September 1985 - Superior General's Letter #29
Archbishop Lefebvre has had a richly blessed 80 years, but his most important work has been the recent rescue of Holy Mother Church. Ecône has become the model for training priests in our time. God's sanctuary is reconstructed and the enemy kept at bay, though the adversaries press on with their liberal theology.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Archbishop Lefebvre has had a richly blessed 80 years
When His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre celebrates in a few weeks his 80th birthday (November 29th), he can look back on a richly-filled life blessed by God: a life as missionary in Africa, as Archbishop of Dakar and Apostolic Delegate of the Holy See for sixty-four dioceses, as Bishop of Tulle, as Superior General of the five-thousand-strong Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers.
His most important work has been the rescue of Holy Mother Church
However, Divine Providence reserved his finest, greatest and most important work for his later years: total involvement in the battle for the rescue of Holy Mother Church, her dogmas, and the Kingship of her Lord and Master, the preservation of the Catholic priesthood and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, through the founding of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.
For fifteen years young men from all over the world have been leaving family, profession, work and home, drawn by the light of his glowing faith and by the warmth of his burning love of God, in order to be formed in one of his seminaries and to ascend the steps to the altar. "Gaudium meum et corona mea" he called some of these young men a little while ago in the words of St. Paul: "You are my joy and my crown." This year there are seventy of them who have come from twenty countries, not counting the vocations of Brothers and Sisters.
Ecône has become the model for training priests in our time
"The Priestly Society could be training clergy strong in the Faith throughout the world; Ecône would thereby become the model for training priests in our time," as a Cardinal said to me not long ago. His words sounded to me almost prophetic. For indeed we are on the point of founding two new seminaries: one in central Africa in the region where "Father Marcel" (before he became Archbishop) used to work, the other in India to serve the whole of Asia. Yet these are not the only signs of the visible blessing of God. Rather we are looking forward with anticipation and joy to the imminent priestly ordinations on December 1st, the first to take place at the Seminary of Mary, Co-Redemptrix, in LaReja, Argentina—ordinations which will bring the number of our priests to one hundred and sixty! We are overwhelmed with God's mercies when we see ten new churches and more than twenty new chapels throughout the world which we were able to open this year alone: when we see new schools arising in France, the Spiritual Exercises being given in Lebanon in late July, the active charity of the faithful of the priory in Saarbrucken taking upon themselves the patronage of our apostolate in Asia . . .
God's sanctuary reconstructed and the enemy kept at bay
The summons to the crusade for Holy Church seems day to day to be translating into action, thanks to your powerful cooperation, dear friends and benefactors. The last remains of Christendom, with the devastation of the innovators all around them, are taking up arms in self defense. With their right hand they reconstruct God's sanctuary, with their left they holy the enemy at bay. Peacefully but resolutely they advance as missionaries to the conquest of lost territory. They counsel those in doubt, they teach the ignorant, they correct sinners, they console the sorrowful, they forgive wrong inflicted on them, they bear patiently with the troublesome, they pray to God for the living and the dead.
Adversaries advance with liberal theology
Nor are their adversaries standing idle. Liberal theology so-called, in fact Marxism in religious dress, has in the meantime created 120,000 basic communities in South America alone. The inculturation in Africa and Asia, which is nothing other than the taking of African and Asian Christians back to their old heathenism, is steadily spreading, whipped on by its ideological promoters.
However, to go no farther abroad than Europe, last but not least there was recently approved in Switzerland—through the betrayal of the bishops—new marriage legislation, opposed to natural law and to divine revelation alike, which totally destroys all authority in the family. In Germany, the President of the Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Hoeffner, signed a common statement, according to which mixed marriages may be celebrated in the Catholic or the Protestant Church, the children born from the marriage may be baptized in either church and brought up in either religion. With regard to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Protestant Supper, the document speaks of agreement despite a "few differences"!
The tree is known by its fruits
Do such bishops still have the Catholic Faith? And in such conditions, what is to be expected of the special Synod of Bishops, due to take place this year in Rome between November 25th and December 8th? In any case we renounce in advance any attempt with Cardinal Ratzinger to "discover the true face" of the supposedly misunderstood and misinterpreted Second Vatican Council, we cleave much rather to the words of Our Savior, that the tree is known by its fruits, which, in the case of Vatican II, have led to a worldwide syndrome of heavy poisoning. Seventy thousand priests who have abandoned the priesthood are merely one symptom among many others.
"Pray without ceasing," we are admonished by St. Paul, following Our Lord, Who calls upon us to watch and to pray. Keeping the Faith, perseverance in prayer, apostolic deeds and courageous striving for holiness, are the order of the day. May the Mediatrix of all graces help us to this end. May she richly reward with many graces from heaven your generous support of our work. May she lead the straying Church back to the poor, humble, Crucified Savior, Jesus Christ!
Father Franz Schmidberger
The Society of Saint Pius X
27 September 1985