Most Holy Father,
It is impossible
that the audience which you granted me was not the
will of God. For myself it was a great comfort to
be able to explain quite openly the circumstances
and motives surrounding the existence of the Society
of St. Pius X, and its seminaries, and the reasons
which led me to continue the work in spite of the
decisions coming from Fribourg and Rome.
The flood of
changes in the Church, accepted and encouraged by
the bishops, a flood devastating everything in its
path - faith, morals, the institutions of the Church
- could tolerate no obstacle, no resistance.
We had, therefore,
the choice either to let ourselves be swept away by
this stream of havoc, thereby adding to the disaster,
or to resist (against wind and tide) to safeguard
our Catholic Faith and Catholic priesthood. We were
not slow to decide.
Since May 5,
1975, the date of our decision to stand firm whatever
the cost, three and a half years have passed and have
shown us to be right. The ruins of the Church pile
up: atheism, immorality, abandoned churches, the disappearance
of religion and priestly vocations are now such that
the bishops have begun to be worried and the success
of Ecône is constantly brought to mind. Opinion polls
show that a large number of the faithful, sometimes
even a majority, are in favor of the attitude adopted
It is obvious
to any impartial observer that our work is a seed-bed
of priests such as the Church has always wished for
and the true faithful have always desired. And one
is entitled to think that if Rome would admit the
fact and give it the legality to which it has a right,
vocations would be even more abundant.
Most Holy Father,
for the honor of Jesus Christ, for the greater good
of the Church and for the salvation of souls, we entreat
you to say one word, a single word as the Successor
of Peter and as Pastor of the Universal Church, to
the bishops of the entire world: "Laissez
faire" — "Let them be"; "We
authorize the free practice of what many centuries'
Tradition has made use of for the sanctification of
would such an attitude create? None. The bishops would
decide the places, the times reserved for this Tradition.
Unity would immediately be restored at the level of
the local bishop. On the other hand, how advantageous
it would be for the Church: the renewal of seminaries,
and monasteries; great fervor in the parishes — the
bishops would be amazed in a few years to rediscover
an outburst of devotion and holiness they thought
had disappeared forever.
its seminaries and its priories, the situation would
be made normal, as happened with the Congregations
of Lazarists and Redemptorists. The priories would
serve the diocese by the preaching of parish Missions,
Ignatian retreats and by helping in the parishes,
in complete submission to the local Ordinary.
of the Church would be greatly improved by this very
simple method which is so consistent with the maternal
Spirit of the Church, not refusing those who come
to the aid of souls, not extinguishing the wick which
is still smoking, but rejoicing to see that the vitality
of Tradition is full of life and hope!
This is what
I believed I had to write to Your Holiness before
appearing before His Eminence Cardinal Seper. I fear
that long and detailed discussions will not lead to
a satisfactory result and will merely prolong a situation
which, I am convinced, must seem urgent to you.
cannot, in fact, be found in any compromise which
would in practice cause our work to vanish, thereby
adding yet another contribution to the destruction.
the entire disposition of Your Holiness, I beg you
to accept my profound and filial respect in Jesus