1979 Ordination Sermon
by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
on the Occasion of the Ordinations at the International Seminary
of Saint Pius X Ecône,
Switzerland, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul 1979
the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
do you think of this ceremony today? What have you in your minds
and hearts at the sight of all the priests here present and particularly
in view of these deacons who in a few moments, with the grace of
God, will have become priests?
am persuaded that your heart is full of joy, of consolation at the
thought of the multiplication of priests of the Catholic Church.
For it is indeed the Catholic Church present here today and you
have the proof of this in the great number and diversity of priests
who have come from the entire world. I salute, in particular, Monsignor
Ducaud-Borget who has come from Paris expressly in order to assist
at this ceremony, he who in the capital of France is the valiant
defender of the Tradition of the Catholic Church. I salute equally
Monsignor Donahue who has come especially from America, from Los
Angeles, in order to assist at this ceremony.
are testimonies which show us at the same time the profound convictions
which all of these priests, who are present, have of the need of
a renewal in the Church but renewal based upon the Tradition of
the Church; upon that which has made the grandeur of the Church
in the past; that which still makes it in the present, and that
which will make it in the future. It is these same principles which
would respond to the question of those who yet would wonder: Why
Ecône? Why this Seminary? Why the priestly Society of St. Pius X?
these priests, these future priests, these seminarians. See all
of these religious who are here, present from diverse congregations,
of diverse nationalities and I should make allusion to our dear
Carmelites who are most certainly united with us in heart but who
are not able to come for they have the cloister and they desire
to keep the cloister. They are with us and they pray for us; and
all those religious who are absent and were not able to come today,
but who are united in heart and prayer with us. All that is the
Church. And you dearest faithful who are present, you represent
also the Christian families—Catholic families— who defend their
faith and do not want to allow themselves to be invaded by error,
by heresy, by immorality, by the removal of faith in God and of
Catholic morals. All this is a great testimony.
is the faith of the Church. Ecône— it is the moral of the Church.
Ecône forces itself to be the holiness of the Church and I will
add, without fear, this term which in certain ears will create a
certain emotion, that Ecône has the politics of the Church; for
the Church has politics. The Church knows what Christian society
is. The Church has forged it, she formed it during the course of
the centuries. During nearly twenty centuries the Church has inspired
all of Christian Europe—Catholic Europe. She has directed it. She
has directed all of society which was otherwise oriented. Its justice
was other than that in which we live today because the Church has
her principles—eternal principles—principles of her faith and her
faith is nothing other than Our Lord Jesus Christ: the living Son
of God as St. Peter expressed it, he who was worthy to be the
rock of the Church, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living
the Son of the living God, has shown us that which it was necessary
to do and in particular by His cross, by His priesthood, by His
immolation on the cross, by all of His blood poured forth; he has
shown us that to be the Son of God, to be Catholic, is to have the
heart filled with charity, filled with love, and to be ready to
give one's life for others.
Lord Jesus Christ has shown us this example and He shows it continually
upon the altar. The altar is nothing other than the place of sacrifice;
the altar of sacrifice where love immolates itself; the charity
.and that which manifests it and which gives the grace to practice
this charity from whence the utility of the priesthood. The Church
is not able to put aside the priest because if there were no priests
there would no longer be the Sacrifice of the Mass. There would
no longer be the Sacrifice of the Cross. There would no longer be
this Source. This source of love of charity which so remarkably
expresses itself in the sacrifice of Our Lord. We see Him with His
Heart pierced, His head bowed, His hands and His feet also pierced—all
this by love for us. This is the sacrifice of the altar. Thus, this
magnificent example is a source of charity, a source of the Holy
Ghost who "invades "us when we receive Holy Communion—the
Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
is then the lesson which the Church gives us, there is that which
the Church thinks and there is what She has done through the course
of the centuries.
Ecône continues. Ecône continues the Church with the same principles,
with the same faith, with the same charity, with the same convictions
and we are persuaded of this—filled with the same spirit, with the
spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has manifested Himself in all
of the holiness of the Church through the course of the centuries.
then this situation of Ecône? A situation which, let us hope,
will soon be resolved for the greater good of the Church? It is
that in face of the Church the citadel of Satan has built itself
and today it well hopes to have the victory—they are indeed close.
All is organized. All is prepared to crush the Church, to make it
disappear, to make the name of Our Lord disappear, to make the priesthood
disappear, to make the faith disappear. All is ready because for
centuries Satan has prepared it.
has prepared it in his secret meetings which Have given as foundation
of their legislation; opposed to the legislation of the Church,
opposed to the legislation of love—the celebration of the Rights
of Man in 1789 and in 1948.
are identical, both, and they may be translated simply: the right
to despise the rights of others, the right to lack charity, the
right to no longer fulfill one's duties, the right of force. There
is this declaration and we see its deplorable results—physical force.
The force of an army which invades a country as all the communist
countries have been invaded; force of money which commands the world;
force of political power which placed as the basis of governments—no
longer the rules of charity; no longer the decalogue; no longer
the "Sermon on the Mount" which asks man to sacrifice
himself for his neighbor, to give himself for his neighbor. No!
Their principles are principles which destroy society, which destroy
man and which are a continual scandal.
see today the atrocious effects of this, it must be said, humanity
is seen as never before. That a mother may assassinate her child
without being punished and by the hundreds of thousands, by millions.
That cries for vengeance! The blood of these children cries for
vengeance before God; the blood of these innocents is a disgrace
for our civilization and that because they have replaced the decalogue
and Christian principles, the principles of the Church by the rights
of man. The rights of man—which as I have been saying to you is"
the right to kill one's neighbor, it is the right to despise one's
neighbor, it is the right to steal, it is the right to crush.
think of the dear Vietnamese who today perish in the sea. Who perish
of hunger. Why? In order to flee the hell of communism-, in order
to flee their dear country of Vietnam where they had been at home.
They indeed had rights in their homeland. What are their rights
now? Who defends their rights today? They no longer have the right
to approach the land-the land which has been given to all men. They
have simply the right to die at sea! And how many? How many have
escaped upon fragile crafts and have perished in the sea? Think
of the Cambodians massacred today in our age when one says that
science has made marvelous things. This science, for what does it
serve if not only to crush others more rapidly and more efficaciously.
us take guard! Let us take guard of the promises of Fatima. They
indeed risk to be realized and we well risk, perhaps, seeing them
if God gives us life to do so. The Blessed Mother clearly said that
the end of the Twentieth Century, if man did not convert and return
to the law of God, to the application of the law of God, would see
terrible chastisements. She said this in 1917 at a time when no
one would yet have been able to think of atomic bombs but she said
that water would be transformed into vapors and that fire would
descend from heaven and that those who will be living will wish
to die before the atrocities that they will see!
is what awaits us with these principles of the rights of man. This
is what awaits us with this contempt of neighbor, this contempt
of God and when one considers that this is done by Catholics— by
those who have been baptized and call themselves Catholics and who
are chiefs of state—it is a scandal! We must pray, my dear brethren,
that the Holy Ghost will enlighten them.
citadel of Satan which has been raised against the citadel of God
has cause, unfortunately, many Catholics to lose their faith. Many
of them have believed it necessary to ally themselves to the force,
with powers to those who have money and thus they have made compromises.
It is these that one calls liberal Catholics, condemned by Pope
Pius IX, condemned by Pope Leo XIII, condemned by St. Pius X. All
these Catholics who have come to terms with the enemy and those
who play the game of the enemy—it is these who have penetrated in
Rome and it is these who have inspired the Second Vatican Council
and all of its consequences. Thus we are in complete confusion.
of teaching the good and true catechism they teach anything. They
place in doubt all the truths of the Church. Instead of teaching
the morals of the Church they place all in doubt and permit all
"experiences". Rather than teaching the faith of the Church
they "research" and they place all the principles of the
Church in doubt. Thus our Church is infiltrated. It is in the process
of "auto-destruction" as Pope Paul VI said.
must then resist. We must hold fast. We must contiue the Church.
It is not possible that the good Lord will not aid us and He does
so. How is it possible that in the space of ten to fifteen years
so many priests, so many religious have understood that it was necessary
to resist, that it is necessary to maintain our faith at all costs
in spite of the persecutions, in spite of the difficulties, in spite
of the trials.
Lord one day will permit, we have no doubt, that we will be recognized;
not only recognized but thanked for having defended the Tradition
of the Church. Thanked for having made priests who are true priests
and who have profound convictions and who have as a program for
their life the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and who want to put this
into practice. There is the salvation of our civilization! There
is the salvation of souls! There is the Church!
then wholeheartedly congratulate you, my dear brethren, for having
come to encourage our young Levites who indeed will have difficulties
to conquer in the exercise of their ministry; difficulties of all
sorts due precisely to the general confusion in which we live, due
to this satanic organization which seeks to destroy the Church.
But you will help them by your prayers and you will help them by
all of your means. You will return to your homes everywhere, determined
to maintain your Catholic faith and especially that of your children.
Protect that of your children in order that afterwards generations
will rise, Catholic generations, who will re-make a Christian society
and who will restore justice, love, and peace in the states, in
civilization and in all nations.
is what we ask the good Lord today. Let us pray to the Holy Ghost,
today, who is certainly present among us in a very special way.
Let us pray to the Holy Ghost to give the Pope force and courage
to conquer all of the opposition which surrounds him, in order that
he accomplish a veritable renovation of the Church upon the eternal
principles, upon the eternal sacrifice, upon the eternal sacraments.
Let us ask the Holy Ghost today for our Holy Father the Pope who
needs this succour in order to take the necessary courageous measures
to “re-give" the Church her faith, her morals and her Christian
civilization so that souls may be saved.
ask this particularly of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she who is certainly
very close to us today, who rejoices in this assembly, who rejoices
in these young deacons who are going to become priests, sons of
Mary. For if there is anyone who here on earth understood the program
of the cross it is indeed the Blessed Virgin Mary who assisted at
the agony of Our Lord and who understood the admirable mystery of
the love of Jesus for us. Let us also ask the Blessed Virgin Mary
to come in aid and support the Pope in an action of renovation in
the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
Vol. II, No.
8, Apr. 1979