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Archbishop Lefebvre's Fundamental Principle
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Author:  John Lane [ Sun May 25, 2008 10:15 am ]
Post subject:  Archbishop Lefebvre's Fundamental Principle

The following is the key-note to the entire post-Conciliar career of Archbishop Lefebvre.

"It appears to us much more certain that the faith taught by the Church over twenty centuries cannot contain error than that there is absolute certainty that the Pope really is the pope. Heresy, schism, ipso facto excommunication, and the invalidity of the election are all potential reasons why a Pope was never really the pope or should cease to be the pope. In such a case, clearly a very exceptional one, the Church would find herself in a situation similar to that which she experiences after the decease of a Sovereign Pontiff. For, in a word, a very serious problem presents itself to the conscience and the faith of all Catholics since the beginning of the papacy of Paul VI. How is that a Pope, the true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, could preside over the destruction of the Church, the most profound and extensive in her history, in such a short space of time, something which no heresiarch has ever succeeded in doing? To this question there will one day have to be a reply." Declaration by Mgr Lefebvre to Figaro, reproduced in Monde et Vie no 264, for 27 August 1976. This was shortly after he was suspended a divinis (in July 1976) for ordaining priests contrary to the order of Paul VI.

According to Fr. Anglés, the Archbishop remarked that the suspension meant that he had been forbidden from celebrating the New Mass. :)

Author:  John Lane [ Sun May 25, 2008 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Archbishop Lefebvre's Fundamental Principle

Earlier, at the first Mass of Fr. Roch in Geneva, 4 July 1976, the Archbishop declared:

It is for that that Ecône remains in being, it is for that that Econe exists, because we believe that what the Catholics have taught, what the Popes have taught, what the Councils have taught for twenty centuries, we cannot possibly abandon. We cannot possibly change our faith: we have our Credo, and we will keep it till we die. We cannot change our Credo, we cannot change the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we cannot change our Sacraments, changing them into human works, purely human, which no longer carry the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is because, in fact, we feel and are convinced that in the last fifteen years something has happened in the Church, something has happened in the Church which has introduced into the highest summits of the Church, and into those who ought to defend our faith, a poison, a virus, which makes them adore the golden calf of this age, adore, in some sense, the errors of this age. To adopt the world, they wish to adopt also the errors of the world; by opening on to the world, they wish also to open themselves to the errors of the world, those errors which say, for example, that all religions are of equal worth. We cannot accept that, those errors which say that the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ is now an impossibility and should no longer be sought. We do not accept that. Even if the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ is difficult, we want it, we seek it, we say every day in the Our Father: "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." If His will were done here below as it is done in heaven - imagine what it would be like if God's will were really done here below as it is done in heaven: it would be paradise on earth! That is the reign of Our Lord which we seek, which we desire with all our strength, even if we never achieve it; and, because God has asked that from us, even if we have to shed our blood for that kingdom we are ready. And that is what the priests are whom we form at Econe, priests who have the Catholic faith, priests such as have always been formed.

Author:  John Lane [ Sun May 25, 2008 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Archbishop Lefebvre's Fundamental Principle

And also the letter of 17 July, 1976, in which Archbishop Lefebvre tells Paul VI directly, subtly, but clearly that he doubts his claim:

To persevere in that direction is to pursue the destruction of the Church. Your Holiness will easily understand that we cannot collaborate in so calamitous a purpose, which we should do were we to close our seminaries.

May the Holy Ghost deign to give Your Holiness the grace of the gift of fortitude, so that you may show in unequivocal acts that you are truly and authentically the Successor of Peter, proclaiming that there is no salvation except in Jesus Christ and in His Mystical Spouse, the Holy Church, Catholic and Roman.

Author:  John Lane [ Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Archbishop Lefebvre's Fundamental Principle

In his reflections on the tenth anniversary of the 1988 episcopal consecrations at Econe, Bishop Tissier produced a note written by Arhcbishop Lefebvre in 1984. This is the text:
The current state of the papacy renders insignificant the difficulties over jurisdiction, disobedience and apostolicity, because these notions suppose the reign of a pope Catholic in his faith and government. Without entering into consideration of the consequences of an heretical, schismatic or non-existent pope, which would lead to interminable theoretical discussions, in conscience could we not and ought we not, after the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Carton Law which clearly affirms the new Church, and after his scandalous declarations concerning Luther, now affirm that Pope John Paul II is not Catholic? We say no more, but we say no less. We had waited for the measure to become full, and it is so henceforth.

And the reflections also contained the following exchange:
Bishop Tissier de Mallerais: Yes, because it has to do with the divine constitution of the Church, as all Tradition teaches: there can be no legitimate bishop without the pope, without at least the implicit consent of the pope, by divine right head of the episcopal body. The answer is less evident; in fact, it is not at all evident...unless you were to suppose...

Fideliter: Your Excellency, certainly you are not a sedevacantist?

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais: No, in fact. But it must be recognized that if we could affirm that, for reasons of heresy, schism, or some defect in the secret election, the pope was not really pope, if we could pronounce such a judgment, the answer to the delicate question of our legitimacy would be clear. The trouble, if I can so express it, is that neither Archbishop Lefebvre nor myself were or are sedevacantists.

Fideliter: Yet Archbishop Lefebvre was very reserved about the situation of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II.

Bishop Tissier de Mallerais: That is correct. He said more than once about these popes-about Paul VI from 1976, and about John Paul II, after the prayer meeting of religions at Assisi in 1986 - that he did not exclude the possibility that these popes were not popes, that one day the Church will have to examine their situation, that a future pope and his cardinals might have to pronounce the finding that these men had not been popes. But for himself, he preferred to consider them as popes. This supposes that he did not feel that he possessed sufficient knowledge of the pertinent facts nor the necessary power for making such a judgment. This is of critical importance to bear in mind.

The entire interview is premised on the notion that Paul VI and John paul II were doubtfully popes, making the "disobedience" of Arhcbishop Lefebvre certainly lawful.

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