Rorate Caeli

Roberto de Mattei and "The Lefebvre affair"

This translation of some interesting pages of Roberto de Mattei's great history of Vatican II was sent to us by a kind reader - it is a book we truly recommend to all Italian-speaking readers, and it would seem that translations should be published in French and English soon.

The following brief excerpt is a good introduction for those unaware of how many things began

[The early years of] The “Lefebvre Affair” 
Ten years after the conclusion of the Council the so called “Lefebvre affair” exploded. From 1974 onwards, the French Archbishop Lefebvre entered into open contrast with the Holy See in matters regarding the New Mass and the Council’s reforms. 

On the 6th of June 1969, Mons. Charriere, Bishop of Freiburg, had given Mons. Lefebvre permission to open an international boarding school (St. Pius X) in his diocese. As a result of the many requests for admission, the Bishop procured a second house at Ecòne in Valise, which became the centre of formation for the International Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X established canonically on the 1st of November 1970 in the diocese of Lausanne - Geneva-Freiburg. In November 1972, seven years after the conclusion of Vatican II, Mons. Lefebvre delivered a speech, in which, for the first time, he expressed extremely strong negative judgments on the Second Vatican Council. The Holy See warned Mons. Lefebvre not to ordain his seminarians. But, on the 29th June 1976, before a crowd of the faithful present from all over the world, the Archbishop conferred the sub-deaconate on his thirteen seminarians and ordained thirteen others to the priesthood, incurring “suspension a divinis”. A meeting with Paul VI at Castel Gandolfo on the 11th of September 1976 was to no avail in solving the problem. 

In 1977, Princess Elvina Pallavicini [220] invited Mons. Lefebvre to her historic palace to explain his reasons. 
This conference awoke sudden curiosity and attention about the presence of a patriciate of Roman nobility, still alive and combative and of which Princess Pallavicini was a fine example. The pressures that the Roman noblewoman suffered to annul the conference [222] obtained no effect due to her strong, independent personality. Besides the four hundred people invited to the event which was held in the Throne Room of the palace on the hills of the Quirinale, just as many arrived to throng the antechamber. 

Instead of giving answers in his discourse, Mons Lefebvre calmly put forth some questions: 

“One cannot imagine the Catholic Church without continuity, without tradition, without being the heir to Her own past. One cannot understand a Catholic Church that breaks with Her past, Her tradition and just because of the impossibility of conceiving such a thing, I find myself in a bit of an odd situation: that of a Bishop suspended for having founded a seminary in Switzerland, erected legally, canonically, a seminary that receives many vocations. It has been eight years since its foundation and we now have numerous houses in the United States, one in Canada, in England, in France, in Switzerland, in Germany and also in Italy, here in Albano. How is it possible that continuing to do what I myself have done for 50 years of my life, receiving congratulations and the encouragement of Popes, and in particular from Pope Pius XII who honoured me with his friendship, that today I find myself considered as almost an enemy of the Church? How is this possible , how can you imagine it? I had the opportunity to say this to the Pope at the last audience I had with him on the 11th of September. I said to him: I am unable to comprehend the reasons, why, all of a sudden, after having formed seminarians all my life as I form them today, that before the Council I received all the honours, excluding only cardinalship, now, after the Council, doing the same thing, I find myself suspended a divinis, to be almost considered schismatic, to be almost excommunicated as an enemy of the Church. I don’t believe that such a thing is possible or conceivable. Therefore, something has changed in the Church, something which has been changed by the men of the Church, in the history of the Church.” [223]

Mons. Lefebvre was presented as “head” of the traditionalists. In actual fact, fostered by the mass-media, he was just a more visible expression of a phenomenon that went far beyond his own person and that had its roots and cause before the problems raised by the Council and its application. Resistance to putting into effect the Council’s reforms came from the sector of lower clergy and laity, as had happened during the French Revolution , when it had been parish priests and peasants (farmers) who promoted the revolt of the Vandea and the anti-revolutionary insurgences in Europe. The French Archbishop was the most well-known representative, but not the only one, of a vast and ramified resistance movement, which at times lead, unfortunately, to schism or the loss of faith.

[Most relevant footnotes:]
220.Princess Elvina Palavicini (1914 – 2004) bronze medal of military valour for her commitment to the cause of the royalist partisans during the German occupation of Rome, had offered her Roman palace on the hills of the Quirinale, as an important meeting place for the ecclesiastics, the politicians and the aristocracy of the capital.
222.During the turbulent days which preceded the meeting, among those who intervened to dissuade Princess Palavicini, were the Duke Carlo Colonna (on behalf of King Umberto), Mons. Andrea Cordero of Montezemolo, Grand Master of the Order of Malta Angelo de Mojana and Cardinal Ugo Poletti, Vicar of Rome.
223. M. Lefebvre, The Church after the Council, Fraternity Saint Pius X, Rome 1977, p.4. The same year, Mons. Lefebvre expressed himself even more radically in Le coup de maître de Satan. Ecòne face à la persecution, Editions Saint Gabriel, Martigny 1977.

[Roberto de Mattei, Il Concilio Vaticano II: una storia mai scritta (The Second Vatican Council – a never before written history), Turin, Lindau, 2010. Part VII  - The Age of the Council: 1965-1978, Point 12,  pages 578-580. Note: we have been authorized by Edizioni Lindau s.d.l, Turin, to make these and other excerpts of this book available to our readers in this blog.]


  1. "How is it possible that continuing to do what I myself have done for 50 years of my life, receiving congratulations and the encouragement of Popes, and in particular from Pope Pius XII who honoured me with his friendship, that today I find myself considered as almost an enemy of the Church?"


  2. Anonymous1:18 PM


  3. Verily Cruise, you have posed the vital question for many.

    The bishops deferred top their advisers, perhaps they had all been zapped by a mind-bending ray-gun in the Council Chamber, for what followed was both nonsense and diabolical [small c] and the pressure placed upon clergy, to act against their consciences, is indefensible.

  4. Other than the evacuation of reason and logic, the only answer I can come by to account for the mass persecution by Vatican prelates of Archbishop Lefebvre is that God permitted it to bring a greater good to the Church.

  5. He was a great prelate and the SSPX is the seminal cause of the counter revolution in the world today. Let's hope it remains true to its raison d'etre.

    Archbishop Lefebvre - Pray for us.

  6. That question--essentially, "how is it possible that after doing the same thing I've always done, I am now considered an enemy of the good?"--is something I've been discovering as I prepare for marriage. Not because my marriage has anything to do with these liturgical and priestly formation issues... but I've encountered this same logic a lot when it comes to the Church's teaching on birth control.

    What it is that I've encountered is that when people learn that my fiancee and I don't intend to contracept, people not only are unsupportive of that decision (as if it were their decision to make), but they often specifically deride it as wrong and sinful (though they would never use the word "sinful".)

    I don't understand how these people--many of whom consider themselves "Christians"--can seriously believe that the way in which Christians, for most of two millennia, practiced sexual relations, is suddenly, within the last 50-100 years, wrong and inexcusable.

    Even if one accepted the idea that there is nothing wrong with contraception--even though I believe there is, let's just for the sake of argument say it isn't sinful--contraception NOT being sinful would not magically transform failing to use contraception into BEING sinful. That logic makes absolutely no sense.

    It's the same logic we have seen progressives, not just in the Church, use against traditional morals and values throughout society during the past century.

    Suddenly, most sex became "not sinful".... so now anyone who doesn't have sex whenever and under whatever circumstances they like is "perverse".

    Reforming (and abusing) the liturgy became "not a problem".... so now holding to the old liturgy and insisting on reverence is "unpastoral".

    Proper catechesis has become "not a priority".... so providing good catechesis has become "indoctrination".

    I could go on, but I think the point is made. The first step has always been to make something previously considered wrong, or at least inadvisable, into something that is no longer problematic. But then once the taboo is lifted, suddenly it is to become the norm, and anyone who fails to live according to the "new order" of things is backwards, oppressive, uncharitable, and wicked.

  7. You can read the full article at:

    In order to control the population, two things had to be accomplished by the Communists and Freemasons, destruction of the family and faith (The Catholic Church). The family could be destroyed through the educational system, (as we see today that parents are irrelevant), but the faith was a problem, as people wouldn't put up with it. So, infiltration of the priesthood was the answer. Do you think the homosexual scandal wasn't contrived?

    J. C. Tzos

    Infiltration of the Church

    “Are these Fathers planning a revolution?” These were the words of Cardinal Ottaviani during the debate on the Liturgy Constitution at the Second Vatican Council. A revolution was planned long before Vatican II, but the revolution reached critical mass and then exploded throughout the Church under the guise of Vatican II.

    Bishop Rudolph Graber, in his book, Athanasius and the Church of Our Time (1974), quoted a prominent Freemason who declared that “the goal (of Freemasonry) is no longer the destruction of the Church, but to make use of it by infiltrating it.”[1]

    Catholics not only have to worry about the masons in our midst, but also the communists. In the early 1950s, Mrs. Bella Dodd gave voluminous testimony on communist infiltration of Church and state before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and also provided detailed explanations of the communist subversion of the Church. Speaking as a former high ranking official of the American Communist Party, Mrs. Dodd said: "In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within." Twelve years before Vatican II, she said: "Right now they are in the highest places in the Church". She also predicted changes in the Church that would be so drastic that "you will not recognize the Catholic Church."

    Dr. Alice von Hildebrand recalled, during an interview with Latin Mass magazine, that "Bella Dodd told my husband and me that when she was an active [Communist] party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican 'who were working for us'." (Latin Mass magazine, Summer 2001)

  8. Fr G Dickson4:29 PM

    It is essential that something along the lines of a Clarification of Disputed Points or better still, Syllabus of Errors, concerning the post Vatican II developments result from the talks between the SSPX and the Holy See. We need a clear directive on how to interpret Vatican II and its ambiguity in order that we may ensure the hermeneutic of continuity be enjoined and the rupture from our sacred past (with the Deposit of Faith) healed.

  9. Really, Ld Schmidt? You really thought we would allow a comment criticizing the FSSP? Think again. (And read two posts below...)


  10. Dear Fr G Dickson. While still a Cardinal, Our Holy Father made it quite clear that it is his opinion that the Catholic Church has moved beyond such tools as a syllabus.

    And it is also quite clear that Our Holy Father thinks the Second Vatican Council is quite good and he can not be expected to turn his back on a Council at which he was an influential Peritus and, subsequently, the Prefect of The CDF, during which time he sat for "The Ratzinger Report" interview wherein he spoke about the Council and how wonderful it was; and, subsequently, he was elected Pope and he still believes in the good of the Council.

    There is no way he is either moving beyond the Council or ignoring it.

    In the recent issue of "Culture wars, (June 2011) " Mr David Wemhoff has a great article, part of which recapitulates the influence of Henry Luce (Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, etc) the LSD-Dropping John Courtney Murray, a gentleman named CD Jackson, a spook, and the effect that they, and others had on Catholicism in general and Vat Two in particular.

    Mr Wemhoff points-out that Luce's "Time" published fawning articles about J C Murray and published attacks on Cardinal Ottaviani.

    This sudden and rapid and,apparent, death of a Jesus' Church was a malign marvel to behold but we only kid ourselves if we think that this Pope will led a restoration of Catholicsm.

    That the Catholic Church still exists is testament to the truth that Jesus IS the Head of The Catholic Church.

    From time to time, we Catholics need that reminder.

    This is a time to have realistic expectations and a time to fight to rebuild the Catholic Church through the Traditional Orders while trying to dodge the collapsing structure of the hollowed-out shell of what was once a great and glorious institution.

    Really, the Catholic world, a very very tiny portion of it, is just awakening to the behind the scenes machinations that resulted in us having, to all outward appearances, a brand spanking new Catholic Church that had successfully sued its parents for emancipation.

  11. \\ J. C. Tzos said...
    You can read the full article at:\\

    It's curious that this article starts off with a long quote from the Bayside apparitions, which were condemned by the local bishop.

    That seems to embrue the entire article.

    **It is essential that something along the lines of a Clarification of Disputed Points or better still, Syllabus of Errors, concerning the post Vatican II developments **

    That's a wonderful idea, Fr. G!

  12. Jim O'Conner5:57 PM

    "Dr. Alice von Hildebrand recalled, during an interview with Latin Mass magazine, that "Bella Dodd told my husband and me that when she was an active [Communist] party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican 'who were working for us'." (Latin Mass magazine, Summer 2001)

    Did Dodd ever come across with any names of the infiltrators? I've never seen or even heard of any such list.

  13. The Roman treatment meted to Monsignor Lefebvre was - and still is - outrageous. Why ? Because he never taught anything except the true Catholic Faith, in its entirety, as passed down by holy priests through the Millennia. That was sufficient for his persecution.

    Anyone who had the ineffable privilege of meeting him and speaking to him can tell you that his personal holiness was undisputable, his kindness, courtesy and behaviour were all those of a saintly Catholic gentleman, ordained, Deo gratias, to the priesthood, consecrated to the episcopate. Read the history of his family, it is so inspiring. “By their fruits Ye shall know them” Our Lord said.

    It is due to him, more than any other person, popes included, in recent times, that we still have the Mass of all time today.

    How was it such relentless persecution continued against him ? Well, we have seen in recent years the outrageous, appalling behaviour of some priests and bishops which went unchallenged for many years, covered up in Rome and elsewhere, behaviour which seriously challenged and still challenges the faith of millions, held from public view, so we ought not to be surprised to learn of other wickedness from some “eminent” churchmen, for that is what it is.

    He was a modern Athanasius, the similarities between the two great Catholic bishops are extraordinary. Can there be any reasonable, informed doubt he will be canonised eventually ?

  14. The changes were recognized for what they are by Padre Pio - the freemasons active in the church hierarchy & the lukewarmness and indifference of the clergy. He left us a very good idea of why the church was being so corrupted. As eternal good decreases so does its evil counterpart increase.
    Thus, to defend the councils in the manner they have been is as misleading as it is misled. The conciliar process facilitated the masonic sequel in the church. In the absence of any effective and disciplined papal governance the modern church is leaderless and disorientated, open to the prevailing winds of novelty and change.

  15. "Can there be any reasonable, informed doubt he will be canonised eventually ?'

    This would be fine provided the pre-conciliar vigour and integrity is restored to the sanctification process which appears and is remarkably short on objective reliability these days.

  16. I really don't understand what some commenters here on Rorate constantly see in Lefebvre. He was disobedient, plain and simple.

    See the link to a Mystics blog. Jesus loved obedience, and explained this to St Faustina, Sr Josefa and others. Satan doesn't understand obedience.

    'Obedience. I have come to do My Father’s will. I obeyed my Parents, I obeyed My tormentors and now I obey the Priests', Jesus said to St Faustina and we all know Jesus accepted the cup in Gethsemane.

    It may be that Jesus wishes some priests/laity to suffer under their bishop in order to bring them towards a greater sanctity. Perhaps some priests are so wrapped up in the success of their parish that they forget to console Jesus. So Jesus sends them a spiritual desert, a "dark night" perhaps. We don't know how these things work in the Lord's plan for someones life.

    Abp Fulton Sheen and Cardinal Ottaviani were obedient and no doubt went through a "dry martyrdom" - as did perhaps many priests - seeing the changes and wreckovation of the Church after VatII, but Lefebvre disobeyed Peter and did his own thing outside of the Church leading many others away. Aren't we supposed to pray for final perseverance?

    I'm sorry but, Lefebvre: Santo subito, surely not. I just don't understand peoples "hang up" over him.

    The FSSP did the right thing and came back home to mother Church.

    There is a part of me that does admire the SSPX priests teaching the true faith and I, by no means, do not want to hurt anyone's feelings here on this blog.

    Some diocesan priests go through a lot just to teach the true faith in their parishes (and even try to say a TLM). We've just read a about a dear priest being beat up in front of his mother in Italy for saying the TLM, but this priest persevered WITHIN the Church.

  17. How is this possible , how can you imagine it? .. I find myself suspended a divinis, to be almost considered schismatic, to be almost excommunicated as an enemy of the Church [?]"

    Maybe it has something to do with disobeying the order to not ordain.

  18. What is wrong about ordaining priests to offer a frm of Mass that has never been forbidden for priests to offer?

    While there were bishop in other parts of France and througout the world, who were allowed to ordain priests who had not been formed at all or had been taught heresy in their formation only to spread this evil to young minds.

  19. LD Schmiodt2:14 AM

    New Catholic - You let bloggers bash SSPX all the time, by your response to me I gather your posture lends itself more to the problem than the solution. Try to open your mind to looking up "Open letter to Benedict XVI by Joseph W. Shaara. @ You being an intellectual (not intending to be smart-alicky at all)are obviously further learned in this confusing arena than I! 12 yrs ago I converted to catholicism solely on the attendance of a High Mass. I new then that I was in the right place. The Holy Ghost truely enveloped me. Witnessing ancient formalities of the Tridentine mass. Knowing that this was the sector of Catholic Faith that fostered Holy Popes,Saints and Martyr's. True Holy and unchanging Tradition. The true Holy Church. With Vat II,Rubrics went out the window. A simpleton as I am, I know that when you change the word of God (In the concencration for instance)can't be good. this alone leads to heresy. Changing the Missal according to Pius V, " One will incur the wrath of St. Peter and St Paul". In my opinion being under the cloak on Rome as things are now is more detremental to our soul than Good. Your modernism is in great health. Good Luck-Your friend in Christ.

  20. LD Schmiodt2:16 AM

    Nicely Said, Jeremiah Methuselah, nicely said!!!

  21. Anonymous3:33 AM

    Deo Gratias Archbishop Lefebvre. I made a pilgrimage recently to his tomb. I now have on my mantel a beautiful pine cone from Econe

  22. LD Schmidt5:12 AM

    Damask Rose, Remember,"Faith before obedience" ArchBishop Lefebvre: Santo subito..

  23. Anonymous5:12 AM

    Damask Rose,

    It's not so black and white. The "disobedience line" has been used and abused and misinterpretated especially when it comes to Archbishop Lefevbre. If you read of what went on at the Council, I think you would be as appalled as I was when I first discovered. What skullduggery went on! Even devotion to Our Lady, The Great Mother of God was under attack - so much so that we have Catholic generations that do not know her. We can't be Catholic without Our Lady! And all in the name of ecumenism. I am indignant about this!

    The Council dismantled practically everything.....and has left us with a barely recognisable Catholicism. Of course there are pockets everywhere of the "real thing". Our Lord will never abandon His Church. There are also many lovely people of good faith, who are unaware of all of this and still remain faithful to the Church despite the "novelties" imposed.

    I am not into this "santo subito" stuff, but after much reading and trying to be intellectually honest, I have no doubt that Mons. Lefebrve was a loyal son of the Church and a great pastor who, greatly suffering, followed his conscience. The demolition going on was too much for him and many, many others (as the passage refers to).

    I write this as one who has no connection with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X. In fact I do not know anyone of the Society.

    The truth will always come out as we are now seeing.

    God bless,


  24. Damask Rose,
    So when a priest tells someone in his care that it's all right to practice contraception, to engage in extra-marital sex, that person should obey?

    When he teaches them that there was no real Resurrection, that there was no real Virgin Birth, that Jesus is not really present in the Blessed Sacrament but merely in the community, that there is no such thing as mortal sin; they should give assent of
    the will to these his views out of obedience?

    And if not obedience to such a priest then why to such a bishop?
    It is one thing to suffer in order to reach greater sanctity but another to commit sin in the name of obedience. The Catholic rule is to obey in all that is not sinful. That is a very important distinction.

  25. LD Schmidt,

    Since some consider us pro-SSPX and you consider that we let the SSPX be "bashed", I gather we are in a nice position.


  26. "He was disobedient, plain and simple."

    Now there is a superficial view of the nature of disobedience, if ever there was one.

  27. To be fair, this site has come a long way on the Confraternity issue over the years. My congratulations to New Catholic.

  28. To be fair, we are where we have always been - just read our archives, there has been no KGB "cleaning" of what we have always posted.


  29. Anonymous4:58 PM

    On the matter of Obedience I highly recommend this link:
    Blind Obedience is not a virtue and never has been. The archbishop did what he did based upon his view of what his responsibilities were towards maintaining the holy priesthood. Many of us would disagree with his actions but at the same time recognize that his intent was pure. In fact, I know that he was counseled by some members of the Society not to place himself crossways-in-the-pipe with the Holy See but he saw a state of necessity and acted upon it.

    God will be the Judge of his actions not us. One thing I am sure of was his internal struggle about defying the Pope. Anyone who thinks it was easy for him is simply wrong IMO.


  30. Regarding comments by “Jack” and Jim O’Conner:

    I noticed once I sent my initial comments that it was from the Bayside website, but it came up initially in my Google search. The fact that they copied the information and posted it, doesn’t diminish the facts. However, you can check out the following web pages and get the same results:

    As to Jim O’Conner’s question, Dr. Dodd didn’t publish names at the behest of Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who instructed her in the Catholic faith and conditionally baptized her at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on April 7, 1952.

    Her book, “School of Darkness” can be read at:

  31. @damask Rose. Your rank prejudice is open for us all to see :

    In referring to “Abp Fulton Sheen and Cardinal Ottaviani” by their ecclesiastical titles but referring to Archbishop Lefebvre (whose long and exemplary unblemished record of dedicated service to the Church is there for all who want to know about it) as plain and simple “Lefebvre”, as if he were a layman, you display impertinent irreverence, even if that was not your intention. Shame on you, who do you think you are you to laicise him ?.

    It tells us readers much about you and your views, although you freely admit you do not know what you are talking about, forgive the personal allusion, but you ought not to make such facile criticism of such a deeply respected and saintly Churchman.

    Have you no idea at all of his lifetime of service to the Church ? Of the honours and accolades presented to him (not that he ever sought them) ? He was obedient to his vows all his life, obedient to the unchanging Holy Roman Catholic Church. If the pope erred, he told him. We can be sure how he would have spoken about the forthcoming events at Assisi.

    Would you describe St Athanasius as “disobedient, plain and simple.” ? Well, I would, but not in the sense you adopt. He disobeyed unlawful commands and kept the Faith.

    Just check the facts, you will discover that Archbishop Lefebvre was not granted the due process required by Canon Law, he was summarily condemned, without the chance to defend himself. This alone negates your shameful criticism. Go check. Please. then apologise.

  32. New Catholic

    There has been a KGB on it as it Keeps Getting Better

  33. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Cute, LeonG - and true!


  34. Part 1

    Okay, here goes...

    Yes, I do believe that Abp Lefebvre was a scholar, a highly respected, erudite prelate and no doubt was pained and had an inner struggle regarding the state of the Church after VatII, as
    I'm sure did many priests, bishops and so on at the time. Abp Lefebvre was NOT a lesser man. And this, I think, is the terrible tragedy of it all. He allowed himself to be disobedient
    (illicit ordinations since the 70s, culminating with the Econe Four) and die excommunicated. This is the legacy and example he has left to his priests. And therefore, I think this is why the SSPX seems to have a stubborn lethargy about coming back into the Church (yes, I know about the VatII argument). The Church cannot have prelates with either left or right leanings, ordaining priests because they don't like something. With the excommunication of Abp Lefebvre, JPII issued Ecclesia Dei allowing Indult Masses and so on. People talk about hindsight, there's historicity, but I would much preferred Abp Lefebvre dying in a state of grace instead of excommunication. Perhaps his excommunication could be lifted. Abp Lefebvre knew about being in the state of grace, but made his choice. There's a kind of blindness. Spiritually, supernaturally, theologically, he knew much.

    There could have been a different scenario. Abp Lefebvre's intellectualism and erudition, not forgetting his seminary teaching, could have been at the forefront of a priestly society dedicated to tradition and the formation of priests (...huh...?) WITHIN the Church. After his death, this could have been the Society's charism. I think I read that Abp Fulton Sheen said that priests must always be studious, an on-going formation. SSPX could have been set up to form excellent priests for the Society, but, also aid the formation of other priests. Perhaps within the SSPX, an Institute for Priests and their education . All the subjects lost to priestly formation during the 70s and 80s such as perhaps Thomism, logic, philosophy, Latin, etc could have been taught to diocesan priests over the last twenty years through workshops, distance-learning run by the SSPX. They could have had bootcamp for Latin, classes on the TLM and most importantly, retreats on the sacerdotal nature of the priest. All the things that Abp Lefebvre loved. Even a respected academic journal. See, this is what I think comes from obedience and how you work with your talents in a crisis. Being within the Church, bishops, impressed with the "Institute" and Society, would perhaps invite them into their dioceses just like the ICK, Renewal Franciscans and FSSP are. Perhaps bishops would invite them to run workshops or retreats. Just think, if the SSPX, a large trad order within the Church did the above mentioned, they could have saved/improved/maintained the vocations of many priests in France, Austria and Germany who perhaps may have left or well, kind of "apostacised". Think Corpus Christi with foccacia bread and the recent priestly "manifesto" handed to Card Schonborn. Because the SSPX is outside the Church, they are kind of marginal, insular (I
    think they may be more well-attended in France). Catholics attracted to tradition may not pass through their doors.

  35. Part 2

    Take the FSSP UK as an example. Fr de Malleray in Reading, sharing the diocesan parish, gives Training Conferences with the LMS and his rectory is called a "Haven for Priests" where any priest is welcome to stay. He also does an annual retreat welcoming diocesan priests (had one recently) and gives Days of Recollection. Yes, the FSSP are available to look after the diocesan priests in the UK. From the SSPX website, there are 26 Mass Centres and 11 priests based up and down the country. Do they do retreats for diocesan priests, share parishes and above all train diocesan priests to say the Latin Mass? There could be another 11 "Haven for Priests" run by the SSPX. Did any SSPX priest go to the Pontifical Mass at Downside Abbey with Bishop Schneider?

    It's not all hanging on the SSPX. The highly regarded Bishop Athanasius Schneider has written Dominus Est, participated in Adoratio 2011 and called for a new Syllabus of Errors. Msgr Gherardini has written a book about Vat II and is most positive about the SSPX and other prelates are stepping in with their own comments and so on. There have been indult Masses over the years. Even with the VatII Church seemingly unravelling and apparent apostacy, the "never abrogated" Mass of Ages is prevailing -we've had SP and UE - and I am becoming more convinced that through the Holy Spirit the Lord's True Mass would return anyway, with or without the SSPX. It's about faith in the Lord and though it could be argued the abuses in the Church pushed Abp Lefebvre to
    illicitly ordain, I think he took "man's" route. I do not think St Athanasius illicitly consecrated bishops and ordained priests. Even having read about all the 'filth' in the Church, watched clown, puppet, Carmen Miranda Masses, the sex abuse crisis and so on, I have not gone over to the SSPX, or become Protestant, but remained in the Church.

    I am not adovcating blind obedience and am totally 100% behind the Catholic rule of obeying in all that is not sinful. I have always had a devotion to John Henry Newman and I think his beatification and views on conscience are most pertinent to these times now. A good while ago now, my husband and I left our parish as I didn't want my son being exposed to
    heterodox/bordering-on-heretical diaconal preaching (eg Jesus didn't know he was God, Holy Spirit inspiring a married priesthood etc). My son, though having made his First Holy
    Communion has no idea how to confess a sin because he has no definition of such or written Examination of Conscience (I'll teach him myself). All I can do is pray about these situations
    and offer it up. Yes, I have looked up both the UK SSPX and general site, been over DICI, and looked at the beautiful gallery of churches they've built, and yes, it is tempting to be with people of like mind, but I won't go over because they're not "regularised" and Abp Lefebvre's illicit ordination of priests and bishops does not sit well with me. I'm not sure I'd go over even if they were regularised. I think it is important to support the diocesan priests and attend the Latin Masses they say.

  36. Part 3

    In my previous post I have mentioned obedience and touched on suffering priests. It has been mentioned above that Abp Lefebvre was persecuted and not granted due process by Canon Law and condemned, but he didn't have to follow the course he did. The "state of necessity" seems to have always existed, ie, Arianism, Reformation, French Revolution, Enlightenment, Cristero War, producing their own martyrs. Who can forget execution photos of Miguel Pro and Fr Franciso Vera or why not see Fr John Southworth in Westminster Cathedral. Some
    priests, having outed homosexuality in their American dioceses and are now living a kind of limbo in poverty or priests suspended because they dismissed their EMHCs. How many priests have been/are being bullied by their bishop or isolated in their deanery being deemed as not "one of the boys" because of their orthodoxy? What about pious orthodox priests who devoutly say both NO and TLM but due to obedience, still have to hand Jesus to the EMHC to hand out? Perhaps they make acts of reparation to the Blessed Sacrament. How about priests trying to convert a semi-heathen congregation that thinks active participation is everything and the women rule the roost? Let us not forget that Jesus was tried, judged and crucified by the priests and bishops of his day. This is what I think: Surely Obedience is the Balm for the Wounds of a Priest. I still go with what St Faustina and Sr Josefa said about obedience in their revelations from Jesus. Is it better for a priest to go up to his bishop and tell him what he thinks about his running of the diocese, denounce his removing of the paten etc, etc, and so get himself suspended, dismissed, or take up his chalice, offer it up, suffer it out, and try and convert his parish to Christ in a myriad of different beautiful ways? Remember St John Vianney and Ars. The priest is alter Christus, configured to Christ, his soul is changed forever and is both Victim and Priest. Sooner or later Jesus will present a Cross to the priest to carry. I for one love the Latin Mass and cleave to the Romanita but will not incite a priest to disobedience due to any aspect of traditionalism. At the end of the day, it's the diocesan
    priests at ground level who know what's going on, have their grapevines. We may only get snippets on the blogosphere, Catholic media. I hope that all priests have a priestly friend they can turn to, or that there is a holy diocesan priest, like St Peter Julian Eymard, who makes himself available to any priest that needs to talk. Priests need to go to other priests - St John rested his head upon the Lord's breast and was at the foot of the Cross whey Jesus gave him his mother and Jesus let Thomas put his finger in the Lord's wounds when he doubted.

    I do so really want Bishop Fellay to come into the Church and bring all the priests who teach the Truth under his care with him sooner rather than later. We really need the SSPX priests in
    the Church now, for the New Evagelisation.


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