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1978 ordination sermon
of Archbishop Lefebvre
Given at Econe, Switzerland on June 29, 1978.

7-8-2011

On this feast day of the holy Sts. Peter and Paul we are going to ordain sixteen seminarians of the Priestly Society of St. 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 Econe. The ceremony will not be postponed although we were asked to do so in a letter given us by the Nuncio in Berne in the name of Cardinal Seper.

In 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.”

All the activity of the international seminary of Econe 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 Econe 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.

Like 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 Econe 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 Econe? 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 the Devil?

Very grave reasons compel us to take the decision to continue our activity and to carry out the ordinations on June 29th. 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.

Secondly, 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.

Besides, 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 our Society.

This 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.

A 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 St. 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.

What 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 same level?

They 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.

Another consequence one is apt to forget is the destruction of Catholic States. This is being done with the active collaboration of the Vatican. The Mass no longer represents the source of political unity based on the unity of the Catholic Faith. Thus, the Catholic State 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.

Ecumenical liturgy, ecumenical Bibles, ecumenical catechisms are indeed a device of the Devil because they cover error with a certain amount of truth.

Econe 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.

The 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.”

If 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.

The priests we ordain today and all their brothers of the Society of St. 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.

 
 

 

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