Pope Paul VI, of whom Pope Francis is a great admirer, recognized the auto-destruction at work in the Church. At a time when the Vatican is joining a day of interreligious prayer supported by the United Nations, Archbishop Lefebvre’s fight remains more current than ever. Witnessed by the letter he wrote to Paul VI on July 17, 1976.
The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) wanted to be pastoral and not doctrinal. It committed the Church to dialogue with the world, by listening to modern man, his aspirations, and his needs. It also launched a process of dialogue with the religions of the world, Christian or not, as well as with the philosophies and followers of all doctrines, even atheists.
Today, Pope Francis’ decisions are firmly in line with the continuity of the Council and its reforms. They also correspond to the boldest initiatives of his predecessors, such as the interfaith meetings organized by John Paul II or Benedict XVI.
The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together of February 4, 2019, co-signed by the Sovereign Pontiff and the Grand Imam of the Cairo Mosque, as well as the May 14, 2020 initiative calling for “believers of all religions” to pray and fast to end the Covid-19 pandemic, with the support of the UN, are part of this logic. Because Vatican II “offers to mankind the honest assistance of the Church in fostering that brotherhood of all men” (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, December 7, 1965, no. 3, 2 & 91,1).
Restore All Things in Jesus Christ
Ordered to obey the Second Vatican Council, and to accept its reforms, its authority and its teaching, on July 17, 1976, Abp. Marcel Lefebvre addressed to Pope Paul VI a deferential letter in which he begged the Pope to restore the order in the Church:
“Most Holy Father, deign to manifest your will to see the Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ extended in this world, by restoring the Public Law of the Church, by giving the liturgy all its dogmatic value and its hierarchical expression according to the Latin Roman rite consecrated by so many centuries of use, by restoring the Vulgate to honor, by giving back to catechisms their true model, that of the Council of Trent. By taking these steps Your Holiness will restore the Catholic priesthood and the Reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ over persons, families, and civil societies.”
The prelate continued by showing the philosophical origin of the crisis which had contaminated the minds:
“(Your Holiness) will give back their correct concept to falsified ideas which have become the idols of modern man: liberty, equality, fraternity, and democracy - like your Predecessors.”
The founder of the Society of Saint Pius X was only inviting the Vicar of Christ to walk in the foot steps of Roman pontiffs such as Gregory XVI, Pius IX, or Leo XIII, who had condemned new doctrines. Born of the 1789 Revolution, these ideas were accommodated to the Gospel by liberalism and its “blasphemous rapprochements” (Saint Pius X, Letter of August 25, 1910 on the Sillon).
The mystery of iniquity
Finally, Archbishop Lefebvre denounced the origin of these harmful doctrines, and the agents of this general corruption of minds, even in the Church:
Let Your Holiness abandon that ill-omened undertaking of compromise with the ideas of modern man, an undertaking which originates in a secret understanding between high dignitaries in the Church and those of Masonic lodges, since before the Council.
This is the mystery of iniquity, which alone can explain the loss of faith and the “auto-destruction of the Church” invaded by “the smoke of Satan” (Paul VI).
While it is difficult to prove the affiliation of this or that modernist prelate to the Masonic sect, it is easy to see, however, that the ideas of Freemasonry have long infiltrated the discourse of men of the Church. Only the divine and Catholic faith is able to raise mountains while being the conqueror of the world and evil spirits.