Archbishop Lefebvre's Public Statement against False Ecumenism
Written in October 1983, it was not actually made public until June 1988 in conjunction with the Episcopal Consecrations.
October 19, 1983
We read in the twentieth chapter of Exodus that God, after having forbidden His people to adore strange gods, added these words: "It is I who am the Lord thy God, a mighty and jealous God, visiting the iniquity of fathers on their sons to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me." In chapter thirty-four of Exodus we read: "Thou shalt not adore any strange god. A jealous God, that is the name of the Lord."
It is just and salutary that God should be jealous of what belongs to Him alone and from all eternity: jealous of His infinite eternal almighty being, jealous of His glory, of His truth, of His charity, jealous of being the only Creator and Redeemer, and so of being the end of all things, the sole way of salvation and happiness for all angels and men, jealous of being the Alpha and the Omega.
The Catholic Church founded by Him and to which He entrusted all the treasures of salvation is for her part also jealous of the privileges of her sole Master and Lord, and teaches all men that they must turn towards her and be baptized by her if they wish to be saved and partake of the glory of God in a happy eternity. Thus the Church is essentially missionary. She is essentially one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman.
She cannot admit of there being any other true religion outside of her; she cannot admit that one may find any way to salvation outside of her since she identifies herself with her Lord and God who said: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Hence she has a horror of any communion or union with false religions, with heresies, and with errors which put a distance between souls and her God who is the one and only God. She knows only unity within her fold, as does her God. For that she gives the blood of her martyrs, the life of her missionaries, of her priests, the sacrifice of her religious and nuns, she offers the daily Sacrifice of Propitiation.
But with Vatican II a spirit of adultery has been blowing through the Church, a spirit which in the Declaration on Religious Liberty allows of the principle of religious liberty of conscience for internal and external acts, with exemption from any authority. This is the principle of the Declaration of the Rights of Man against the rights of God. The authorities of the Church, the State and the Family partake of the authority of God and hence they have the duty to contribute to the spread of the Truth and to the application of the Decalogue, and to protect their subjects against error and immorality.
This Declaration provoked the laicizing of Catholic States which is an insult to God and to His Church, reducing the Church to the status of equality with false religions. This is exactly the spirit of adultery for which the people of Israel were so often rebuked (see Note 1, the declaration of Pope Paul VI, L'Osservatore Romano, April 24, 1969). This spirit of adultery is also made clear in the ecumenism instituted by The Secretariat for the Unity of Christians. This aberrant ecumenism has brought in its train all the reforms of the liturgy, of the Bible, of canon law, with the collegiality that destroys the personal authority of the Supreme Pontiff, of the episcopacy and of the parish priest (see Note 2).
This spirit is not Catholic; it is the fruit of the Modernism condemned by St. Pius X. It wrecks all the institutions of the Church and especially the seminaries and the clergy, in such a way that one may ask who is still integrally Catholic among the clerics who submit to this adulterous spirit of the Council! Hence nothing is so urgent in the Church as to form a clergy repudiating this adulterous and Modernist spirit and saving the glory of the Church and her Divine Founder by keeping the integral Faith and the means established by Our Lord and by the Tradition of the Church to keep this Faith, and to transmit the life of grace and the fruits of the Redemption.
It will soon be twenty years now that we have been striving with patience and firmness to get the Roman authorities to understand this need for a return to sane doctrine and Tradition, for a renewal of the Church, for the salvation of souls and for the glory of God.
To safeguard the Catholic priesthood which perpetuates the Catholic Church, we need Catholic bishops. We find ourselves constrained, because of the spirit of Modernism invading today's clergy, an invasion reaching even to the highest summits within the Church, to undertake the consecrating of bishops, this principle having been accepted by the pope...
But a deaf ear is continually turned to our entreaties - nay, more, we are being asked to recognize the wisdom of the whole Council and of the reforms ruining the Church. No one wishes to pay any heed to our present experience of, with the grace of God, maintaining the Tradition which produces true fruits of holiness and draws numerous vocations.
To safeguard the Catholic priesthood which perpetuates the Catholic Church and not an adulterous Church, we need Catholic bishops. So we find ourselves constrained, because of the spirit of Modernism invading today's clergy, an invasion reaching even to the highest summits within the Church, to undertake the consecrating of bishops, the principle of this consecration having been accepted by the pope, according to Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of May 30. These episcopal consecrations will not only be valid, but given the historical circumstances, most probably also licit. However, be they licit or not, it is sometimes necessary to abandon the letter of the law in order to observe the spirit of the law.
The Pope can only desire the Catholic priesthood to continue. Hence it is in no way in a spirit of rupture or schism that we are carrying out these episcopal consecrations, but in order to come to the help of the Church which finds herself no doubt in the most sorrowful situation of her whole history. Had we found ourselves in the times of St. Francis of Assisi, the pope would have been in agreement with us. There was not an occupation by Freemasonry of the Vatican in its happier days.
Hence we declare our attachment and our submission to the Holy See and to the pope. In accomplishing this act of consecration we are aware of continuing our service to the Church and to the papacy exactly as we have striven to do ever since the first day of our priesthood.
The day when the Vatican will be delivered from this occupation by Modernists and will come back to the path followed by the Church down to Vatican II, our new bishops will put themselves entirely in the hands of our Sovereign Pontiff, to the point of desisting if he so wishes from the exercise of their episcopal functions.
Finally we turn towards the Virgin Mary who is also jealous of the privileges of her Divine Son, jealous of His glory, of His Kingdom on earth as in heaven. How often has she intervened for the defense, even the armed defense, of Christendom against the enemies of the Kingdom of Our Lord! We entreat her to intervene today to chase the enemies out from inside the Church who are trying to destroy her more radically than her enemies from outside. May she deign to keep in the integrity of the Faith, in the love of the Church, in devotion to the successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of St. Pius X and all the priests and faithful who labor alongside the Society, in order that she may both keep us from schism and preserve us from heresy.
May St. Michael the Archangel inspire us with his zeal for the glory of God and with his strength to fight demons.
May St. Pius X share with us a part of his wisdom, of his learning, of his sanctity, to discern the true from the false and the good from the evil in these times of confusion and lies.
† Marcel Lefebvre
P.S. [this post script is from the June 1988 issue of The Angelus magazine when this text was made public—webmaster] This statement, drawn up in 1983, is still valid today. It needed only one correction concerning the agreement with Rome for the consecration of a bishop in the letter of May 30, 1988. If the conversations of the months of April and May did not reach a conclusion, that is because they showed the will of Modernist Rome to make us accept the spirit and reforms of Vatican II.
Note 1: Declaration of Paul VI, L'Osservatore Romano, August 24, 1969: "The new position adopted by the Church with regard to the realities of this earth is henceforth well known by everyone... and here is the most important new principle to be put into practice... the Church agrees to recognize the world as 'self-sufficient,' she does not seek to make the world an instrument for her religious ends..." This is a declaration contrary to the Catholic Faith, against which I protested in a letter to what used to be the Holy Office. The reply was, coming from the Secretary of State, that is to say Cardinal Villot, that I should quit Rome immediately; to which I answered that he would have to send a squad of Swiss guards to force me to quit Rome. The reply was silence. That is what has happened to the Vatican and what it still is today with regard to the defenders of the Catholic Faith. All the popes in their encyclicals stated the opposite. Not only the Faith, but also sane philosophy rises up in protest against this declaration which laicized all the Catholic States.
Note 2: Secretariat for the Unity of Christians at the Council. It is suitable to recall the important role played by the members of the Secretariat for the Unity of Christians in the Council. Cardinal Bea entered into official relations with the Masonic Jewish Lodge of B'nai B'rith of New York in the United States. It was Cardinal Bea who drew up the projects for the schemas on Religious Liberty, on the Jews, on non-Christian Religions, on ecumenism, in collaboration with Cardinal Willebrands, Secretary of the Secretariat, and Bishop De Smedt, Vice-President of the Secretariat and reporter at the Council on the Declaration on Religious Liberty.
Cardinal Willebrands formed part of the Vatican Commission for Judeo-Christian relations and of the Commission which maintains relations with the ecumenical Council of Churches, and of the Commission which concerns itself with relations with Moscow through the intermediary of the Orthodox Church of Moscow. To them are to be joined Cardinal Etchegaray, Msgr. Maller, the Dominican Fathers de Contenson, Bernard Dupuy, and a number of others. The influence of the Protestants of Taize is not to be neglected either, who were able to come and go as they liked in the Vatican. Nor should we forget the presence of six Protestant pastors in the Liturgical Commission. The harmfulness of all these Commissions is considerable. The Commissions are paralyzing all the normal activity of the Roman Curia. The Rome of the Commissions is the present active-day Rome, Modernist and Masonic. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have wanted these commissions and have become their slaves just as they are prisoners of the Roman Synods, fruits of the collegiality recognized by the new Canon Law. To read the long article in the Dictionary of Catholic Theology, listed in the index under the title "Ecumenism," and written by Father Charles Boyer, S.J., who was the Secretary for the Secretariat for Unity after Cardinal Willebrands, is very instructive in uncovering the ecumenical spirit presiding over all the reforms.