Two Conflicting Mindsets I
have written before about the mindset of the Saintly Archbishop Lefebvre, providing quotes from him to show what his positions on various topics were. Accordistas believe that Bishop Fellay primarily shares the mindset of the Archbishop. The purpose of this article is to prove them wrong in their assumption.
I will compare some quotes from Archbishop Lefebvre to some quotes from Bishop Fellay regarding various topics and will let you all judge for yourselves just how much (or how little) Bishop Fellay’s mindset reflects that of the Archbishop’s.
“Islam accepts Jesus as a prophet and has great respect for Mary, and this certainly places Islam nearer to our religion than say, for instance, Judaism, which is far more distant from us. Islam was born in the 7th century and it has benefited to some degree from the Christian teachings of those days.
Judaism, on the other hand, is the heir to the system, which crucified our Lord. And the members of this religion, who have not converted to Christ, are those who are radically opposed to our Lord Jesus Christ. For them, there is no question whatever of recognizing our Lord. They are in opposition to the very foundation and existence of the Catholic faith on this subject. However, we cannot both be right. Either Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Lord and Savior or He is not. This is one case where there cannot be the slightest compromise without destroying the very foundation of Catholic faith.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, interview, 1978)
“. . . .most recently, the Pope has been into the synagogue of the Jews in Rome. How can the Pope pray with the enemies of Jesus Christ? These Jews know and say and believe that they are the successors of the Jews that killed Jesus Christ, and they continue to fight against Jesus Christ everywhere in the world. At the end of the Pope’s visit, the Jews sang a “hymn” that included the line “I believe with all my heart in the coming of the Messiah,” meaning they refuse Jesus as the Messiah, and the Pope had given permission for this denial of Christ to be sung in his presence, and he listened, with head bowed!” (Archbishop Lefebvre, talk on Assisi meeting, 1986)
“Anti-semitism has no place in our ranks.” (Bishop Fellay, in response to Bishop Williamson’s denial of the “holocaust”, 2009)
“The Jews are our elder brothers.” (Bishop Fellay, comment in “The Angelus”, 2009)
Do we see the difference here? Only one of the two sets of quotes above is in line with Church teaching, and it’s the quotes from the Archbishop. As St. John Chrysostom said:
“The synagogues of the Jews are the homes of idolatry and devils, even though they have no images in them [Sermon I:3; based on Jer. vii:11]. They are worse even than heathen circuses [Sermon I:3] The very idea of going from a church to a synagogue is blasphemous [Sermon II:3]; and to attend the Jewish Passover is to insult Christ. To be with the Jews on the very day they murdered Jesus is to ensure that on the Day of Judgment He will say ‘ Depart from Me: for you have had intercourse with my murderers’. – St. John Chrysostom, Eight Homilies Against the Jews
“We believe we can affirm, purely by internal and external criticism of Vatican II, i.e. by analyzing the texts and studying the Council’s ins and outs, that by turning its back on tradition and breaking with the Church of the past, it is a schismatic council.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Le Figaro, August 4, 1976)
“We consider as null…all the post-conciliar reforms, and all the acts of Rome accomplished in this impiety.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Joint Declaration with Bishop de Castro Mayer following Assisi, December 2, 1986)
“[Thanks to the doctrinal discussions with Rome] we see that many things which we would have condemned as being from the Council are in fact not from the Council” … and that: “The Pope says that the Council must be put within the great Tradition of the Church… These are statements we agree with, totally, absolutely.” (Bishop Fellay, CNS interview, May, 2012)
“The entire Tradition of the Catholic faith must be the criterion and the guide for understanding the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which in turn illuminates – i.e. deepens and further makes explicit– some aspects of the life and of the doctrine of the Church, implicitly present in her midst or not yet conceptually formulated.” (Bishop Fellay, 2012 Doctrinal Preamble)
Bishop Fellay has also said that he accepts “95%” of Vatican II. The Archbishop never made any such statement. So they differ in position here as well.
Vatican II Popes and Hierarchy
“We must not be afraid to affirm that the current Roman authorities, since John XXIII and Paul VI, have made themselves active collaborators of international Jewish Freemasonry and of world socialism. John Paul II is above all a communist-loving politician at the service of a world communism retaining a hint of religion. He openly attacks all of the anti-communist governments and does not bring, by his travels, any Catholic revival.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, “Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography” by Bishop Tissier, pp. 602-603)
“Rome has lost the Faith, my dear friends. Rome is in apostasy. These are not words in the air. It is the truth. Rome is in apostasy… They have left the Church… This is sure, sure, sure.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Retreat Conference, September 4, 1987)
“The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome are being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even in His Mystical Body here below… This is what has brought down upon our hearts persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. This Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work on the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the liberal theses of Vatican on Religious Liberty prove…” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Letter to the future Bishops, Aug 29, 1987)
“We have great expectations for the traditional apostolate, just as some important personages in Rome do, and the Holy Father himself.” (Bishop Fellay, DICI interview, June 2012)
”Despite the doctrinal differences that were still evident on the occasion of the theological talks held between 2009 and 2011, the Society of Saint Pius X does not forget that the Holy Father had the courage to recall the fact that the Traditional Mass had never been abrogated, and to do away with the canonical sanctions that had been imposed on its bishops following their consecration in 1988. It is not unaware of the opposition that these decisions have stirred up, obliging the pope to justify himself to the bishops of the whole world. The Society expresses its gratitude to him for the strength and the constancy that he has shown toward it in such difficult circumstances, and assures him of its prayers for the time that he wishes to devote from now on to recollection.” (Bishop Fellay, Press Release from Menzingen following the resignation of Benedict XVI, February 2013)
Again, Bishop Fellay doesn’t share the Archbishop’s position. The Archbishop did not hesitate to criticize the Vatican II hierarchy, whereas Bishop Fellay does not hesitate to praise them.
Negotiations with Modernist Rome
“What could be clearer? We must [according to Rome] henceforth obey and be faithful to the Conciliar Church, no longer to the Catholic Church. Right there is our whole problem: we are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church, the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong! That Conciliar Church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship… The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, Bishops, priests, or the faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Reflections on his suspension a divinis, July 29, 1976)
“If one day they shall excommunicate us because we remain faithful to these thesis, we shall consider ourselves excommunicated by Freemasonry.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, sermon given in 1978)
“On the other hand, we have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church, and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society.Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi; our own excommunication by a decree of Your Eminence or of another Roman Congregation would only be the irrefutable proof of this.We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last 25 years; we ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly.We believe in the One God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, and we will always remain faithful to His unique Spouse, the One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, letter to Cardinal Gantin, July 6, 1988)
“We would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects… Amongst the whole Roman curia, amongst all the world’s bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped. I would have been able to do nothing… [As for the Pope appointing conservative bishops] I don’t think it is a true return to Tradition. Just as in a fight when the troops are going a little too far ahead and one holds them back, so they are slightly putting the brakes on the impulse of Vatican II because the supporters of the council are going to far… the supposedly conservative bishops are wholly supportive of the council and of the liturgical reforms… No, all of that is tactics, which you have to use in any fight. You have to avoid excesses… [Asked about signs of benevolence to Tradition] There are plenty of signs showing us that what you are talking about is simply exceptional and temporary… So I do not think it is opportune to try contacting Rome, I think we must still wait. Wait, unfortunately, for the situation to get still worse on their side. But up till now, they do not want to recognize the fact… That is why what can look like a concession is in reality merely a maneuver to separate us from the largest number of faithful possible. This is the perspective in which they seem to be always giving a little more and even going very far. We must absolutely convince our faithful that it is no more than a maneuver, that it is dangerous to put oneself into the hands of the conciliar bishops and Modernist Rome. It is the greatest danger threatening our people. If we have struggled for twenty years to avoid the conciliar errors, it was not in order, now, to put ourselves into the hands of those professing these errors. (Archbishop Lefebvre, Interview, Fideliter, 1989)
“Eminence, even if you give us everything–a bishop, some autonomy from the bishops, the 1962 liturgy, allow us to continue our seminaries–we cannot work together because we are going in different directions. You are working to dechristianize society and the Church, and we are working to Christianize them.” (Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ratzinger, 1987)
“And we must not waver for one moment either in not being with those who are in the process of betraying us. Some people are always admiring the grass in the neighbor’s field. Instead of looking to their friends, to the Church’s defenders, to those fighting on the battlefield, they look to our enemies on the other side. “After all, we must be charitable, we must be kind, we must not be divisive, after all, they are celebrating the Tridentine Mass, they are not as bad as everyone says” —but THEY ARE BETRAYING US —betraying us! They are shaking hands with the Church’s destroyers. They are shaking hands with people holding modernist and liberal ideas condemned by the Church. So they are doing the devil’s work.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Address to his priests, Econe, 1990)
“Reading your letter one seriously wonders if you still believe that the visible Church with its seat in Rome is truly the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a Church horribly disfigured for sure from head to foot, but a Church which nevertheless still has for its head Our Lord Jesus Christ. One has the impression that you are so scandalised that you no longer accept that could still be true. It Benedict XVI still the legitimate pope for you? If he is, can Jesus Christ still speak through his mouth? If the pope expresses a legitimate desire concerning ourselves which is a good desire and gives no command contrary to the commandments of God, has one the right to pay no attention and to simply dismiss his desire? If not, on what principle do you base your acting in this way? Do you not think that, if Our Lord gives a command, He will also give us the means to continue our work? Well, the Pope has let us know that his concern to settle our affair for the good of the Church was at the very heart of his pontificate, and that he also knew that it would be easier both for him and for ourselves to leave things as they presently stand. Hence it is a firm and just desire to which he is giving expression. Given the attitude that you put forward there is no further place for Gideons or for Davids or for anyone counting on the help of the Lord. You blame us for being naïve or fearful, but it is your vision of the Church that is too human and even fatalistic; you see dangers, plots, difficulties, you now longer see the help of grace and the Holy Ghost. If one is ready to grant that divine providence conducts the affairs of men, while leaving them their liberty, then one must also accept that the gestures in our favour of the last few years come from Providence. Now, these gestures indicate a line – not always a straight line – but a line clearly in favour of Tradition. Why should this line suddenly come to an end when we are doing all we can to remain faithful and when our efforts are being accompanied by no few prayers on our part? Would the Good Lord drop us at the most decisive moment? That makes no sense. Especially if we are not trying to impose on Him any will of our own but we are trying to discern amidst events what God wants and we are ready to act as He wishes.” (Bishop Fellay, letter to the Society’s three Bishops, 2012)
“…if you compare five years ago, it is enormous progress … I find them [conciliar bishops seeking tradition] a little bit everywhere. … it’s coming, little by little but it’s coming … this influence of the tradition is gaining … When you look at the situation in the Church, it is still winter. But we start to see the little signs that indicate that spring is coming.” (Bishop Fellay, Toronto Conference, December 28th, 2012)
“Unfortunately, in the current context of the Society, the new declaration will not be accepted. [...] I am committed to this perspective [practical agreement without doctrinal agreement] despite the fairly strong opposition in the ranks of the Society and at the price of substantial disruption. And I fully intend to continue to do my best to pursue this path to reach the necessary clarifications. [...] May Your Holiness deign to believe my filial devotion and my dearest wish to serve the Church.” (Bishop Fellay, letter to Benedict XVI, 2012)
The set of quotes from Archbishop Lefebvre are entirely different from those of Bishop Fellay. The last quote from Bishop Fellay is especially interesting. He attempted to tell us that it was Rome who wanted a deal, not him, yet his quote seems to suggest the contrary.
It is clear from comparing the quotes that Bishop Fellay does not hold the same mindset that Archbishop Lefebvre did, and thus, he has abandoned the principles of the Society’s founder.
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