May 2013 Print

The Last Word

In the book of Genesis (12:1) we read of God’s call to Abraham. At the ripe age of 75, God led him away from his homeland and relatives and sent him into an unknown country, into exile and isolation. Yet God decided to grant a special grace to Abraham; henceforth, he and his descendants would be God’s chosen people, a sacred nation. This great blessing was promised to Abraham and to his seed alone, but under one condition: they had to maintain an uncompromising, unwavering faith.

Thus God’s choice and Abraham’s unbending fidelity gave rise to a special people, a nation which would eventually produce the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

We can draw a striking parallel between Abraham and our venerable founder, Archbishop Lefebvre. For many years, even decades, Marcel Lefebvre was an exemplary and highly respected priest who subsequently grew into a renowned bishop. When he was named Vicar Apostolic of Dakar and later Apostolic Delegate for French-speaking Africa, extraordinary responsibilities over large parts of the Church were entrusted to his care. Working closely with Pope Pius XII, he founded many dioceses, ran several seminaries, and laid a solid foundation for the Faith on this continent.

Following the Second Vatican Council, however, the Archbishop quickly fell into oblivion and even disgrace. He was singled out, rejected, and repelled to the fringes of the Church. Aged and isolated like Abraham, he received a special call.

Only in “exile,” on the verge of retirement, did Archbishop Lefebvre undertake the most important work of his life as he fought to preserve the traditional liturgy and transmit an unadulterated Faith. His courage and his open speech, combined with his profound love for the Church and for souls, instantly made him the focal point of the traditionalist movement. In a sense, he became the father of all those who would uncompromisingly maintain the true Faith in its beauty and fullness.

What would the Church be today without him? Where would we be if he had not consecrated four bishops 25 years ago?

We all owe him our gratitude, for he is truly our spiritual father. Let us give thanks to God for what the Archbishop has transmitted to us: the Faith which gives eternal life in Jesus Christ.

In Christo,

Father Jürgen Wegner