What People Are Asking
Is Msgr. Lefebvre the Prelate
Predicted to Restore the Church?
To Whom It May Concern,
I have followed with keen interest the stories of Our Lady of Good Success and your books published about Mother Mariana. It is, indeed, a consoling apparition for us Catholics hanging on to tradition. I am sincerely puzzled, however, about your interpretations of the Blessed Mother's message to Mother Mariana. She was asked to suffer so that God would send us a prelate to stand up to the apostasy of our times and form good and holy priests.
You seem to believe this prelate is yet to come. But how then have we "traditional" Catholics hung on to our lifeboat of the traditional liturgy and Faith without Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre paving the way? Without him standing up to the apostasy and leading, not just the SSPX, but other orthodox, good Catholics through the desert of over 40 years now? What would there be now if it were not for him?
It would also seem futile for Mother Mariana to suffer and a prelate not show up for the time span in which the apostasy was occurring. The pin-pointing of time by the Blessed Mother also indicates there being an answer within the 20th century. Heresies will flourish from "the end of the 19th century and advancing into a large part of the 20th century" would imply that there is a time within the 20th century that heresies will be abated. Certainly heresies have not been abated through the Vatican, but then by whom, if not Archbishop Lefebvre?
Also, as pointed out within your books, it was an honor for the religious to die on the feast day of a great saint. This evidenced by Mother Mariana's Superior given to know that she would earn her eternal reward on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Well then, what of January 16th, the day when Mother Mariana was called back to Our Father's Home? It is the feast of St.Pope Marcellus I. He was given the title of martyr because, for his strong conviction of the Faith, he was banished into exile by the fool-hardy king of his day. Marcellus (aka Marcel), meaning "warlike defender", astoundingly depicts the character of this important saint of our Church's history and the one yet unrecognized by the Church in our modern days (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre).
Finally, though as I'm sure you know, the Archbishop was a humble man. He had mentioned this apparition of Our Lady of Good Success in his sermon the day he consecrated the bishops to propagate the Faith. He said he had just learned of it. He did not, in fact, mention that this prelate was himself - humble as he was - but what a great consolation it must have been for him to hear the exact troubles of our days foretold by the Blessed Mother and that the very path he had been taking was the remedy the Blessed Mother asked Mother Mariana to suffer so greatly for! And I'm sure it's by no small coincidence the timing the Archbishop was given to know of this deliberately obscured apparition! All for the greater glory of God.
Sincerely in Christ,
We respect your interpretation of that part of Mother Mariana’s prophecy mentioning a future prelate who will restore the Church. Regarding private prophecies, we believe any person is entitled to his own opinion until the prophecy is fulfilled or until Holy Mother Church presents her final interpretation of it.
In the realm of facts, we have some observations on the presuppositions of your letter:
1. We are glad to acknowledge that, by founding the Society of St. Pius X, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre greatly contributed to keep the Tridentine Mass alive among Catholics in the long period when this Mass was effectively banned by the Liturgical Reform of Paul VI. However, we do not believe he was the only one doing this meritorious work.
Indeed, Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dình Thuc preceded Archbishop Lefebvre in that fidelity to the Traditional Latin Mass, as well as in the excommunication he received from the Vatican when he consecrated Bishops in 1976 to continue his work. Regarding the Mass the two Prelates took similar positions. The main difference between them is that Archbishop Thuc founded an underground movement quite difficult to control or even to track and, hence, open to all kinds of speculations, while Archbishop Lefebvre founded one that is visible and public.
Besides these two Prelates - along with the Bishops consecrated by them - others also assisted in the same effort of maintaining the Tridentine Mass, although without founding priestly organizations. For example, Archbishop Geraldo Proença Sigaud and Bishop Antonio Castro Mayer in Brazil also maintained the Tridentine Mass alive in that country of the largest Catholic population in the world, where SSPX has little influence.
We should not disregard that the true Sacrifice of Calvary continued to be indisputably renewed also by the Masses of other Catholic Rites, which only very slowly are being forced by the Vatican to adapt their liturgies to the progressivist reforms of the Latin Rite. These Rites count more than 15 million faithful, including large Catholic communities such as 5,5 million Catholics of the Ukrainian Catholic Rite, 3 million of the Maronite Rite, 3 million of the Syro-Malabar Rite and one million of the Melkite Rite.
Therefore, Archbishop Lefebvre was neither the only Prelate to maintain the Tridentine Mass, as implied in your letter, nor was the true Sacrifice of the Mass upheld only by means of the Latin Rite Mass.
2. For a long period Archbishop Lefebvre presented himself within SSPX as not having signed the documents of Vatican II. His faithful followers would take offense if anyone supported the opposite, even when presenting solid arguments. However, after an interview of Card. Hoyos in 2008 where he affirmed Msgr. Lefebvre had signed all the documents, this internal “dogma” became less secure. Later, the Vatican released photocopies of the conciliar documents signed by the French Archbishop, putting to rest that false statement.
Today even the four Bishops of SSPX admit that Msgr. Lefebvre had signed all the documents, as Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais stated in his recently published biography on Archbishop Lefebvre.
Although in broad lines Msgr. Lefebvre took a line of action that opposed the Council after that signature, today a growing number of his followers - including the Bishops he consecrated - act as if his opposition to the Council was quite nuanced. They imply he would have accepted Vatican II if it were interpreted in the light of Tradition. If this is true, we have Msgr. Lefebvre as a man who saw the Council not as a great catastrophe that should be completely wiped away from the Church, but as a man who wanted to save the Council.
Now, how is it possible to consider a Prelate who signed the documents of Vatican II and wanted to save it as a restorer of the Church from the present day apostasy? Especially since those documents are the official expression of that same apostasy.
We know from History that the cause of the persecution against St. Athanasius and St. Hilary of Poitiers was their refusal to agree with the various Arian or Semi-Arian councils of their time. It does not appear that Archbishop Lefebvre followed those glorious examples, since he signed all the Vatican II documents and would accept it if it were interpreted correctly.
This is why, in our opinion, he is not the Prelate foreseen in Mother Mariana’s revelations. As you correctly noted, we believe that the mentioned Prelate is still to come.
TIA correspondence desk
Posted November 2, 2010
Related Topics of Interest
Our Lady of Good Success & Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady Foretells the Crisis in the Church
Questions about Our Lady of Good Success
Fellay to Guimarães: The SSPX Bishops Did Not Compromise
Fr. Méramo: Bishop Fellay Accepted 95% of Vatican II
Awakening from a False Obedience
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