article, signed by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
appeared in II Gionale di Bergamo
on the day of the ordinations at Ecône,
Onthis Feastday of the holy Saints Peter
and Paul we are going to ordain sixteen seminarians of the Priestly
Society of Saint Pius X and confer the major orders of the subdiaconate
on another twenty-one seminarians whose formation we are constantly
following at the Seminary of Ecône. The ceremony will not be postponed
although we were asked to do so in a letter given us by the Nuncio
in the name of Cardinal Seper.
conferring Holy Orders we are reminded of the last exhortation of
the risen Christ to the Apostles about the Kingdom of God. Peter himself,
shortly after Pentecost, was warned by Caiphas not to act in the
name of Jesus but he disregarded the ban expressed by the highest
religious authority of the time and he told the first three thousand
baptized that the Kingdom of God is kept by
persevering in the doctrine, in the fractione panis (the Mass)
and in prayer.
the activity of the International Seminary of Ecône is contained
in these three exhortations. The doctrine is not considered a philosophy
resulting from studies which must be perfected, as some would have
it nowadays, but a deposit given by Christ to the Church which must
be faithfully preserved and whose sense may not be modified by human
intelligence. The Holy Mass, the center of all the spirituality
of the Ecône seminarians, is the daily renewal of the sacrifice
of the Cross in a real way. It is the indispensable means for obtaining
the spiritual strength which must be expressed in the apostolate
of each priest with the sole aim of preaching and spreading the
Kingdom of God for the eternal
salvation of souls.
the great majority of present day Bishops we have had this very
same formation which was decreed by the Popes ever since the Council
of Trent. In 1974 the report of the Apostolic Visitors made after
they had been to Ecône was very positive. Rome knows that we train priests the way the Church has trained them for
over four centuries. It is well know there, too, that the opening
of seminaries and the doctrinal formation relating to them is one
of the principal duties of bishops, after that of defending faith
and truth. Why then, do they wish to suppress Ecône? Why, eight
days ago were they asking us to suspend the ordinations - to not
make good priests? Is it the Holy Ghost who wishes this or is it
reasons compel us to take the decision to continue our activity
and to carry out the ordinations on the 29th of June. First of all,
the present situation of the Church. In the face of general apostasy
and the destruction of the Church from inside, provoked especially
by the post-Conciliar reforms and the open spirit which
dominated the Council, we think that for the good of the Church
and for its very survival the ordination of good priests is absolutely
indispensable. We read again with anguish the statement on the "auto-destruction"
of the Church made by the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI.
there is the legal correctness of our situation. In November 1970
we obtained the authorization of the Bishop of Fribourg to form
a fraternity in his diocese and to open seminaries according to
a statute which was subsequently approved by Cardinal Wright, Prefect
for the Congregation for the Clergy. It is difficult to understand
how after five years suddenly there was the wish to suppress the
seminary when we had changed nothing and done absolutely nothing
to deserve the suppression.
the suppression in 1975 was carried out without any trial or any
regular interrogation. We retain in conscience that we are not obliged
to accept such an arbitrary decision because behind it we see a
hand which is not that of the Church, an attitude and a lack of
respect for Canon Law which is not that of the Church. These things
force us to believe than an enemy has penetrated the Church and
that it is he who orders us to close our seminary and to destroy
enemy is Freemasonry. The constant advance of heresies and of apostasies
obliges us to think of Masonic influence in the Curia - worse,
of a Masonic Lodge inside the Vatican
itself. Cardinals and Secretaries hold the offices of their predecessors
who were virtuous, often saintly men, but they do not teach anymore
the faith of their predecessors, preferring to support the spread
of ideas contrary to Catholic doctrine and to preach ecumenism.
decade of silence on the anathemata of the Council of Trent
and of Pius VI against the Council of Pistoia; silence on the documents
of the Church's social teaching the Syllabus of Pius IX,
Libertas and Immortalis Dei of Leo XIII, Pascendi
Dorminici Gregis and the condemnation of the Sillon made
by Saint Pius X, Quas Primas and Diuini Redemptoris of
Pius XI to quote a few of the documents which treat of the authority
of the Popes, this silence increases the suspicion that the Church
is occupied by a counter-Church of protestant origin and
committed to spreading all the errors which the Popes have condemned
for more than four centuries.
faith do they ask us to profess? That of all time with all the graces
deriving from the Mass and from the Sacraments and with the devotion
to Jesus Christ, to the Blessed Virgin and to the Saints? Or rather
the faith of ecumenism which has produced the Catholic-Protestant
Mass and the proliferation of every sort of unworthy cult, which
denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and puts all religions on the
talk to us of obedience. We wish to and we try to obey more and
more every day the Church of all time founded by Jesus Christ, Son
of God and Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity but we refuse
to obey Masonry with its promotion of liturgical reform resulting
in the naturalization of the Incarnation. The effects of the liturgical
reforms are every day more clear and obvious to all. The ecumenical
Mass leads logically to apostasy. One cannot serve two masters.
One cannot nourish oneself indifferently with truth and error because
error with its evil tendencies will triumph over the more austere
and demanding truth.
consequence one is apt to forget is the destruction of Catholic
States. This is being done with the active collaboration of the
The Mass no longer represents the source of political unity based
on the unity of the Catholic Faith. Thus, the CatholicState becomes
an ecumenical and pluralistic State, then it soon becomes a neutral
if not atheistic State in accordance with the Conciliar document
on Religious Freedom.
liturgy, ecumenical Bibles, ecumenical catechisms are indeed a device
of the Devil because they cover error with a certain amount of truth.
Ecône is an
obstacle to those who wish to destroy the Mass and the Catholic
priesthood. We are convinced insofar as we ordain priests whose
spiritual life is modeled on that of Our Lord Jesus Christ that
we are serving the Church and acting for the glory of God. We remind
those that maintain that we are distancing ourselves from the Church
that each of the faithful has the duty of not obeying orders contrary
to the Faith. The obedience to ecclesiastical superiors finds a
limit, in fact, when something harmful or clearly damaging is proposed
or ordered in the name of obedience. He who remains faithful to
the Catholic dispositions and institutions tested by centuries renders
himself supremely worthy of the Church.
accusation of separation and of schism made against us because we
refuse to participate in the protestantization of the Church is
ridiculous! It is, however, deserved by those who foment that same
protestantization. Among them are those who have for a long time
fallen away from the Catholic Faith and yet, in common with all
the heretics of history, work to try to make the Church become like
them and conform to their ideas. We cannot understand how intelligent
people can state that they prefer to err with the Pope rather than
to be with truth against the Pope.
one day they shall excommunicate us because we remain faithful to
these theses we shall consider ourselves excommunicated by Freemasonry.
Our consolation will be that we remain in the company of God and
of all the martyrs who have given their lives to keep the Faith.
priests we ordain today and all their brothers of the Society of
Saint Pius X are at the disposal of the Pope and of the Church at
any moment to collaborate in the work of restoring omnia in Christo,
that is, of bringing back Christ to the center of family and
social life, of education and every juridical order.
In the meantime
we shall continue in our attachment to the Mass of all time which
is the expression of the Ten Commandments. What are the Ten Commandments
except the love for God and for our fellow men? What renders better
this love than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? God is glorified
by Our Lord Jesus Christ through His sacrifice. There can be no
greater act of charity for men than the sacrifice of Jesus who continues
to offer His life for us.
This is our
Faith. In this we believe and for this we pray. We trust in the
intercession of the Immaculate Virgin that she may illuminate and
strengthen Catholics of all the world and that the preaching of
Christ crucified and of his social kingdom may increase.