Thursday, March 2, 2023

Marcel Lefebvre - a new St. Athanasius or a new Martin Luther?

Michael Lofton Heard of Quo Primum Long After I Did · Ecclesiology of Mgr Lefebvre - Compared to Pope Michael · No to 1988 Consecrations = Yes to 1990 Emergency Conclave · Marcel Lefebvre - a new St. Athanasius or a new Martin Luther?

Any Lutheran reading this or watching the video, brace yourself, we Catholics use Martin Luther as a cussword ...

SSPX Founder's Distorted Theology on Tradition & the Church - Nov 16 - Homily - Fr Terrance
franciscanfriars, 16 Nov. 2022

Three or four of the issues raised by Fr. Terrance (Franciscans of the Immaculate) will be answered here.

  • should one compare Lefebvre to St. Athanasius or Vatican II to Nicaea I (you can't do both)?
  • did Mgr Lefebvre treat Tradition like Martin Luther treated the Bible?
  • did Mgr Lefebvre deny the indefectibility of the Church?
  • did Mgr Lefebvre define jurisdiction in the Catholic Church in a Lutheran way, as "derived from the people"?

Here are my comments:

3:47 "which in certain respects is even more important than that if Nicaea"*

Well, a good question to ask is, was "Vatican II" like Constance 1414 or like Pisa 1409?

Council of Pisa (1409) attempted to solve the Great Western Schism.
The council is not numbered because it was not convened by a pope and its outcome was repudiated at Constance.

As Mgr Lefebvre did not go to the Sedevacantist conclusion about validity of Popes residing in the Vatican after 1958, he was not in a position to make the parallel very clear ...

4:04 Who clearly condemns that comparison?
"Paul VI" - according to those who number Montini as a Pope, which is not the case with the late Pope Michael or with his followers
"now a canonised saint" - according to those who number Bergoglio as a Pope, which is not the case with the late Pope Michael or with his followers.

7:48 What if "Paul VI" had, if not immediately stepped down, at least stepped aside?

What if he had tried to name a commission with the express task to judge him on the accusations of people like Mgr Lefebvre or Georges de Nantes?

10:45 How many dead have anti-lefebvrists raised?

I know one miracle attributed to Paul VI. Oh, two, by now.

The first miracle involving Pope Paul VI took place in California in the 1990s. It also concerned an unborn which was found to have a serious health problem that could mean brain damage. Doctors advised that it be aborted, but the mother entrusted her pregnancy to Paul VI. The child was born healthy.

If the child was diagnosed months before birth, the healing could be natural. As to no brain damage, there was no diagnosis of brain damage having actually occurred.

This second miracle attributed to Pope Paul VI concerned the healing of an unborn in the fifth month of pregnancy. According to the Catholic News Agency the mother, from Verona in Italy, had an illness that risked her own life and the life of her unborn and was advised to have an abortion.

A few days after the beatification of Paul VI by Pope Francis in October 2014, the mother prayed to the now Blessed Paul VI at a shrine in Lombardy and the baby girl was later born in good health.**

I had read previously a more detailed news on the second miracle, it involved premature rupture of amniotic liquid, and while the baby was born healthy, the remainder of the pregnancy was without the aid of amniotic liquid and so, though the life was saved, an abnormality remained for some time.

In other words, two cases were the miracle would not have been attributed to the Blessed Virgin if it had occurred in Lourdes.

12:35 His actions cannot be compared to Luther's action about the Bible, because, Luther had not know the Biblical Church of the New Testament, first hand, but Lefebvre definitely had known pre-conciliar Tradition first hand. And been approved for knowing it.

Places of confidence like :
  • ordination to priesthood 1929
  • doctorate of theology 1930
  • professor of theology at Libreville, Gabon
  • Vicar Apostolic, later Archbishop of Dakar
  • bishop of Tulle
  • head of Holy Ghost Fathers

and the last of these up to 1968 ... this definitely means, he did know the pre-Conciliar Tradition very well.

Now, Luther obviously also knew the pre-Reformation Tradition first hand. But the problem is, he broke with it. And before you state "Lefebvre broke with it too" - well, certainly he broke with nothing in relation to obedience to the Pope until the perceived Pope had committed at least a perceived break with pre-Conciliar Tradition himself, the New Mass. Luther absolutely had no such excuse.

Since Luther had a more strict stance against interest taking than Pope Leo X, one could have imagined Luther might have gone into schism over Leo X officially allowing Montes pietatis to take a moderate interest to pay for the upkeep of the commodity (and not for making the upkeepers a kind of businessmen, mind you) ... but he didn't. This disagreement was never cited in the 95 theses, never cited in Exsurge Domine, which I have actually read, never cited when Luther spoke at the Diet of Worms, as far as I've been told (I haven't read detailed protocols, I only know the "history teachers' story" of it), never cited as far as I know in Luther's explanation of burning Exsurge Domine, and never cited in Decet Romanum Pontificem.

So, the one exact item where Luther could just possibly have been compared to Marcel Lefebvre, was totally irrelevant for the Reformation, even so much so, that Lutherans since his day disagree with Leo X on the other opposite, stating that interest taking is licit.

At least on the side of the understanding of tradition, so far there is no excuse for comparing Marcel Lefebvre to Luther.

12:56 "for all practical purposes, he cancelled 1500 tears of Church History"

Specifically with a New Liturgy, right? Now, look at 1969, who was making a New Liturgy which was at least accused of cancelling more than a millennium of Liturgic History? It was not Marcel Lefebvre.

13:33 He analysed the dogma of the indefectibility.

According to a theologian of the 19th C involved in Vatican "I" the Church stays Herself as long as there is at least one bishop still alive and faithful.

No one can deny Marcel Lefebvre had episcopal consecreation, no one can deny he was alive when what you talk of happened, so, Marcel Lefebvre did not deny being faithful, ergo, on that criterium, the Church had not defected - therefore, Marcel Lefebvre had not denied the indefectibility of the Church.

I wonder if the name of that theologian was "Mura" - it was probably not Antonio Mura, though ...

13:43 Stating that a given social body is no longer Catholic does not equate to denying that the Catholic Church has ceased to exist, as long as one affirms that the Catholic Church actually does exist outside that specific body.

This is obvious, for a social body the size of the pre-Reformation Church of for instance England or Sweden, and it is at least arguable that it could happen on the level of the Church universal, insofar as it is socially perceived as such while the real remaining Church universal remains as a remnant, and being socially perceived as extremists.

Does exist - and that there never was a meantime when it didn't exist, that is.

13:59 Nice move of equivocation. Also known as lying.

Luther heretically stated that ordinary jurisdiction came from the faithful people ...
Lefebvre stated that the jurisdiction the society claimed after the suspension a divinis and so on was a case by case emergency jurisdiction, derived from faithful individuals who would otherwise be deprived of correct pastoral.

Suppose a man in 1980 had said "I don't need to go to Lefebvre's Masses, I am fine with the priests the diocese provides" - well, in that case, the response would properly have been, on this principle "we have no jurisdiction over you, since you are not in an emergency" - there would be cases where one would not have said this, because one would have considered that man as being in an illusionary safety, but that is what the principle means.

Luther's principle pretty much means the opposite, it means that "since we are the people here and you are one of us, you need to submit to the priests whom the people here have given jurisdiction, you cannot apply to Rome, even for emergency" ... - and that's also historically how remaining Catholics were in fact treated after the Reformation, in Sweden or England - as defectors having to leave or outright traitors and rebels having to die.

Now, Pope Michael has a somewhat different criticism. He doesn't deny the concept of emergency jurisdiction - but he considers it inadequate to stay put with that for years, see no repentance from presumed Popes, continue to treat them as Popes, or see the See as "occupied by a material but no formal Pope" - rather, while a layman, he took the initiative to make an emergency election - to restore ordinary jurisdiction.

14:19 I found the letter you refer to very quickly.

Remarks with Respect to the New Bishop to Succeed His Excellency Bishop de Castro Mayer,
Marcel Lefebvre, February 20, 1991.

He very much does not say that jurisdiction in the Catholic Church comes from the people and in fact, the word "people" does not even occur in it. Here are two paragraphs which contrast the two types of jurisdiction:

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 priests.

Please note, the concept of "personal jurisdiction" and of it applying because of a personal choice is there in canonic practise. Fr. Terrance is not under the local bishop, but under Fr.Immacolato M.Acquali, FFI. Opus Dei has extended the possibility to laymen. And all the FSSPX is doing, along with in the case of the Fraternity of the Curate of Ars, is extending this to "jurisdiction of emergency" .... while this is not a durable solution, it is simply calumny to call this Lutheranism.

14:34 The two miracles attributed to "St John Paul II" could not have passed in Lourdes.

A) The French nun seems the remission had relapses
B) The Latin American woman seems the remission, though remarcably quick, was not instantaneous.

* True or False Pope : Letter of Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

** Irish Times : Vatican approves second miracle needed for canonisation of Pope Paul VI
Patsy McGarry, Tue Feb 6 2018 - 19:09

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