October 1976 - Superior General's Letter #11
The Society's reaction in view of the arbitrary condemnation. There is no compromise possible between Truth and Error. Mgr. Lefebvre makes his point of view clear on the topic of liturgical reform, the Church's changed attitude towards communism and religious liberty.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Since the appearance of our last letter, at Eastertime, so many more events have marked out of the history of our work which has since become a center of universal interest: yet another proof, if such was needed, that the people of our time can still be stirred by religious problems and that these problems have a much more important impact on our society than is generally believed.
At the beginning of these events a great many among you have shared their sorrow, their sympathy, and sometimes their worries with us. All have assured us of their fervent prayers. We have received thousands of letters and telegrams and it has been impossible for us to reply to each individually. You will find, therefore, in these lines the expression of our profound gratitude. May they.
Arbitrary and tyrannical condemnation
To help you make those persons who know little about us understand the reasons for our attitude, we insist on two things which seem to us to be very important: the disciplinary aspect and the theological aspect, or the aspect of Faith.
One does not condemn without judgment and one cannot judge if the cause cannot be given a hearing in the forms which assure its perfect and free defense before a tribunal. But we have been condemned without judgment, without being able to plead our cause, and without appearing before any tribunal. From this arbitrary and tyrannical condemnation of the Society of Saint Pius X and its Seminary follow the interdiction of Ordinations and the suspension which concerns us personally. Considering the evident nullity of the first sentence, we do not see how the sentences which are its follow-up can be valid. That is why we are not taking any account of the decisions of an authority which abuses its power.
If it was only a question of a juridical problem and if the unjust sentences only concerned us personally, we would submit in a penitential spirit. However, to this juridical aspect is attached a much more serious motive, that of the safe-guard of our Faith.
Compromise between Truth and Error
In fact, these decisions constrain us to submit ourselves to a new orientation in the Church, an orientation which is the result of an “historic compromise” between Truth and Error.
This “historic compromise” was brought about in the Church by the acceptance of Liberal ideas which were put into operation after the Council by the men of the Liberal Church who succeeded in taking the reins of power in the Church.
It is put into concrete form by the dialogue
- with the Protestants which has led to the liturgical reform and to the decrees concerning inter-communion and mixed marriages.
- with Communists has resulted in the giving over of entire nations to Socialism or to Marxism, such as Cuba, Viet Nam, and Portugal. Soon it will be Spain, if not Italy
- with Freemasons has concluded in liberty of worship, liberty of conscience, and freedom of thought which means the suffocation of Truth and morality by error and immorality.
It is in this betrayal of the Church that they would like us to collaborate by bringing us into line with this orientation which has so often been condemned by the Successors of Peter, and by preceding Councils.
We refuse this compromise in order to be faithful to our Faith, our Baptism, and our unique King, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is why we will continue to ordain those whom Providence leads to our Seminary, after having given them a formation which is completely in conformity with the doctrine of the Church, and faithful to the Magisterium of the Successors of Peter.
Phenomenal growth of the Society
This year we should have fourteen new priests and we are accepting thirty-five new seminarians, of whom four will be postulants to the brotherhood. We have the great pleasure of welcoming several Italians and Belgians. All of these candidates are on the retreat which starts the academic year.
During this time our priories are being slowly fitted out. Three of these will become active during 1977. We are being asked for everywhere. The groups of faithful Catholics are growing considerably and the priests are not yet numerous enough.
We are greatly counting on your spiritual and material support to permit us to continue the most necessary work for the renovation of souls, the formation of true priests, not to mention that of brothers and nuns.
On 26 September last, two brothers made their profession and two received the habit, while on 29 September we had the pleasure of receiving the profession of Sister Mary Michael, who is of Australian origin and is the first nun of the Society, as well as the blessing of the habit of three American postulants. Eight new women presented themselves to the postulancy on 20 September last.
Fortunately, we are not alone in maintaining the holy Tradition of the Church in this domain. The novitiates of men and women multiply in spite of the trials which they are suffering from those who should rather bless them.
With the help of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we hope that the end of this persecution that we are unjustly suffering is forth-coming. God will not abandon His Church even if he allows Her to suffer the Passion of Her Divine Founder.
That in every domain we may make Our Lord Jesus Christ to reign!
This is our aim.
May God bless you by the mediation of Our Lady of the Rosary.
† Marcel Lefebvre
Feast of the Holy Rosary
7 October 1976