October 1980 - Superior General's Letter #19
This nineteenth semi-annual letter coincides with the tenth anniversary of the official approval given to our Society by His Excellency Mgr. Charriere, Bishop of Fribourg, on November 1st, 1970. Let us thank God Who everywhere blesses the efforts of those who persevere in the Faith and in Tradition.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
This nineteenth semi-annual letter coincides with the tenth anniversary of the official approval given to our Society by His Excellency Mgr. Charriere, Bishop of Fribourg, on November 1st, 1970. How many events since that date have shown that the Church has been veritably seized and occupied by Modernism. Many books have described in a disturbing way the result of this penetration into Roman ranks and into episcopal curias.
In the face of this sad spectacle, which gets worse every year, one could even say every month, we put aside our expressions of indignation and sadness. Still, we could deplore the persecution whose object is the most worthy and venerable priests, such as our dear friend Canon Catta, treasurer of the Visitandines of Nantes for forty years, and dean of the chapter. More than eighty years of age, he was deprived shortly before his death of his function as dean of the chapter. Mistreated by his confrères at the rest home, he sought refuge for his meals with the Visitandines, who ended by asking him to return to the rest home where, broken-hearted, he succumbed to cardiac arrest, and all this because he persevered in celebrating the Holy Mass of his ordination. His burial was completely contrary to what he had requested. Thus, traditionalists are pursued beyond death, for the crime of fidelity.
On the tombs of these holy priests, over the graves of so many of the faithful, prematurely dead because of this grievous persecution, we should take our oath of fidelity, an oath which is none other than the profession of faith and the Anti-Modernist Oath of St. Pius X, the last canonized Pope. Supported by twenty centuries of Faith and Tradition, we can and must persevere without fear, in the conviction that Truth must triumph, because it is divine. Our Lord said it: “I am the Truth.”
Instead of complaining and being discouraged, let us thank God Who everywhere blesses the efforts of those who persevere in the Faith and in Tradition. It would be impossible to note in detail the countless blessings which we have witnessed, or which have been confided to us by those who have received them. The many vocations which are joining the Society or the many communities faithful to Tradition, each have their own moving story. They are flowers blooming amid the brambles and thorns.
Retreat masters of the Society could write books about the conversions they have witnessed. Priests who minister to summer camps tell us with deep emotion of the extraordinary return to the Faith and to the practice of religion recovered by contact with Tradition and above all with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Foundations such as schools, universities, seminaries all have a story which reveals the intervention of Divine Providence. And all the works faithful to Tradition bear witness in the same way. One small example: the bishop of Kansas City (USA), put on the market a large, spacious church, furnished with beautiful altar, organ and pews seating a thousand. The Father in charge of the Southern District made efforts to acquire it through a third party, but the bishop’s office got wind of who the buyer was, and his link with Archbishop Lefebvre. The answer was a categorical refusal to sell. A black Protestant bishop then appeared on the scene. Not only was this purchaser very welcome, but, in the name of ecumenism, the price was cut by half. Now, for reasons unknown, this Protestant bishop hastened to re-sell the church to our District Superior, who thus benefitted by the lower price. So the Society from now on can accommodate many of the faithful for beautiful ceremonies in a splendid church in the heart of Kansas City.
Let us keep our trust and our courage, as St. Paul says: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” This month let us pray to the Virgin Mary to deliver Holy Church from her enemies within, as she did at the time of St. Pius V from enemies without.
Help us with your prayers and your generosity to pursue the work of rejuvenating the Church with true and holy priests. May God bless you.
† Marcel Lefebvre
1 October 1980