Remarks with Respect to the
to Succeed His Excellency Bishop de Castro Mayer
to me very important in the solution of the problems of jurisdiction
of the new bishop with respect to his priests and faithful.
First of all,
it must be noted that his situation is not exactly the same as that
of Bishop de Castro Mayer. This latter is Bishop Emeritus of Campos,
after having been its residential bishop. Hence, one could conclude
that he kept, if not a juridical power, at least a moral power,
which given the present circumstances, could justify a pastoral
action with respect to his former priests and faithful.
This is not
the case with the new bishop, who has no other basis for jurisdiction
than that which comes from the requests of the priests and the faithful
to take care of their souls and those of their children, and who
have asked him to accept the episcopacy so as to give them true
Catholic priests and the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Thus it is clear that the jurisdiction of the new bishop is not
territorial but personal, as becomes also the jurisdiction of the
the faithful request from the priests and the bishop the sacraments
and the doctrine of the Faith, the priests and the bishop have the
duty to watch over the good reception and good use of doctrine and
the grace of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Sacraments. The faithful
cannot request the Sacraments and at the same time refuse the vigilant
authority of the priests and the bishop.
In order to
watch over the good order of the apostolate and its efficacy, the
organization of the Society of the holy Cure of Ars seems very appropriate
and ought to reunite obligatorily all the priests who desire to
continue the traditional apostolate.
It would seem
desirable that the bishop, once consecrated, be named president
of the presbyteral council for life, in order that he might hold
an authority, which is indispensable for the nomination of priests,
for new foundations, for inter-parish activities, for the seminary
and religious societies.
Since the jurisdictional
authority of the bishop does not come from a Roman nomination, but
from the necessity of the salvation of souls, he will have to exercise
it with a special delicacy and taking special account of his presbyteral
faithful and priests must acknowledge the grace of having a pastor,
successor of the Apostles, and guardian of Tradition of the deposit
of the Faith, of the eucharistic Sacrifice, of the Catholic priesthood
and of the grace of the Sacraments, and they must consequently facilitate
the exercise of his authority by a generous obedience.
Since the jurisdiction
of the bishop is not territorial but personal and has as its source
the duty of the faithful to save their souls, if a group of faithful
in the diocese calls upon the bishop to have a priest, this group
gives by this very fact, authority to the bishop to watch over the
transmission of the Faith and of grace in this group, by the intermediary
of the priest that he sent.
Thus, so it
seems to me, will be resolved in an order, which is in conformity
to the spirit of the Church, the delicate problems which come from
an episcopal consecration without the explicit mandate of Rome but
with the implicit mandate of the Roman Church, Guardian of the Faith.
The new bishop
remains the ontological link with the Church, faithful to its Divine
Spouse, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
+ Marcel Lefebvre
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
No. 8, August 1991