October 1977 - Superior General's Letter #13
In the face of the constant progress of the auto demolition of the Church we have to react. All authority is at the service of life and ultimately supernatural life. Soon the seminaries in Germany and the USA will be obliged to move to larger premises.
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
At a time when the Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome to study the question of Catechetics, one would wish that the introductory pages to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, drawn up by the very authors of that Catechism, might be re-read by the Bishops present at the Synod. They would learn therein how those authors meant to resolve problems of adaptation.
Conciliar reform continues
We have every reason for fearing that, in spite of some good interventions, the work of conciliar reform will continue. It will not be the Archbishop of Saigon who will “put on the brakes” since he considers that the only catechetics possible in a Marxist country are collaboration with Marxism. And in that, he affirms, he is taking his stand on the texts of the conciliar decree Gaudium et Spes (cf. Edith Oelamare’s article in Rivarol, 13 October 1977).
The facts show us no sign of a return to Tradition, but much to the contrary, a continual establishing of ecumenism and Marxism. The most inconceivable innovations are left without public reprimand, whereas only those who maintain the Catholic Faith are hounded down and condemned.
In the face of the constant progress of the auto demolition of the Church, the Mystical Body of Our Lord, which is the living Church, reacts and demands that the hierarchy help it to survive, not die. Numerous members of the Mystical Body go to extraordinary lengths in order to survive, doing all they can to find faithful priests and bishops who will give them the sources of life.
Authority is at the service of life
In such a predicament, it is the law of survival which commands, and no positive law, even ecclesiastical, can contradict this primary and fundamental law. Authority, law in the Church, as in all society, is at the service of life, and ultimately supernatural life, which is life eternal.
It is not surprising that, when authority fails or is used to annihilate that which it ought to be building up, the social body finds itself crippled, and that the reaction takes place according to different criteria which can be somewhat divergent. The important thing is to save the Catholic Faith inscribed in our catechisms, to save the means of living it by the grace of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the Sacraments, to save the means of passing it on to future generations through Catholic schools and seminaries.
This is what we are trying to do through our seminaries and priories.
Faithful all over the world appeal to the Society
The appeal of the faithful is ever more widespread. Besides Europe and North America, South America, Australia, the Indies and Japan are also calling out to us.
Would that this appeal might be heard by Rome and by a great many bishops, and that they might respond to this expectation through the means which the Church has always used!
As for us, we are trying to respond through the means Providence places at our disposal: our forty priests and 140 seminarians of every nationality, our Brothers, our Sisters, our twenty houses, of which three are seminaries, all founded within eight years, are a proof that God is with us as our Helper.
New seminaries necessary for Germany and the States
This year we must find larger premises for our German-language seminary and also for our seminary in the United States. The growing number of vocations makes this obligatory. Thirty-nine new students have entered Econe, among them eight Americans, five Italians, and three Argentinians. Weissbad has received seven new-comers and the American seminary, sixteen.
Six have entered the Brothers’ Novitiate, and there are eight postulants for the Sisterhood as well as two oblates. In this connection we are taking part in the foundation of a Cistercian monastery for women, and also of a Carmel according to the most faithful traditions. Girls and women aspiring to a contemplative life can obtain the addresses of these two foundations by writing to us here at Ecône.
Nothing can be done without a redoubling of fervor in prayer
This is why we ask you, dear friends and benefactors, to continue helping us by your prayers and your gifts, persuaded moreover, that the difficulties with Rome will end well in a solution. But nothing can be done without a redoubling of fervor in prayer, in the Sacrifice of the Mass by the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin. She alone will vanquish all the obstacles which impede the Reign of her Divine Son from being extended over families and societies for the salvation of souls.
We remind you that the Rosary is recited every evening at seven o’clock in all our houses for the intentions of friends and benefactors living and dead. Unite with us in this supplication.
And may God bless you.
† Marcel Lefebvre
Feast of St. Margaret Mary
17 October 1977