Abp. Lefebvre, Easter retreat, April 1988 (Part II)

I think it’s better to make ourselves known as we are rather than by means of the videos that we make, to make ourselves known by what we are doing today: a seminary here, a retreat house there, a school here, a priory there, and slowly but surely – with the grace of God, to be sure, it is God who sustains us since we seek to work for our Lord, since we seek to work for the Church, and Our Lord helps us, and that’s what happens. If we made this visitation by Rome, it is because, after 12 years of combat, from 75 to 87, Rome ended by saying that it could not consider us as if we did not exist. The Society is not nothing, traditionalists (including all those who fight the same fight as us and who are close to us), are not nothing. Thus, it is necessary that we do something and so the canonical visitation took place (note: by Cardinal Gagnon and Monsignor Perl, in November-December 1987), and I think that it is already a great victory for Tradition, because this visitation certainly was certainly favorable (at least it was so in words). The latest issue of Fideliter will tell you the details. The visitation was favorable; they expressed sentiments which were openly favorable to us, even to the point that Msgr. Perl said to the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux: “It is with works like yours that one will rebuild the Church.” You cannot make a more beautiful compliment than that! I think that when he said that, he extended it to everything that he saw in the course of his trip, because he more or less passed around the same compliments everywhere, and the Cardinal as well. At the conclusion, you saw it yourselves, the Cardinal officially assisted at the Mass for the renewal of engagements on December 8. To assist at a Mass of someone suspended a divinis is somewhat out of the ordinary for a Cardinal. That was the conclusion, that was the conclusion of his visitation. That is written in history; it cannot be changed, it is done. When they will write the history of the Society, the history of our resistance, the history of our fight, that will be part of the facts written down. That is clear.

            You can say whatever you want, Rome can do whatever it wants afterwards, even to the point of making a denial, “but it wasn’t for this or for that, but he didn’t do that…” It is done, it is said, it is accomplished, it is history. Rome is obliged to recognize the work for the continuation of Tradition as a work for the reconstruction of the Church, a work for the continuation of the institution of the Church. There are obliged to recognize it.

            But will our fight be sufficient, will the development of the Society be sufficient for us to succeed to establish Tradition even in Rome? That is the secret of God. It is possible, it is something possible in the sense that (it would happen) without changing, by continuing to condemn the errors, by remaining with the truth, and Tradition. Let Rome grant us what we ask: that we have an office in Rome, that we have an official representation (note: an official presence) in Rome, without concession, without compromise, without being asked to accept their errors. That would be a second victory for Tradition, a definitive victory for our Lord. For, why not grant us, once we have official representation in Rome by some sort of office, why not grant us a church in Rome? There would no longer be any reason to refuse us a church. There are so many empty churches in Rome. They could well grant us one and thus there would be the official return of Tradition to a church in Rome, with all the traditional ceremonies. That would be extraordinary. And there is no doubt that that would have a very great influence in Rome.

            So, just as I have just said, it would be a second step. It is doubtless a plan that is still more difficult to realize, but who knows? If they want to recognize the benefit of our seminaries, the benefit of our formation of priests, and give us a seminary in Rome, that would be the crowning of our work. We would take you all to Rome and we would make you do all your courses in Latin, dear professors! For then there would be no reason why there would not be seminarians, provided that they come with good intentions, not with the intentions of drowning us, of dividing us, of making their errors spread amongst us. But if there are young men who come from the entire world to Rome, because they want to undertake their seminary studies at Rome, and they come to us, to our seminary, we would do what Rome did throughout the centuries, at those universities: the Gregorian, the Angelicum, the Lateran. Those three great Roman universities have given 60 to 70% of the bishops to the entire world. (At least 60 to 70% of the bishops in the entire world have come from those universities) So! There is no reason why our seminary in Rome, if it pleases God, would not also furnish bishops for the entire world. As you see, we still have a bit of hope! All of that is possible with the grace of God. It is a beautiful dream, but who knows? God can make it happen. For the return of all Christendom to Tradition will only take place with the help of Rome. We can do all that we can, and we surely do all that we can for the return of Tradition. But it is necessary that Rome finish the work by taking up her own Tradition back into her hands. It is not possible otherwise.