May 1985 Print

The Archbishop Speaks


Archbishop Crest

Sermons of His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

During April 1985
at Chicago and Saint Louis

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

My dear children, my dear brethren,

It is a great pleasure for me to come here for this ceremony of the Sacrament of Confirmation—for the first time in Chicago! I passed through Chicago one time, but I never celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for you. I congratulate the people who have prepared the Altar and this room—so nice, so beautiful—very important for this very important ceremony of the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

For you, my dear children, you shall receive the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation. This is a very great day, very important, because you know the teaching of the Church, the doctrine of the Church: we receive only once the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is not the same as the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist or the Sacrament of Penance. We must receive many times the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, but the Sacrament of Confirmation is the same as Baptism and Holy Orders for the priests. We shall receive it only once during our life because we receive in our soul a character. Our souls receive this sign of this grace and your angels see this sign of the Sacrament; also the holy souls who are in heaven know that we are baptized and they know that we received the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation is very important—more than ever in these times of confusion in the Church, in this time of crisis of the Church. You know that now, in many dioceses, it is no longer the bishop who gives the Sacrament of Confirmation. He delegates many priests and he, himself, does not give the Sacrament of Confirmation. And they have the same thinking about this Sacrament as the Protestants: "It is not very necessary; it is just a remembrance of the Sacrament of Baptism." I know of a bishop who wrote, in a letter to his diocese, that the Sacrament of Confirmation does not give the Holy Ghost; it is only a remembrance of the Holy Ghost we received in Baptism, and so the Sacrament of Confirmation is no longer a true sacrament if we do not receive the Holy Ghost. And now these same bishops—and there are many bishops who think this way—now they try to have the Holy Ghost by charismatism, pentecostalism, WITHOUT the sacraments, directly from God. They no longer need the true sacraments and this is not the Will of God! Jesus Christ is God and Jesus Christ, Who is very God Himself, instituted these Seven Sacraments, not more—not eight, not six—but Seven Sacraments. He instituted this Sacrament of Confirmation and we know that if we receive this sacrament with good dispositions we receive the Holy Ghost.

You shall see in a few moments, when the Bishop begins the ceremony of the Sacrament of Confirmation, he stands and prays God that He gives you all the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and you answer "Amen! Amen! Amen!" And after this prayer you and your sponsor come forth, and when the Bishop puts his hand on your head and signs your forehead by the Sign of the Cross with the Holy Oil, with true Holy Oil! The Holy Oil I consecrated myself during Holy Week, as I have done all my life of bishop, and as all bishops have done this consecration before the Second Vatican Council. In our days, we do not know what this oil is—it is no longer Holy Oil—they use oil of nuts, I do not know, soya? That is not good and perhaps that is not valid because in all tradition of the Church during twenty centuries, the Popes and the Councils have said we must use olive oil, no other oil. So it is very important to have this thing because by this Sacrament we receive the Holy Ghost. So when the bishop puts his hand on your heard and signs your forehead with the Sign of the Cross with Holy Oil and says the words of the Sacrament of Confirmation, at this time you will receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost.

And you need these gifts of the Holy Ghost, very much! We need to fight—fight against the scandals of the world, fight against all bad spirits, all devils; they are now in the world and they try to put us in mortal sin. Mortal sin, that is the cancer of the world! Now so many things in the world are against the Commandments of God, against the Decalogue; so we must have these gifts of the Holy Ghost to fight against the Devil.

And you must also have the missionary spirit. The Holy Ghost whom you receive gives you this spirit of the missionary. Because you receive this grace and these gifts of the Holy Ghost, not for you only, but also for other people: You know that St. Therese of the Child Jesus was declared by Pius XII as protector and patron of all missions and St. Therese was a Carmelite, a Carmelite nun. She did not go out into the world, in the countries of mission. She remained in her convent and is now protector of all missions because she had this spirit of missionary, and she offered her life—ALL her life to save the souls, for the missionary priests. So she was a great missionary, and you can do the same! Offer your life and your difficulties and your pains to save souls.

After the ceremony you stand and say the Creed, the Our Father and the Hail Mary. These prayers you say before all people present, all people in heaven, to show that you are true Christians, true Catholics.

And so that is the ceremony of the Sacrament of Confirmation. I do not change anything. It is the same Sacrament, the same ceremony, when I received myself the Sacrament of Confirmation; it is the same ceremony that I do for you, it is the same! And your parents, your grandparents, received the same ceremony. I did not change anything. We keep the true tradition of the Catholic Church. When you return home, you can be sure that you received the Holy Ghost with all His gifts which you need to remain true Christians. That is very important.

My dear brethren, I want to say some words on this occasion because you know that we are in a sad situation in the Church after Vatican Council II and the "reforms" in the Church; the effects, the fruits of these reforms are very bad, very bad! Cardinal Ratzinger himself said recently, in an interview with the Italian review Jesu, he gave a description of the situation in the Church today as very tragic, tragic! I met with Cardinal Ratzinger last January, and I spoke with him about that. I said to him: "You made a description of the situation in the Church now that perhaps I do not do because it is so sad, so confused." He said: "In Europe, in the Church in Europe, many priests and many bishops no longer believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ!" That is the basis of our Faith, and they do not believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ! "In the States, in North America, they no longer have conscience of the Law, no more moral law, no more sin, everyone makes one's own morals, one's own law, and so morality is getting worse and worse. In South America, there is the theology of liberation!" What is liberation theology? It is the destruction of society; no more authority. It is the spirit of revolution in society, against authority, all authority. "In Africa, in India, in Japan, there are Catholics who want 'inculturation'; they want an African Church, an Indian Church, a Japanese Church—that is no longer the Catholic Church!" That is what Cardinal Ratzinger himself said, he said it! And, so I said to him, "What is the source of these bad fruits? For me, it is the Council of aggiornamento; that signifies the Council of the changes. What changes? Changes in the sacraments, changes in catechisms, changes in the Bible, so that we are no longer Catholics [but] are like Protestants. And that comes from the spirit of the Council!" And he said, "No! No, no, no, that does not come from the Council; it comes from bad interpretations of the Council; it comes from abuses of the reforms." I said, "That is not true. That comes from the new orientation of the Church in the Council, especially by ecumenism."

Ecumenism and Religious Liberty are the same: "All religions are good now!" Before the Council the Popes said: "There is one, only one, true Religion, the Catholic Religion!" Why? Because God Himself instituted this religion! God is our Creator and our Creator said "That is your religion, the Religion of Jesus Christ, the Religion of the Catholic Church. Myself, I form the Catholic Church; Myself I form this Catholic Church; Myself I give you the sacraments; Myself I give you the Church, the Catholic Church: that is the religion for ALL men, all men!" And He is God. There are not two gods, three gods; there is only One God! And there is only one true religion! All Popes, during twenty centuries said that, and that is the motive of the missionary spirit of the Church. Many, many missionaries died, gave their blood, to affirm that only the Catholic Religion is the true religion! All martyrs, they gave their blood. And so after the Council now, "all religions are good, all religions have the Truth. We look after the truth together. Where is the Catholic Church? It is the same as the Protestants, the same as Buddhists, the same as Moslems." That is impossible! That is ecumenism!

And so they reformed the Mass, [they made] the New Mass, the new sacraments, the new catechisms, the new Bible. All is changed by the spirit of ecumenism, to be closer to the Protestants. And the result is that many Catholics abandon their Faith and many become Protestants, or another religion, or they abandon all religion. We can see in your seminaries, in your convents, in your monasteries—where are the vocations? That is the destruction of the Church!

So we must keep our Catholic Faith. We must remain in the Tradition of the Catholic Church! Doing that, we follow all Popes before the Council until Pope Pius XII. He was a very holy Pope and he remained in the Catholic Faith.

It is very sad to see that Pope Paul VI and even Pope John Paul II are too ecumenical. The presence of our Pope, the Catholic Pope, in a Lutheran church in Rome was a scandal! The presence of the delegate of the Pope to [lay down] the first stone of a big mosque in Rome is a scandal! The Concordat with Italy, the new concordat with Italy by which Italy is no longer a Catholic State, is a lay State—no more religion in Italy, in Rome, the City of the Pope, the Catholic City, is no longer a holy City! And that is the reason for which the Moslems came and said, "Now we shall build a big, big mosque—perhaps larger than St. Peter's." In Rome! Do you think that we can do that in Mecca? Build a Catholic Church in Mecca, in the city of Moslems? And in our Catholic City, Rome, center for all Catholics of the world, now the Moslems build a huge mosque, larger than St. Peter's, and with the approval of the Pope! It is a scandal!

We love the Pope! We love the Pope! But it is like my father: he is always my father, but if my father does something against my Faith, then I refuse. I say, "No! That is impossible. I want to keep my Faith and to remain in my Catholic Faith. You are my father, I know, I love my father and respect my father, but if my father asks me to do something wrong, I refuse!" I want to remain a true Son of God, and they say: "You are a dissident bishop, you are a rebel bishop." I am not dissident, I am not a rebel, no more than a child who refuses to commit a mortal sin for his father, for example. The son is right; he does not commit a mortal sin even is his father says: "You must commit this mortal sin." This father remains the father of his son, and the son always respect his father, but he says: "I respect God more!" That is our situation: We are not rebels, we are not dissidents; we are true sons, true sons of the Pope. The true son says to his father that he is doing wrong. If he is doing well, no problem.

I congratulate you for maintaining your Catholic Faith—for you, for your family, for your children. This is very important for the future of the Church. You are true Catholics, true sons of the Church! I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to bless you and to be for you an example, an example to maintain our Faith. The Blessed Virgin Mary was very strong. Do you think that the Blessed Virgin Mary could say that Jesus Christ was not God? Her Son? That is impossible! The Blessed Virgin Mary knows that she is the Mother of God. She is very humble, the Blessed Virgin Mary, but she knows that her Son is God, and that there is no other God, no other religion than the religion of her Son, Jesus Christ.

In her heart there is no other name than the Name of Jesus, in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I hope that in all our hearts there is not another name until our deaths so that we can remain in heaven with the True God—that we have in our hearts the Names of Jesus and Mary.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Wednesday, 24 April 1985
Saint Louis, Missouri

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My dear brethren:

I am very pleased to be here in St. Louis. I came here and said Mass in this same place a few years ago. I know that after that time, you had some worries in this center. I will speak no more of these worries but, you know, all works of God have their trials and sacrifices and worries. Perhaps it is a sign that the work done by the priests here was a work of God. I am sure that the work Father Hogan is doing for you is a work of God, and the same for Father Laisney. They are true priests; you need these priests; you need true priests, holy priests!

You know that after the Second Vatican Council and the New Code of Canon Law, they do not give the same definition of the Church, the Catholic Church as before. Why? I do not know.

The Catholic Church had its definition for twenty centuries! Why did they change it? They changed it when they say that the Catholic Church is "the People of God," and in this "People of God" there are functions, some ministries for all "people," everyone has his ministry, everyone has his function in the "People of God." That is not true and this is not the true definition of the Catholic Church! The true definition of the Catholic Church is that in the Catholic Church there are two groups of persons: one is the clergy and the other group is the laymen—as in a family! In a family you have the parents and you have the children. God did this; that is the creation of God. It is the same for the Church: God created the Church, it is His Mystical Body; He created the Church. Jesus Christ decided that in the Church there are some persons elected by God, by the Church, to have the power to give the sacraments, to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass and to continue the Sacrifice of Calvary of Jesus Christ and to give the Holy Ghost to souls. That is the creation of Jesus Christ Himself! We cannot choose; it is not our creation! We know, and you know, that now in the Church the priest becomes layman and the layman becomes priest. That is not the Catholic Church! There are some priests now who have no signs that they are priests, they are laymen and say themselves: "We are not different from laymen." This is not true! They have received the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and the layman cannot say the words of the consecration. Words of consecration said by a layman have no effect: God is not come on the altar, in the Host, the Blood of Jesus Christ and the Body of Jesus Christ do not come if a layman says the words of consecration. On the contrary, a priest, even if this priest is a bad priest, he is a priest, and when he says the words of the consecration during the Mass, on the Host and on the wine in the chalice, at that moment Jesus Christ comes on the altar with His Body, with His Blood, with His Soul and with His Divinity. That is the teaching of the Church. We must keep this doctrine of the Church! You know this doctrine and you do not like to go to Masses where lay people give in their hands the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ! It is not the function of a layman; it is the function of the priest. The bishop consecrates the hands of the priest so that he may touch, in his hands, the Body and the Soul of Jesus Christ and give Jesus Christ to the faithful. The function of the priest is very extraordinary! We, poor sinners, poor creatures, we have the power by the words of consecration to give an order to God that He must come on the altar, continue His work of Redemption, redemption of the souls, and give to the faithful Jesus Christ Himself—give God to the faithful!

That is the privilege of the priest—great privilege, extraordinary privilege!

And if we believe in this true doctrine of the Church we understand why the preparation of the priesthood must be a good one in seminaries where the young men study; where they pray and they receive the ordination in which they become priests, true priests. We do that in our seminaries; we continue this holy Tradition of the Church so when you receive our priests you can know that these priests are true Catholic priests as the Church made priests during twenty centuries.

And so I ask you to pray—to pray every day that we get good vocations—for good vocations for the priesthood, good vocations to the religious life for the brothers and sisters. You know that in some months the Carmelites will be coming—a convent of Carmelites will be coming from Belgium to Philadelphia, and in America you will have a true Carmel, a true Carmel convent! That is very important! The religious—the sisters—they pray, they offer all of their life for the sanctification of souls. It is a very great blessing of God to have a contemplative convent and you must be very happy that now a new convent, with the true spirit of the Carmel, shall be founded near Philadelphia in August.

And from where shall we get vocations? In the schools, in Catholic schools! Where do young men and young girls have the idea of a vocation? In good families and in good schools! If we have not good families, Christian families, Catholic families, and if we have not good Catholic schools, we do not get vocations. And we can see, now everywhere, there are no vocations. Why? Because there are no more true Catholic families. Many progressivist families have no children; they do not want children; they do not want the grace of marriage; many live without the grace of marriage: "free love"! It is impossible in such a society—progressivist society, modernist society—to have many vocations! The seminaries—in the States, in Canada, everywhere in South America, in Italy, in France, every where—the seminaries are empty! No vocations. They abandon the seminaries. They close the seminaries, the convents, because there are no vocations. And that is because they abandon the true Catholic Faith, they abandon the Tradition of the Church. Sure! When we continue the Tradition of the Church, we have vocations: we have now four seminaries, we have 250 seminarians and this year I shall ordain forty priests. Forty new priests! Where is the bishop who can say, "I ordained forty priests this year!" Because they have no more vocations! I said that the Carmelites will come to Philadelphia—that signifies that they have vocations. After five years they are making their fifth foundation: one foundation in Belgium, one foundation in Germany, one foundation in France, one foundation in Philadelphia and one foundation in Switzerland! That signifies that they have many vocations! They come from everywhere. And we have many vocations for sisters, for the Sisters of our Society, the Sisters who are in St. Mary's. All this is a sign that Tradition bears fruit, good fruit! Without Tradition, no fruit, bad fruit!

Perhaps you ask me, "What is now the situation between you and Rome?" I can say that I have relations with Rome. I am, as I said to the reporters when they ask me this question, I said we are as children in regard to their father: the father asks the children to do something wrong, to commit a mortal sin; what should the children do? The children can say to the father: "We love you, we know that you are our father, but we cannot disobey God, and when you ask us to commit a mortal sin, we cannot obey!" We are in the same situation with Rome: we love the Pope, we love the successor of St. Peter, but we say to him, when he gives us changes, the New Mass, the new catechism, the new Bible, new sacraments that diminish our Faith—we say, "No." The Catholic Faith—that is the way to go to heaven; if I no longer have the Catholic Faith, I will go to hell! So, I keep my Faith, my Catholic Faith of twenty centuries. I am not alone for I have all the saints who are now in heaven, they did the same; all martyrs who gave their blood to keep the Faith! They preferred to die, to go to heaven, to obey God. We are in the same situation. But it is a pity that it is with Rome, with the bishops, but it is a fact. It is the Passion of the Church, the Catholic Church.

You know that when Jesus Christ was crucified on the Cross, who was with Him at the foot of the Cross? No apostles except John, one! Where are the eleven? And nobody, only the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, and some women; all others abandoned Jesus Christ; He was alone. The situation of the Church is the same now: the Catholic Church is crucified! Many, many of the bishops abandon the Church; they go another way. We remain with our beloved Mother the Catholic Church even if it is crucified, as we are sure that the Church is continuing and that the Church cannot die. It is the same as for Jesus Christ: He had His Resurrection; the Catholic Church shall have Her Resurrection. We must have true hope and continue as our parents, grandparents, and all holy Popes and holy saints in the Catholic Church have done for twenty centuries.

We must pray especially for our Mother, the Mother of God, to give us fortitude, this Gift of Fortitude, to renew the grace we received in the Sacrament of Confirmation, to remain very strong against the Devil and to remain true Catholics.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.