Archbp. Marcel Lefebvre remains translated and VIDEO of Pontifical Mass

On 24 September 2020 the mortal remains of Arcbp. Marcel Lefebvre were translated from the SSPX seminary at Écône to the church of Cœur Immaculé de Marie. It was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the seminary.

There is a rather stunning video of the Pontifical Mass at the Throne celebrated on this occasion. Under the video, on the YouTube page there is a helpful breakdown of the moments of the Mass with links.

I learned of Lefebvre’s death in an interesting way.  That morning I was opening up our office (the quondam Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“) because I was the first to arrive.  As I was switching on lights and machines, the doorbell rang.   Thinking it was our secretary, who might not have the key handy, I opened the door to find… then-Card. Ratzinger.  He gave me the news that Lefebvre had died. He had just received a phone call about his death and stopped at our office on his way in to the Congregation.  I got on the phone to our own Cardinal right away.

Here is a shot of Lefebvre’s memorial card, which I have kept these years.  I keep it on a shelf with other cards among some reliquaries over my private altar, to remind me to pray for him.  He was an amazing missionary and churchman in his day and he died before his  excommunication could be lifted, as surely it would have been.

In your charity, you might pray for him too.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rhig090v says:

    Father Z,

    I have heart it argued that the Archbishop could not have died excommunicated given that he received last rites which would have included an absolution, the validity of which given by the law for his being in danger of death, with the same law granting any confessor the authority to lift excommunications. Is there any truth to this?

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    he died before his excommunication could be lifted

    I’m not sure that this is technically true, to agree with rhig090v.

    Archbishop Lefebvre confessed just before his death to the Dioicesan Parish Priest where he was at the time, and he was given given the absolution and anointment in the last rites that provide forgiveness of all sins (and this is indeed the only circumstance that a simple priest can forgive sins of excommunication), and so he was able to licitly receive Holy Communion from the Priest as a Catholic in good standing with Holy Church.

    There was no administrative lifting of the excommunication, but in his final days there was a Sacramental one.

  3. Pingback: Archbp. Marcel Lefebvre remains translated and VIDEO of Pontifical Mass | Catholicism Pure & Simple

  4. CasaSanBruno says:

    His relics were used in an exorcism to good effect recently. How the demon shrieked when he Archbishop appeared to him.

  5. oledocfarmer says:

    Gentlefolk —

    God exists outside of time. That bogus excommunication — which wasn’t valid in the first place because the Archbishop was acting under what he reasonably believed to be emergency conditions — is of no account. God holds all the cards.

  6. oledocfarmer says:

    Let’s never forget the moving story of the Widow, her husband who had committed suicide, and…… St John Vianney. God holds all the cards.

  7. It is true that God holds all the cards, but He also created us to be social creatures, and to receive information from the outside world through our senses. Since Archbishop Lefebvre was publicly declared excommunicated (and I will leave room for the possibility that the excommunication was not valid), it would have been nice if he could have had that declaration publicly rescinded. It is simply not stand-up to publicly impose a punishment, then privately retract it.

  8. RosaryRose says:

    Anita Moore says “It is simply not stand-up to publicly impose a punishment, then privately retract it“.

    Absolutely! I firmly believe the Archbishop will be publicly cleared one day.

    But he couldn’t be publicly cleared, could he? Not clearing him publicly has caused a rift. The first time someone snapped at me about the SSPX was in 1984 when my dainty little boss lady at my Catholic college snapped, “They’re in SCHISM!” It was almost a Gollum impression. Very uncharacteristic of her docile demeanor.

    Archbishop LeFebvre couldn’t be cleared because there was a push for “making Mass more meaningful” with guitars and felt banners, dancing Masses, clown Masses, environmental Masses, BLM Masses, Masses to accept Sodomy, all which lead souls away from focusing on the True Presence on our altars. No longer focused on Christ, perhaps the laity will accept sodomy, contraception, abortion and if they don’t accept these things, the laity won’t have the knowledge and fortitude to argue them intelligently.

    The good leaders, both ordained and lay, and millions of prayers and sacrifices, are opening up our eyes to the richness of our faith that we left. People are starving for the truth.

    This past week several Catholic sites were teaching about the Ember Days. The SSPX never stopped practicing Ember Days.

    Mull that over a minute. If Archbishop LeFebvre had been publicly cleared, the majority Catholics would know about Ember Days. The majority of Catholics would know about most of our practices that have been lost, because the stigma of “Traditionalist” would have been lifted along with the excommunication.

    If the McCarrick report ever gets published, some Catholics will lose hope and their faith, other Catholics will demand a reform and the TLM.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Catholics have feared the SSPX like a boogey man, when I can tell you, the SSPX are Catholics who have waited at the steps of St Peters Basilica for the rest of us to return home. I have many dear friends who attend the SSPX chapel exclusively. (Go ahead, “They’re in SCHISM!!”)

    Meanwhile please support our good leaders ordained and lay – in prayer, sacrifice and yes, monetary contributions for this critical battle for souls.

    Arm yourself with knowledge and fortitude. Be Samwise to Fr Z’s Frodo.

    Although, he’s always seemed more like a Gandalf to me.

  9. jthall95 says:

    Casa San Bruno,

    How could someone have obtained relics or “momentos” of Archbishop Lefebvre to use in an exorcism? For one thing, the only priests I imagine who would access to them are priests of the SSPX. However, how could the priests of the SSPX perform exorcisms when exorcisms require the explicit permission of the local ordinary to conduct? Unless the local bishop allowed the SSPX do one?

  10. NOCatholic says:

    “Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Catholics have feared the SSPX like a boogey man, when I can tell you, the SSPX are Catholics who have waited at the steps of St Peters Basilica for the rest of us to return home.”

    Dear RosaryRose, whatever else is true, faithful Catholics who are in full communion with the Holy Father are home, no matter which form of the Latin Rite they prefer, both of which, the Extraordinary Form according to the 1962 Missal, and the Ordinary Form according to the 2002 Missal, are fully approved by the Church.

    As for the SSPX, their situation is — complicated. The best explanation, and the most friendly I have found from non-traditionalist sources, is this Catholic Answers interview with an SSPX spokesman.

    As for Archbishop Lefebvre, may he rest in peace. I sincerely hope his excommunication was lifted at his death.

  11. CasaSanBruno says:


    An exorcist never works alone. When an exorcist can, he asks priests to assist him to help with the responses to the Ritual, much like a Mass server does. When there is no priest available, the exorcist provides the responses himself, as in the TLM offered alone. The lay assistants provide help as legal witnesses, prayer support, and physical restraint.

    In the case referred to above, an SSPX assisted (didn’t do the exorcism) and had the relics on his person. In that case, the afflicted person was brought to the diocesan exorcist by the SSPX priest.

  12. robtbrown says:

    Let’s face it: The Ordinary Form refers to vernacular liturgy. The Extraordinary Form refers to Latin liturgy. The issue is Latin compared to the vernacular and ad orientem compared to versus populum celebration.

    According to Veterum Sapientia Latin establishes a bond with the Apostolic See. Nb: Apostolic See includes tradition and refers to more than just the present pope: Bl Piux IX described himself: La tradition c’est moi.

    So the mess should be apparent. The SSPX has been bound to the Apostolic See but not necessarily to the reigning pope, beginning with His Incompetence St Paul VI. And the vernacular Church has been bound to whatever reigning pope but not necessarily to the Apostolic See.

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