Archbishop Lefebvre – History of the ‘Rebels’ – A repeat ?

In reading the various articles recently posted it is interesting to see, how the we find in the rebellion of certain clergy within the SSPX nothing new in the history of the SSPX.

The Archbishop Lefebvre found that during his own time, he had to remain firm against those who wanted to set themselves up as the Church within his ranks in order to do their own thing. And today the Society of St. Pius X finds itself once more in a similar situation. The Archbishop was unjustly attack on account of his reaction. He faithfully endured, and the good sense prevailed amongst the greater number of the faithful.

Let me here simply cite the Archbishop as his words could be simply repeated once more to those who seem to have a short memory:

Here is why I have always thought that I had to go to Rome, that I had to write, that I had to visit these cardinals in order that they should not say that we are doing nothing or that we no longer recognize them or that we wish to have no contact with them. They cannot say that I have not done everything in my power to try to stay in contact with them.

. ……And that is why I will now proceed to say a few words, as we must do, on the sad situation in which the Society found itself this year in the Northern District of the United States. Well! I have been accused of changing. Changing what? The Mass that I say, the Mass that was said a few moments ago by Fr. Schmidberger, is the Tridentine Mass! It’s the traditional Mass! I have never changed anything! It’s the same Mass attended by the poor priests who left us: Fr. Kelly, Fr. Sanborn, and the others, while they were at Ecône. And how long were they at Ecône? Fr. Kelly spent two years in Switzerland, Fr. Sanborn three, or maybe, four years, Fr. Dolan the same, Fr. Collins was also at Ecône, they always had the same Mass there—the one we say today. So, we have not changed a thing. How can they now say, “The Archbishop is changing”? What? What am I changing? They know perfectly well—they spent years at Ecône—that they had there the liturgy which we now have, that we have not changed one iota, not one thing. They are the ones who have wanted change, who have wanted to go back to an older liturgy or to older practices. They are the ones who wanted change. We wanted to change nothing, not one thing. We have made no compromise with Rome. That charge is not true. So it is very sad to think that these priests who were ordained by myself and who, after all is said and done, receiving everything from Ecône and the Society, should now be turning against the Society. Why? They say we are making compromises, they say we are going to accept the New Mass, they say things of this kind, which are absolutely false. You can see that for yourselves.

. . . So, I think that the good sense of the faithful will triumph and that, little by little, the faithful will understand that a certain number of our priests have taken up an attitude which is not normal. In fact, they are children rebelling against their parents. . . .

In any case, I thank all of you here for remaining faithful to us, and we will remain faithful to you. We will carry on with what you have always seen in the Society. . . So, I trust you will remain faithful and that we will be able to continue working together for the greater good of the Church, because there is nothing more disastrous, even in the face of Rome, than these divisions, because these divisions weaken us and weaken our fight for Tradition. So, let us pray that everything will be sorted out.
Personally, I am not seeking to harm these priests—may God be their judge! And I ask you not to get into polemics, but simply to follow us. . . . . It is very important that there should always be the bond with Rome if we wish to remain Catholic; even if we do not agree with everything being done in Rome, I think the bond is absolutely indispensable.
– Conference Of His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Long Island, New York, November 5, 1983

The parallels are easy to make for the reader. The same scare tactics and arguments today are employed by the ‘rebels’ against the SSPX today as were those used against the Archbishop in 1983.
History repeats itself. Nothing is new under the Sun !

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4 comments on “Archbishop Lefebvre – History of the ‘Rebels’ – A repeat ?

  1. Thank you! Amazing to read this…perfectly applicable to today.

  2. Thanks for this. It is very good to hear ABL’s words dealing with the ‘Nine’, and it brings home just how similar this situation is.

    Your article, along with this quote from the recent Rorate Caeil article also goes along way to showing that nothing is really different or astray with Bishop Fellay or the SSPX. I am sure there are some problems here and there, there always ahve been. But on a whole, they are doing as they always have and always did under ABL.

    “These events that we will live in these days will certainly be talked about, and there will be unexpected crowds at the June 30 ceremony for the consecration of these four young bishops who will be at the service of the Society. This was foreseen as such by Rome. The bishops consecrated for the Society will be at the service of the Society. And, well, these four bishops will be at the service of the Society, that is it. The one who will therefore have responsibility, as a matter of principle, for relations with Rome when I am gone will be the Superior General of the Society, Father Schmidberger, who still has six years of leadership before him. He is the one who will, eventually, maintain contacts with Rome from now on, in order to continue the discussions, if these discussions go on, or if contact is kept, which is unlikely for some time, because in L’Osservatore Romano a large headline will say, ‘Schism of Abp. Lefebvre,’ ‘Excommunication’… Therefore, for x years, perhaps two years, three years, I don’t know, there will be separation.”

    Father Cekada said the following on Ignis Ardens recently regarding his own experiences with ABL.

    “My own explanation is this. Abp. Lefebvre had two sides to his personality: the great anti-modernist prophet (thunder against the Vatican and its modernist occupiers) and the eternal diplomat (cut a deal with opponents through snail-paced negotiations).”

  3. What Father Cekada seems to have missed is that:

    1. Abp. Lefebvre understood the neo-modernist issues.
    2. Abp. Lefebvre understood that the solution to the crisis will come from the See of Peter.

    We obviously have some more time to wait for no.2

  4. Thank you, Anthony. So simple, even I can understand!

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