Archbishop Lefebvre’s Clueless Critics

Archbishop Lefebvre’s Clueless Critics


A young home-schooled student emailed the above video to us a while back, saying that he’d found it to be very moving, and suggesting that I post it on the blog.  This is the first opportunity I’ve had to do so; it is, indeed, a very interesting summary of the life and work of Archbishop Lefebvre,  in my opinion – what’s yours?  Is he, for example, the “Athanasius of our time”? And are his critics really “clueless”? 

Comments (35)

  • Athanasius

    Without a doubt, Archbishop Lefebvre was the St. Athanasius of our time. Without his courageous stance for Sacred Tradition there would be no Traditional Latin Mass today, no Traditional priests and religious, no Sanctuary for those left orphans by the revolution post Vatican II. Every Catholic owes this saintly prelate a debt of gratitude that they can never repay.

    And those who criticise him and calumniate him will have to answer very seriously before God because they assault the good name of one who lived for God, for the Church, for the Papacy, for souls. I met His Grace and listened to his words and I can testify that his entire life was God and His Catholic Church. The vile persecution he suffered for his love of the Church and the Faith is testimony of his personal holiness. The friends of Our Lord are always persecuted and calumniated by liars and deceivers who have only their own interests at heart. One day I fully expect His Grace to be canonised by the Church.

    January 8, 2017 at 11:41 pm
    • Margaret Mary


      I agree with everything you say. Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonised one day, that is absolutely certain.

      January 9, 2017 at 12:27 am
    • Margaret USA

      My sentiments exactly, Athanasius. I’d like to add one thing: The critics of +Archbishop Lefebvre should read either The Little Story of My Long Life (the words of +Archbishop Lefebvre himself) or Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography by H.E. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais before criticizing him.

      I remember when +Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated the four bishops in 1988. 60 Minutes had a segment on him the Sunday after he did the episcopal consecrations and the excommunications. I was watching it and was incensed. Who does this French fellow think he is? Way to go, Holy Father! You tell’em!

      Now, when I think of that, I say: Remember not, O Lord, the sins of my youth…

      Both books are available from Angelus Press +1-800-96-ORDER or from the SSPX Priory in the UK (London).

      January 9, 2017 at 1:18 am
      • Lionel

        Archbishop Lefèbvre did not have much choice!…

        January 12, 2017 at 9:14 am
    • Lionel

      I am wholeheartedly in agreement with you.
      I can also testify that what you write is the truth.

      January 9, 2017 at 10:58 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    Yes, his critics really are clueless. I still meet people who won’t have anything to do with the SSPX because of the “irregular situation”. They moan about Pope Francis and think they’re so “traditional” because they do that, LOL! I think “clueless” for them is the understatement of the year!

    January 9, 2017 at 12:26 am
  • JohnR

    Thank you for the link to this excellent clip. I too would like to join in the chorus of those who hail Archbishop Lefebvre as the St. Athanasius of his time. Indeed I would rejoice in his canonisation.

    January 9, 2017 at 12:39 am
    • Margaret USA

      I have a prayer card that was published by the US District of the SSPX. If I find it, I’ll post the text.

      January 9, 2017 at 1:21 am
  • damselofthefaith

    I believe that he will be canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is incorrupt. May the great Archbishop Lefebvre be soon vindicated!

    January 9, 2017 at 12:45 am
  • RCA Victor

    I believe Abp. Lefebvre considered well the possibility, and his thinking was cited in a talk (a recording of which was played for us on retreat in 2015 – a recording of a priest who knew him) that he was the “one man” spoken of by Our Lady of Good Success, who would resist the destruction of the Church, i.e. the revolution of “mercy.”

    As for his enemies being clueless, I’m not so sure that’s the right word. First of all, his enemies are also the enemies of the Church. That said, I daresay that while some of them (the useful idiots) are clueless, like the ever-embarrassing Cardinal Dolan who opens this video (much to my dismay), I think most of them know exactly what they were/are doing. Since, according to Bella Dodd, it was the Communist infiltrators who planned and executed the VII revolution, I think a good reference point is the policy of the Communists/Bolsheviks when dealing with those who resist the revolution: ridicule, marginalize, persecute, punish…and if that doesn’t work, kill them. Well, it wasn’t Soviet Russia, so they couldn’t kill him, but they certainly did everything else.

    His Grace will most definitely be rehabilitated, and then canonized, when Tradition returns to the Church. That is, when Martin Luther is UN-rehabilitated…

    January 9, 2017 at 1:29 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I don’t recall that “one man” quote, but I do know that the Archbishop was asked if he thought he may be the “prelate who would restore the priestly spirit” mentioned by Our Lady of Good Success at Quito and he humbly acknowledged the possibility. Since no other prelate turned up in the 20th century to restore the priestly spirit, I can’t see how anyone can deny that Archbishop Lefebvre was that prelate.

      January 9, 2017 at 11:32 am
      • RCA Victor


        I think your version is correct. Since that recording was played for us on retreat, i.e. during a meal, my attention was probably more focused on getting seconds….

        January 9, 2017 at 10:45 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        You’ve just scuppered the image you have so successfully, if unwittingly created on this blog, of a saintly man, lost in wondering contemplation most of the time, a man so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly use. 😀

        January 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm
      • RCA Victor


        I think you’ve got the no earthly use part right….unless I’m of some use to all the good cooks who put their delicious wares on my plate. I mean, somebody’s gotta eat all that stuff!!

        I suspect that was why you thought I was saintly when I visited your fair country: you kept putting haggis on my plate! Some temptations are easier to resist than others…

        January 10, 2017 at 3:14 pm
  • Benedict Carter

    I can’t add to Athanasius’ excellent description. As a little boy I was once blessed by the great man and he held my gaze with is kindly eyes for what seemed minutes before we broke eye contact. I remember being shaken by that incident and can recall his face very clearly even now, forty years on.

    January 9, 2017 at 8:59 am
  • Ignatius

    Does anyone have any recommendations on books by the archbishop that make good meditation material….?

    January 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm
    • Lily


      I’ve only ever read the Open Letter to Confused Catholics by Archbishop Lefebvre and I thought it was marvellous, as it was so clear about the rights and wrongs of the changes in the Church right from the start. It’s actually linked on the Catholic Truth website but I got it for you here

      It made me meditate a lot on how I could possibly not have seen it all for myself and how I went along with the new Mass and everything for so long. I’m like Margaret USA saying “Remember not, O Lord, the sins of my youth…” !

      January 9, 2017 at 3:16 pm
    • RCA Victor


      I would recommend The Mystery of Jesus: the Meditations of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

      January 9, 2017 at 10:53 pm
  • Jobstears

    Thank you, Editor for the link to the video!

    I think the saintly Archbishop is the good man promised by Our Lady in Her Quito apparition. I think, too, that ” he is the Athanasius of our time”.

    I don’t believe his most vicious critics are clueless. Like RCA Victor, I think they know what they are doing and go about it very deliberately. That their lies are believed by the majority of Catholics is proof, I think.

    Martin Luther the ghost writer for Pope Francis……why didn’t I think of that????? 😆

    January 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm
    • editor


      Welcome back! Welcome home! We’ve missed you. I know you’ve been up to your eyes (and continue to be up to your eyes) so all the more gratitude to you for coming in to talk to us!

      Yes, I know what RCA Victor and your good self mean about “clueless”.

      I find that the “clueless” these days are passive aggressive critics – that is, they show their disapproval of the SSPX when the subject arises, without actually saying anything now, because deep down they must know that events have proven the Archbishop to have been right, from the get-go, but too many people just cannot acknowledge that they were or are wrong, let alone that Pope John Paul II was wrong about the Archbishop! A disapproving silence, then, suffices for them to make their point, whatever it is!

      In summary, the “clueless” are muddled in their thinking, still trying to get to the stage where they can openly admit that it is not possible to be “schismatic” by clinging to the Faith as it has been handed down from the Apostles, even if that means contradicting senior churchmen, including modernist popes – as in each of the post-Vatican II pontiffs, not just Papa Francis. They’ll hopefully get there in the end but, in the meantime, they continue to thwart the restoration of the Faith by not speaking the full truth.

      January 9, 2017 at 5:19 pm
      • Jobstears

        Thank you, Editor! I’ve missed CT !!

        I think the ” clueless” are culpably ignorant, at least to the extent they refuse to stir themselves out of their torpor and do some thinking.

        January 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm
  • Helen

    I’m away too young to remember or know anything about the Archbishop except that I was vaguely aware of some “controversy” surrounding the man. Then a few years ago, I met a young American (now ordained for the FSSP) who said, in my hearing, that perhaps one day he (the Archbishop) would be known as St. Marcel. I remember being somewhat surprised and confused as I never imagined such a thing would happen. Now I do. Having read his “Letter to confused Catholics” the scales (eventually) fell from my eyes and I perceived the truth of the matter.

    I don’t know how guilty of deliberate deception his detractors are; perhaps they are suffering from a diabolic disorientation or perhaps they can’t see the wood for the trees but they sure are spectacularly wrong! The man was / is a saint and he alone saved Holy Mother Church from the Novus Ordo barbarians.

    January 9, 2017 at 5:06 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    Oh how I agree with Athanasius, in what he says about Archbishop Lefebvre. I think he is in heaven now because of his courageous stance.

    January 9, 2017 at 6:10 pm
  • Therese

    God bless Michael Matt.

    The Archbishop has gone to his reward, and we must be eternally grateful for his courage and example.

    January 9, 2017 at 6:33 pm
  • Lionel

    I think that Archbishop Marcel Lefèbvre is really a Saint.
    It happened that I had lunch at his table and I realized how much he suffered about what is going on into the Church and how distinguished and humble he was!…

    January 9, 2017 at 10:43 pm
    • Lionel

      By the way, I heard that they are going to canonize Luther.
      If they do so, that would indeed clarify the situation!…

      January 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm
  • Lily

    I heard someone saying once that the Archbishop would not have expected the crisis in the Church to last this long. I wonder what bloggers think he would be doing/saying if he were here today? I, for one, think he would be signing the letters being sent by the good cardinals, like Cardinal Burke, but having said that, I don’t know for sure. Maybe he would think it wold be detrimental to his Rome talks for regularisation?

    January 9, 2017 at 10:57 pm
    • Athanasius


      I don’t think the prelates you speak of would have put Archbishop Lefebvre in such a compromising position by asking him to put his name to their dubia. Besides, I think the liberal enemies in the hierarchy would have used any support from Archbishop Lefebvre as a weapon against the conservative prelates, arguing something to the effect that it proved their rebellion against the Pope, or some other such nonsense. Either way it would have been counter productive.

      January 9, 2017 at 11:35 pm
  • davidpaterson67

    The most striking thing about ‘Letter to Confused Catholics’ is the Archbishop’s clarity, like a bell striking. The truth always appears like that – clear, pure and unsullied. That and his righteous anger. If Marcel Lefebvre isn’t already a saint then he was always doing the work of one here on earth in instructing and showing the way… and suffering mightily for his King.

    January 9, 2017 at 11:54 pm
  • Steven C.

    What a wonderful discussion taking place here! I remember an article on the Society’s USA website arguing that the Archbishop might even be considered a greater saint, if you will, than St. Athanasius, because Modernism is a much more hidden error than Arianism. The good Archbishop still realized its deceptiveness all the same.

    I’m wondering if I can ask a question of our friends at Catholic Truth. I have some comments to answer for a recent Damsel of the Faith post, and one of them concerns a gentleman who believes that we perceive the Archbishop to be more traditional than he really was. This gentleman claims that the Archbishop at Vatican II “favored radical liturgical [reform] in regard to the use of vernacular” and “desired to inflict heavy vernacularization upon the Mass of the Catechumens.” Has anyone heard of this? I’m not at all familiar with this particular rumor and can’t find anything doing research. I suspect this is greatly exaggerated, at the very least, but I wished to clarify.

    January 10, 2017 at 10:31 am
    • Michaela

      Steven C,

      I know that Michael Davies RIP said in one of his books (probably Pope Paul’s New Mass) that Archbishop Lefebvre had been in favour of some reform of the Mass, such as allowing the readings to be read in the vernacular only instead of both Latin and the vernacular, but I have never read it anywhere else.

      January 10, 2017 at 11:01 am
      • editor

        Michaela and Steven C,

        I’ve checked Pope Paul’s New Mass by Michael Davies and went through the indexed pages for Archbishop Lefebvre and cannot find anywhere that he was in favour of any changes.

        Michael Davies himself does say the following:

        “Leaving aside the question of electronic aids, it is obvious that the priest will be more audible if facing the people. The question then arises as to whether the Mass needs to be audible. An important distinction must be made here between those parts which are addressed to God and those parts which are addressed to the people, and this is one respect in which there was a place for reform. Certain parts of the Mass are intended for the instruction of the people, the Epistle and Gospel are obvious examples. Prior to the Council these were first read in Latin at the altar and then in the vernacular by the priest facing the people [Ed: in pulpit, prior to sermon]. It would have been a reasonable extension of the reform undertaken by Pope Pius XII had the rubrics been modified so that the parts of the Mass intended for the instruction of the people could have been read to them directly int he vernacular. Those who would oppose such a development are not traditionalists but immobilists. An immobilist is opposed to any change simply because it is a change. It is understandable that many traditionalists, rightly horrified by the destruction of the Roman Rite, have developed an immobilist attitude and oppose any change whatsoever. They would make no distinction between a change without serious doctrinal implications, such as the abolition of the Offertory Prayers, and one with no such significance, such as the congregation singing the Pater Noster in a Missa Cantata.
        The Dialogue Mass is an accepted practice among French traditionalists, while some English traditionalists look upon it as tantamount to Modernism. Such an attitude plays into the hands of the Modernists as it enables them to fabricate a caricature of the true traditionalist position.” (p.438-439)

        The Archbishop isn’t mentioned in this book at all, as favouring the changes to which Davies refers,although Davies’ has authored many books, so I may have missed that. Steven C, I suggest you ask the gentleman who made the claim of the Archbishop’s favouring of “heavy vernacularization” to provide a source.

        Just for the record, I have to admit that I do not like the Dialogue Masses and it’s not because I’m an immobilist – I just find the practice of congregations responding, to be very distracting – in a way it’s more distracting in Latin than in the new vernacular Mass!

        January 10, 2017 at 11:51 am
      • Steven C.

        Thank you, Editor and Michaela! Much appreciated.

        January 10, 2017 at 11:14 pm
  • Jobstears


    I had not heard of the term “immobilist”. I think it is an apt description of the stubbornness in some folks who refuse to accept any change. Being flexible requires effort!

    I do not like the Dialogue Masses either!! In the vernacular Mass, I find there is so much activity and so much talking anyway that the congregation’s vocal participation doesn’t seem out of place. Not so in the Latin Mass, where there is a (holy) silence proper to the respect man owes Almighty God.

    January 10, 2017 at 3:29 pm
  • gabriel syme

    A very fine video indeed and Michael Matt is a great spokesman and champion for traditional (i.e. real) Catholicism.

    I admit to being slightly jealous (!) of those who got to meet the great Archbishop in person during his lifetime. An encounter with such a giant would never leave you. Goodness knows what he would make of today’s “powder puff” Bishops.

    January 10, 2017 at 10:33 pm

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