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Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre
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Author:  John Lane [ Thu May 24, 2012 2:33 am ]
Post subject:  Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre

Re: ... 2-2012.htm

The second part of Fr. Celier's article will be interesting. Much of what he wrote about the Archbishop in the first part was true, but part of it was not. Specifically, the statement that Archbishop Lefebvre expelled all the sedevacantists from the SSPX. He simply didn't. It isn't a factual statement. Despite the strong statement he released in November 1979, Archbishop Lefebvre only ever expelled from the Society two priests for public sedevacantism, and never any priest for private sedevacantism.

Fr. Egregyi, a simple and direct man, took the public statement at face value and resigned. The District Superior of France raced up to Belgium and explained to him that there was no need for him to leave, the statement was for public consumption only. Fr. Egregyi couldn't get his head around that and left anyway, but the story illustrates the real nature of what went on.

Fr. Belmont, a seminarian at the time, was one of the two priests expelled. That is, he was told he had to leave, but was kept in the seminary for another year, ordained, and then he was released.

These are very strange acts for a man who believes that sedevacantism is schismatic. The reality is, he didn't think it was schismatic, and this is clear from his numerous public statements raising the possibility as having probability, and also his own suggestion in 1986 that he might adopt the view himself. The series of statements on the New Mass and the pope question that he made in the period 1979-1982 constitute an abberration from his usual views. And the consternation this abberration caused amongst traditional Catholics was clear evidence of this. Both the Archbishop's friends and enemies reacted strongly. What was the cause of this (temporary) shift? John Paul II. And what was the cause of the reversion of the Archbishop to his earlier, hard-line views? John Paul II - specifically, the new Code of Canon Law, and the various doctrinal statements of JP2.

Read this for a a clear insight into the scandal of the new Code:

The famous "episcopal manifesto" - a joint letter from Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer to JP2 - indicated the turning point. JP2 was being put on notice, as Paul VI had been.

In 1985, John Paul II called an extraordinary synod in Rome, for the purpose of reaffirming and extending the revolution of Vatican II. Bishop de Castro Mayer wrote a text which would be a joint letter from him and Archbishop Lefebvre denouncing the synod. De Castro Mayer was by this time a sedevacantist but waited to declare it until Archbishop Lefebvre and he could do so jointly. Archbishop Lefebvre continued to hesitate, but was moving to do so. An airline pilot at the time, Arai Daniele, who frequently flew between Brazil and Europe, was used as a courier by the two bishops. He took the text to Archbishop Lefebvre, and standing at his desk watched him read it, and make a single correction, then hand it back with the instruction that he was happy and a final copy could be made for joint signing and release. The correction? two words were lined through, and replaced.

"If the Synod under your authority perseveres in this direction, you will no longer be the Holy Father" became, "If the Synod under your authority perseveres in this direction, you will no longer be the Good Shepherd." :) Here's the text:

One can see from this event, which I have first hand from Arai Daniele, what the Archbishop meant a few months later (April 1986) when he said, "For twenty years, Msgr. de Castro-Mayer and I preferred to wait; we said it was more prudent and more in conformity with Providence to wait because it is so important, so tragic, when it is not just a bishop, archbishop or cardinal, but the man in the chair of Peter. It is so important, so grave, so sad, that we prefer to wait until Providence gives us such evidence, that it is no longer possible to refuse to say that the Pope is a heretic. So, to say that I think we are waiting for the famous meeting in Assisi, if God allows it!"

Archbishop Lefebvre did not think sedevacantism is essentially schismatic.

If those who keep repeating the line that Archbishop Lefebvre expelled all sedevacantists wish to be taken seriously, let them state the names. This should be simple enough for them, since there were few enough priests in the Society at the time.

Finally, what did Archbishop Lefebvre mean when he said it may be possible to interpret Vatican II in the light of tradition? "They want to make the Council part of tradition but my conception of tradition is a discriminatory factor which distinguishes what in the Council conforms with tradition and what goes against it." I think that's sufficiently clear.

Author:  John Lane [ Sat May 26, 2012 6:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre

Part II has now been published: ... .htm#part2

Author:  Cristian Jacobo [ Sat May 26, 2012 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre

John Lane wrote:

There is something odd... this was already part I, or am I wrong?

Author:  John Lane [ Sat May 26, 2012 12:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre

Yes, it's in the same file - they appended it to the original Part I. Although, when I read it, I thought "I've already read this" and wondering if they had already added it accidentally when they published Part I. Odd.

"Part 2: published 5-25-2012"

Author:  trent13 [ Mon May 28, 2012 12:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre

First, I was surprised by their un-sourced accusations of sedevacantists using quotes from Lefebvre to say what Lefebvre would have done in the given situation. Bishop Sanborn's most recent newsletter makes the point (made by Fr. Cekada before) that the problem is Archbishop Lefebvre said many things, at times contradictory things, so either side could use the Archbishop to support their cause.

To my knowledge, no sedevacantist I know follows the "WWALD?" ("What Would Archbishop Lefebvre do?" and the fact that the interpretation of the archbishop's words are of such disproportionate import to what the SSPX is going to do now seems a little scary, dare I say, cultish.

In so far as using the archbishop's quotes can be an aid to get people to admit of the probability of sedevacantism, especially under the current circumstances, given the greater number of people in the SSPX who may be questioning their fidelity to the SSPX hierarchy, I think that can be a useful tool. On the other hand, I have no doubt it is for this very reason that Fr. was inclined to write this article - an essay form of "hey, you can't use our guy against us! He's our guy!"

Second, I thought it was absurd for Fr. to make the claim that only the SSPX has the right to interpret the Archbishop's words, as if though in the +Lefebvre's words there is something on the equivalent to Divine Revelation that requires authoritative interpretation and the SSPX is the only ones who have the authority to interpret. I was under the impression the SSPX was Catholic, no Lefebvre-ist.

Third, it is even more absurd to make the bold claim that the only the SSPX has the right to interpret when, from the opposing letters of the theological heads of the SSPX (the weight of the three bishops as leaders in the SSPX cannot be discounted, regardless of the fact that +Fellay is the SG) it is obvious there is no consensus on what the Archbishop believed.

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