Rorate Caeli

An achievement and a mission:
The legacy of Abp. Lefebvre and Romanitas

"Archbishop Lefebvre, this great man of the universal Church."

Benedict XVI
Audience to Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X
August 28, 2005


[Our founders] had received everything from Abp. Marcel Lefebvre, and ... they loved him like a father. For the very fidelity to the entire tradition of the Church that this prelate had taught them, which calls for fidelity to the successor of Peter, faith on the promises of Christ to his Church: Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my Church; and also for this spirit of Romanitas learned from Abp. Lefebvre ... .

By celebrating this morning this thanksgiving Mass, I invite you, my very dear faithful, to share a particular intention for our brother priests of the Society of Saint Pius X. We know that the hand of the Pope is always extended to them, and we know them to be hesitant, torn. Let us pray that they may have the courage to make the choice of Peter. Even in his decision to consecrate four bishops, Abp. Lefebvre always refused to be considered the head of an autocephalous church. He judged that the bishops that he consecrated should one day deliver their episcopate in the hands of Peter. Let us pray that they do not delay further, so that the best of what they received may be in the service of the welfare of the whole Church, and that the truth be preached in the unity of charity. That is even more urgent because the present situation forbids division. That is even more imperative because it is shoulder to shoulder [lit. coude à coude] that we must act against the culture of death in a secularized society.
Fr. Vincent Ribeton 
Superior of the French District
of the Fraternity of Saint Peter
Mass for the 25th anniversary of the FSSP (Saint-Sulpice, Paris)
November 16, 2013
23 years ago, Archbishop Marcel-François Lefebvre died in Martigny, Switzerland, on Lady Day, 1991. 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 wrong 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 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 implementation, not without very significant 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, whose name still causes passionate discussions.