Rorate Caeli

Benelux District Superior: Abp. Lefebvre "would have accepted a canonical recognition"

From the editorial written by the Superior of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) for the District of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Father Benoît Wailliez, published in the May-June edition of its French-language newsletter, Pour qu'il règne:

The crisis of the Church did not begin with Vatican II. It is evident that Scholastic philosophy and Roman theology were already under attack in the seminaries and noviciates and that the Holy Office had its hands full. (Not to mention the most fanciful liturgical experiments, taking place in abbeys and in youth camps.) Hence the encyclical Humani generis, of a vigilant and disturbed Pius XII, written 12 years before the Council and which soon became dead letter.

And what was Abp. Lefebvre doing at that time? In the 1950s, he was the Pope's Apostolic Delegate for numerous areas in Africa and he also worked as Archbishop of Dakar. Under John XXIII, he was called back to Europe, but he was elected a member of the Council's preparatory commission. He took part in the Council (1962-1965), as Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, and he intervened many times to counter as best as he could the liberal orientations and the most harmful schemata of this revolutionary assembly. And, despite the ominous pontificate of Paul VI, Abp. Lefebvre continued to work within the Church, and was committed to having the Society of Saint Pius X canonically approved: it was a sign of catholicity which he held dear. He rejected the damaging changes (the new liturgy, the Neo-modernist teachings, apostate ecumenism, etc), and he continued in the official bosom of the church up until the moment of the illegal suppresion of the Fraternity and of the first canonical penalties (1975-1976).

Someone like Bp. Nestor Adam [bishop of Sion, Switzerland, who granted the original permission for the Society's first Seminary within his diocese] left the Council during its proceedings, scandalized and discouraged with the "October Revolution" that the Pope either approved or allowed in some measure to take place.

As a good "soldier of Christ", who knew that he would have to one day render account to God of his episcopate, Abp. Lefebvre kept on in "the good fight" of Christ. Was he chased like a bandit? He nonetheless "followed his course", perfectly aware that he was in the Church. He expected that one day Rome would grant him that canonical stature of which he had been unjustly deprived, but not to the detriment of the faith, or of its full and free proclamation.

He who, amidst the complete conciliar debacle, had enjoyed for a decade the official blessing of the Church would have accepted, "without any bitterness", and without any compromise, a canonical recognition, even coming from an authority still strongly tainted by modern errors, but willing to correct the course of the great boat of the Church, "taking in water on every side".


Father Benoît Wailliez
Superior for the District of the Benelux

[Excerpt; source, en français: Tradinews]


  1. It seems apparent from these various sources within the Society that there is a concerted effort to prepare the priests and laity for something which seems to be expected to happen, certainly and soon.

    May God grant it! Abp. Lefebvre would no doubt approve of such a reconciliation. God grant docility to the membership of the Society to accept this en masse, and to the faithful also who follow them.

  2. Yes, Father Wailliez is perfectly correct, inasmuch as the saintly, stalwart, totally Catholic Monsignor Lefebvre would surely welcome the acceptance by Rome of the fact that the suppression of the Fraternity was illegal, also the canonical penalties and hence they must be revoked or rescinded, I’m not sure of the proper terminology. I think this may be his rationale.

    The elephant in the corner of St Peter’s is the glaring fact that to date, no mention has been made, AFAIAA, of Mgr Lefebvre in the “discussions”, when he must surely be the first person to be “re-instated”.

    Please, let us not look for divisions in the SSPX, such speculation is valueless and can have no good result.

  3. Clinton R.7:14 PM

    Abp. Lefebvre, the St. Athanasius of the 20th century, pray for us.

  4. jeremiah

    It is not by ignoring divisions they will go away. They are there and any compromise is ready to split The Society. In fact, it began after the SP.

  5. Francis7:29 PM

    This wouldn't be the first time that the society has been split. It split in 1988 also when Father Josef Bisig and others left the FSSPX and created the FSSP.

  6. New Catholic:
    For a few days now, Rorate Caeli is no longer accessible with Opera. I have tried it from completely different computers with completely different providers. No problem with IE or Firefox.
    It's not a blogger problem, as other blogs still work.
    Thought I'd let you know.

  7. God bless Fr. Wailliez - a wonderful priest, a real moral authority in secularised Belgium and a true spiritual son of the venerable Archbishop Lefebvre!

  8. Opera has always been the only browser to have problems with this blog. I have no idea why that is happening.


  9. Thank you for this information. I do not know what I would do without your blog. It is so important for keeping up my spirits on the SSPX coming into full union, having all the rights and privileges needed to carry on the good work in the bosom of Rome.

  10. We must pray!

    join, here is an action of receiving Holy Communion on 6th May for a good canonical regularisation of SSPX.

    Invite your friends also!

  11. These past few days, I've been having problems accessing this blog also; I couldn't work out why it kept coming up 'service unavailable' - it's only when I enable cookies that the site works; I've never had to do that before, and this is the only blogspot site that's been causing problems. I use Firefox.

  12. Thomas Putnam10:05 PM

    I use Opera version 11.52 and there is no problem with RC. B. ought to search the browser's support or "community" threads for answers. If none turn up, pose the problem fully and intelligently, and within a day at the most someone (more likely, several someones) will provide one or more answers.

  13. Connie12:00 AM

    What a great picture of Archbishop LeFebvre smiling and entertaining those children and that young boy laughing heartily in the background! That's wonderful! Thank you for posting that. I have never seen that picture before.

  14. "...a backdoor compromise the details of which are only fully known to elite parties."

    Were the details of the 1988 near-agreement broadcast to the whole world ahead of time? Somehow I doubt it.

    The Internet has given us a preposterous sense of entitlement to privileged information. Let the superiors do their jobs. Our job is to aid them with our prayers.

  15. Peterman2:38 AM

    I think often of when Archbishop LeFebvre was summoned to Rome and a car was sent to pick him up in Switzerland and he refused to go. It's always been my thought that it was very fortunate he didn't go as he never would have made it to Rome.

    Thankfully he was protected because today, wherever the TLM is, he is directly responsible. Another in a long line of French warrior/heroes for the Faith.

  16. Poeta said

    The bishops of the Society were not party to all the information as they ought to have been. As for the media I entirely agree. This is certainly not what i would have wanted. However, to exclude the Society episcopate was a faux pas of immense import. This would have instilled greater confidence in the final outcome. The 4 bishops are all supriors and all have invested thier clerical careers in The Society's destiny.

  17. Marty Jude12:56 PM

    Peterman said...
    "I think often of when Archbishop LeFebvre was summoned to Rome and a car was sent to pick him up in Switzerland and he refused to go.
    It's always been my thought that it was very fortunate he didn't go as he never would have made it to Rome."

    I attended the Episcopal Consecrations at Econe 1n '88.
    However, I can't recall the Good Archbishop's exact words in the address/sermon prior to the ceremonies. Does anyone know if he spoke of his concern that he might not return alive, or that he wouldn't be released from the Vatican?

    On a personal note, it was quite scary,[yet exciting], as a teenager, to see security guards patrolling the grounds and there was quite a thunder storm the night before the consecrations - with the lightening bouncing off the electrical station nearby. What a time that was !!!

  18. Trento1:44 PM

    ...would have accepted, "without any bitterness", AND WITHOUT ANY COMPROMISE..." [emphasis mine]

    As for "The bishops of the Society were not party to all the information as they ought to have been", during the discussion on the preamble at Albano, all the bishops were invited, but only one did not turn up. We know who that is, of course.

  19. Anonymous8:22 PM

    Quoth 'Trento': "[D]uring the discussion on the preamble at Albano, all the bishops were invited, but only one did not turn up. We know who that is, of course."

    That's not true. One certain bishop was only offered an invitation on the condition that he give up writing his blog. His Lordship chose to continue writing.

  20. Peterman2:32 AM

    That's an awesome reflection Mar Marty Jude, thank you. I'm not sure the Archbishop mentioned anything like that but again, those have always been my thoughts since reading about the man and his trials.

    It's quite fascinating you were there all those years ago. I was then just a horrendously ignorant product of VatII in 1988. A teenager so completely ignorant of the Faith I might as well have been a buddhist. It took years of seeing, learning and finally understanding the Faith, before I understood what happened all those years ago. I ended up last year praying by myself in front of Arch Bishop LeFebvre's tomb. I can't explain it but the Holy Spirit guided me all the way there.

  21. A. M. D. G.3:19 AM

    So the Archbishop who has been dead twenty-one years would have accepted "reconciliation" with Rome. Glad someone has a crystal ball!

  22. Stéphane6:18 AM

    As you rightly point out, this article was "published in the May-June edition of [the] French-language newsletter [of the Benelux district], Pour qu'il règne". The Benelux district of course also has a Dutch-language newsletter, called Informatieblad and Fr. Wailliez's article sounds somewhat different in its Dutch/Flemish version. As Fr. Wailliez has the habit of drafting some articles first in Dutch and them have them translated into French, it is impossible to tell which one is the original in this case. As a result, New Catholic, it is tricky to draw conclusions from the French-language version of this editorial only.

  23. We did not reach any conclusions.


  24. Marty Jude9:57 PM

    Thank you, Peterman.

    Sounds like you've had a bit of a journey! It makes me realise how fortunate I was back then. My parents were Trad., but didn't know much about the Archbishop. My father was very much a believer that the Holy Father should be obeyed. He despised the reforms though; knew they were wrong, resisted where possible, and challenged our priests.

    I found out about FSSPX through fellow parishoners/friends of the family, and was allowed to attend their Masses. My parents gradually began to attend too, albeit my father very rarely - although he felt the graces from the 'True Mass'.

    Sounds amazing, to pray at the Archbishop's tomb. I'm sure you will have received many graces that day. You found The Way in the end. Well done!

    Back to '88, the Archishop in his address did mention the car being sent from Rome and his concerns, but I just can't remember his precise words. The dear Archbishop and Bishop De Castro Meyer, Requiescant in Pace. Amen.

    God bless you.


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