Sep 9, 2006

If Not For Archbishop Lefebvre...

A number of times I have heard the comment that "If not for Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, then we would not have the indult Mass, the Fraternity of St. Peter, etc." In turn, I have heard several people respond that this is giving Archbishop Lefebvre credit for God's work.

An example of this repartee occurs on Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's web site where comments and responses are posted regarding the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI has authorized a new institute of priests to offer the old Latin Rite Mass.
Even with a sympathetic ear, I do take issue with the statement of “and if it were'nt for them and their founder of blessed memory, there would be no Ecclesia Dei commission nor indult mass.” We have those blessings because of the Lord Almighty and no one else. [corrections made to typos.]
It seems very difficult for some Catholics to acknowledge the contributions of Archbishop Lefebvre to the work of preserving critical elements of the Catholic Church. I'd like to provide a comparison to show the problem of not giving credit where credit is due. Remember, this is an illustration of what I believe to be a difficulty with those individuals who do not give Archbishop Lefebvre credit for his work.
Comment: If it weren't for the Blessed Virgin, there would be no salvation in Jesus Christ. Response: We have this blessing because of the Lord Almighty and no one else.


Dymphna said...

Some people just won't give credit where it's due. I can't ever bring myself to join SSPX but I do have admit that there would be no indult Mass without them. If they hadn't kept it alive the Tridentine Mass would've died. In my diocese the bishop has finally granted permission for an indult Mass probably becuase man people were simply going down the highway to the independent but SSPX affiliated church.

Curmudgeon said...

Dymphna, you'd never be permitted to join the SSPX even if you wanted to be. All the members of the SSPX are priests, and you just don't qualify. But take heart, they wouldn't let me in either.

People need to be clear that those who assist at Masses offered under the auspices of the SSPX, or even register with them as quasi-parishioners, are not members; they are adherents and supporters (most of them with good will). They aren't members, any more than I'm a member of the FSSP, or my Missouri side friends are members of the ICRSS, or my novus ordo aquaintances at Our Lady of Perpetual Help are Redemptorists.

As for Dusty's point, absolutely. We must never forget that Abp. Lefebvre was the instrumentality by which our Lord has preserved for us (at least those of us who are fortunate) the old rite and our traditional communities, and we can't let some of the missteps (if indeed they were missteps) of the Abp. and the members and leaders of his society ever obscure that debt. Too often we indulterers let pride, and a simple notion of obedience, and even a hint of papal idolatry crowd out due charity and gratitude towards him, his successors, the members of his society, and the lay Catholic faithful attached to the society.