Three Questions to Fr. Patrick Troadec

Source: FSSPX News


Why a book on the priest?

Given the interest of the faithful obtained by the book entitled The Mass of All Time, it seemed interesting to me to continue the publication of the words and writings of Archbishop Lefebvre, and to collect what he might have said and written about the priest.

I am utterly convinced that this collection of texts will help the readers to love the priesthood which is today especially forgotten and even despised at times. The drastic drop of vocations in France over the last 40 years cannot leave us indifferent. As the Curé of Ars quite rightly said: “Leave a parish without a priest for 20 years, and people will adore beasts.” The less priests there are, the more men stray away from the principles of the Gospel. This is why, to give a new impetus towards God to our once Catholic countries, it is vital that there rose a legion of generous young men, capable of giving up everything to follow Christ.


As you collected all the texts and conferences by Archbishop Lefebvre, did you make some discovery?

The surprise, if I may say so, is that going through all these documents I had no surprise as to substance. Our founder did not change anything. In Dakar, in Tulle, or in Ecône, he always taught the traditional doctrine on the priesthood.

Thus, I had the joy of finding unpublished documents, like this retreat given to priests in 1938. When I had the book read in avant-première, during meals in Flavigny, I asked my fellow priests: “From what time is this excerpt?”  One of them answered: “From the 80’s or 90’s.” I retorted: “Not so! It is from 1938!” This proves that the Archbishop never changed in his teaching.


Is the book addressed only to seminarians and priests?

It is first of all addressed to priests, but it was written with a broader audience in mind. Indeed, it seems to me, that in traditional circles, there are a number of persons who think that the vocation comes from God’s will alone, and forget that it is received into a nature which is more or less sound, more or less strong and well balanced. Yet, it is most necessary to prepare the soil so that grace may germinate and reach maturity. In underlining the demands of a vocation, the book, by the same token shows to parents the part which is theirs in the birth of a vocation.

Besides, many faithful pray for vocations. This book will enable to better direct their prayer, inasmuch as they will grasp more the nature of the ideal which is a passion for priestly souls.

But, I would also like to add that the book has been put together  not only for our family of thought, but also for those who, because they do not know us much, do not like us. Given the prejudices too often conveyed in the world about us, I feel sure that such a reading will be able to contribute to make Tradition better known as it really is, i.e. a living branch of the Catholic Church which draws by handfuls from the treasure of her past to give to souls what they need today.

When I make known Archbishop Lefebvre’s ideas through his words and writings, I do not wish to spread Lefebvrism around, for Archbishop Lefebvre himself used to say: “I am only a Catholic bishop whose sole ambition is to remain faithful to his priesthood by handing down what he has received.” As I hand down in turn the thoughts and writings of Archbishop Lefebvre, my only objective is to broadcast the integral Catholic doctrine. Such is the only way out, in the face of the evils from which the Church and the world are presently suffering.