In last month’s issue of The Recusant (www.The Recusant.com) is a translation into English of Archbishop Lefebvre’s last interview, published in French ( Fideliter #79) shortly before his death in March of 1991. He is always refreshing to read. He is clear, because he thinks from basic Catholic principles. He is transparent, because he has nothing to hide. He is unambiguous, because he is not trying to compromise Our Lord’s Church with Satan’s Vatican II. But notice how the interviewer’s questions indicate that the readership of Fideliter was naturally inclining to take the direction which the Society of St Pius X would begin to take a few years after the Archbishop’s death. Here is a selection of the questions and answers, somewhat abbreviated:—
Q: Why can you not make one last approach to Rome? We hear the Pope is “ready to receive you.” A: That is absolutely impossible, because the principles which now guide the Conciliar church are more and more openly contrary to Catholic doctrine. For instance Cardinal Ratzinger recently said that the Popes’ great anti-modernist documents of the 19 th and 20 th centuries rendered a great service in their day, but are now outdated. And John-Paul II is more ecumenical than ever (1990). “It is absolutely inconceivable that we can agree to work with such a hierarchy.”
Q; Has the situation in Rome deteriorated even since the negotiations of 1988?
A: Oh yes! “We will have to wait some time before considering the prospect of making an agreement. For my part I believe that God alone can save the situation, as humanly we see no possibility of Rome straightening things out.”
Q: But there are Traditionalists who have made an agreement with Rome while conceding nothing. A: That is false. They have given up their ability to oppose Rome. They must remain silent, given the favours they have been granted. Then they begin to slide ever so slowly, until they end up admitting the errors of Vatican II. “It’s a very dangerous situation.” Such concessions by Rome are meant only to get Traditionalists to break with the SSPX and submit to Rome.
Q: You say that such Traditionalists have “betrayed.” Isn’t that a bit harsh?
A: Not at all! For instance Dom Gérard made use of me, of the SSPX and its chapels and benefactors, and now they suddenly abandon us and join with the destroyers of the Faith. They have abandoned the fight for the Faith. They can no longer attack Rome. They have understood nothing of the doctrinal question. It is awful to think of the youngsters who joined them for the sake of Tradition and are now following them to Conciliar Rome.
Q: Is there a danger in remaining friends with Traditionalists who have gone over to Rome, and in attending their Masses?
A: Yes, because at Mass there is not only the Mass but there is also the sermon, the atmosphere, the surroundings, the conversations before and after Mass, and so on. All of these things make you little by little change your ideas. There is a climate of ambiguity. One is in an atmosphere submissive to the Vatican, subject ultimately to the Council, so one ends up by becoming ecumenical.
Q; John-Paul II is very popular. He wants to unite all Christians.
A: But in what unity? No longer in the Faith which a soul must accept, and which calls for conversion. The Church has been distorted, from being a hierarchical society into being a “communion.” Communion in what? Not in the Faith. No wonder one hears that Catholics are leaving the Faith in droves. (to be continued)