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Archbishop Lefebvre - On the new Conciliar Church

  • "This Council represents, in our view and in the view of the Roman authorities, a new Church which they call the Conciliar Church." (Le Figaro, August 4, 1976)
  • “To be publicly associated with this sanction [of excommunication] which is inflicted upon the six Catholic Bishops, Defenders of the Faith in its integrity and wholeness, would be for us a mark of honor and a sign of orthodoxy before the faithful. They have indeed a strict right to know that the priests who serve them are not in communion with a counterfeit church, promoting evolution, pentecostalism and syncretism.” (Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin, July 6, 1988)
  • We have never wished to belong to this system which calls itself the Conciliar Church, and defines itself with the Novus Ordo Missæ, an ecumenism which leads to indifferentism and the laicization of all society. Yes, we have no part, nullam partem habemus, with the pantheon of the religions of Assisi; our own excommunication by a decree of Your Eminence or of another Roman Congregation would only be the irrefutable proof of this. We ask for nothing better than to be declared out of communion with this adulterous spirit which has been blowing in the Church for the last 25 years; we ask for nothing better than to be declared outside of this impious communion of the ungodly.” (Open Letter to Cardinal Gantin, July 6, 1988)
  • "It is not we who are in schism but the Conciliar Church." (Homily preached at Lille, August 29, 1976)
  • “It is impossible for Rome to remain indefinitely outside Tradition. It’s impossible… For the moment they are in rupture with their predecessors. This is impossible. They are no longer in the Catholic Church.” (Retreat Conference, September 4, 1987, Ecône)
  • John Paul II now continually diffuses the principles of a false religion, which has for its result a general apostasy.”(Preface to Giulio Tam’s Osservatore Romano 1990, contributed by the Archbishop just three weeks before his death)
  • “What could be clearer? We must henceforth obey and be faithful to the Conciliar Church, no longer to the Catholic Church. Right there is our whole problem: we are suspended a divinis by the Conciliar Church, the Conciliar Church, to which we have no wish to belong! That Conciliar Church is a schismatic church because it breaks with the Catholic Church that has always been. It has its new dogmas, its new priesthood, its new institutions, its new worship… The Church that affirms such errors is at once schismatic and heretical. This Conciliar Church is, therefore, not Catholic. To whatever extent Pope, Bishops, priests, or the faithful adhere to this new church, they separate themselves from the Catholic Church.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Reflections on his suspension a divinis, July 29, 1976)
  •  “I should be very happy to be excommunicated from this Conciliar Church… It is a Church that I do not recognize. I belong to the Catholic Church.” (Interview July 30 1976, published in Minute, no. 747)
  • “Such things are easy to say. To stay inside the Church, or to put oneself inside the Church - what does that mean? Firstly, what Church are we talking about? If you mean the Conciliar Church, then we who have struggled against the Council for twenty years because we want the Catholic Church, we would have to re-enter this Conciliar Church in order, supposedly, to make it Catholic. That is a complete illusion. It is not the subjects that make the superiors, but the superiors who make the subjects. Amongst the whole Roman Curia, amongst all the world's bishops who are progressives, I would have been completely swamped. I would have been able to do nothing...” (One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
  • “This talk about the "visible Church" on the part of Dom Gerard and Mr. Madiran is childish. It is incredible that anyone can talk of the "visible Church", meaning the Conciliar Church as opposed to the Catholic Church which we are trying to represent and continue. I am not saying that we are the Catholic Church. I have never said so. No one can reproach me with ever having wished to set myself up as pope. But, we truly represent the Catholic Church such as it was before, because we are continuing what it always did. It is we who have the notes of the visible Church: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. That is what makes the visible Church.” (One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
  • “That is no longer the Catholic Church: that is the Conciliar Church with all its unpleasant consequences.” (One Year After the Consecrations, July-August 1989)
  • “Obviously, we are against the Conciliar Church which is virtually schismatic, even if they deny it. In practice, it is a Church virtually excommunicated because it is a Modernist Church.” (One Year After the Consecrations, July-August, 1989)
  • “But the Church against her past and her Tradition is not the Catholic Church; this is why being excommunicated by a liberal, ecumenical, and revolutionary Church is a matter of indifference to us.” (Marcel Lefebvre, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, p.547)
  • “How can one avoid the conclusion: there where the faith of the Church is, there also is her sanctity, and there where the sanctity of the Church is, there is the Catholic Church. A Church which no longer brings forth good fruits, a Church which is sterile, is not the Catholic Church.” (Letter to Friends and Benefactors, September 8, 1978)
  • “I remark, first of all, that the expression "Conciliar Church" comes not from me but from H.E. Mgr. Benelli who, in an official letter, asked that our priests and seminarians should submit themselves to the "Conciliar Church." I consider that a spirit tending to Modernism and Protestantism shows itself in the conception of the new Mass and in all the Liturgical Reform as well. Protestants themselves say that it is so, and Mgr. Bugnini himself admits it implicitly when he states that this Liturgical Reform was conceived in an ecumenical spirit.” (Conference, January 11, 1979)
  • “The magisterium of today is not sufficient by itself to be called Catholic unless it is the transmission of the Deposit of Faith, that is, of Tradition. A new magisterium without roots in the past, and all the more if it is opposed to the magisterium of all times, can only be schismatic and heretical. The permanent will to annihilate Tradition is a suicidal will, which justifies, by its very existence, true and faithful Catholics when they make the decision necessary for the survival of the Church and the salvation of souls. Our Lady of Fatima, I am sure, blesses this final appeal in this 70th anniversary of her apparitions and messages. May you not be for a second time deaf to her appeal.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, July 8, 1987, Excerpt from the Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ratzinger)
  • “Well, we are not of this religion. We do not accept this new religion. We are of the religion of all time; we are of the Catholic religion. We are not of this 'universal religion' as they call it today-this is not the Catholic religion any more. We are not of this Liberal, Modernist religion which has its own worship, its own priests, its own faith, its own catechisms, its own Bible, the 'ecumenical Bible' - these things we do not accept.” (Sermon, July 29, 1976)
  • “…since they have put us out of an official Church which is not the real Church, [but] an official Church which has been infested with Modernism; and so we believed in the duty of disobedience, if indeed it was disobedience! To obey, but to obey the immemorial Church, to obey all the popes, to obey the whole Catholic Church…” (Ordination Sermon, June 27, 1980)
  • “It is easy to think that whoever opposes the Council and its new Gospel would be considered as excommunicated, as outside communion with the Church. But one may well ask them, communion with what Church? They would answer, no doubt, with the Conciliar Church.” (I Accuse the Council, p. xiii)
  • “Henceforth, the Church no longer accepts the one true Church, the only way of eternal salvation. It recognizes the other religions as “sister religions”. It recognizes as a right derived from the nature of the human person that “man is free to choose his religion,” and consequently the Catholic State is no longer admissible. Once this new principle is admitted, then all the doctrine of the Church must change: its worship, its priesthood, its institutions. For until now, everything in the Church manifested that she alone possesses the Truth, the Way, the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom she possesses in person in the Holy Eucharist, present, thanks to the continuation of His Sacrifice. The complete overthrow of the entire tradition and teaching of the Church has been brought about since the Council by the Council. All those who operate in the implementation of this overthrow accept and adhere to this new “Conciliar Church”, as His Excellency Bishop Benelli designates it in the letter he addressed to me in the name of the Holy Father last June 25th, and enter into schism.” (Conference, Econe, August 2, 1976)
  • The Conciliar Church, having now reached everywhere, is spreading errors contrary to the Catholic Faith and, as a result of these errors, it has corrupted the sources of grace, which are the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. This false church is in a ever-deeper state of rupture with the Catholic Church. Resulting on theses principles and facts is the absolute need to continue the Catholic episcopacy in order to continue the Catholic Church. … This is how the succession of the bishops came about in the early Church in union with Rome, as we are too in union with Catholic Rome and not modernist Rome.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Sermon)
  • It is, therefore, a strict duty for every priest wanting to remain Catholic to separate himself from this Conciliar Church for as long as it does not rediscover the tradition of the Church and of the Catholic Faith.” (Abp. Lefebvre, Spiritual Journey, p. 13)
  • The union desired by these Liberal Catholics, a union between the Church and the Revolution and subversion is, for the Church, an adulterous union, adulterous. And that adulterous union can produce only bastards. And who are those bastards? They are our rites: the rite of Mass is a bastard rite, the sacraments are bastard sacraments – we no longer know if they are sacraments which give grace or which do not give grace. We no longer know if this Mass gives the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ or if it does not give them. The priests coming out of the seminaries do not themselves know what they are. In Rome it was the Archbishop of Cincinnati who said: “Why are there no more vocations? Because the [Conciliar] Church no longer knows what a priest is.” How then can She still form priests if She does not know what a priest is? The priests coming out of the seminaries are bastard priests. They do not know what they are. They do not know that they were made to go up to the altar to offer the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ, to give Jesus Christ to souls, and to call souls to Jesus Christ. That is what a priest is. Our young men here know that very well. Their whole life is going to be consecrated to that, to love, adore, and serve Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The adulterous union of the Church with the Revolution is consolidated with dialogue. When the Church entered into dialogue it was to convert. Our Lord said: “Go, teach all nations, convert them.” But He did not say to hold dialogue with them so as not to convert them, so as to try to put us on the same footing with them. Error and truth are not compatible. We must see if we have charity towards others, as the Gospel says: he who has charity is one who serves others. But those who have charity should give Our Lord, they should give the riches they possess to others and not just converse with them and enter into dialogue on an equal footing. Truth and error are not on the same footing. That would be putting God and the Devil on the same footing, for the Devil is the father of lies, the father of error. We must therefore be missionaries. We must preach the Gospel, convert souls to Jesus Christ and not engage in dialogue with them in an effort to adopt their principles. That is what this bastard Mass and these bastard rites are doing to us, for we wanted dialogue with the Protestants and the Protestants said to us: “We will not have your Mass; we will not have it because it contains things incompatible with our Protestant faith. So change the Mass and we shall be able to pray with you. We can have intercommunion. We can receive your sacraments. You can come to our churches and we can come to yours; then it will be all finished and we shall have unity.” We shall have unity in confusion, in bastardy. That we do not want. The Church has never wanted it. We love the Protestants; we want to convert them. But it is not loving them to let them think they have the same religion as the Catholic religion.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, Sermon at Lille, France, August 1976)
  • “We are now faced with a grave choice: either we agree with the Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom, and thus oppose the teachings of the Popes, or we agree with the teachings of the popes, and thus disagree with Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Freedom. It is impossible to subscribe to both. I have made my choice: I choose Tradition. I cling to Tradition over novelty which is merely an expression of Liberalism, the very Liberalism condemned by the Holy See for a century and a half. Now this Liberalism has penetrated the Church through the Council, and its catchwords remain the same; liberty, equality and fraternity. The spirit of Liberalism permeates the Church today, though its catchwords are thinly veiled: Liberty is Religious Freedom; Fraternity is Ecumenism; Equality is Collegiality. These are the three principles of Liberalism, the legacy of the 18th century philosophers and of the French Revolution. The [Conciliar] Church today is approaching its own destruction because these principles are absolutely contrary to nature and to faith. There is no true equality possible, and Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical on freedom clearly explained why.” (Archbishop Lefebvre, “Luther’s Mass”, February 15th, 1975)
  • Sadly recognising that the consequences of the conciliar revolution seems to be intent on becoming institutionalised and supplant the true Catholic institutions with the risk of arriving at the same results as in political society, which is sinking into a state of permanent revolution, our resolution to maintain and develop the divine institutions of the Church should be more firm than ever, for if political institutions can disappear, this can never happen to the Church. (Letter to Friends and Benefactors, March 1981)
  • It is because the novelties which have invaded the Church since the Council diminish the adoration and the honor due to Our Lord, and implicitly throw doubt upon His divinity, that we refuse them. These novelties do not come from the Holy Ghost, nor from His Church, but from those who are imbued with the spirit of Modernism, and with all the errors which convey this spirit, condemned with so much courage and energy by St. Pius X. This holy Pope said to the bishops of France with regard to the Sillon movement: “The true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but the men of tradition.” (Letter to Friends and Benefactors, April 1980)