The Episcopal Consecrations A Decision and Explanatory Documents

Bishop Williamson's letter
1. A Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to the Pope, Ecône, June 2, 1988

2. A Public Statement on the Occasion of the Episcopal Consecration of
   Several Priests of the Society of St. Pius X
    Note 1. Declaration of Paul VI, Osservatore Romano, August 24, 1969
    Note 2, Secretariat for the Unity of Christians at the Council

3. Statement of Archbishop. Lefebvre on March 29, 1988

4. Archbishop Lefebvre's Letter to the Future Bishops, on the Feast of St. Augustine,     August 29, 1987
5. Biographical Notes on the Candidates for the Episcopacy

    Father Tissier de Mallerais

Father Richard Williamson
Father A1fonso de Galarreta
    Father Bernard Fellay
6. Considerations of Canon Law: The Dispositions of Canon Law in Case of
7. A Testimonial: --Rome and the "Reconciliation'

June 15, 1988.

Dear Friends and Benefactors,

The die is cast, and, God willing, Archbishop Lefebvre will be consecrating four bishops for the Society and for the Catholic Church, at the Society's Seminary in Ecône in Switzerland, on June 30, with or without Rome's authorisation.

The sincere hopes of many good people for a reconciliation between the Society and Rome will be dashed to the ground by such a decision. The enclosed documentation is being sent to you all by first class mail in advance of June 30 to help you to understand why such a decision was necessary. Rome and the Society met together from July of last year to June of this year in their common desire to find an accord, but there was no meeting of minds. While the Society is intent upon preserving Tradition, today's Rome is intent upon dissolving it. That is what these documents are to help you to grasp.

Firstly, there is Archbishop Lefebvre's June 2 letter to the Holy Father requesting of him more than the one bishop granted by the Pope at the end of May, and requesting above all a majority of members on the Commission for Tradition which was meant in the Society's mind to guarantee the protection of Tradition, but in Rome's mind to ensure its dissolution.

Secondly, there is a statement concerning the episcopal consecrations by Archbishop Lefebvre, going back to 1983 and just as appropriate today.. The Archbishop has not changed. Rome has not changed. When Vatican II turned the Church's back on Tradition, and when in 1970 the Archbishop founded the Society (canonically) to defend Tradition, logically the clash of today was inevitable. For different reasons both parties have sought to avoid the clash, but a "fact is stranger than the Lord Mayor;" says the proverb. In fact, Tradition and anti-Tradition are not reconcilable. See the incident of 1969 in Note 1.

Thirdly, there is a text of Archbishop Lefebvre dating from March of this year; and explaining how the Pope has a right to our disobedience.

Fourthly, there is the Archbishop's letter to the four future bishops, for whom please pray that the words of the Prophet Jeremiah be realised (Chapter 23). "And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed.” The letter is followed by biographical notes on each of the four:

Then there are notes on Canon Law's provisions for a state of emergency by a German professor, expert in Church Law. These notes most interestingly indicate that under today's circumstances, the New Code itself says that its own automatic excommunication for "unauthorized" consecrators and consecrated would not be automatic.

And lastly-and you might like to start with this one-read the letter of the seminarian who quit Ecône at Pentecost of 1986 to help found in Rome an alternative Traditional seminary under Rome's protection. He learned the hard way what we said at the time, namely that to entrust Tradition to today's Romans is like asking the fox to look after the chicken-coop.

This was in fact the decisive reason why the negotiations failed. The Archbishop knew that Rome's intentions were not to protect Tradition. Thus from the French Embassy in Rome a quote of Cardinal Ratzinger at the time of the negotiations was relayed to the Archbishop, in which the Cardinal reassured some French politician that the Commission for Tradition was only to be very provisional, to arrange for the re-insertion of the Ecône priests into the official dioceses….

The Archbishop has not defended Tradition all the way up till now in order now to hand it over to the wolves. Always pray for this great shepherd of souls. He does not think he is much longer for this life after June 30.

Sincerely yours in Our Lord's service,

Fr. Richard Williamson

1. A Letter of Archbishop Lefebvre to the Pope, Ecône, June 2, 1988

Most Holy Father,

The conversations and meetings with Cardinal Ratzinger and his collaborators, although they took place in an atmosphere of courtesy and charity, persuaded us that the moment for a frank and efficacious collaboration between us had not yet arrived.

For indeed, if the ordinary Christian is authorised to ask the competent Church authorities to preserve for him the Faith of his Baptism, how much more true is that for priests, religious, and nuns?

It is to keep the Faith of our Baptism intact that we have had to resist the Spirit of Vatican II and the reforms inspired by it.

The false ecumenism which is at the origin of all the Council's innovations in the Liturgy, in the new relationship between the Church and the world, in the conception of the Church itself, is leading the Church to its ruin and Catholics to apostasy.

Being radically opposed to this destruction of our faith and determined to remain within the traditional doctrine and discipline of the Church, especially as far as the formation of priests and the religious life is concerned, we find ourselves in the absolute necessity of having ecclesiastical authorities who embrace our concerns and will help us to protect ourselves against the Spirit of Vatican II and the Spirit of Assisi.

That is why we are asking for several bishops chosen from within Catholic Tradition, and for a majority of the members on the projected Roman Commission for Tradition, in order to protect ourselves against all compromise.

Given the refusal to consider our requests, and it being evident that the purpose of this reconciliation is not at all the same in the eyes of the Holy See as it is in our eyes, we believe it preferable to wait for times more propitious for the return of Rome to Tradition. That is why we shall give ourselves the means to carry on the work which Providence has entrusted to us, being assured by his Eminence Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of May 30th that the episcopal consecration is not contrary to the will of the Holy See, since it was granted for August 15th.

We shall continue to pray for modern Rome, infested with Modernism, to become once more Catholic Rome and to rediscover its 2000 year-old Tradition. Then the problem of our reconciliation will have no further reason to exist and the Church will experience a new youth.

Be so good, Most Holy Father, as to accept the expression of my most respectful and filially devoted sentiments in Jesus and Mary,

Marcel Lefebvre

2. A Public Statement on the Occasion of the Episcopal Consecration of Several Priests of the Society of St. Pius X.

Albano, (Rome), October 19. 1983

We read in the 20th Chapter of Exodus that God after having forbidden his people to adore strange gods added these words, "It is I who am the Lord thy God, a mighty and jealous God, visiting the iniquity of fathers on their sons to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me.'. In Chapter 34 also of Exodus we read. "Thou shalt not adore any strange god. A jealous God, that is the name of the Lord.”

It is just and salutary that God should be jealous of what belongs to Him a1one and from all eternity, jealous

Of His infinite eternal almighty being, jealous of His glory. of His truth, of His charity; jealous of being the only Creator and Redeemer, and so of being the end of all things, the sole way of salvation and happiness for all angels and men, jealous of being the Alpha and the Omega.

The Catholic Church founded by Him and to which He entrusted all the treasures of salvation is for her part also jealous of the privileges of her sole Master and Lord, and teaches all men that they must turn towards her and be baptised by her if they wish to be saved and partake of the glory of God in a happy eternity. Thus the Church is essentially missionary. She is essentially one, holy; Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman.

She cannot admit of there being any other true religion outside of her, she cannot admit that one may find any way to salvation outside of her since she identifies herself with her Lord and God who said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Hence she has a horror of any communion or union with false religions, with heresies, and with errors which put a distance between souls and her God who is the one and only God. She knows only unity within her fold, as does her God.

For that she gives the blood of her martyrs, the life of her missionaries, of her priests, the sacrifice of her religious and nuns, she offers the daily Sacrifice of Propitiation.

But with Vatican II a spirit of adultery has been blowing through the Church, a spirit which in the Declaration of Religious Liberty allows of the principle of religious liberty of conscience for internal and external acts, with exemption from any authority. This is the principle of the Declaration of the Rights of Man against the Rights of God. The authorities of the Church, the State and the Family partake of the authority of God and hence they have the duty to contribute to the spread of the Truth and to the application of the Decalogue, and to protect their subjects against error and immorality.

This Declaration provoked the laicising of Catholic States which is an insult to God and to His Church, reducing the Church to the status of equality with false religions. This is exactly the spirit of adultery for which the people of Israel were so often rebuked (See in Note 1, the declaration of Pope Paul VI, Osservatore Romano, Apri1 24, 1969). This spirit of adultery is also made clear in the ecumenism instituted by "The Secretariat for the Unity of Christians." This aberrant ecumenism has brought in its train all the reforms of the Liturgy, of the Bible, of Canon Law; with the Collegiality that destroys the personal authority of the Supreme Pontificate, of the Episcopacy and of the Parish priest (See Note 2).

This spirit is not Catholic, it is the fruit of the modernism condemned by St. Pius X. It wrecks all the institutions of the Church and especially the seminaries and the clergy, in such a way that one may ask who is still integrally Catholic amongst the clerics who submit to the adulterous spirit of the Council! Hence nothing is so urgent in the Church as to form a clergy repudiating this adulterous and modernist spirit and saving the glory of the Church and her Divine Founder by keeping the integral faith and the means established by Our Lord and by the Tradition of the Church to keep this Faith, and to transmit the life of grace and the fruits of the Redemption.

It will soon be 20 years now that we have been striving with patience and firmness to get the Roman authorities to understand this need for a return to sane Doctrine and Tradition, for a renewal of the Church, for the salvation of souls and for the glory of God.

But a deaf ear is continually turned to our entreaties, nay more, we are being asked to recognise the wisdom of the whole Council and of the reforms ruining the Church. No one wishes to pay any heed to our present experience of, with the grace of God, maintaining the Tradition which produces true fruits of holiness and draws numerous vocations.

To safeguard the Catholic priesthood which perpetuates the Catholic Church and not an adulterous Church, we need Catholic bishops. So we find ourselves constrained, because of the spirit of modernism invading today's clergy, an invasion reaching even to the highest summits within the Church, to undertake the consecrating of bishops, the principle of this consecration having been accepted by the Pope, according to Cardinal Ratzinger's letter of May the 30th. These episcopal consecrations will not only be valid, but given the historical circumstances, most probably also licit. However, be they licit or not, it is sometimes necessary to abandon the letter of the law in order to observe the spirit of the law.

The Pope can only desire the Catholic priesthood to continue. Hence it is in no way in a spirit of rupture or schism that we are carrying out these Episcopal consecrations, but in order to come to the help of the Church which finds herself no doubt in the most sorrowful situation of her whole history. Had we found ourselves in the times of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope would have been in agreement with us. There was not an occupation by freemasonry of the Vatican in its happier days.

Hence we declare our attachment and our submission to the Holy See and to the Pope. In accomplishing this act of consecration we are aware of continuing our service to the Church and the Papacy exactly as we have striven to do ever since the first day of our priesthood.

The day when the Vatican will be delivered from this occupation by Modernists and will come back to the path followed by the Church down to Vatican II, our new bishops will put themselves entirely in the hands of our Sovereign Pontiff, to the point of desisting if he so wishes from the exercise of their episcopal functions.

Finally we turn towards the Virgin Mary who is also jealous of the privileges of her Divine Son, jealous of His glory; of His kingdom on earth as in heaven. How often has she intervened for the defence, even the armed defence, of Christendom against the enemies of the Kingdom of Our Lord! We entreat her to intervene today to chase the enemies out from inside the Church who are trying to destroy her more radically than her enemies from outside. May she deign to keep in the integrity of the Faith, in the love of the Church, in devotion to the successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of St. Pius X and all the priests and faithful who labour alongside the Society, in order that she may both keep us from schism and preserve us from heresy.

May St. Michael the Archangel inspire us with his zeal for the glory of God and with his strength to fight demons.

May St. Pius X share with us a part of his wisdom, of his learning, and his sanctity; to discern the true from the false and the good from the evil in these times of confusion and lies.

Marcel Lefebvre.

Archbishop of the One and Only Church of Jesus Christ. Holy Catholic, Apostolic and Roman. by the grace of God, and by election of his Holiness Pope Pius XII.

PS. This Statement drawn up in 1983 is still valid today. It needed only one correction concerning the agreement with Rome for the consecration of a bishop in the letter of May 30th, 1988. If the conversations of the months of April and May did not reach a conclusion, that is because they showed the will of Modernist Rome to make us accept the spirit and reforms of Vatican II.

Note 1. Declaration of Paul VI, Osservatore Romano, August 24, 1969:

"The new position adopted by the Church with regard to the realities of this earth is henceforth well known by everyone...and here is the most important new principle to be put into practice...the Church agrees to recognise the world as 'self-sufficient', she does not seek to make the world an instrument for her religious ends…' This is a declaration contrary to the Catholic Faith, against which I protested in a letter to what used to be the Holy Office. The reply was, coming from the Secretary of State, that is to say Cardinal Villot, that I should quit Rome immediately; to which I answered that he would have to send a squad of Swiss guards to force me to quit Rome. The reply was silence. That is what has happened to the Vatican and what it still is today with regard to the defenders of the Catholic Faith. All the popes in their encyclicals stated the opposite. Not only the Faith, but also sane philosophy rises up. In protest against this declaration which laicised all the Catholic States.

Note 2, Secretariat for the Unity of Christians at the Council.

It is suitable to recall the important role played by the members of the Secretariat for the Unity of Christians in the Council. Cardinal Bea entered into official relations with the Masonic Jewish Lodge of B'nai B'rith of New York in the United States. It was Cardinal Bea who drew up the projects for the schemas on Religious Liberty, on the Jews, on non-Christian religions, on ecumenism, in collaboration with Archbishop Willebrands, Secretary of the Secretariat, and Msgr De Smedt, Vice-President of the Secretariat and Reporter at the Council on the Declaration on Religious Liberty.

Archbishop Willebrands formed part of the Vatican Commission for Judeo-Christian relations and of the Commission which maintains relations with the Ecumenical Council of Churches, and of the Commission which concerns itself with relations with Moscow through the intermediary of the Orthodox Church of Moscow. To them are to be joined Cardinal Etchegaray, Msgr MaIler, the Dominican Fathers de Contenson, Bernard Dupuy, and a number of others. The influence of the protestants of Taize is not to be neglected either, who were able to come and go as they liked in the Vatican. Nor should we forget the presence of 6 protestant pastors in the Liturgical Commission. The harmfulness of all these Commissions is considerable. The Commissions are paralyzing all the normal activity of the Roman Curia. The Rome of the Commissions is the active present-day Rome, Modernist and Masonic. Popes Paul VI and John Paul II have wanted these commissions and have become their slaves just as they are prisoners of the Roman Synods, fruit of the Collegiality recognized by the new Canon Law. To read the long article in the Dictionary of Catholic Theology, listed in the index under the title "Ecumenism”, and written by Father Charles Boyer. SJ, who was the Secretary of the Secretariat for Unity after Archbishop. Willebrands, is very instructive in uncovering the ecumenical spirit presiding over all the reforms.

3. Statement of Archbishop. Lefebvre on March 29, 1988

Can Obedience Oblige us to Disobey?

The Rector of the Seminary of the Society of St. Pius X in Switzerland, Father Lorans, having asked me to help in drawing up this issue of the Letter from Ecône, it seemed to me in these circumstances that it would not be without utility to put before you again what I wrote on January 20, 1978, concerning certain objections which could be made as to our attitude with regard to the problems set by the present situation of the Church.

One of these questions was, How do you see obedience to the Pope? And here is the reply I gave 10 years ago: "The principles governing obedience are known and are so in conformity with sane reason and common sense that one is driven to wonder how intelligent persons can make a statement like, 'They prefer to be mistaken with the Pope, than to be with the truth against the Pope.”

"That is not what the natural law teaches, nor the Magisterium of the Church.. Obedience presupposes an authority which gives an order or issues a law. Human authorities, even those instituted by God, have no authority other than to attain the end apportioned them by God and not to turn away from it. When an authority uses power in opposition to the law for which this power was given it, such an authority has no right to be obeyed and one must disobey it.

"This need to disobey is accepted with regard to a family father who would encourage his daughter to prostitute herself with regard to the civil authority which would oblige doctors to provoke abortions and to kill innocent souls, yet people accept in every case the authority of the Pope who is supposedly infallible in his government and in all his words. Such an attitude betrays a sad ignorance of history and of the true nature of papal infallibility.

A long time ago St. Paul said to St. Peter that he was ‘Not walking according to the truth of the Gospel’ (Gal 2:14). St. Paul encouraged the faithful not to obey him, St. Paul, if he happened to preach any other gospel than the gospel  that he had already taught them (Gal 1:8)”

"St. Thomas when he speaks of fraternal correction alludes to St. Paul’s resistance to St. Peter and he makes the following comment: “To resist openly and in public goes beyond the measure of fraternal correction. St. Paul would not have done it towards St.Peter if he had not in some way been his equal…We must realise, however; that if there was question of a danger for the faith, the superiors would have to be rebuked by their inferiors even in public.' This is clear from the manner and reason for St. Paul's acting as he did with regard to St. Peter whose subject he was, in such a way, says the gloss of St. Augustine, 'that the very head of the Church showed to superiors that if they ever chanced to leave the straight and narrow path, they should accept to be corrected by their inferiors' (St. Thomas IIa, lIae, q33, art 4, ad 2).

"The case evoked by St. Thomas is not merely imaginary because it took place with regard to John XXII during his life. This pope thought he could state as a personal opinion that the souls of the elect do not enjoy the beatific vision until after the Last Judgment. He wrote this opinion down in 1331 and in 1332 he preached a similar opinion with regard to the pains of the damned. He had the intention of putting forward this opinion in a solemn decree.

"But the very lively reaction on the part of the Dominicans, above all in Paris, and of the Franciscans made him renounce this opinion in favour of the traditional opinion defined by his successor; Benedict XII, in 1336.

‘And here is what Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical, Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888: ‘If then, by anyone in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law.' And a little further on he says, 'But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.'

"Now our disobedience is motivated by the need to keep the Catholic Faith. The orders being given us clearly express that they are being given us in order to oblige us to submit without reserve to the Second Vatican Council, to the post- Conciliar reforms, and to the prescriptions of the Holy See, that is to say, to the orientations and acts which are undermining our Faith and destroying the Church. It is impossible for us to do this. To collaborate in the destruction of the Church is to betray the Church and to betray Our Lord Jesus Christ.

“All the theologians worthy of this name teach that if the pope by his acts destroys the Church, we cannot obey him (Vitoria: Obras, pp. 486-487; Suarez: De Fide, disp. X, sec. VI, no.16; St. Robert Bellarmine: de Rom. Pont. , Book 2, Ch. 29; Cornelius a Lapide: ad Gal 2,11, etc...) and he must be respectfully, but publicly rebuked."

The principles governing obedience to the pope's authority are the same as those governing relations between a delegated authority and its subjects. They do not apply to the Divine Authority which is always infallible and indefectible and hence incapable of failing. To the extent that God has communicated his infallibility to the Pope and to the extent that the Pope intends to use this infallibility, which involves four very precise conditions in its exercise, there can be no failure.

Outside of these precisely fixed conditions, the authority of the Pope is fallible and so the criteria which bind us to obedience apply to his acts. Hence it is not inconceivable that there could be a duty of disobedience with regard to the Pope.

The authority which was granted him was granted him for precise purposes and in the last resort for the glory of the Holy Trinity, for Our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the salvation of souls.

Whatever would be carried out by the Pope in opposition to this purpose-would have no legal value and no right to be obeyed, nay rather, it would oblige us to disobey in order for us to remain obedient to God and faithful to the Church.

This holds true for everything that the recent popes have commanded in the name of Religious Liberty or ecumenism since the Council: all the reforms carried out under this heading are deprived of any legal standing or any force of law. In these cases the popes use their authority contrary to the end for which this authority was given them. They have a right to be disobeyed by us.

The Society and its history show publicly this need to remain faithful to God and to the Church. The years 1974, 1975, 1976 leave us with the memory of this incredible clash between Econe and the Vatican, between the Pope and myself.

The result was the condemnation, the "suspension a divinis," wholly in null and void because the Pope was tyrannically abusing his authority in order to defend laws contrary to the good of the Church and to the good of souls.

These events are a historical application of the principles concerning the duty to disobey.

That clash was the occasion for the departure of a certain number of priests who were friends or members of the Society, who were scared by the condemnation, and did not understand the duty to disobey under certain circumstances. Since then, twelve years have passed by. Officially the condemnation still stands, relations with the Pope are still tense, especially as the consequences of this ecumenism are drawing us into an apostasy which forced us to react vigorously. However, the announcing of a consecration of bishops on June 29th last stirred Rome into action: it at last made up its mind to fulfil our request for an Apostolic Visitation by sending on November 11th, 1987, Cardinal Gagnon and Msgr. Perl. As far as we were able to judge by the speeches and reflections of our Visitors, their judgment was very favorable indeed, and the Cardinal did not hesitate to attend the Pontifical Mass on December 8th at Ecône, celebrated by the prelate "suspended a divinis”.

What can we conclude from all this except that our disobedience is bearing good fruit, recognised by the envoys of the authority which we disobey? And here we are now confronted with new decisions to be taken. We are more than ever encouraged to give the Society the means it needs to continue its essential work, the formation of true priests of the holy, and Catholic, and Roman Church. That is to say, to give me successors in the episcopate.

Rome understands this need, but will the Pope accept that these bishops come from the ranks of Tradition? For ourselves it cannot be otherwise. Any other solution would be the sign that they want to align us with the Conciliar revolution, and there our duty to disobey immediately revives. The negotiations are now under way and we shall soon know the true intentions of Rome. They will decide the future.We must continue to pray and to watch. May the Holy Ghost guide us through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima!

4. Archbishop Lefebvre's Letter to the Future Bishops, on the Feast of St. Augustine, August 29, 1987

Adveniat Regnum Thum

To: Frs. Williamson, Tissier de Mallerais, Fellay, de Galarreta.

My Dear Friends,

The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below; especially through the corruption of the Holy Mass which is both the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the Cross, "Regnavit a Ligno Deus,” and the source of the extension of His kingdom over souls and over societies. Hence the absolute need appears obvious of ensuring the permanency and continuation of the adorable Sacrifice of Our Lord in order that “His Kingdom come". The corruption of the Holy Mass has brought the corruption of the priesthood and the universal decadence of Faith in the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

God raised up the Priestly Society of St. Pius X for the maintenance and perpetuity of His glorious and expiatory sacrifice within the Church. He chose Himself some true priests instructed in and convinced of these divine mysteries. God bestowed upon me the grace to prepare these Levites and to confer upon them the grace of the priesthood for the continuation of the true sacrifice according to the definition of the Council of Trent.

This is what has brought down upon our heads persecution by the Rome of the anti-Christs. Since this Rome, Modernist and Liberal, is carrying on its work of destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord, as Assisi and the confirmation of the liberal theses of Vatican II on Religious Liberty prove, I find myself constrained by Divine Providence to pass on the grace of the Catholic episcopacy which I received, in order that the Church and the Catholic priesthood continue to subsist for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

That is why, convinced that I am only carrying out the holy will of Our Lord, I am writing this letter to ask you to agree to receive the grace of the Catholic episcopacy, just as I have already conferred it on other priests in other circumstances. I will bestow this grace upon you, confident that without too long a delay the See of Peter will be occupied by a successor of Peter who is perfectly Catholic, and into whose hands you will be able to put back the grace of your episcopacy so that he may confirm it.

The main purpose of my passing on the episcopacy is that the grace of priestly orders be continued, for the true Sacrifice of the Holy Mass to be continued, and that the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation be bestowed upon children and upon the faithful who will ask you for it.

I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, mother and mistress of all the Churches, in the integral Catholic Faith, expressed in the various creeds of our Catholic Faith, in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with what you were taught in your seminary. Remain faithful in the handing down of this faith so that the Kingdom of Our Lord may come.

Finally, I beseech you to remain attached to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, to remain profoundly united amongst yourselves, in submission to the Society's Superior General, in the Catholic Faith of all time, remembering this word of St. Paul to the Galatians (Ch 1:8,9). "But even if we or an angel from heaven were to teach you a different gospel from the one we have taught you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, now again I say: if anyone teaches you a different gospel from what you have received, let him be anathema." My dear friends, be my consolation in Christ Jesus, remain strong in the Faith, faithful to the true Sacrifice of the Mass, to the true and holy priesthood of Our Lord for the triumph and glory of Jesus in heaven and upon earth, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of my own soul.

In the hearts of Jesus and Mary I embrace you and bless you. Your father in Christ Jesus,

+ Marcel Lefebvre

5. Biographical Notes on the Candidates for the Episcopacy

Father Tissier de Mallerais

Born in Sallanches (upper Savoy) in 1945. Father Tissier de Mallerais, after several years of university studies which made him a Master of Arts, entered in October of 1969 the seminary of St. Pius X then situated in Fribourg, Switzerland. Ordained priest at Ecône on June 29, 1975, he was immediately nominated professor at the seminary of St. Pius X. He became Rector from 1979 to 1983. After fulfIlling the task of chaplain of the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Society of St. Pius X at St. Michel en Brenne, in France, he became in 1984 the General Secretary of the Society of St. Pius X, a post which he holds to this day: Father Tissier de Mallerais has made a specialty of critically analyzing the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council on Religious Liberty. He presently resides in the Generalate of the Society in Rickenbach in Solothurn, Switzerland.

Father Richard Williamson

48 years old, Father Williamson was born into an Anglican family. Receiving a Degree from the University of Cambridge, he devoted more than 7 years to teaching literature, an activity which took him for 2 years to the heart of black Africa. At the age of 30 years. he abjured Anglicanism in order to convert to the Catholic Faith. In October 1972 he entered Archbishop Lefebvre's seminary in Ecône where 4 years of formation brought him to the priesthood on June 29, 1976. From 1976 to 1981 Father Williamson performed the function of professor at the Society's seminaries at Weissbad and Ecône, of which he was to become the vice-Rector in 1979. In 1982 Archbishop Lefebvre, then General Superior of the Society of St. Pius X, nominated him to the seminary in Ridgefield, CT, USA, of which he has been Rector since 1983.

Father Alfonso de Galarreta

An Argentinian, Father de Galarreta was born in January of 1957 at Torre la Vega in Spain. After a period spent in the diocesan seminary of La Plata from 1975 to 1977, and realizing that the formation being given there no longer corresponded to the ideal of the priesthood as the Church has always understood it, Father de Galarreta entered the seminary of Econe in 1978. After 2 years during which he showed excellent aptitudes in all fields, he was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre in August 1980 at Buenos Aires. From 1980 to 1985 he was to perform the function of professor at the Society's seminary at la Reja in the Argentine. Finally in 1985. Father Schmidberger nominated him as superior of the South American District, whose territory is the most extensive in the Society of St. Pius X, and in which the apostolate requires great fortitude of soul. Father de Galarreta who besides his mother tongue has a fluent command of French, presently resides in Buenos Aires.

Father Bernard Fellay

A Swiss born at Sierre (Valais) in 1958. Father Fellay entered the seminary of Ecône in October 1977 at the age of 19 years. Five years of solid formation, in the course of which his superiors discovered in him excellent aptitudes, led him to receive ordination to the priesthood on June 29th, 1982, from the hands of Archbishop Lefebvre. Immediately afterwards he was nominated General Bursar of the Society of St. Pius X, a post which he still occupies in Rickenbach, the residence of the Society's Superior General. Since 1988, he has been looking after the administration of the District of Switzerland. Father Fellay speaks 5 languages and has undertaken numerous apostolic journeys in the countries of the Third World.

6. Considerations of Canon Law: The Dispositions of Canon Law in Case of Emergency

These canonical considerations are drawn from a study by Professor Georg May, President of the Canon Law Seminary at the University of Mainz, entitled "Legitimate Self-defense, Resistence, Emergency:” written in 1984. These considerations provide as it seems to us interesting points to help us think about punishments eventually incurred as a result of an emergency conse-cration of bishops.

State of Emergency

The Code of 1917 spoke of emergency in Canon 2205, paragraphs 2 and 3. The Code of 1983 deals with emergency in Canons 1323 paragraph 4, and 1324 paragraphs 1 and 5. The law does not state what it understands by this term. It leaves juris- prudence the task of saying precisely what it means, but from the context it is clear that an emergency is a state in which the goods necessary for life are endangered in such a way that to escape from it, the violation of certain laws is inevitable.

Emergency Law

The Code recognises emergency as a circumstance exempting Catholics from any penalty in case they have to violate the law (New Code 1323, paragraph 4), provided that the action is not intrinsically evil or prejudicial to souls; in this latter case the emergency would merely attenuate the punishment. But no punishment  “latae sententiae" can affect someone who has acted in an emergency situation (New Code 1324, paragraph 5).

State of Emergency in the Church

In the Church as in civil society there can be conceived a state of necessity, of emergency, or of urgency which cannot be overcome by observing the positive law. Such a situation exists in the Church when the continuation, order, or activity of the Church are threatened or harmed in an important way. This menace can bear mainly on teaching, liturgy, and ecclesiastical discipline.

Emergency Law within the Church

A state of emergency justifies emergency law. The emergency law in the Church is the sum of juridical rules which apply where there is a threat against the perpetuity or activity of the Church.

This emergency law can be resorted to only when one has exhausted all possibilities of re-establishing the normal situation by relying on positive law. Emergency law includes also the positive authorisation to take the measures, to launch the initiatives, to create the organisms, necessary for the Church to be able to continue its mission of preaching the divine truth and of dispensing the grace of God.

Emergency law justifies only those measures, which are necessary for the restoration of the functions of the Church.

The principle of proportionality must be observed. The Church and firstly its organs has the right, but also the duty, to take all measures necessary to remove dangers. In an emergency situation the Church's pastors may take extraordinary measures to protect or re-establish the Church's activity. If an organ of the Church does not carry out its necessary or indispensable functions, the other organs of the Church have the right and the duty to utilise the power they have within the Church so that the Church's life may be guaranteed and its end may be attained. If the Church authorities refuse their approval, the responsibility of the other members of the Church increases but so does their juridical competency or right to act.

7. A Testimonial: --Rome and the "Reconciliation'.

"Could Rome not have been trusted? Had not Rome given enough signs of good will, and of a sincere desire for reconciliation?" Such will be the questions that many will ask-on the occasion of the episcopal consecrations of June 30th.

It is not for us to judge men's intentions, so rather than question the good will of the Roman authorities we prefer to state the facts for which they are responsible.

That is why we are giving here below the extracts from a letter written by a seminarian who left Ecône to join the seminary; Mater Ecclesiae, at Rome, an establishment desired by the Holy Father and opened by him on October 15th, 1986, and protected by a commission of Cardinals. Mater Ecclesiae was designed, you will remember, to be a Seminary to receive seminarians who left Ecône and "any others who felt like them."

"How sorry I am! Yes! I have everything, absolutely everything to be sorry about in this 'enterprise' of Mater Ecclesiae. Firstly my being sent away for having made insistent requests in favour; for example, of more frequent Tridentine Masses, the wearing of ecclesiastical dress, the correction within the seminary of the errors of the courses being taught us at the Angelicam University...

"The reply to these requests, repeated many times, was silence, and above all, the steady and by now complete realigning of the House and of each of the seminarians on Modernist Rome. The whole enterprise is the laughing-stock of the progressives, with the French bishops at their head, including some of the most traditional!

"Day by day we saw the situation growing worse, the seminarians taking off their habit, seminarians getting themselves accepted by the bishops by renouncing everything, being ready for anything…Then there came the time of sanctions when all those who had been given the task of helping us were ordered by the authorities to look after us no longer…Henceforth for anyone who wanted nothing to do with the bishops of France or anywhere else, there is absolutely no further solution…Vagus…we are from now on wandering clerics, left hanging in the void.

“And the Pope did nothing, and no doubt next year the House Mater Ecclesiae will be closed, which may well be no bad thing.

"Several times I had the occasion to say either to Cardinal Ratzinger or to certain Monsignori of the Curia that, alas, we were forced to admit that Archbishop: Lefebvre was right on most questions and that I was wrong.

"It causes me much suffering to write you these lines as I think of my idiocy in having abandoned Ecône despite your advice, the cowardice of the authorities (I am weighing my words) when it comes to Tradition and their similar cowardice when it comes to 'ecumenism' towards the others, the abandoning and denial on the part of almost all those who had undertaken never to let go…everything, yes, absolutely everything, fills me with regret!"

Letter from an ex-seminarian. Rome June 2. 1988.


ST. THOMAS AQUINAS SEMINARY,   Route 1 Box 97, A-l , Winona, Minnesota 55987

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