January 2020 Print

The Deposit of the Faith

By a Benedictine Monk


St. Benedict in the last sentence of the Prologue of his Rule speaks of the gift of faith. “In fact, in as much as we progress in the religious life and in our faith, our heart is dilated and we run in the way of the Commandments of God filled with the ineffable sweetness of love.” The most precious treasure in our life is the gift of faith by which we possess true charity. Our Lord says ‘For where your treasure is, there is thy heart also.’ Our heart will grow in charity if we conserve our faith in all of its purity.”

Fifty years of the work of the Archbishop, founding the Society of Saint Pius X, has been like an echo of the words of St. Benedict. He handed on the deposit of faith to a generation of Catholics seeking to survive in the midst of one of the most terrible battles of the history of the Church. His faith permitted him to run in the ways of God with great love. He chose to place on his episcopal coat of arms St. John’s words “…we have believed in charity.” This charity that comes from faith gave him and the Society of priests that he founded, the courage to stand up and refute the terrible errors of Vatican II. In his last years, the Archbishop chose to summarize his life’s activity by writing on his tombstone: “Tradidi quod et accepi”—“I have handed on that which I also have received.” He received the gift of faith from Our Lord through the apostolic line of bishops and he maintained it in all of its purity in order to hand it on to future generations, helping us all maintain our souls in true charity.

In 1974 amidst the general confusion of the post-conciliar reforms, the Archbishop made his courageous statement of faith:

“We adhere with our whole heart, with our whole soul to Catholic Rome, guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the necessary traditions to maintain this Faith, to the eternal Rome, the mistress of wisdom and truth.

“We refuse however, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies, which manifested itself clearly in the Second Vatican Council and after the council in all of the reforms, which were a result of it.

“All these reforms, in fact, have contributed and still contribute to the demolition of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the annihilation of sacrifice and of the sacraments, to the disappearing of the religious life, to a naturalistic and Teilhardian teaching in the universities, in the seminaries, in catechism, a teaching brought forth from liberalism and from Protestantism so many times condemned by the solemn magisterium of the Church.

“No authority, not even the most elevated kind found in the hierarchy, can oblige us to abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the magisterium of the Church during 19 centuries” (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Nov. 21, 1974).

These words of Archbishop Lefebvre were certainly intended to defend the deposit of the faith that he was handing onto his seminarians and future priests of Écône. In order to be attached to truth of the Eternal Rome, we must be detached from errors of the neo-Modernist Rome. He mentions only the Teilhardian error in particular as if all the others were somehow involved in this one. Fr. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest and also a paleontologist who believed that the universe must be subordinated to his theory of evolution. He used, in a certain way, his prestige as a scientist to confirm the supposed veracity of his theories as a philosopher and theologian. Protected by a shield of a false science, he proposed a new faith “in the god of evolution” to the Catholic Church. His erroneous system of evolutionary change influenced many other theologians of his time to apply the obligatory theory of change to every aspect of the Church. He essentially denied original sin and proclaimed universal salvation for all mankind. One of his more famous proclamations of this false faith is found in the book entitled The Future of Mankind. He speaks of the case of an atheist and a Catholic making their way to eternity and how both will obviously be saved:

“Take the two extremes confronting us at this moment, the Marxist and the Christian, each a convinced believer in his own doctrine, but each, we must suppose, fundamentally inspired with an equal faith in man. Is it not incontestable… that despite all ideological differences, they will eventually in some manner, come together on the same summit? …Followed to their conclusion the two paths must certainly end by coming together: for in the nature of things, everything that is faith must rise, and everything that rises must converge” (T. de Chardin, Future of Mankind, pp. 198-199).

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts that the Archbishop has left to the Church is the Society of Saint Pius X. This small group of Catholics has continued to hand on the deposit of the Faith to fellow Catholics for the past 50 years by fighting vigorously against this new, false faith of universal salvation and by thus preaching true charity.