The Recusant

An unofficial SSPX newsletter, fighting a guerilla war for the soul of Tradition!

Letter to Our Fellow Priests

Quarterly contact letter between members of the Society of St. Pius X

From the website :

Translated from French for The Recusant

 (Number 3 – February 2013)

Our articles of association recommend that we avoid “modern errors carefully, specifically liberalism and all its substitutes.” Our articles of association are binding on the Superior General and on the Assistants so that they make sure that the Society does not fall “into tepidity” nor “into compromise with the world frame of mind”. By the light of teachings of our founder, Archbishop Lefebvre, and that of our Superior General, Bishop Fellay, we are setting out to work in such direction.

The General Council reminded the three bishops, on April 14 2012, of the need to make “necessary distinctions” “about the liberal” in order to avoid “a ‘total’ hardening”. Indeed, the 'conciliar liberal' seeks a compromise between the Church and the world whereas the 'traditionalist liberal' seeks a compromise between Catholic Tradition and the conciliar Church friend of the world. In a conference given in Ecône in December 1973, Archbishop Lefebvre noted that our “drama” is today “infinitely more severe” than in the past, because “liberals are nowadays widespread within the Church to such extent that one wonders who is not a liberal! Soon, we will be able to count on our fingers the few individuals that truly respect the Church’s doctrine!”  The arguments of “liberal Catholics” were:

“The Church must find an agreement with the society in which we live, we cannot continue to live on the fringes of society, the Church must in the end accept the world such as it is, in order to penetrate inside the world and supposedly convert the world … The separation between Church and the State, the Church on equal footing with other religions, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience …, it is not possible to continue to fight against those things. These things are now admitted by everybody, even by priests!”

“But”, replied Archbishop Lefebvre, “one must take it or leave it. Either this is the end of Catholicism, or we defend truly Our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole Church and the whole Catholic religion … If we were to start to cohabit with evil, to discuss endlessly with evil, to make compromises with  evil, then we've lost, we've lost.”

I) To study liberalism is a pastoral duty

The Chapter insisted several times on the grave duty for a priest to study. Among topics that need to be studied, liberalism plays an important role. During a retreat that took place in Ecône, on September 22 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre expressed his astonishment regarding the “number of encyclicals about Freemasonry”.

“Why talk about those things in a seminary, as if this be the knowledge needed to be acquired in a seminary, as if this be what was needed to be taught to the faithful? But if one does not know the source of errors, of what destroys societies, souls and the Church, we would be incompetent shepherds …it is an absolute requirement to study liberalism and to understand it well and I believe that many of those that left us 'to rejoin Rome' so-say, did not understand what liberalism is and how Roman authorities since the Council are infested with these errors. If they had understood it, they would have fled it and would have stayed with us. This is serious, because by coming close to these authorities, one is necessarily contaminated. They represent the authority and we are subordinates … they impose on us their principles … so long as they do not rid themselves of these errors of liberalism, there is no way one can find an agreement with them, it is just not possible.”

Fellow priests “in favor of an agreement” and priests that find favor with the director of DICI – by the way this director is also a founder of GREC – have they read and understood references recommended by Archbishop Lefebvre on this topic? If yes, how could they wish to subject Tradition to Roman authority? Rome deceives the world, humiliates the Church and instead of denouncing this imposture, we are asking Rome to acknowledge us “as we are”(1)? And this, knowing that “discussions have showed profound disagreement on almost all topics discussed”(2)? What can explain such self-delusion, if it is not ignorance of liberalism?

II) The liberal is an illogical individual

“We are so much tempted by illogicality which is very close to liberalism. The liberal is one that would be tempted not to follow his intelligence when it needs to be put into practice because it is difficult, because it is hard work. He understands, but in practice, he compromises. He makes compromises with himself, but this compromise is a sin. We are illogical when we sin … there are always reasons to say: “it was a good thing in the past, it probably will be a good thing in the future, but today no … there are some truths that one should not say, that one should not assert”. Thus, about this attitude, it is imperative that this not be our attitude in our lives. We must avoid being illogical, being people who make things up…” (footnote 3).

And yet Bishop Fellay and his Council wrote to the three bishops: “For the common good of the Society, we would prefer by far the current interim solution of the statu quo, but obviously Rome no longer tolerates this situation”. (Bishop Fellay, letter dated April 14, 2012)

III) The virtue of Prudence

“Catholic liberals have kept on saying that their will for orthodoxy is equivalent of the most hard-line people. The compromise they have sought is not theoretical but practical.” … They always come back to this reasoning. They are telling us: “You see, we are shepherds. We accept the reality, we are concrete people, we are practical!” But what is the practice? The practice is the implementation of principles with the help of the virtue of prudence, it is nothing else than that. What is the practice when principles are missing? … “yes, yes, yes, we agree, we share the same Credo, etcetera. Yes, but when we find ourselves in the world, then one must adjust oneself to the level of the others, one must live with the others, if not you will never convert others”. To say this is a total error! … Popes have perceived the danger of those Catholics that are almost elusive because they claim when one wants to corner them: “No, no, I agree”. But afterwards, they come to terms with enemies of the Church … They are traitors … more dreadful than avowed enemies … they divide the minds, destroy unity, weaken strengths that instead should be combined all together against the enemy … You will be told that it is you who cause division, but it is not possible to divide when one abides by the truth … those who divide are those who try to diminish the truth in order to find agreement with everyone … Those that have it wrong must convert themselves to the truth and should not try to find common ground between truth and error …” (4)

During the Council, liberals put Catholics to sleep by telling them that dogma would remain untouched and that the Council was only taking care of pastoral matters; During the Society Council, liberals among us put us to sleep by saying that catholic principles are not being reviewed but that “this is not about a human prudence but” this is about a supernatural prudence, this is about “an equilibrium that is very fragile, that requires the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Counsel” (5). Archbishop Lefebvre, in a conference dated in year 1978 (assisted by the Holy Ghost?) claimed:

“I think that during the next meeting, it will be me who will ask them questions. I will be the one who will interrogate them and I will ask them: “What Church are you?” Which Church are we dealing with here, I would like to know if I am talking to the Catholic Church or if I am speaking with another Church, with a counter-Church, with a counterfeit Church? ...I sincerely believe that we are currently dealing with a counterfeit Church and not with the Catholic Church. Why do I say this? Because they no longer teach the Catholic Faith. They no longer defend the Catholic Faith. They are leading the Church into something other than the Catholic Church. It is no longer the Catholic Church. They sit on the chair of their predecessors, but they are not continuing their predecessors.”

Bishop Fellay does not think that way: “we are not talking about a Church that does not exist materially! We are talking about the Church that exists, really exists, that is in front of us, that has a hierarchy, with a pope. It is not the product of our imagination: the Church is there, the Church truly is there, it is the Roman Catholic Church. We claim and we must confess that this Church is holy, is one, because faith requires us to do so.” (6)

IV) This concrete Church, is it Catholic ?

Archbishop Lefebvre wished “to reintegrate in the official and standard structure of the Church”.

And yet:

“I believe," he used to say, "that we are in the Church and that we are the true sons of the Church, and that others are not. They are not the true sons of the Church, because liberalism is not a son of the Church. Liberalism is against the Church, liberalism operates to destroy the Church, in that sense they cannot claim that they are sons of the Church … some are prepared to sacrifice the fight for the faith by saying: “Let us first re-enter the Church! Let us first do everything to integrate the official, public structure of the Church. Let us be silent about dogmatic issues. Let us be silent about the malice of the [New] Mass. Let us keep quiet over the issues of religious freedom, Human Rights, ecumenism. And, once we are inside the Church, we will be able to do this, we will be able to achieve that …" That's absolutely false! You don't enter into a structure, under superiors, by claiming that you will overthrow everything as soon as you are inside, whereas they have all the means to suppress us! They have all the authority. What matters to us first and foremost it is to maintain the Catholic Faith. That's what we are fighting for. So the canonical issue, this purely public and exterior issue in the Church, is secondary. What matters, it is to stay within the Church … inside the Church, in other words, in the Catholic Faith of all time, in the true priesthood, in the true Mass, in the true sacraments, and the same catechism, with the same Bible. That's what matters to us. That's what the Church is. Public recognition is a secondary issue. Thus we should not seek what is secondary by losing what is primary, by loosing what is the primary goal of our fight! “Once we are recognised," you say, "we will be able to act from within the Church."  This is completely wrong; it is to totally misunderstand the minds of those in the present hierarchy! To realise this, one need only read that much talked about remark of Cardinal Ratzinger… I'll now read to you the sentence which is essential in his interview: “The problem of the nineteen sixties was to acquire for the Church the best values expressed during two centuries of liberal culture … this objective has been attained”. Yet the principles of two centuries of liberal culture are ecumenism and the declaration of Human Rights, religious liberty! And Cardinal Ratzinger recognizes them. He says: “this has been done!” … That's extremely serious! It condemns everything he says in his interview, because that is the heart of his thoughts, and that is what we have a problem with, it's what we do not want. We cannot place ourselves under an authority whose ideas are liberal and who little by little would condemn us, by the logic of the thing, to accept these liberal ideas and all the consequences of these liberal ideas, which are the new Mass, changes in the liturgy, changes in the Bible, changes in catechism, all these changes … Some say: “but they have fought against the catechism!” … yes, but they simply put the brakes on, because the changes were going so far that they even had to slow it down a bit. The consequences of their own principles scare them. Thus they put on the brakes at times, but they nevertheless continue to want to keep liberal ideas. Changing their liberal ideas is out of the question!” (7)

But Bishop Fellay stated: “Priests or bishops [and the pope?] are leading souls to hell […] And the Church, even in that state, remains holy, remains capable to sanctify. If today, dear faithful, we receive sacraments, grace, faith, it is through this Roman Catholic Church, not through its faults, but through this real concrete Church. […] The Church is today capable of transmitting the faith, of communicating grace, the sacraments.”(8) The illegitimate Mass ? The heresies of the new code and of the new catechism ? The sins against the faith in Assisi …? That's not the way Archbishop Lefebvre preached:

“I think you need to be convinced of this: you truly represent the Catholic Church … lately, we are being told that it is necessary that Tradition enters into the visible Church. I think a very, very serious error is committed here. Where is the visible Church ? … Where are the true marks of the Church? … Clearly we are the ones who preserve the Unity of the Faith, which has disappeared from the official Church … we are the ones who have the marks of the visible Church … it is not us but the modernists who leave the Church. And about the expression “to leave the visible Church”, it is an error to equate official Church with visible Church … is it therefore necessary to leave the official Church? To some extent, yes, it is obvious. One is obliged to leave the environment of these bishops, if one does not want to loose one’s soul. But this will not suffice because it is in Rome that heresy has settled. If bishops are heretics, it is not without the influence of Rome.” (9)

Bishop Fellay sharply distances himself from the ecclesiology of Archbishop Lefebvre. On the pretext of 'a mystery', he mixes up and amalgamates the Catholic Church and the conciliar Church in one unique “very concrete Church … that is in a miserable state.” (10)

V) To publicly rebuke those responsible for liberal errors

Our articles of association ask us to be attached “unfailingly to the Roman Church and to the successor of Peter who is acting as a true Successor of Peter”, but not to the conciliar Church: neither to a modernist who offers as an example of holiness a sacrilegious pope who kisses the Koran, nor to a pope who invites Julia Kriteva, representing the non-believers, in order “to pray for peace” (sic). This woman, after having praised John Paul II as apostle of Human Rights, declared: “thanks go to Pope Benedict XVI for having invited for the first time in these locations humanists among your ranks.” This woman wanted, in the sanctuary, “a world government that is ethical, universal and solidarity-based.” How is it possible that some superiors remained silent and sought an agreement with this conciliar Church when our patron saint warned the Catholic Church against this “vast movement of apostasy organized, in all countries, for the establishment of a universal Church.” (11)

The Chapter wants the Society to continue to “freely” “rebuke even publicly those responsible for liberal errors and their consequences”. Yet, let's not delude ourselves, if the head of the Church is modernist, the head of the Society is today seriously tainted with liberalism. All of us, particularly our superiors, have to examine our own conscience: will not each of us be, from our own place, responsible of the rise of liberalism in our own congregation?

Not long ago, Bishop Fellay explained to us that in 2006, “Heresies are spreading quickly” and “the authorities are propagating the modern and modernist spirit of Vatican II”, but that in year 2012, there is a restoration of the Church, ad intra, by Benedict XVI. And that “this requires us to take a new positioning with regards to the official Church … it is about a supernatural view on the Church.” (12) How can he have written these lines after Assissi III? Is Benedict XVI restoring the faith ad intra by organizing ad extra interreligious gatherings condemned by the Church, with on top of this, the help of humanist atheists to work for the “promotion of the true good of humanity”? One of our theologians who participated in the Roman discussions confided to one fellow priest: “Bishop Fellay's head is rotten but the Chapter will prevent him from signing. We'll just have to somehow make it through the next 6 years.” Is that such a sure thing? Is that enough? How many members of the Chapter are prepared to profess publicly the Catholic faith with all its consequences:

“We have never wanted to belong to that system that calls itself the 'Conciliar Church', and which defines itself by the Novus Ordo Missae, ecumenism disengaged from the Catholic cause and the widespread secularisation of all of society.”(13)

Archbishop Lefebvre was decieved in May 1988. In September 2012, in spite of his grace of state and in spite of his Council, in spite also of “the assistance of the Holy Ghost and the Gift of Counsel”, Bishop Fellay admitted that he was decieved regarding the intentions of the Pope. But, in reality, there is no deception, because Beedict XVI never hid his intentions. The problem comes from a hazy concept of the “real Church” which is “a very, very serious error.”

Errare humanum est, sed perseverare diabolicum! The liberalism of our superiors is a punishment for our congregation. Do we not share responsibility in that sin because of our negligence and failure to live from the treasure transmitted by our founder, because of our laxity, because of our worldly ties and because of our clerical presumption swollen with pride ?

Vigilate et orate.


1          Bishop Fellay, Cor unum, number 102, Summer 2012

2          Bishop Fellay, Cor unum, number 101, March 2012

3          Bishop Lefebvre, retreat in Ecône, September 17, 1981
4          Bishop Lefebvre, spiritual conference, Ecône, January 1974

5          Bishop Fellay, Cor unum, number 102, Summer 2012

6          Bishop Fellay, conference in Flavigny, September 2, 2012

7          Bishop Lefebvre, spiritual conference, Ecône, December 21, 1984

8          Bishop Fellay, November 1, 2012, Ecône

9          Ecône, September 9, 1988

10        Bishop Fellay, conference in Flavigny, September 2, 2012

11        Pie X, Notre charge apostolique, August 25, 1910

12        Bishop Fellay, Cor Unum, number 101, March 2012

13        Open letter of the superiors of the SSPX to cardinal Gantin, Ecône, July 6, 1988