40th Anniversary of the November 21, 1974 Declaration of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

On this Anniversary of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s famous 1974 Declaration, we would do well to read and ponder it.  The following is the Declaration of a great man who stood fast in the True Faith he received, the Catholic Faith of 2,000 years, despite the attacks from the gates of hell:

We hold firmly with all our heart and with all our mind to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to the maintenance of this faith, to the eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth.

We refuse on the other hand, and have always refused, to follow the Rome of Neo-Modernist and Neo-Protestant tendencies, which became clearly manifest during the Second Vatican Council, and after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.

In effect, all these reforms have contributed and continue to contribute to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments, to the disappearance of the religious life, and to a naturalistic and Teilhardian education in the universities, in the seminaries, in catechetics: an education deriving from Liberalism and Protestantism which had been condemned many times by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.

No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can compel us to abandon or to diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries.

“Friends,” said St. Paul, “though it were we ourselves, though it were an angel from heaven that should preach to you a gospel other than the gospel we have preached to you, a curse upon him” (Gal. 1:8).

Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if there is a certain contradiction manifest in his words and deeds as well as in the acts of the dicasteries,* then we cleave to what has always been taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties which destroy the Church.

It is impossible to profoundly modify the Lex Orandi without modifying the Lex Credendi. To the New Mass there corresponds the new catechism, the new priesthood, the new seminaries, the new universities, the “Charismatic” Church, Pentecostalism: all of them opposed to orthodoxy and the never-changing Magisterium.

This reformation, deriving as it does from Liberalism and Modernism, is entirely corrupted; it derives from heresy and results in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical.

It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this reformation and to submit to it in any way whatsoever.

The only attitude of fidelity to the Church and to Catholic doctrine appropriate for our salvation is a categorical refusal to accept this reformation.

That is why, without any rebellion, bitterness, or resentment, we pursue our work of priestly formation under the guidance of the never-changing Magisterium, convinced as we are that we cannot possibly render a greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to posterity.

That is why we hold firmly to everything that has been consistently taught and practiced by the Church (and codified in books published before the Modernist influence of the Council) concerning faith, morals, divine worship, catechetics, priestly formation, and the institution of the Church, until such time as the true light of tradition dissipates the gloom which obscures the sky of the eternal Rome.

Doing this, with the grace of God, the help of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. Pius X, we are certain that we are being faithful to the Catholic and Roman Church, to all of Peter’s successors, and of being the Fideles Dispensatores Mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi In Spiritu Sancto.

+ Marcel Lefebvre

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