True obedience to the utmost

Because of his Declaration dated November 21, 1974, Archbishop Lefebvre saw the suppression of his Society of St. Pius X on May 6, 1975. His canonical appeal of that decision was rejected.

To not collaborate in the destruction of the Church

He got over it and explained:

This sanction is only one episode in the immense struggle over two centuries between the Roman Church and liberal Catholics who want to wed the Church to a Christless society and who are winning one victory after the other. To submit would be for me to collaborate in the destruction of the Church. The law is for the purpose of life; these sanctions are lethal measures, spiritual abortion.

Media figure unintentionally

Cardinal Jean Villot, Secretary of State to Paul VI, soon forbade all bishops to enroll Archbishop Lefebvre’s seminarians in their diocese. On June 29, 1976, by ordaining 13 priests who were not incardinated, the archbishop incurred a suspensio a divinis. At first very upset, the archbishop reacted with this witticism: “This suspension forbids me to say the New Mass!” Finally these measures, which were supposed to put an end to Archbishop Lefebvre’s activity, made him world famous and gave his work an unexpected boost.

To ensure the unchanging spirit of the Catholic priesthood

From then on he performed his duty to the very end. In order to safeguard the Catholic priesthood and the true Sacrifice of the Mass, he proceeded on June 30, 1988, to consecrate four bishops in order to continue his work. He wrote to his successors:

 

Since the Chair of Peter and the positions of authority in Rome are occupied by antichrists, the destruction of the Reign of Our Lord is being pursued rapidly within the Mystical Body here on earth, especially by the corruption of Holy Mass, the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the Cross.... I adjure you to remain loyal to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, the Mother and Mistress of all the Churches, in the integral Catholic Faith.[1 ]

  • 1Letter to the future bishops, August, 29, 1987; reprinted in Tissier de Mallerais, op. cit., pp. 625-626.

Von nun an erfüllt er seine Aufgabe bis zum Schluss. Um das katholische Priestertum und das wahre Messopfer zu bewahren, schreitet er am 30. Juni 1988 zur Weihe von vier Bischöfen, damit sein Werk fortgeführt werden kann. Seinen Nachfolgern schreibt er:

 

Da der Stuhl Petri und die amtlichen Stellen in Rom von antichristlichen Kräften besetzt sind, schreitet die Zerstörung der Herrschaft unseres Herrn sogar innerhalb seines mystischen Leibes auf Erden rasch voran, besonders durch die Zerstörung der heiligen Messe, die der strahlende Ausdruck des Triumphes unseres Herrn durch das Kreuz ist. (…). Ich beschwöre Sie, dem Stuhl Petri und der römischen Kirche, der Mutter und Lehrmeisterin aller Kirchen, im ganzheitlichen katholischen Glauben fest verbunden zu bleiben.[]

 




 

„Wir befinden uns in einer wahrhaft dramatischen Situation! Wir müssen uns entscheiden zwischen einem sozusagen scheinbaren Gehorsam … und der Bewahrung unseres Glaubens. Wir entscheiden uns dafür, unseren Glauben nicht aufzugeben, denn darin können wir uns nicht täuschen. In dem, was die Kirche zweitausend Jahre lang gelehrt hat, kann die Kirche nicht irren. Das ist völlig unmöglich.“

Erzbischof Marcel Lefebvre, Ecône, 29. Juni 1976