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Probably one of the top ten greatest Churchmen of the 20th Centry.
Rip. Blessed LeFebvre

Tom the Milkman said...

THANK YOU, NC, for a beautifully laid wreath at the memory of a great Churchman. The gift of his steadfastness has already taken root around the world. Your comments are measured and just, and much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Merci, Monsignor!

Anonymous said...

I really don't know a whole lot. But it seems to me the good Lord raises up certain people at certain times. I think Abp LeFebvre is one of those.

In the future, when the heresy of modernism has finally died the miserable death that it deserves, Abp. LeFebvre will be hailed as a holy Saint. I wish I could live to see it.

Jason

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything stated above! Thank you so, so much dear Archbishop for saving THE MASS for us all - and future generations! And a million thank-yous would not suffice for "la sottoscritta."

Barbara

W.C. Hoag said...

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetuam luceat ei.

Anonymous said...

Top ten of the 20th century?
No, top ten of the last one thousand years.
This man was the Athanasius of our age.

Cruise the Groove. said...

Alright, top five.

HPA said...

Thank you, Your Excellency, for your courage and perseverance.

The Archbishop will stand, one day, as one of the gratest saints of the XXth century, next to Saint Pio of Pieltrecina and Saint Pius X, and, as a reader said, as one of the greatest heroes of the Church.

Anonymous said...

What a faithful son!
What valiant prelate!
What an example of courage and fidelity!

Archbishop LeFebvre for many, many agonizing years hoped and prayed for the sons of the Church to preserve fidelity and orthodoxy in a time of cowardice, appeasement, compromise and infidelity.

He said, I never, never will stand against my Church, my Pope. He pleaded for clarity, for light, for love for the Church and defended Her while others conspired to change and misguide the Bark of Peter.

Only when he recognized the threat in and against the Church did he raise his will to save the truth which Pope John Paul himself recognized in his Fides et Ratio that truth was no longer the highest priority for men in the world.

Only when Archbishop, as he admitted that Faith was no longer secure, and Truth was no longer defended within the Church, then and only then did he reverse his reserve and boldly and almost blindly clung to his deepest belief that Faith and Truth need to be placed on the forefront of the Church as She always believed, did and taught the world, and in opposition to the opening speech of Vatican II, did the Athanasian Archbishop insisted on preserving, protecting, providing the priesthood and the sacraments in the Church for a clouded future against the influx of the pagan philosophy that allowed for "the world" and the "signs of the times" to be our teachers. in place of defending what Christ said, "You have but one teacher, Jesus Christ".

Today is March 25.

Divine Providence makes no accidents. This day today is the day chosen by Heaven for the faithful son, Archbishop LeFebvre to end his earthly life.

His life and work for Christ's Church radiated the splendor of the unity Christ himself prayed for, for which this son of the Church fought to preserve.
Unity of Faith without sides and compromise. This the Lord of Heaven has sealed by letting the Archbishop pass from this earthly life to his eternal home of peace on this feast of the Incarnation Christ which is also by God's design Mary's feast of the Annunciation. Let us celebrate today with hope and joy the eternal unity for which our Savior prayed for and sealed by his own Death and Resurrection, which Eternal Unity Archbishop believed in, lived by and fought for. May Archbishop LeFebvre requiescat
in pace.

Mary Immaculate pray for us your sons and slaves.

- Fr. Stephen, ofm

thomas tucker said...

He did some good things. He did some bad things. God is the judge of his soul.
I think he would have had a better influence if he hadn't consecrated his own bishops. But I'll gladly pray for his soul and ask him to pray for mine.

Anonymous said...

Santo!

Ora pro nobis!

Noah said...

Ora pro nobis, Monsignor.

David Joyce said...

Thank you, NC, for publicising the anniversary of this great man.

I would wholeheartedly recommend his biography "Marcel Lefebvre" by Bp. Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, especially to find out more about him prior to Vatican II and his amazing work in Africa. It may be long, but it is very readable and thoroughly rewarding.

Lance said...

I looked up some of that old latin just for this occasion: "extra ecclesiam nulla salus."

Anonymous said...

Truly a holy man RIP.

Father G said...

Sit in aeternum memoria eius!

May he soon be raised to the glory of the altars...

Merci infiniment Monseigneur!

Long-Skirts said...

RIGHTEOUS
THUNDER

Five times banished,
Exiled seventeen,
Excommunicated champions,
God puts at each scene.


Saint Athanasius,
Feast day of worth
On the second of May
The month of great mirth.


Out in the deserts –
As history has charted –
You preserved the true Mass,
Great lion-hearted.


Then Lefebvre,
And the sixties egalitarians,
Like Athanasius,
His time his Arians.


For He who abolished
Death by death
Sent him to absolve
Sin width and breadth.


And yes, the same moon,
The same sun we're all under…
We venal rain - but Lefebvre
Righteous thunder!!

Timothy Mulligan said...

Pray for the intercession of holy Marcel Lefebvre!

Anonymous said...

Thank God for this holy man. It may not be in our lifetime but he will surely be canonised when a future generation looks at the whole scene of the 60's, 70's 80's 90's etc logically.

Diane said...

Thomas Tucker: "I think he would have had a better influence if he hadn't consecrated his own bishops."

And the SSPX would have surely died, and we would have never have received the FSSP.

John Lamont said...

It should be remembered as well that Arcbishop Lefebvre was the president of the Coetus Internationalem Patrum (sp.?), the organisation that fought for orthodoy at the Second Vatican Council. This alone suffices to make him one of the great prelates of Catholic history.

Brian said...

without him the struggle for the preservation of much of what we cherish would probably have been lost . . . the global movement for the advancement of the Traditional Roman Rite is inseparably linked to the life of this passionate man.

Thank you, New Catholic, for speaking the truth plainly.

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

Could he be the great prelate Our Lady of Good Success spoke about?

Knight of Malta said...

"This is what Our Lord Who, coming among us, will teach us. He is Wisdom Incarnate; He is the Prophet; He is the Priest; He is the King; His divine soul is the temple housing all these riches...Ours is the duty to guard this Roman Tradition desired by Our Lord, as He wished us to have Mary as our Mother." [Spiritual Journey; Archbishop Lefebvre, Angelus Press, 1991]

Anonymous said...

I really don't think so.

According to a book put out by Tradition in Action, the great prelate will be somone who would restore the Conceptionist's back to the Franciscans.

LeonG said...

I will never forget that it was this great Archbishop who gave my parents a place to go when the NO attempted to turn anyone who remained faithful to Sacred Tradition into some form of schismatic, heretic or fossil. His courage and firm Roman Catholicism has provided light in a church of ever-consuming darkness. He reminds us that we must never submit to the liberal modernist tyranny that predomninates in the NO church today.

Anonymous said...

there were people who successfully preserved the TLM and at the same time maintaining obedience to the Holy Father. Saint PAdre Pio and St Escriva, were exempted in saying the 1970 mass and were permitted to use the TLM because they petitioned it to Paul VI and they were granted that request. now they are shining brightly among the stars as Saints recognize by the Church. On the other hand, by his rebellion to the Supreme Pontiff and for refusal to say sorry despite John PAul II send representative to absolve him, he shall have his wish. EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS- OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH THERE IS NO SALVATION

Woody said...

Thank you Monsignor Lefebvre, and pray for us!

We can recall too the old joke in France:
Q: what will the language of the Church be if Monsignor Lefebvre wins?
A: Latin.
Q: and what will it be if he loses?
A: Arabic.

Father B said...

I used to think that it was ridiculous to think that he could be a canonized saint. However, even just twenty years after his death, considering Lefebvre within the context of the fight to preserve traditional Catholicism, and especially with the now more frankly acknowledged failure of the Second Vatican Council, horrible leadership of Paul VI and fast forward to our own day - the efforts of men such as Benedict XVI to salvage anything that they can under the new pretexts of "organic development" and "hermeneutic of continuity", I don't think that his canonization is as impossible as people think.

"Non erit impossibile apud Deum."

"Requiescat in pace!" Thanks for all that you did.

Anita Moore said...

We must certainly pray for the soul of Abp. Lefebvre, but is it right to go so far as to canonize him? I am inclined to believe that Abp. Lefebvre actually set back the cause of restoring tradition. He disobeyed the Pope in a matter in which the Pope clearly had legitimate authority. And even though Pope Benedict has bent over backwards to accommodate Lefebvre's followers, they still seem to take the view that they are there to instruct Rome, not the other way around. They basically left the field of battle and set up a ghetto for themselves, leaving the rest of us high and dry. Now those of us who want the restoration of the Extraordinary Form are viewed as weirdos.

How can an archbishop be said to have saved the Mass of tradition via an act of disobedience? Is it permissible to do evil in order to achieve good? Have we so little faith in God as not to leave all to Him when all seems hopeless to us?

Anonymous said...

"Satan can even clothe himself in a cloak of humility, but he does not know how to wear the cloak of obedience"

Blessed Faustina Kowalska

Anonymous said...

A saint? Some of you are crazy. Pray for the soul of this misguided excommunicate rather than pseudo-canonizing him.

A TLM but not schismatic priest

Sixupman said...

A 90+ year old Carmelite nun friend [RIP] on viewing my Mass Card of Msgr. Lefebvre said of his face - "he has the appearance of a true and honest priest". She was a Vatican II adherent, by virtue of conditioning by clergy conferences. Being 'enclosed' she was not aware of much which was happening within Mother Church.

Anonymous said...

Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre thank you for fighting to keep Tradition in the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

May your soul rest in peace and keep praying for us to the Almighty.

sewa mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:59:

Padre Pio was exempted from saying the 1970 Mass? Yes, I suppose he was, given that he died in 1968.
As for Escriva: he got permission for himself, but does not seem to have done more than regret what was forced upon everyone else.
Archbishop Lefebvre ACTED, not just for himself, but for Catholics everywhere.
A hero and a saint, unlike the man he rightly reproved and disobeyed.

Anonymous said...

Were it not for this schismatic all would have been lost.

Really.

There is nothing more Traditional than the idea that a schismatic was chosen by God to oppose His Church so as to save it.

Anonymous said...

THE PROTOCOL AGREEMENT OF THE VATICAN AND ARCHBISHOP LEFEBVRE
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on May 5, 1988

I, Marcel Lefebvre, archbishop-bishop emeritus of Tulle, along with the members of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, which I founded:

1. We promise always to be faithful to the Catholic Church and to the Roman Pontiff, its supreme pastor, the vicar of Christ, successor of blessed Peter in his primacy and head of the body of bishops.

2. We declare that we will accept the doctrine contained in No. 25 of the Second Vatican Council's dogmatic constitution, "Lumen Gentium" on the ecclesiastical magisterium and the adherence owed it.

3. Regarding certain points taught by the Second Vatican Council or concerning subsequent reforms of the liturgy and law which appear difficult to reconcile with tradition, we commit ourselves to a positive attitude of study and of communication with the Apostolic See, avoiding all polemics.

4. We declare moreover that we will recognize the validity of the sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments celebrated with the intention of doing what the Church does and according to the rites in the typical editions of the missal and rituals of the sacraments promulgated by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.

5. Last, we promise to respect the common discipline of the Church and the ecclesiastical laws, particularly those contained in the Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II, except for the special discipline conceded to the fraternity by particular law.

Anonymous said...

To Lance: Even saints have been excommunicated.

St Jeanne d'Arc even died excommunicated.

So much for the latin... :)

Christopher J. Paulitz said...

Anon 3:59: "there were people who successfully preserved the TLM and at the same time maintaining obedience to the Holy Father."

Yes, there were individuals. But there were no complete groups, or orders, who could ordain priests.

Anyone today attending an "approved" TLM (as I do) ought to get on their knees and thank God for this man, for if he didn't do what he did, it would have taken divine intervention for us all not to be suffering the novus ordo or hiding in a basement Mass somewhere.

The ingratitude towards His Excellency is just stunning.

I wonder how many of you would have treated St. Athanasius during his time? (and yes, it does apply).

Knight of Malta said...

Anonymous 10:40:

"Padre Pio was exempted from saying the 1970 Mass? Yes, I suppose he was, given that he died in 1968."

You're splitting hairs their, my friend. The mass by 1968 was closer to the mass of 1970. Padre Pio indeed was given exception from the ad experimentum missae from 1965 onwards to his death.

http://www.sspx.ca/Communicantes/Oct2002/Padre_Pio_Spirituality.htm

Mr. Ortiz said...

Well, there is a mixed record here, with the overwhelming weight going to the good.

Disobedience to the Vicar of Christ is serious.

The Crisis was and is serious too.

I would, every time, rather be with Peter than not.

But this older brother in the Faith did what he did.

May God reward him for his faithfulness, pardon any and all offenses, and bring him to fullness of communion with the Risen Lord, amid the splendor of the Blessed Trinity, and Our Lady.

May God also heal the wounds inflicted on the Church as a result of this conflict, and bring sacred beauty and holiness of life back to sanctuaries all over the world.

Anonymous said...

He can be honoured as a saint, but that depends if the present SSPX hierarchs unconditionally submit to the authority of the Holy See.

Neal said...

May God rest his soul. I think he did what he thought was right in a time that may euphemistically be called confusing. May we do the same. If you're attending a traditional Mass tomorrow morning, you probably have him to thank, at least in part.

Anonymous said...

I do not know what was in JPII's mind or heart at the time of his unfortunate actions against the good Archbishop.

JPII allowed and even promoted apostates and heretics to the highest ranks of the church.He allowed them to drive the church into the frightening state as it exists today.

When apostasy is taken into account, there is no obedience to it.

History will tell no lies, even if great efforts are made to change the appearance of the truth.

I never met the Archbishop or JPII.
But, I can see the fruits of their efforts.

By their fruits you will know them

Br. Anthony, T.O.S.F. said...

How can an archbishop be said to have saved the Mass of tradition via an act of disobedience? Is it permissible to do evil in order to achieve good?

This would be true if disobedience was inherently evil, but it is not. There are circumstances where disobedience to men is obedience to God.

J. G. Ratkaj said...

I have still in vivid and deeply grateful memory the High Mass Mgr. Lefebvre sung in the Basilica of Maxentius, Rome, May 1975. An event that has given hope given the perpetuating destruction in the vineyard of the Lord. Monseigneur's gracious work cannot be too highly praised.

Timothy said...

It was a great honor to have met him.(http://vimeo.com/8329262)

Anonymous said...

...obedience
Except from the book A LENTEN JOURNEY WITH JESUS CHRIST AND ST.JOHN OF THE CROSS p.8,9
...there was a chapter convened in Piacenza,Italy in May 1575.
This chapter held that all foundations founded in Andalusia without approval of the legitimate
superiors were to be closed.Later, when John of the Cross refused to renounce his commitment to the reformed friars under obedience, he was severely punished by imprisonment and lashed in public before the friars. The reason he did not submit was he felt that the chapter acts(that were read to him) did not apply to him as he was at the Incarnation by the order of the papal nuncio Nicolas Ormaneto.

John McFarland said...

Anonymous 11:17,

That someone outside the Church can save it is not tradition.

It is blasphemy.

We are saved by the Faith given once for all to the saints, Faith in the revelation that ended with the death of the last apostle.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was wrong for Archbishop Lefebvre to consecrate the four bishops. But God can bring good from all things...in this case, the FSSP was then created. Some bishops did intentionally set up FSSP apostolates near SSPX chapels, in order to have a place for trads to go that is in communion with the pope and diocese. That's a really good thing. But if Archbishop Lefebvre had not consecrated the four bishops, then surely Our Lord would have found another way to keep the Mass of All Time going. Surely if the TLM is pleasing to Our Lord, then he would not have let it die out completely anyway. Our Lord has to work with what he has on hand, in the form of flawed humans.

Knight of Malta said...

"But if Archbishop Lefebvre had not consecrated the four bishops, then surely Our Lord would have found another way to keep the Mass of All Time going. Surely if the TLM is pleasing to Our Lord, then he would not have let it die out completely anyway." Anon @ 19:49

Or, conversely, one could say that God used the good Archbishop (now sainted in heaven) just as he did St. Athanasius and St. Francis: to breathe new life into a floundering Church.

William said...

He was the Pastor Bonus who sought the one lost sheep and left the ninety-nine behind.

William A. Torchia, Esq.

Anonymous said...

When heresy is finally defeated, in the coming age of peace and renewal of the Church Saint Marcel Lefebvre
will be greatly revered and venerated as the person sent by God to save the Teaching of the Church, the Mass of all times and the Holy Faith from certain destruction.

Sancte Marcelle Lefebvre, ora pro nobis, ut hoc tempus cito advenit!

sortacatholic said...

While I don't agree with the anti-semitism and conspiracy theories of some of the leaders and members of the current SSPX, both the supporters of and detractors from Msgr. Lefebvre must acknowledge his great influence in keeping the TLM viable after the council. A saint? Only God is to decide. An influential cleric? Perhaps one of the most influential Roman clerics of the 20th century, regardless of personal sentiment. Certainly, the liturgical trajectory of the postmodern Church would not be the same without his instigation.

Anonymous said...

Knight of Malta wrote:

"Or, conversely, one could say that God used the good Archbishop (now sainted in Heaven) just as he did St. Athanasius and St. Francis:
to breathe new life into a floundering Church."

Well, yes, you may be correct here. That will be up to the Church to decide on later (or maybe sooner, even). There have been a few Catholics who have been canonized after having been automatically excommunicated and delared schismatic, but it is uncommon. And I don't know of any canonized saints who had set up their own chapels, schools and seminaries with the expressed purpose of operating outside of the authority and jurisdiction of the Church. Not that it can't happen, but it is unprecedented, I think.

Anita Moore said...

An influential cleric? Perhaps one of the most influential Roman clerics of the 20th century, regardless of personal sentiment. Certainly, the liturgical trajectory of the postmodern Church would not be the same without his instigation.

Annibale Bugnini was also an influential cleric, without whose instigation the liturgical trajectory of the Church would not be the same. Anybody prepared to nominate him for sainthood on that account?

sortacatholic said...

Anita Moore: Annibale Bugnini was also an influential cleric, without whose instigation the liturgical trajectory of the Church would not be the same. Anybody prepared to nominate him for sainthood on that account?

Plenty of people dislike what Msgr. Bugnini had done (I'm certainly not a fan.) Still, all Catholics have to at least acknowledge that what Bugnini did was very influential and has had far reaching impact. Same with Msgr. Lefebvre. Many often confuse personal sentiment with the facts of history. Like it or lump it, late 20th century Catholicism has happened. We're here to pick up the pieces.

I'm also not in the saint-making department (supposedly that's God the Holy Spirit's job), so maybe everyone here should hold off on calling shots until the aftermath of the last half of the 20th century clears up a bit more.

Anonymous said...

If I may offer the following in regard to the SSPX:

1. During the 1960s, the Faithful were introduced to the "new" orientation of the Church, particularly the Latin Church, (which, in reality, is the Vernacular Church).

2. Tens of millions of Catholics have since abandonded the Faith.

3. During that same time, I doubt that anybody would disagree with the following:

Few Catholics attached to SSPX chapels have abandoned the Faith.

4. In 1988, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (His Holiness) declared that "While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek a refuge in the traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the
dignity of the sacred preserved there.

"After the Council there were many priests who deliberately raised ‘desacralization’ to the level of a program...they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches..."

5. I repeat my words:

"Tens of millions of Catholics have since abandonded the Faith.

"Few Catholics attached to SSPX chapels have abandoned the Faith."

6. You figure out whether Archbishop Lefebvre and SSPX clergy were/are "priests who deliberately raised ‘desacralization’ to the level of a program...they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches..."

Tom

Anita Moore said...

3. During that same time, I doubt that anybody would disagree with the following:

Few Catholics attached to SSPX chapels have abandoned the Faith.


I will disagree with that.

To the extent the SSPXers believe that the Novus Ordo is invalid, and that the Church preached heresy in the second Vatican Council, and to the extent they refuse to acknowledge the authority of the bishops and the Pope, they have indeed abandoned the faith. To that extent, they are just Protestants with a Catholic veneer.

Knight of Malta said...

"And I don't know of any canonized saints who had set up their own chapels, schools and seminaries with the expressed purpose of operating outside of the authority and jurisdiction of the Church."

Excommunicated Saint Athanasius ordained priests and consecrated several bishops. See Saint Athanasius: Defender of the Faith, by Michael Davies.

Jordanes551 said...

But not even St. Athanasius set up his own "chapels, schools and seminaries" (or the fourth century equivalent thereof) with the express purpose of operating outside of the authority and jurisdiction of the Church.

Of course it may be questioned whether Msgr. Lefebvre had that express purpose, even though it is what he did in effect.

Brian said...

I do not understand the righteous indignation of FSSP adherants toward Archbishop LeFebvre's "disobedience."

Perhaps I am mistaken, but as I understand it, the priests who founded the FSSP were ordained by Abp Lefebvre.

In the mid-1970s Lefebvre's permission to train and ordain traditional priests was removed, but he considered this wrong and unjust and continued to train seminarians in orthodox theology and ordain priests for the TLM.

At that point, the Masses of SSPX priests became illicit.

It was this disobedience which enabled the future founders of the FSSP to be trained as priests and say their illicit Masses prior to 1998.

In brief, no disobedience, no FSSP.

Jordanes551 said...

Very true -- and no sin of Adam, no redemption.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Moore,

For a highly educated person (and a lawyer to boot), you are woefully misinformed. I'd rather believe that than think you're as mean-spirited as you sound.

Giles

Brian said...

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

Perhaps you are able to cast stones. I am not.

But I do thank the Lord for the preservation of the TLM and the for sacrifice of Abp Lefebvre.

the advancement of the Traditional Roman Rite is inseparably linked to the life of this passionate man

Anita Moore said...

In brief, no disobedience, no FSSP.

Very true -- and no sin of Adam, no redemption.

Which proves -- what? Merely what we should already know: that God can make good come out of anything. But that doesn't remove either the culpability or the responsibility of those who sinned.

Remember that St. Paul cautioned against persisting in sin so that grace might abound (Romans 6:1-2).

Mar said...

Jordanes,
So what did the priests that St. Athanasius ordained and the bishops he consecrated actually *do*?

Anonymous said...

Anita Moore,

If the SSPX is really Protestant and has abandoned the faith, why would Rome have discussions with them on problems pertaining to the continuity of Tradition with Vatican II?

A.M. LaPietra

Anonymous said...

I hope we can all at least agree with the old joke: if SSPX is somehow not Catholic [I think they are naturally], at least they're entitled to an invitation to Assisi.

Jordanes551 said...

Which proves -- what? Merely what we should already know: that God can make good come out of anything. But that doesn't remove either the culpability or the responsibility of those who sinned. Remember that St. Paul cautioned against persisting in sin so that grace might abound (Romans 6:1-2).

Precisely.

So what did the priests that St. Athanasius ordained and the bishops he consecrated actually *do*?

They did what priests and bishops do.

A serious reading of the troubled history of the Church during the Arian Crisis will show that the persecutions and invalid condemnation of St. Athanasius by the heretical Arian and semi-Arian factions aren't really analogous to the troubles and persecutions that Msgr. Lefebvre underwent and his formal suspension and excommunication. For one thing, there was no such thing as a "priestly fraternity" in St. Athanasius' day. For another, Pope Paul VI was not kidnapped by a heretical emperor and threatened into signing off on not only St. Athanasius' invalid excommunication, but even worse, a compromised doctrinal formula, as was Pope Liberius. The different circumstances of their cases makes it unhelpful to attempt to draw analogies between the experience of St. Athanasius and Msgr. Lefebvre.

rodrigo said...

I think the Savonarola/Lefebvre analogy works better.

Anonymous said...

Regarding St Athanasius, can anyone here provide authoritative, Church-sanctioned texts which show that St. Athanasius ordained priests concecrated bishops while excommunicated? I can't find any on the internet. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

. Lefevbfre did indeed erect a petit ecclesia and he even stole universal jurisdiction with his tribunals that dealt with the resolution of problem marriages, etc.

Of course the sspx adherents never knew of it, and few today know of it ,but the controversy was covered by the Abbe de nantes on the Catholoc Counter Revolution in the xxth century website under the tile "Lefevbre's secret."

The SSPX is on the same path the Old Catholics tok and the sspx makes the same excuses the Old Catholics did.

When the Pope bound Lefevbre from ordaining a Bishop, that binding was also bound in Heaven (matt 16: 18,19) but the ideology of the sspx schism does not consider Pope and Scripture as capable of withstanding the will of Lefevbre.

And they will not, not now, not ever, agree to a reconciliation with Rome. They are too haughty and truly believe that they are the real Church.

C'est la vie

Anita Moore said...

If the SSPX is really Protestant and has abandoned the faith, why would Rome have discussions with them on problems pertaining to the continuity of Tradition with Vatican II?

If the SSPX is not Protestant in all but name, why would there be a need for such discussions in the first place? Why should either side be laboring to accomplish a union that already exists?

For a highly educated person (and a lawyer to boot), you are woefully misinformed. I'd rather believe that than think you're as mean-spirited as you sound.

Yes, the best way for Lefebvre supporters to prove they have nothing in common with the progressivist liberal set is by using the same ad hominem "mean-spirited" accusation that the libs use when they have run out of real arguments.

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

Was this addressed to me? If so, it has to be the most dishonest question I have ever been asked. It ought to be abundantly clear that the act in question here was Lefebvre's consecration of bishops against the express orders of the Pope. How was this not a frontal assault on the primacy of Peter and the unity of the Church? As for me, I have declaimed from the rooftops my devotion to and desire for the Mass of tradition, and have gone to extraordinary lengths to satisfy that devotion.

It is alleged that without Lefebvre, the Mass of tradition would have died out completely. But perhaps what ought to be considered is the extent to which the illicit consecration of the bishops, and the subsequent retreat of the SSPX into its own little enclave, have in fact damaged the cause of restoration by discrediting both the traditional Mass and its devotees. Maybe if the SSPX hadn't quit the field of battle and left the rest of us vastly outnumbered and outgunned, things would be a lot different.

Anonymous said...

Lawyer Moore said:

"Yes, the best way for Lefebvre supporters to prove they have nothing in common with the progressivist liberal set is by using the same ad hominem "mean-spirited" accusation that the libs use when they have run out of real arguments."

Run out of arguments? I guess you really don't get out too much. Just read the history of the blog for the past couple of years.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Frankly, you've just about proven to me that the time for dialogue with the SSPX bashers really has reached its exhaustion point.

God bless you.

Giles

P.S. Just a "minor" point: Protestants reject the doctrine of the papacy; the SSPX promotes the doctrine of the papacy and prays for the Holy Father with millions of Rosaries. If you have the temerity, despite this "evidence," to insist that the SSPX is Protestant, you had better have the combined and unalloyed legal skills of Perry Mason and Ben Matlock.

Anonymous said...

Giles, regarding what you mentioned about the SSPX praying for the Holy Father with millions of Rosaries, I have to ask: are you referring to the Rosary campaigns of the SSPX which asked for the lifting of the excommunications, or the revealing of the third secret of Fatima? If so, then it should be reminded that those Rosary campaigns were for the specific intentions of the SSPX, and had nothing to do with supporting the papal primacy.

Individual Catholic adherents of the SSPX and SSPX priests do pray for the Holy Father, but they do not amount to "millions" of Rosaries. And when SSPX adherents pray for the pope, many pray that he will do something for the cause of tradition, rather than praying for the pope himself.

Anita Moore said...

P.S. Just a "minor" point: Protestants reject the doctrine of the papacy; the SSPX promotes the doctrine of the papacy and prays for the Holy Father with millions of Rosaries.

So? Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will make it into the Kingdom.

I'm sure your fellow Lefebvrists appreciate your use of personal attacks on those you disagree with.

Jordanes551 said...

All: please focus your comments on the substance of what other people say, not on the actual or perceived tone. Ideas and arguments, not persons.

Anonymous said...

Anonyomous 18:26

If the SSPX is praying for the Holy Father, for any reason, doesn't that simply support my point that they recognize the authority of the Holy See, and the prayers are for the grace of Our Lord? Why would you quibble with that?

Giles

Anonymous said...

Giles, you specifically stated that the SSPX is praying millions of rosaries for the Holy Father. I know I'm being nit-picky here, and I don't disagree that they pray for the Holy Father...but it's hardly millions. And recognising the authority of the pope is not the same thing as submitting in obedience to his authority.

Cruise the Groove. said...

"if SSPX is somehow not Catholic"

then their confessions and witnessed marriages are valid.

Anonymous said...

"3. During that same time, I doubt that anybody would disagree with the following:

Few Catholics attached to SSPX chapels have abandoned the Faith."

Anita Moore responded:

I will disagree with that.

To the extent the SSPXers believe that the Novus Ordo is invalid, and that the Church preached heresy in the second Vatican Council, and to the extent they refuse to acknowledge the authority of the bishops and the Pope, they have indeed abandoned the faith. To that extent, they are just Protestants with a Catholic veneer.
-------------------

I believe that few Catholics who assist at SSPX chapels fall into the above category.

Cardinal Castrillion, who, for example, dealt with the Society praised said Society.

I repeat my thoughts from yesterday.

Cardinal Ratzinger (His Holiness) declared that many priests have shipwrecked the Faith.

At numerous "legitimate" parishes in "full communion" with the Church, tens of millions of Catholics have lost the Faith as they have been subjected to spiritual and liturgical insanity.

In turn, Catholics have turned to the SSPX where, at Society chapels, they have encountered holiness and reverence.

I repeat the following:

You figure out whether Archbishop Lefebvre and SSPX clergy were/are "priests who deliberately raised ‘desacralization’ to the level of a program...they put aside the sacred vestments; they have despoiled the churches..."

Tom

Brian said...

To say that the SSPX is "Protestant" would entail that:

Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" instructed enquiring Catholics that they could meet their Sunday obligation at a Protestant service.

And that:

Pope Benedict XVI ordered that Protestants are no longer ex-communicated.

Both are absurd.

Clearly, accusing the SSPX of being Protestant is a is a false charge.

Malta said...

Whatever! Only God knows, right? I used to be against FSSPX, but I have now gone full circle, to the point where I frequent their Masses whenever I can (but they are too far away to make it regular for my family of seven.) Their Mass is valid and fulfills one's Sunday Obligation, as a matter of Law.

Somehow, I'm happy to give money to them, while I cringe to give it at many of the Novus Disordos I go to; because what are you promoting? Reverence, or apostasy and heresy (the true heretics are the ones celebrated, e.g. Hans Kung)?

Brian said...

Anita Moore quoted my question:

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

and she asked:

Was this addressed to me? If so, it has to be the most dishonest question I have ever been asked.

No, that question had absolutely nothing to do with you.

That comment was directed to Jordanes.

As you can read at 28 March, 2011 01:46, I wrote that:

I do not understand the righteous indignation of FSSP adherents toward Archbishop LeFebvre's "disobedience."

After all, it was the disobedience of the founders of the FSSP that enabled them to be trained and ordained as priests and to say their illicit Masses prior to 1998.

I concluded:

In brief, no disobedience, no FSSP.

To which Jordanes replied:

Very true -- and no sin of Adam, no redemption.

To which I replied,

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

Perhaps you are able to cast stones. I am not.

Jordanes551 said...

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

Perhaps you are able to cast stones. I am not.


I did not know that your comment was a reply to my observation that if it were not for Adam's sin, we would have no redemption. First, someone else's comment ended up being published between my comment and your reply. Second, there is little reason to suspect that your words follow mine. It strikes me rather like someone saying, "Ice is cold," and then being asked, "Are you saying no one should be allowed to drink water?"

But anyway . . . . yes, for the record, I do think it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the traditional Mass . . . even though that point does not have anything to do with my previous comment.

Finally, about the stone throwing. We probably both have the ability to do that, but again, I don't know what that has to do with anything.

Anonymous said...

Anita Moore,

1. You did not answer my question as to why Rome is in discussion with the SSPX if they are Protestant. The discusions are not about whether the SSPX is in or out out of the Catholic Church. If you do not think they are in then tell it to Cardinal Hoyos. He will tell you otherwise as he is on record of it.

2. Can you quote me something doctrinally new from Vatican II that we are required to believe to pass to pass your version of Catholic muster? Not what we may believe.

A.M. LaPietra

Brian said...

Jordanes,

I agree that things got confused. I will try to be more clear.

When I wrote,

In brief, no disobedience, no FSSP.

You replied:

Very true -- and no sin of Adam, no redemption.

It seemed to me that you were accusing someone of sin. Indeed, you later confirmed that what you meant was:

God can make good come out of anything. But that doesn't remove either the culpability or the responsibility of those who sinned.

So then, who were you accusing of sin?

The SSPX?

or

“those forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass”?

You seemed to implying that it was the SSPX who “sinned;” but not necessarily.

It was also possible that those who forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass were the sinners in your analogy.

In that case, the SSPX would have “disobeyed” an unjust, sinful restriction of something that is Holy.

So I asked you:

Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

As for me, I am too confused by these painful times in the Church to confidently accuse either, on the one hand, the SSPX, or, on the other hand, the relevant Bishops (the Pope?) with sin, so I wrote,

Perhaps you are able to cast stones. I am not.

Brian said...

Jordanes,

I have a follow-up request.

You wrote, for the record, I do think it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the traditional Mass.

If, as you say, the command was sinful, please explain how it would be sinful to disobey the sinful restriction of such Holy things.

Jordanes551 said...

It seemed to me that you were accusing someone of sin. Indeed, you later confirmed that what you meant was:

God can make good come out of anything. But that doesn't remove either the culpability or the responsibility of those who sinned.


My agreeing with that undeniably true statement in no way means that my reference to Adam's sin making possible our redemption was an accusation, either direct or indirect, that some person or persons had sinned.

So then, who were you accusing of sin?

No one.

My point, which should have been clear enough, is that it's something of a lefthanded compliment to credit the existence of the FSSP to Msgr. Lefebvre's disobedience, if that disobedience was (as the Church ruled) unjustified (or at least certain of his disobedient acts were ruled to be unjustified).

You wrote, for the record, I do think it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the traditional Mass.

If, as you say, the command was sinful, please explain how it would be sinful to disobey the sinful restriction of such Holy things.


It is sinful to forbid all training of priests to say the traditional Mass (and in effect this is what happened in the Church) -- but it is not necessarily sinful to forbid this or that person to do such training.

chiapet said...

All the 'Anonymous' -and others- SSPX-bashing here is laughable. Talk about pulling the rug out from under you. I hope the good Archbishop will be canonized someday, protestations of neo-trads and JP the Great-ites notwithstanding.

Anita Moore said...

Anita Moore quoted my question:


Are you saying that it was sinful to forbid the training of priests to say the Traditional Mass?

and she asked:


Was this addressed to me? If so, it has to be the most dishonest question I have ever been asked.

No, that question had absolutely nothing to do with you.

That comment was directed to Jordanes.


Sorry, Brian. Not only did I get wrong the party to whom that question was addressed; I also got the question itself wrong through not reading it carefully enough. Mea culpa.

Brian said...

Jordanes,

I remained confused by your repeated reference to sin if no one was sinning, but let's let that go.

I am also confused by your most recent response, and would ask, please, for clarification.

You wrote:

It is sinful to forbid all training of priests to say the traditional Mass (and in effect this is what happened in the Church)

If, as you say, the hierarchy in the Church issued commands which in effect forbid all training of priests to say the traditional Mass, please explain how it would be sinful to disobey this sinful restriction of such Holy things.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 22:13

Just for the record:

http://tinyurl.com/45kdqxo

Giles

Brian said...

Anita,

No problem at all. I just did not want you to think that I had asked you the "most dishonest question" that you have ever been asked!

No need to apologize. As my posts attest, these comments can be confusing at times.

Brian

Anonymous said...

My understanding of Church teaching is that the mass can be changed; specifically by the pope. It can lawfully be changed to the venacular. Not that it's a good idea, but the pope does have the authority to do so, isn't that correct?

Anonymous said...

Whatever else may be said of Archbishop Lefevbre, he told the truth in regard to the post-Vatican II collapse of the Church.

The party line from our Churchmen was that the liturgical "reform" (revolution) was a tremendous success.

Our Churchmen gutted churches, laymen swarmed sanctuaries and banal Masses were/are the norm.

Mass attendance plummeted.

Tens of millions of Catholics bolted from the Church.

But the Church had experienced a spiritual and liturgical "renewal," according to our Churchmen.

Archbishop Lefevbre said otherwise.

He was correct.

Archbishop Lefebvre led the charge to offer the TLM.

The Faithful encountered Holy Tradition at SSPX chapels.

Conversely, mny parishes that were "in full communion" with Rome presented modernism to the Faithful.

How is it possible that a "schismatic" Archbishop delivered
Holy Tradition to the Faithful while "in full communion" bishops and priests "desacralized" and "despoiled" (to use then-Cardinal Ratzinger's words) parishes?

Tom

Anonymous said...

Tom wrote,

"Whatever else might be said of Archbishop Lefebvre, he told the truth in regard to the post-Vatican 11 collapse of the Church."

Except that the Church has not collapsed. Not by a long shot. Archbishop Lefebvre and his supporters were right on some things, but, unfortunately, they gave in to the idea that the gates of Hell had prevailed, which means that they lost the virtue of Hope and trust in Our Lord that He would not leave the Church.

Tom, you mentioned that tens of millions bolted from the Church. Are you sure that this was only due to the changes? Or could it also have been due to the influence of the modern secular world? Also, just because other Catholics have left the Church, how does this in any way justify the SSPX in also leaving the visible structure of the Church? It's like saying.."gosh, look how these other Catholics have lost the faith and are leaving...I'm going to leave, too, in order to show how bad the Church is now." This just isn't logical. And what about The hundreds of millions of Catholics who did not leave the Church, and who decided that they would not abandon Holy Mother Church in her great hour of need? They are the ones who should be given credit - the unsung heroes who did not lose hope and trust in Our Lord and His Church - no matter how bad things got. They understood, and still understand the way of the Cross.

Anita Moore said...

How is it possible that a "schismatic" Archbishop delivered Holy Tradition to the Faithful while "in full communion" bishops and priests "desacralized" and "despoiled" (to use then-Cardinal Ratzinger's words) parishes?

That would seem to constitute a test of faith. Nobody ever promised us that holding on to the faith would be easy. But the Bride of Christ is always the Bride of Christ, no matter how ravaged and despoiled she is; and nothing that is separated from her can possibly be the True Church, no matter how beautiful and traditional-looking it is.

I am not Spartacus said...

Mons Lefevbre did not tell the truth about Vatican Two. For more than a score of years he claimed not to have signed the Vatican Two documents he later publicly repudiated.

Neither he nor his followers ever owned-up to the fact that he did sign them.

It is sort of humorous that this happened in that there were 80 or more Bishops who did not sign one or more of the Documents but he is claimed as the champion of Tradition.

Now, were the Documents he signed in continuity with Tradition or not?

If so, why lie and claim he did not sign them?

If not, then why did he sign them?

I think those who succored the schism ought to first figure-out that mess before they go attacking the Church which, accrd to Catholic Dogma, will not fail or teach error

Anonymous said...

Tom, you mentioned that tens of millions bolted from the Church. Are you sure that this was only due to the changes? Or could it also have been due to the influence of the modern secular world?

Several years ago, then-Cardinal Ratzinger stated the following:

"I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today depends in great part upon the collapse of the liturgy..."

The "influence of the modern secular world" did not drive tens of millions of Catholics (Latin Catholics) from Holy Mother Church.

Why didn't the influence of the modern secular world prior to the Vatican II Era drive millions of Catholics from the Church?

Only when the Vatican II Era liturgical/ecumenical revolution took hold within the Church did tens of millions of Latin Catholics abandon the Faith.

Tom

Anonymous said...

"And what about The hundreds of millions of Catholics who did not leave the Church, and who decided that they would not abandon Holy Mother Church in her great hour of need? They are the ones who should be given credit - the unsung heroes who did not lose hope and trust in Our Lord and His Church - no matter how bad things got. They understood, and still understand the way of the Cross."

About 20 percent of Catholics in America, for example, assist at Sunday Mass.

In many parts of the world, the situation in regard to Mass attendance is more dire than the above-cited statistic.

I believe that I fall into a certain category of millions of "unsung heroic" Catholics.

That is, while I am not heroic, I am pretty much simply hanging on...fighting hard each week to tolerate the banal liturgical/spiritual experience that I encounter at my Novus Ordo parish.

(I am unable to assist regularly at my diocese's lone TLM.)

The Pope has said that the Faith is in danger of dying in various parts of the world.

The secular world is not responsible for the above.

Tom

Anonymous said...

"That would seem to constitute a test of faith."

Okay.

Twenty years ago...today...20 years from now, my point in regard to Archbishop Lefebvre remains as follows:

Many bishops and priest who were/are in "full-communion" with Rome "desacralized" and "despoiled" (again, those are then-Cardinal Ratzinger's words) the Faith.

"Full-communion" bishops and priests shipwrecked the Faith among tens of millions of Catholics.

Conversely, the "schismatic" Archbishop Lefebvre, brought Holy Tradition to countless Catholics.

As parishes emptied thoughout the Latin Church and tens of millions of Catholics lost the Faith, Catholic who turned to SSPX chapels remained strong in the Faith.

Tom

Anonymous said...

Tom, in looking at your response to my post @19:15, I would humbly ask: what changes in your diocese and Church would make you happy and less stressed and concerned? Would you really be happier if more Catholics attended Mass on Sundays? Or if you were able to assist at your diocesan TLM? Or if your NO Mass was not banal, and just tolerable? Are you sure that if there were changes in these situations, that you would then be happy?

Anonymous said...

"I would humbly ask: what changes in your diocese and Church would make you happy and less stressed and concerned?"

I am thankful and happy in my day-to-day life.

I am sad that in many respects, the Latin Church, to use Pope Paul VI's term, has inflicted "self-destruction" upon Herself.

The Latin Church...in reality, the Vernacular Church...lost Her identiy when she overthrew Her Traditional Latin Liturgy.

Ecumenism and interfaith "dialogue" have also weakened the Church's identity.

I would be happy for Holy Mother Church if Pope Benedict XVI would simply return to the TLM — the Mass that he was ordained to offer.

From there, the Latin Church's full return to Holy Tradition would follow.

Until such time, who are we?

Are we the Latin Church? Or are we, for all practical purposes, the Vernacular Church?

Are we the Church of the Extraordinary Form?

Are we the Church of the Ordinary Form?

Are we the Church of drums, pianos, altar girls and Communion in the hand — the Church of novelties?

Or are we the Church of ancient Roman Tradition?

Are we the Church who, at 8:00 A.M. at Parish "X", offers the TLM...

...then at 9:30 A.M., offers a novelty-filled Novus Ordo Mass?

Who are we?

The people of novelty? The people of Holy Tradition? The Latin Mass people?

The English-language Mass people? The Spanish Mass people?

The piano, drums and Protestant hymn people?

The Gregorian Chant people?

Are we all of the above?

Yes, we are.

That is why we don't know who we are.

Tom