On November 21, 42 years ago...

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On November 21, 1974, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre published his famous declaration in Econe:

"We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to 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 were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it." (Read more here.)

On May 18, 1975, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X explained the exact meaning of this declaration:

"It was never my intention, nor that of my collaborators, to break in any way our unity with the Catholic Church and her legitimate head, Pope Paul VI. I therefore solemnly renew my attachment to the Sovereign Pontiff and the Catholic hierarchy of which, by the grace of God and the authority of the Apostolic See, I have been a member for nearly 30 years. It is impossible to interpret my November 21 declaration in a schismatic sense and I told Fr. de Nantes so in my letter on March 19, 1975, in which I wrote: 'Know that if a bishop breaks with Rome, it will not be me.' My declaration says so strongly and explicitly."

"However, to deny the modern and liberal influence at work in the Church, especially since Vatican Council II, in the reforms that pretend to be inspired by the Council, would be to deny the obvious state of affairs that grows daily more urgent and painful to the hearts of the faithful.

"We respect with the utmost sincerity the texts of this pastoral council in keeping with all Tradition, as the Sovereign Pontiff John XXIII explained in his allocution at the end of the opening Mass on October 11, 1962. That is why we vigorously reprove any ambiguity or abusive interpretation of the Vatican II texts and we profess the authority of this council with respect for the different theological notes that apply to all the conciliar texts. Faith in the Church, faith in the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, the refusal of anything that contributes to the auto-destruction of the Church, such is our position in and despite the present trial.

"Econe wishes to be a sacerdotal source to contribute to the edification of the Catholic, apostolic and Roman Church. Econe has no other objective."