The Recusant

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

SSPX Propaganda War - Part 2

DICI attempts to reinvent Archbishop Lefebvre

Further to our report on the laughable attempt on the part of the US District, via a certain "Pastor in the Corner" to convince the faithful that it is sinful for them to seek knowledge about matters concerning the SSPX, comes this latest rather alarming attempt from the continental SSPX to twist history, and in particular, to reinvent Archbishop Lefebvre. 

On the French Section of the DICI website (oddly enough, it does not appear on the English version of the same website!) we find an article entitled: "En ce 21 novembre, il y a 38 ans…" ("21st November: 38 years ago today")

Posted on 20th November, it begins with the two opening paragraphs of Archbishop Lefebvre's famous 1974 Declaration:

"We adhere with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to maintain that Faith, to Eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth.

On the other hand, we refuse and have always refused to follow the Rome of the neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies manifested clearly in the Second Vatican Council and after the Council in all the reforms which came from it."

The article then says "Find the rest here," and provides a link. 

In the current circumstances, and especially in view of previous Menzingen sleights of hand and attempts at deception, the first question which springs naturally to the mind of the ever suspicious, sceptical anti-sellout Traditionalist is this: "Why don't they reproduce the entire declaration?" Perhaps you too have already begun forming possible answers to that question. We will return to it shortly.

Below those opening paragraphs of the 1974 Declaration, the article continues: 

"On the 18th May, 1975, the founder of the SSPX gave the precise meaning of this declaration." There follows another text, purportedly a quote from the Archbishop in 1975.  It runs as follows:

"It has never been my intention nor that of my colleagues, to break unity in any way with the Catholic Church nor its legitimate leader, Pope Paul VI. I also solemnly renew my commitment to the Sovereign Pontiff and the Catholic hierarchy of which, by the grace of God and the authority of the Apostolic See, I have been a member for nearly 30 years. To interpret my statement of 21st November [1974] is an impossibility."

After referring to a recent exchange of letters with the Abbé de Nantes, the quote continues:

"We comply in all sincerity with the texts of this pastoral Council in line with all of Tradition, just as Pope John XXIII stated in his speech with which he finished the opening Mass on 11th October, 1962. That is why we vigorously condemn any ambiguity and misinterpretation of the texts of Vatican II and we profess the authority of this Council in the various theological notes applicable to all the Conciliar texts.  Faith in the Church, faith in the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the rejection of everything that contributes to the auto-demolition of the Church, this is the line that we follow during and in spite of the present trials.

Ecône wishes to be a priestly source for the building up of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church."

Having ended the supposed quote from the Archbishop Lefebvre, the DICI author then closes by reminding his readers of the words of Bishop Fellay, in an interview given to DICI in mid-July, 2012. We must maintain the course set for the SSPX by its founder, says Bishop Fellay, which, he adds, is rather like walking along a ridgeline. "We are Catholics, we recognize the Pope and the bishops, but must above all maintain unaltered the Faith, the source of God's grace. It is therefore necessary to avoid anything that could put it in danger, yet we do not substitute ourselves for the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. Far from us the idea to create a parallel Church, exercising a parallel magisterium!"

To the astute reader, most of the things which we could point out will already have become apparent. Bishop Fellay is being presented to us as "maintaining the line set by the SSPX's founder". Which line is that? Why, the one which fits best with the most lengthy quote in this DICI article, from March 1975. Archbishop Lefebvre, in turn, is being presented as posthumously endorsing Bishop Fellay's words and actions in 2012. We noted above that this article, containing what purports to be the words of the Archbishop, does not appear on the English website. Regarding that supposed quote, we have no evidence at all that those are in fact Archbishop Lefebvre's words, except the bare assertion on the part of the article's anonymous author. 

We also note the following about the supposed quote of Archbishop Lefebvre:

a) It is entirely new to us. We have never seen, heard of, nor read it before, nor seen it referenced, referred to or paraphrased by another at any point. We have asked priests and faithful, and have yet to meet anyone who has ever seen or heard of it before either. Why not ask your priest if he knows of this quote, or if he knew of it before DICI published it, and let us know what he says?

b) It is not sourced. We are not given a source for this quote; hence the DICI author keeps from his readers the time, place and full context of the quote. Unusual, is it not, in view of Bishop Fellay himself resorting to claims that he was "quoted out of context" by CNS, not so very long ago? Where did the Archbishop say this? When did he say it - not just a date, but in the context of events, people and places? Was it written or spoken? To whom, and why?

c) Why would Archbishop Lefebvre seek to "interpret" the true "meaning" of his own Declaration? The Declaration of November 1974 speaks for itself. We find that rather strange, and demanding of answers which the DICI author pointedly avoids giving. 

d) Even supposing these contentious words in the quote to be genuinely those of the Archbishop, does it not say something that DICI and Menzingen must resort to an unsourced, never-before-heard-of quote, taken from 1975 (almost 40 years ago, and quite a while before Assisi, the Consecrations, and the rest of it) to attempt to show us that Archbishop Lefebvre would have approved of their current politicking with the Modernists?

e) Again, assuming that the quote is genuine, as mentioned many times before - and we will say it again because it cannot be said often enough! - actions speak louder than words. Concerning Archbishop Lefebvre, this is especially true. One must be very wary of quotes taken from him which do not appear to sit well with his very public actions such as the Consecrations of 1988. If the Archbishop appeared to alter his attitude more than once, let it be remembered that he spent more than twenty years fighting singlehandedly to stem a crisis for which Catholic history knows no precedent. Yet when Assisi took place, his mind became more resolute. At the Consecrations, and in the three years following them, up to his death, he spoke and wrote consistently concerning the Conciliar apostasy. The Archbishop's actions, and his consistent words towards the end of his life are what belie any supposed "quotes" such as the one offered to us by DICI in the article.

As mentioned above, the famous 1974 Declaration, of which we most certainly do know the source and context, is not quoted in full whereas this contentious supposed quote is reproduced at length by the DICI author. Why might that be? Reasons of space, perhaps? We find that hard to believe. After all, DICI is not a low budget website like The Recusant! Because the one quote is already familiar to the reader, perhaps, whereas the other is not? Perhaps, but why not just quote the entire 1974 declaration anyway? It's not overly long, and if some people already know it by heart, they will naturally skip over it to read what they haven't already seen. Could it perhaps be that the 1974 declaration, in its entirety, is too strongly worded and does not support the idea of Archbishop Lefebvre giving his posthumous approval to Bishop Fellay's ongoing attempt to Conciliarise the SSPX...? We leave you to decide that. We feel that "It begins with Heresy and ends with Heresy" does clash somewhat with "We are Catholics. We recognise the Pope and the Bishops." But that's just our opinion. Perhaps we're wrong. It may be no more than a slight aversion on the part of the DICI author to the wording of the 1974 declaration.

In any event, it is clear that a sleight of hand has been attempted by DICI on this one occasion at least. As with the US District "Pastor's" lecturing about the sinfulness of wishing to know the truth, as with all such attempts, we expect it not only to fall flat, but ultimately to backfire. The more examples our opponents provide us with, the more people will be likely to wake up and join our cause. On this occasion they have been caught trying to refashion Archbishop Lefebvre in their own image and likeness. The result is not pleasant to behold. That they must go to such lengths of distortion, half-truths and make use of unsourced quotes also speaks volumes: they obviously aren't finding their task easy!

Finally, lest we forget, the title of this DICI article was "On this day, 38 years ago" - a direct reference to the November 1974 Declaration. The article was supposed to be about the November 1974 Declaration. Yet not only did it fail to reproduce more than the opening two paragraphs of that declaration, it also failed to really say anything at all about that same Declaration. Instead we were shown how Archbishop Lefebvre was really just like Bishop Fellay. On the anniversary of the November 1974 Declaration, would it not be appropriate to actually to say something about that Declaration? Why did DICI, whilst trying to look like they were saying something, actually duck out of the opportunity? 

The contrast between Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Fellay, between the SSPX leadership of 1974 and today, could not be starker. 

Please be on your lookout for further similar examples of this attempted twisting of reality. We mustn't let them get away with it. Every time the pro-sellout propagandist are exposed is a minor victory for the cause of Traditon.