(This translation first appeared in The Angelus July 1988 and can also be found in The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre, p.625ff.)
Feast of St. Augustine
29th August, 1987
Adveniat Regnum Tuum
My dear friends,
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. Hence the absolute need appears obvious of ensuring the permanency and continuation of the adorable Sacrifice of Our Lord in order that "His Kingdom come." The corruption of the Holy Mass has brought the corruption of the priesthood and the universal decadence of Faith in the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
God raised up the Priestly Society of St. Pius X for the maintenance and perpetuity of His glorious and expiatory Sacrifice within the Church. He chose Himself some true priests instructed in and convinced of these divine mysteries. God bestowed upon me the grace to prepare these Levites and to confer upon them the grace of the priesthood for the continuation of the true Sacrifice according to the definition of the Council of Trent.
This is what has brought down upon our heads persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. Since this Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work of destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the Liberal theses of Vatican II on Religious Liberty prove, I find myself constrained by Divine Providence to pass on the grace of the Catholic episcopacy which I received, in order that the Church and the Catholic priesthood continue to subsist for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.
That is why, convinced that I am only carrying out the holy will of Our Lord, I am writing this letter to ask you to agree to receive the grace of the Catholic episcopacy, just as I have already conferred it on other priests in other circumstances. I will bestow this grace upon you, confident that without too long a delay the See of Peter will be occupied by a successor of Peter who is perfectly Catholic, and into whose hands you will be able to put back the grace of your episcopacy so that he may confirm it.
The main purpose of my passing on the episcopacy is that the grace of priestly orders be continued, for the true Sacrifice of the Mass to be continued, and that the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation be bestowed upon children and upon the faithful who will ask you for it.
I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all Churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, expressed in the various creeds of our Catholic Faith, in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with what you were taught in your seminary. Remain faithful in the handing down of this Faith so that the Kingdom of Our Lord may come.
Finally, I beseech you to remain attached to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, to remain profoundly united amongst yourselves, in submission to the Society's Superior General, in the Catholic Faith of all time, remembering the words of St. Paul to the Galatians (1:8-9): "But even if we or an angel from heaven were to teach you a different gospel from the one we have taught you, let him be anathema."
As we have said before, now again I say: "if anyone teaches you a different gospel from what you have received, let him be anathema." My dear friends, be my consolation in Christ Jesus, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true Sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy priesthood of Our Lord for the triumph and glory of Jesus in heaven and upon earth, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of my own soul.
In the hearts of Jesus and Mary I embrace you and bless you. Your father in Christ Jesus,
+ Marcel Lefebvre
12th June, 1988
"It's over. The talks between Rome and ourselves are over. The more one thinks about it, the more one realizes their intentions are not good. Look at what happened to the Traditional leaders, Dom Augustin, Fr. de Blignieres, who went over to Rome and have been swallowed up. Rome wants everything to go Vatican II, while they leave us a little bit of Tradition.
"De Saventhem [then President of the conservative (not Traditional) organization, "Una Voce"] tells me we could still come to an understanding. But I tell him the misunderstanding is not over little things. They are not changing their position. We cannot put ourselves in the hands of those people. We would be fooling ourselves. We do not mean to let ourselves be eaten up.
"The Traditional Benedictine Prior, Dom Gerard, tells me that an agreement with Rome would have opened up for us a huge field for the apostolate. Maybe, but in a world of ambiguity, facing in two directions at once, which would make us go rotten in the end. They insist: "But if you were with Rome, you would have more vocations." But vocations like that, if you breathed one word against Rome, would make life in our seminaries impossible! And if we "came to an agreement" with Rome on that basis, then the diocesan bishops would say "Then come along and join in the dioceses", and little by little Tradition would be compromised.
"All the Traditional Sisters and nuns in France are against an agreement. They tell me, "We do not want to be dependent on Cardinal Ratzinger. Imagine if he were to come and give us conferences! He would split us down the middle!"
"As for the risk of some of our priests leaving us if bishops are consecrated, it will be no worse than in 1977, when a block of priests and seminarians walked out of Econe all in one go. They have all now gone over to Rome or dispersed. It is time to take a second decision to face up to this Rome. What else can we do? And if they insist that it is worse this time round, because this time it could mean excommunication, well, I reply that the basic problem remains unchanged: Rome means to exterminate Tradition, while the sedevacantists have no love for us.
"You four will be bishops for the Church, at the service of the Society of St. Pius X, as laid out in the Protocol of May 5. The Society has the standing to deal with Rome. It will be the Superior General's job, when the time comes, to pick up the threads again with Rome.
"Your function will be to give the sacraments of Holy Orders and Confirmation and to KEEP THE FAITH on the occasion of Confirmations, to protect the flock... You will be an immense support for the Society. Let all four of you be of one mind, without too many personal initiatives, for instance when it comes to requests for ordination. Do not ordain men who are on their own, and if they form part of a community, take a good look at the community.
"Rome wants us to go Conciliar... You will have to make the rounds once a year, once every two years for Confirmations. As for ordinations, I am presently doing 25 to 30 ceremonies a year, but from June 30 onwards, I am not moving from Econe! I will have done my work, by giving to the Society the structure it needs. And then, as I told the Pope, as soon as Tradition comes back to Rome, the problem will be over.
"As for an eventual excommunication, it will mean nothing, because they are not looking out for the wellbeing of the Church. However, excommunicating us will be a nuisance for them. They are trying to get to me by fair means or foul, through de Saventhem, a Czech bishop, and so on and so on. They even wanted to send Mother Theresa of Calcutta. But there is no point in such meetings. It has all been talked out long ago.
"Let anyone just read the letter of the former seminarian of Econe, Carlo, who went over to Rome to set up a conservative organisation there, called "Mater Ecclesia", who tried to corrupt our seminarians by getting them to leave us, but whose eyes have since been opened wide by the trickery of Rome. In that letter he admits that Rome treats them like outcasts, that they are forced to take off the cassock, that nobody receives them. He has found out what this Rome is like. Rome wants to turn the Society into another "Mater Ecclesiae". And when the first "Mater Ecclesiae" collapsed, Cardinal Ratzinger rejoiced.
"So why should they keep their word to us? We were protected by God when He allowed the agreement of May 5 to come to naught."
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"Viva Cristo Rey!"