capacity as bishops of the Holy Catholic Church, successors
of the Apostles, our hearts are overwhelmed at the sights
throughout the world, by so many souls who are bewildered
yet desirous in continuing in the faith and morals which
have been defined by the Magisterium of the Church and
taught by Her in a constant and universal manner.
seems to us that to remain silent in these circumstances
would be to become accomplices to these wicked works (cf.
II Jn. 11).
is why we find ourselves obliged to intervene in public
before Your Holiness (considering all the measures we have
undertaken in private during the last fifteen years have
remained ineffectual) in order to denounce the principal
causes of this dramatic situation, and to beseech Your
Holiness to use his power as Successor of Peter to "confirm
your brothers in the Faith" (Luke 22, 32), which has
been faithfully handed down to us by Apostolic Tradition.
that end we have attached to this letter an appendix
containing the principal errors which are at the origins of
this tragic situation and which, moreover, have already been
condemned by your predecessors. The following list outlines
these errors, but it is not exhaustive:
latitudinarian and ecumenical notion of the Church,
divided in its faith, condemned in particular by the
Syllabus, No. 18 (Den. 2918).
collegial government and a democratic orientation in the
Church, condemned in particular by Vatican Council I (Den.
false notion of the natural rights of man which clearly
appears in the document on Religious Liberty, condemned in
Quanta cura (Pius IX) and Libertas
praestantissimum (Leo XIII)
erroneous notion of the power of the Pope (cf.
Protestant notion of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and
the Sacraments, condemned by the Council of Trent, Session
Finally, and in a general manner, the free spreading of
heresies, characterized by the suppression of the Holy
documents containing these errors cause an uneasiness and a
disarray, so much the more profound as they come from a
source so much the more elevated. The clergy and the
faithful most moved by this situation are, moreover, those
who are the most attached to the Church, to the authority of
the Successor of Peter, and to the traditional Magisterium
of the Church.
Holy Father, it is urgently necessary that this disarray
come to an end because the flock is dispersing and the
abandoned sheep are following mercenaries. We beseech you,
for the good of the Catholic Faith and for the salvation of
souls, to reaffirm the truths, contrary to these errors,
truths which have been taught for twenty centuries in the
with the sentiments of St. Paul before St. Peter, when he
reproached him for having not followed "the truth of the
Gospel (Gal. 2, 11-14), that we are addressing you. His aim
was none other than to protect the faith of the flock.
Robert Bellarmine, expressing on this occasion a general
moral principle, states that one must resist the pontiff
whose actions would be prejudicial to the salvation of souls
(De Rom. Pon., I.2, c.29).
it is with the purpose of coming to the aid of Your Holiness
that we utter this cry of alarm, rendered all the more
urgent by the errors, not to say the heresies, of the new
Code of Canon Law and by the ceremonies and addresses on the
occasion of the Fifth Centenary of the birth of Luther.
Truly, this is the limit!
God come to your aid, Most Holy Father. We are praying
without ceasing for you to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
to accept the sentiments of our filial devotion,
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre,
International Seminary of St. Pius X
Bishop Antonio de Castro-Mayer
Riachuelo 169, C.P. 255
Campos, (RJ) Brazil