45 years ago today……….
……. Archbishop Lefebvre’s famous 1974 Declaration:
We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this Faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth.
We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.
All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechectics; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.
No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries.
“But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).
Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.
It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.
This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever.
The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation.
That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.
That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome.
By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being thefideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.
November 21, 1974
“For us, remaining indefectibly attached to the Catholic and Roman Church of all times, we are obliged to take note that this Modernist and liberal religion of modern and conciliar Rome is always distancing itself more and more from us, who profess the Catholic Faith of the eleven Popes who condemned this false religion”. [ref: eleven popes since 1789].
O God, who didst raise Thy servant Antonio de Castro Mayer to the dignity of bishop in the apostolic priesthood; grant, we beseech Thee, that he may be joined in fellowship with Thine apostles for evermore. Though our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Called to his eternal reward on this special day, The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady Day, 25th March 1991. Requiescat in Pace.
“The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below; especially through the corruption of the Holy Mass which is both the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the Cross, ‘Regnavit a Ligno Deus’, and the source of the extension of His kingdom over souls and over societies”.
Certainly the question of the liturgy and the sacraments is important, but it is not the most important. The most important question is the question of the Faith. This question is unresolved in Rome. For us it is resolved. We have the Faith of all time, the Faith of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, of the Catechism of St. Pius X, hence the Faith of the Church, of all the Church Councils, of all the Popes prior to Vatican II. Now the official Church is persevering, we might say pertinaciously, in the false ideas and grave errors of Vatican II, that much is clear.
Fr. Tam is sending us from Mexico a number of copies of a piece of work he is doing, most interesting work, because he is compiling cuttings from the Osservatore Romano, hence cuttings from Rome’s official newspaper with speeches of the Pope, of Cardinal Casaroli and Cardinal Ratzinger, official texts of the Church, and so on. It is interesting, because such documents of public record are irrefutable, being published by the Osservatore Romano, so there is no doubting their authenticity.
Well, these texts are astounding, quite astounding! I shall quote you a few texts shortly. It is incredible. In the last few weeks (since I am now unemployed!) I have been spending a little time re-reading the book by Emmanuel Barbier on Liberal Catholicism. And it is striking to see how our fight now is exactly the same fight as was being fought then by the great Catholics of the 19th century, in the wake of the French Revolution, and by the Popes, Pius VI, Pius VII, Pius VIII, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, and so on, Pius X, down to Pius XII. Their fight is summed up in the encyclical Quanta Cura with the Syllabus of Pius IX, and Pascendi Dominici Gregis of Pius X. There are the two great documents, sensational and shocking in their day, laying out the Church’s teaching in face of the modern errors, the errors appearing in the course of the Revolution, especially in the Declaration of the Rights of Man. This is the fight we are in the middle of today. Exactly the same fight.
There are those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi, and there are those who are against. It is simple. It is clear. Those who are against are adopting the principles of the French Revolution, the modern errors. Those who are for the Syllabus and Pascendi remain within the true Faith, within Catholic doctrine. Now you know very well that Cardinal Ratzinger has said that as far as he is concerned Vatican II is “an anti-Syllabus”. Therewith the Cardinal placed himself clearly amongst those who are against the Syllabus. If then he is against the Syllabus, he is adopting the principles of the Revolution. Besides, he goes on to say quite clearly, “Indeed we have now absorbed into Church teaching, and the Church has opened herself up to, principles which are not hers but which come from modern society,” i.e., as everyone understands, the principles of 1789, the Rights of Man.
We stand exactly where Cardinal Pie, Bishop Freppel, Louis Veuillot stood, and Deputy Keller in Alsace, Cardinal Mermillod in Switzerland, who fought the good fight together with the great majority of the then bishops. At that time they had the good fortune to have the large majority of the bishops on their side. Bishop Dupanloup and the few bishops in France who followed Bishop Dupanloup were the odd ones out. The few bishops in Germany, the few in Italy, who were openly opposed to the Syllabus, and in effect opposed to Pius IX, they were the exception rather than the rule. But obviously there were the forces of the Revolution, the heirs of the Revolution, and there was the hand reached out by Dupanloup, Montalembert, Lamennais and others, who offered their hand to the Revolution and who never wanted to invoke the rights of God against the rights of man – “We ask only for the rights of every man, the rights shared by everyone, shared by all men, shared by all religions, not the rights of God,” said these Liberals.
Well, we find ourselves in the same situation. We must not be under any illusions. Consequently we are in the thick of a great fight, a great fight. We are fighting a fight guaranteed by a whole line of popes. Hence, we should have no hesitation or fear, hesitation such as, “Why should we be going on our own? After all, why not join Rome, why not join the pope?” Yes, if Rome and the Pope were in line with Tradition, if they were carrying on the work of all the Popes of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, of course. But they themselves admit that they have set out on a new path. They themselves admit that a new era began with Vatican II. They admit that it is a new stage in the Church’s life, wholly new, based on new principles. We need not argue the point. They say it themselves. It is clear. I think that we must drive this point home with our people, in such a way that they realize their oneness with the Church’s whole history, going back well beyond the Revolution. Of course. It is the fight of the City of Satan against the City of God. Clearly. So we do not have to worry. We must after all trust in the grace of God.
“What is going to happen? How is it all going to end?” That is God’s secret. Mystery. But that we must fight the ideas presently fashionable in Rome, coming from the Pope’s own mouth, Cardinal Ratzinger’s mouth, Cardinal Casaroli’s mouth, of Cardinal Willebrands and those like them, is clear, clear, for all they do is repeat the opposite of what the Popes said and solemnly stated for 150 years. We must choose, as I said to Pope Paul VI: “We have to choose between you and the Council on one side, and your predecessors on the other; either with your predecessors who stated the Church’s teaching, or with the novelties of Vatican II.” Reply – “Ah, this is not the moment to get into theology, we are not getting into theology now.” It is clear. Hence we must not waver for one moment.
“From the back cover of the third edition of They Have Uncrowned Him
‘It is of immense importance that English-speaking readers should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest this book of Archbishop Lefebvre, They Have Uncrowned Him.
The Archbishop here denounces in depth the great plague of modern times, which has virtually destroyed Christian civilisation and is now wrecking the Catholic Church. That plague is Liberalism, or man’s freeing himself with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his strength and with all his mind, from God.
Where did Liberalism come from? How is it so strong? How has it penetrated even into the Catholic Church? Alas, there is in English very little literature available on the subject. This is because England is steeped in Liberalism and has spread her liberal influences throughout the world, especially the English-speaking world, ever since that terrible 16th century, when King Henry VIII began to split the Church of England from the Church in England, and the mass of Englishmen followed in his footsteps, putting earthly king in front of Heavenly King, patriotism (so-called) in front of religion, country in front of God.
The problem extends far wider now than just poor England. The Church of Rome is being split from the true Church in Rome, as Our Lady of La Salette said it would. Despite her warning, Liberalism and Catholicism is confused in millions of Catholic minds.
In this book, Archbishop Lefebvre puts the crown firmly back on the head of our Heavenly King, Jesus Christ. Thank God, English-speaking readers have made this third edition necessary. All is not lost. May they make fourth, fifth and sixth editions necessary’.
– Bishop Richard Williamson “