SSPX Bp. Fellay about the #FilialCorrection

SSPX Bp Bernard FellaySSPX Superior Bp. Bernard Fellay signed the Correctio Filialis.  Libs pounced.

“OMG!”, they sneered, “The correction is so baaaad because an SSPX guy signed it!”, which you will immediately recognize as a really powerful argument.

Bp. Fellay explains why he signed.

From the site of the SSPX:

FSSPX.News: Why did you support the Correctio Filialis?

Bishop Fellay: This filial approach on the part of clerics and lay scholars, troubled by the heterodox propositions in Amoris Laetitia, is very important. Christ’s teaching on marriage can not be surreptitiously changed on the pretext that the times have changed and that pastoral care should adapt by offering ways to bypass doctrine. [And therein he touches on Card. Kasper’s contribution.]

I understand that the authors of the Correctio Filialis are overwhelmed by the division caused by Amoris Laetitia, [this is, objectively, occurring… division, that is… casused by AL] by the pope’s explanations of this document in recent declarations, and by his statements on Luther. In some countries, the bishops now allow communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, while in others they refuse it. Is Catholic morality variable? Can it be subject to contradictory interpretations?

Since September 2016, four cardinals have been respectfully asking the pope to “clarify” his Exhortation; this year they requested an audience. The only answer they received was silence, but silence is not an answer. [Well… it can be.  Qui tacet consentire videtur.] On a question this serious and faced with the current divisions, the Holy Father must give a clear answer on the substance of the Exhortation.

In this sad situation of confusion, it is very important that the debate on these important questions grows, in order that the truth may be re-established and error condemned.  [“it is very important that the debate on these important questions grows”]

That is why I supported this approach, but it is not so much the names of those who signed the Correctio Filialis as the objective value of the arguments presented that must be taken into account.

FSSPX.News: Does this affect the relations between the Society of St. Pius X and Rome?

Bishop Fellay: Our respect for the pope remains intact, and it is precisely out of respect for his office that we ask him as his sons to “confirm his brethren” by publicly rejecting the openly heterodox propositions that are causing so much division in the Church.  [In case the libs didn’t catch it, calling the document a “filial” correction is a hint about the attitude in which it was submitted.]

I appreciated the answer of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi [1], who also signed the Correctio Filialis. He rightly declared that we are not the enemies of the pope. On the contrary, we do this because we love the Church.

This was Archbishop Lefebvre’s attitude and that of the Society of St. Pius X from the beginning. In his declaration on November 21, 1974, our founder said, “We adhere with all our heart and all our soul to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic Faith and the traditions necessary to maintain it, and to Eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth. On the other hand we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of the neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies”; it is precisely this neo-Modernism and neo-Protestantism that the authors of the Correctio Filialis rightly denounced as the cause of the changes made by Amoris Laetitia in the doctrine and morality of marriage.

We are attached to Rome, Mater et Magistra, with every fiber of our being. We would no longer be Roman if we renounced her two-thousand-year-old doctrine; on the contrary, we would become the artisans of her demolition, with situation ethics dangerously upheld by weak doctrine.

Our fidelity to Tradition is not a way of living in the past, but a guarantee of sustainability for the future. It is on this condition alone we can serve the Church effectively.

FSSPX.News: What are your hopes for this Correctio Filialis?

Bishop Fellay: We must hope it will bring about a clearer realization of the gravity of the situation in the Church, both among the clergy and among the faithful. Indeed, as Benedict XVI admitted, “Peter’s barque is taking water on all sides”. This is no poetic image; it is a tragic reality. In this battle, faith and morals must be defended! [Oorah!]

We also hope that others among those who have souls in their care will show their support. In exposing the objectively unorthodox propositions, the signatories of the Correctio Filialis have simply said loudly and clearly what many know in their heart. Is it not time for these pastors to say so, loud and clear? But, again, it is less the number of signatures than the objective value of the arguments that counts. The Truth revealed by Christ is not quantifiable; it is above all immutable.

We must implore God that the Vicar of Christ may restore complete clarity to such an essential area; the divine law of marriage can not be changed without causing serious dissension. If nothing is done, the division that is appearing in the Church will become irreparable. For this reason we pray that Our Lord’s words to St. Peter may truly apply to Pope Francis: “And thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).


[1] Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, an economist and president of the Institute for the Works of Religion from 2009 to 2012, granted an interview to the Hispanic website Infovaticana(Sept. 24, 2017), that was republished by Vaticanist Marco Tosatti on his blog – Ed. Note.

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31 Responses to SSPX Bp. Fellay about the #FilialCorrection

  1. Ave Crux says:

    “it is very important that the debate on these important questions grows…”

    It is clear that Bishop Fellay does not intend to debate the moral law and its application in the pastoral sphere — which must ever remain beyond debate, just as it has for 2,000 years. It is clear not only from his own longstanding fidelity to the teachings of the Church and of Christ, but from the nature of those teachings themselves.

    What Bishop Fellay rightly asks of the Pope, the Church and Her Hierarchy is not debate in the sense that we discuss what is right or wrong, since that is already clear based on revelation and 2,000 years of unbroken Magisterium — but that the Hierarchy of the Church not be allowed to continue to meet with silence the rightful demands for clarification of their meaning and intentions, PRECISELY SO we can know for certain if they adhere to Church teaching or not, and whether they are purposefully counseling the Faithful NOT to feel bound by that teaching….since the whole Catholic world is now thrown into confusion by the very real, and proven, possibility that they are.

    THAT is the debate the Bishop Fellay wants — a response that makes clear their meaning, so it is also clear whether it conforms with OBJECTIVE MORAL LAW AND REVEALED TRUTH, and if not….should be condemned.

    PLEASE, no good Catholic should think we ought to allow them to present a case for their perspective and apparent heterodoxy…on this point there cannot possibly be a debate.

    No….what we seek from them is a CLEAR DECLARATION of their meaning and intentions, so we know whether it conforms to Divine Revelation and the Church’s own Magisterium. …NOT a debate to represent the merits of their position…a position they are implementing right now throughout the Universal Church.

    God, please help us!

  2. Ave Crux says:

    Further to above….It is precisely by subterfuge, duplicity and obfuscation that the Holy Father and his allies have sought to push through practices which amount to sacrilege with regard to the Sacraments, and flagrant moral disregard for the Laws of God.

    Bishop Fellay wants to tear away this veil of ambiguity, not debate the merits of their case, for which there can be NO justification. He — as all good Catholics do — wants them to state their position without hiding behind this veil any longer.

    As St. Teresa of Avila said “The devil works with a silent file….” And the devil is clearly in the silence of the Pope and those who are responsible to uphold God’s Laws and Church Magisterium.

  3. Eric says:

    Clear and precise. Exactly what we need from Rome which has no intention of giving such. That is what one gets from the SSPX.

  4. Mario Bird says:

    Belloc re: clarity and the “Modern Mind”:

    Upon dissecting it we discover the “Modern Mind” to contain three main ingredients and to combine them through the force of one principle. Its three ingredients are pride, ignorance, and intellectual sloth; their unifying principle is a blind acceptance of authority not based on reason.

    Pride causes those who suffer from this disease to regard whatever they think they have learned, whatever they have absorbed, through no matter how absurd a channel, as absolute and sufficient.

    Ignorance forbids them to know with any thoroughness what men have discovered about these things in the past, and how certainly.

    Intellectual sloth forbids them to examine an argument, or even to appreciate the implications of their own assertions.

    With most men who are thus afflicted the thing is not so much a mixture of these vices as the mere following of a fashion; but these vices lie at the root of the mental process in question.

    As to the principle of blindly accepting an authority not based on reason, it runs through the whole base affair and binds it into one: Fashion, Print, Iteration, are the commanders abjectly obeyed and trusted.

  5. bobbird says:

    And so it would appear that what excommunicated Abp. Lefebvre was the age-old question of
    episcopal investiture. If this be so, would the previous SSPX ordinations, of both priests and bishops, have been licit? (Which is different from “valid”, which is unquestioned). Ergo, would the subsequent ordinations of those bishops have been licit? Or, is the entire Society under an interdict? And one understands that even Great Saints made mistakes. Why would JP II discipline SSPX and not the likes of Kung, Curren, etc? It is such a snarled plate of spaghetti, I hope someone can enlighten me.

  6. Unwilling says:

    Agreed. Except that no division nor harm nor sin is “irreparable”.

    Hope is trust that God will give us eternal life and all means necessary to obtain it.

  7. Antiquorum says:

    The good bishop really nailed it on how the substance of the arguments is what’s important, not the number of signatures. Wasn’t one of the reasons being used for a lack of a response from the Vatican the amount of signatures? It makes one wonder how many signatures would warrant a response.

  8. TonyO says:

    Indeed, as Benedict XVI admitted, “Peter’s barque is taking water on all sides”. This is no poetic image; it is a tragic reality. In this battle, faith and morals must be defended! [Oorah!]

    Pope Francis has repeatedly said that “the Church is a field hospital”. I will now state the official [TonyO] First Rule of Field Hospital ships that are taking on water on all sides:

    Stop shooting yourself in the foot.

    It doesn’t do your foot any good, it doesn’t help to make you more able to help your patients that you can “sympathize with them”, and it sure doesn’t help the hull one bit. So stop already.

    Everyone will recognize the similarity with the first rule of what to do when you are in a hole: stop digging. My First Rule just reflects the military aspect of a Field Hospital.

    If we are, as Pope Francis is so right to point out, a world filled with broken people who are broken not least because they have been raised in broken families: stop giving aid and comfort to the behavior of making broken families. Stop handing out bullets for creating souls broken with the AK-47 of promiscuity. Stop handing out free needles to those who are shooting up their own lives and ours with KGB-LTNQXV nonsense.

  9. HighMass says:

    Ah yes lets nail Bishop Felley after all he belongs to that group who doesn’t go along with all this confusion.
    Adhering to the teachings of Christ and not the world, you are always under fire.

    God Bless Our Prelates who have stood up for the Faith!

  10. Fr. Reader says:

    “This was Archbishop Lefebvre’s attitude and that of the Society of St. Pius X from the beginning. In his declaration on November 21, 1974, our founder said, “We adhere with all our heart and all our soul to Catholic Rome…”
    Oh yes, Lefebvre, that very obedient guy…

  11. Ave Crux says:

    @Mario Bird: Fantastic quote. Addresses the state of the Modernist mentality very nicely: Pride. Ignorance. Intellectual sloth…with a dash of the diabolic mixed in, based upon the intentional sleight of hand with which they are going about overturning the Magisterium of the Church.

    If the now manifest intentions of the Pope were to be universally embraced, the entire edifice of moral theology would collapse: e.g. what is required to be in the “state of grace”; whether one must be in the state of grace to receive the Sacraments of the Living, or to receive worthily the Sacraments of the Dead, the absolutely binding nature of the Divinely revealed moral law, the inviolable nature of the Sacrament of Matrimony as the very foundation stone of Christian civilization, and – by inference – the very Kingship of Christ over His creation, etc., etc., etc.

    No stone would be left upon stone. The ramifications are nothing short of apocalyptic.

  12. Ave Crux says:

    Clarification to the above: the amendment of life necessary to receive worthily the Sacraments of the Dead….so as to be placed in the state of grace….

  13. rmichaelj says:

    From the Summa:

    Reply to Objection 3. 
    Religious profess obedience as to the regular mode of life, in respect of which they are subject to their superiors: wherefore they are bound to obey in those matters only which may belong to the regular mode of life, and this obedience suffices for salvation. If they be willing to obey even in other matters, this will belong to the superabundance of perfection; provided, however, such things be not contrary to God or to the rule they profess, for obedience in this case would be unlawful.

    Accordingly we may distinguish a threefold obedience; one, sufficient for salvation, and consisting in obeying when one is bound to obey: secondly, perfect obedience, which obeys in all things lawful: thirdly, indiscreet obedience, which obeys even in matters unlawful.

  14. Gerard Plourde says:

    While I welcome Bishop Fellay’s prayer and concerns, I am puzzled about the Society’s rejection of the reconciliation offered by Pope Benedict.

  15. Ave Crux says:

    And now this news: Pope Francis selected a widely known, highly vocal LGBTQ and Gender Theory Advocate in school curriculum (a satan who devours the innocent souls of children) to pen the Forward to his new book about the education of children entitled “Learn to Learn”.

    Are we to seek “dialogue” with a man like this whose treachery is showing it knows no bounds…..?

    Perhaps he’s not responsible and is no longer mentally sound, but it’s all the same at this point. The enemies of the Church are rejoicing at this new “stallion” they’re riding to victory at high speed now.

    I am actually nauseous after reading this latest news:
    https://onepeterfive.com/popes-new-book-features-preface-by-lgbt-gender-theory-activist/

  16. GregB says:

    The Church as field hospital metaphor is getting tired and worn out. If the Church is a field hospital, then it is being run by Dr. Feelgood. Instead of fixing broken arms and legs people are being given painkillers and having broken arms and legs being left untreated and called the new normal.

  17. Gabriel Syme says:

    Gerard Plourde,

    I am puzzled about the Society’s rejection of the reconciliation offered by Pope Benedict.

    When Bishop Fellay arrived to sign the agreement which had been made, he found that it had been altered at the last minute to include a required complete assent to the ambiguous Vatican II documents. (I have heard it said that Pope Benedict himself was not responsible for this).

    The ambiguity contains in parts of these documents is in large part what is responsible for the mess we are in today. +Fellay assents to ~95% of Vatican II (his own estimate) but will not assent to the ambiguous sections, or subsequent abuses implemented in the “spirit” of the council.

    Archbishop Pozzo of Ecclesia Dei has since acknowledged this ambiguity and publicly stated that full assent to the Vatican II documents was not required to be a Catholic.

    Despite +Pozzo’s intervention, it was recently reported that the Vatican II “bait and switch” technique was tried again in the latest talks with +Fellay and Francis. That is, a requirement to assent to all of Vatican II suddenly rearing its head at the very end, following amiable talks.

    What the conservative Prelates need to realise is that its not sufficient to insist on an orthodox interpretation of an ambiguous document. The document itself must be crystal clear, with no room for any interpretation other than an orthodox one. Any other situation means heterodoxy, confusion and double-speak will continue to thrive.

    I believe Bishop Athanasius Schneider has called for a syllabus of errors to be drawn up regarding Vatican II, with the Society involved in the analysis. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  18. Gabriel Syme says:

    Fr Reader,

    Oh yes, Lefebvre, that very obedient guy…

    I believe ++Lefebvre was very much pained by his disagreements with the authorities and brother Bishops at the time.

    I think history will ultimately show that we have much to thank his obstinacy for.

    Don’t forget he was not a lone voice. Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer of Campos (Brazil) was a collaborator of his.

    A couple of bold Bishops spoke out, while many others remained silent.

    Sounds kinda like the present day, huh?

  19. Gabriel Syme says:

    Bobbird,

    Why would JP II discipline SSPX and not the likes of Kung, Curren, etc? It is such a snarled plate of spaghetti, I hope someone can enlighten me.

    I think those were the days of trying to keep up appearances of unity and order. I think JP II perhaps had to tread carefully at times, or find himself being undermined and attacked from within.

    I think Benedict XVI later confirmed this situation, with his famous remark that “my authority stops at that door” (i.e the door to his office).

    This situation is because dissent (from the truth, not any particular Pope) and heterodoxy is so normal everywhere now, though of course there are many faithful parish priests fighting this – and taking the flak for it.

    It is so common these days, to hear of Bishops announcing they will not speak against (e.g.) gay marriage. It is so common to see surveys showing that most Catholics are ignorant of, or openly reject, what the Church teaches. It so common, in ordinary parish Churches, to hear stuff like “sisters and brothers” and references to God in the feminine, or to encounter needless battalions of EMHCs.

    Things are so far advanced in this regard, that I think that many clergy and likely most lay people do not even realise there is anything amiss with this kind of thing. Whereas, for my Grandmother, a Bishop publicly announcing that he will not do his duty, or hearing the Holy Ghost referred to as “she”, would have had an effect like a grenade going off.

    I think JP II and Benedict had worked hard to maintain a public face of a unified Church, while trying to get a handle on things behind the scenes. No doubt in an effort to avoid in-fighting and panic, and to stop the enemies of the Church (liberals, media etc) from smelling blood. But even these Popes themselves are not above question, participating in ill-conceived ecumenical ventures which obscure the identity of *The* Church.

    Well, the appearances of unity and order are well and truly down the pan now and the real situation in the Church is increasingly in the open.

    You mention the SSPX. When Francis was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he told the Argentine Government that the SSPX was Catholic, so their Priests could get visas to work in the Country. Yet, while he has unquestionably dealt reasonably with them as Pope, there is still no canonical recognition.

    And so the politics and factionalism which hamstring the mission of the Church today are as clear as daylight.

  20. Fr_Sotelo says:

    If Bishop Fellay really wanted to bring a serious voice to these disputes within the Church, he long ago should have accepted the paternal welcome of Benedict XVI, who instead was rebuffed and had to inform us that the SSPX exercises “no legitimate ministry” in the Catholic Church.

    Whatever wise and spiritual counsel he wishes to impart to the rest of us, now rings hollow, as far as I am concerned. “You can’t dodge the draft, and have a right to complain about how the war is being fought.”

  21. catholictrad says:

    To those who keep asking about Archbishop Lefebvre’s and Bishop Fellay’s “obedience”, I’ll remind you that none of use owes any obedience to error. The SSPX have been ready to accept a seat at the table long ago, but the agreements always require that they sign on to the reasonably objectionable statements in some of the documents of the Vatican II Council. There is no good reason why they should have to adhere to documents that even Pope Paul VI deemed “pastoral” and not dogmatic. The past 50 years of massive destruction in the Church has shown Lefebvre to have been correct and most of his points. I don’t see any difference between him and Cardinal Ottaviani who predicted and rejected the “fruit” of the council, whose full throated rejection of the New Mass is fully reproduced at EWTN, (https://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/reformof.htm)

  22. Dan says:

    “You can’t dodge the draft, and have a right to complain about how the war is being fought.” The SSPX in my view are fighting the war on the front lines. They refuse to surrender and will not back down one step no matter the bullets flying at them and the grenades at their feet. SSPX puts their money where their mouth is, they say what they believe clearly, then they actually live it out. That is more than can be said for many of us.
    catholictrad is right that “no obedience is owed to error”
    I would not be calling the SSPX or Fellay in particular draft dodgers unless I could show that my name was one of the 156 on the Correctio.
    The sad truth is that to many priests and faithful alike cower in the corner waiting for the biological option to take effect rather than actually stand up and fight the war or even acknowledge there is one. They are afraid that people will even learn the term ad orientem because then they might have to stand up to the head of the ccw and defend why we should all face the Lord. And can you imagine the humiliation that would be faced if you asked someone to kneel before the Christ while they receive Holy Communion?
    For many there is a lot of talk with no action while the Choir sings “The sound of Silence” during the recessional hymn.
    I am grateful for this blog and to all of those that are taking action. My prayers go out to all of those fighting the war through prayers and action.

  23. Ave Crux says:

    @GabrielSyme: you have summed up the issues and history extremely well. These are the issues and facts as we also came to know them over the years.

    While we are now blessed with several “regularized” traditional options in our area of the country, in the early years of the Traditional response to the chaos following Vatican II, all that many of us had was SSPX to help keep our faith and sanity. The desert and absolute absence of tradition outside of SSPX was frightful and absolute back then.

    I met Archbishop Lefebvre in the late 1970’s, early 80’s, and would like to share an account he gave of a discussion he had with Pope John Paul II.

    First, I would also like to observe that I have never in my entire life met an individual so angelically meek and gentle, so manifestly virtuous and sanctified, one whose purity shown from his face (he was radiant), and whose self-control and self-possession were evident in every aspect of his human nature.

    Those who try to portray him as a disobedient rogue full of anger are not talking about the Lefebvre of history. I believe he will be vindicated one day.

    When he spoke of the Church, the crisis of Faith and the devastation in the Church’s liturgical life, it was with such love, such evident heartbroken sorrow that it was clear he acted not from bitter zeal (he never once spoke with anger or agitation in these matters), but as one who was sharing and carrying in his heart this great Passion of Christ being renewed in His Church.

    It was clear he was a man whose very soul was one with the Church, and who took dead seriously – with a deep sense of responsibility to future generations – the heavy mandate of his Bishopric to preserve and pass on the Catholic Faith as he had received it in the midst of a Church divided internally by enemies within who clearly wanted to destroy Her.

    All that being said concerning his character, so as hopefully to prevent anyone from rashly judging his actions, I’d like to share the following anecdote which he related in the early 1980s and which I have never forgotten.

    He explained that he met Pope John Paul II while at a gathering in Rome. I don’t remember the exact circumstances now but apparently they were talking in the midst of the gathering where Cardinals were also present.

    Pope John Paul II asked him “What is it that you are seeking?”

    Archbishop Lefebvre relates that he replied “Your Holiness, what we ask is that the traditional Mass be given freedom once again.” He relates that the Pope indicated a readiness to work with him toward this end.

    Apparently, however, there was a Cardinal standing nearby overhearing the conversation (eavesdropping?). The Cardinal immediately approached and intervened: “No, Your Holiness! They use that Mass as a battle flag; you must not permit it!”

    Lefebvre relates how at that moment Pope John Paul II raised both of his hands in the air and backed off as though realizing he was in dangerous territory, leaving Lefebvre standing there with no further recourse.

    Commenting on this experience, Archbishop Lefebvre said he believed Pope John Paul II was a good man, but weak in the face of such a toxic environment in Rome, opposed in every way to Tradition, leaving him powerless to do what he personally had no objection to.

    Lefebvre ultimately acted as he did because as his own health weakened, Rome repeatedly postponed the Consecration of the Bishop they had “promised” for the Society.

    He told them “You are waiting until I die! And then you will give them nothing! How can I abandon so many dedicated seminarians, so many families and members of the Faithful?”

    Lefebvre was a man of the Church who knew firsthand She was under the control of Her enemies. He will one day be proved right in every way.

  24. Andrew_81 says:

    With all due respect to Fr Sotelo and Gerard, you are welcome to have a negative opinion about the SSPX, but you are not welcome to your own history.

    One of you insists that because the SSPX “rejected” the “offer” we had to be reminded that they had “no legitimate ministry.” In fact, that statement was from the nullification if the excommunications, well before the doctrinal discussions of 2009-11. The “offer” was in 2012.

    And if you did not simply take the rumors from 2012,but look at precisely what happened, you would see that events transpired much like Gabriel suggests, the Society was given a text to amend to their liking, they thought the had an agreement on that doctrinal declaration, which would have been the foundation of some later approval, but at the last minute, they were told they had to accept the original text, without the amendments that had previously been agreed to. That was the Pope’s prerogative, but certainly colors that naive, and incorrect assessment that the SSPX “rejected” an agreement.

    In short there was never any “agreement” for the SSPX to “reject”.

    Personally, I’m glad the 2012 events went as they did, because it protected Pope Benedict from many trials from the enemies of the SSPX, and also protected the SSPX from what happened to the Franciscans of the Immaculate, setting up a situation far more likely to unify all us traddies.

  25. Vincent says:

    I’m not commenting at anyone in particular, but the SSPX is less like those who dodge the draft and more like the airborne divisions. Like them or loathe them (and I have my problems with them) they’re like the paratroopers who went in before D-Day, dropped into hostile territory; they can only fight their way out with no support. It’s no surprise that they therefore feel somewhat embattled, because frankly, they’ve had to take the flak from both sides for 50 years. Let’s not forget that Archbishop Lefebvre’s name is literally written into the stones of St Peter’s Basilica.

    I seriously doubt that Bishop Fellay’s signature on this document is the end of the ‘reconciliation’ under Francis. Fellay has been publicly criticising Pope Francis for years without it apparently making any difference. Heaven will sort this out in its own good time.

  26. HighMass says:

    Gabriel Syme, are so very correct, I tried to write a response to Fr.Readers comment about Archbishop Lefebvre. As if there have not been disobedient Clerics from the progressive camp…

    wake up

  27. JuliB says:

    What clarity in his words! How refreshing.

  28. Fr. Reader says:

    @Gabriel Syme
    @HighMass
    Thank you for your answers.
    Perhaps God gave a big mission to Lefebvre, but at the end (perhaps again) he was weak, and did not trust God enough when he knew his time was passing (“You are waiting until I die!) and disobeyed the Church.
    We cannot thank him for that. Perhaps we might thank him for other reasons, but not for that. In the same way that we read the texts of Tertullian, but we don’t thank him because he “disobeyed” the Church.
    “Archbishop Lefebvre said he believed Pope John Paul II was a good man, but weak”. Well we might well say the same about Lefebvre, perhaps his faith (not necessarily his will) was weak. He trusted more the power given to him by God than God himself (and his “self-control and self-possession” and radiante face as we read above).
    God might have prepared something else, that Lefebvre obeys and then, because of that, he is confessor of the faith, and then he and the Church receive the grace needed to fulfill the mission entrusted to him, and things might be better now. But he did not do that.
    And it might be that his love for the liturgy did not include celebrating it in communion with Peter.

    All this is pure speculation from my side, I am not saying that things were like this, I am saying “perhaps”.

    @HighMass
    The fact that others disobey, or that they disobey more, or even that they disobey absolutely, does not justify a disobedience, even small.

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  30. Ave Crux says:

    @Fr. Reader: a man who lives his entire life for God, who accomplished extraordinary things in the missions for the Catholic Faith and was widely respected throughout the Church for his virtue, sound judgment, and exceptional loyalty as a son of the Church, also has an extremely delicate conscience.

    It was for all these reasons he was called upon by the Holy Father to be on the Commission to help prepare the schema for the Second Vatican Council — which he then saw jettisoned by the Modernists almost immediately after the Council was convened, leaving the Council Fathers with virtually no blueprint on how to proceed.

    These were schema that had taken several years to prepare at the request of the Holy Father, and their immediate rejection by the Modernists was how the Modernists took control of the Council.

    Archbishop Lefebvre was by no means weak; he was informed about the treachery taking place at the heart of the Church.

    Up until the Consecrations in 1988 he was anguished by what he was witnessing and made many public and private appeals to Rome.

    After the Consecrations, he attested to the fact that his soul was flooded with the peace and certitude that he had finally fulfilled his duties as a Bishop to pass on the Faith to future generations, and to provide for the ordination of the priestly vocations which God had confided to his care.

    One of his last statements shortly before his death concerning the Consecrations was “Now I can die in peace….”

    A man of delicate conscience — which Archbishop Lefebvre certainly was — would not be left mistaken by God in so serious a matter. He did not act from weakness, but with great courage during a time of great crisis when he (and Tradition) was opposed by almost the entire Hierarchy.

    Weakness, on the other hand, is what we are now witnessing in the Church, when no one, no one, in the hierarchy will declare anathema the many apostasies and betrayals now happening in the highest places within the Church.

    We know from the discernment of spirits that a virtuous soul cannot find peace following grave sin. I know I certainly can’t and I am certain that Archbishop Lefebvre had far greater sanctity to his account than any of us.

    Knowing as he did that the Pope was under constraint from those who clearly wish to destroy the Church, it can ultimately be seen that he was bound in conscience not to obey enemies of the Church who brought to bear their will in this matter in so many destructive ways of which you and I are not informed as outsiders, and that they used the Holy Father to accomplish their designs.

    No one is bound to obey destructive and evil intentions and orders. It is to Archbishop Lefebvre that we owe everything and anything that is left of Tradition…they are all offspring of his fidelity.

    He will one day be vindicated by God and His Church.

  31. Ave Crux says:

    Further to above… Archbishop Lefebvre explained that he prayed continually to God for a sign that he should act.

    He said the Prayer Celebration at Assisi was the fulminating point in his decision.

    He explained that when he saw altars being desecrated with Buddhas and all religions aligned beside the Holy Father with equal standing, he believed the time had come to make a filial act of resistance to such manifest destruction of the Church’s mission as mandated by Christ.

    Today we keep saying “Why don’t our Cardinals and Bishops DO something??”

    Everything good Cardinals and Bishops say and everything they do is suppressed, neutralized and marginalized leaving a true restoration of the Church paralyzed and impossible. The Modernists have our Church in a stranglehold.

    Archbishop Lefebvre saw a crowning Triumph of betrayal taking place at the Assisi with the desecration of Catholic altars, a gathering which effectively repudiated the mission given the Church by our Lord to preach the Gospel and baptize all nations in His name, rendering that mandate now irrelevant and archaic in the eyes of the world.

    He believed,faced with this monstrosity, that the time had come to DO something, as mandated when consecrated a Bishop, to provide in some way for the continuance of the ages-old Catholic faith, not the errors perpetrated in the name of Vatican II, by assuring the ordination of those in Priestly formation in his seminaries and those who would follow.

    We cannot know the private conscience of the good Archbishop. However we do know from his entire life history that he was a devoted son of the Church and defender of the Papacy.

    When he finally acted in his last hours he did not act out of character. God will manifest one day whether his actions were not indeed justified.