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Msgr. Lefebvre Used to Say the New Mass

From one of our readers in India we received the lines below, excerpts of an alleged letter/article from Dominican Fr. Guérard des Lauriers to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, dated April 12, 1979. Fr. des Lauriers was a known French theologian, professor at the Lateran University in Rome, advisor to Pius XII on the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady, and confessor of the same Pope for one year (1954-1955). In 1970 he was obliged by Paul VI to resign from his post at the Lateran University. Subsequently he was invited by Archbishop Lefebvre to be professor at the traditionalist seminary at Ecône, Switzerland, near the SSPX headquarters. In 1977, when Fr. des Lauriers became sede-vacantist, he was removed from that seminary. Later, in 1981, he was made a Bishop by Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc. These data can be confirmed here.

The letter below, if authentic, would be evidence that Archbishop Lefebvre said the New Mass for more than 2 years, and ceased to say it not from conviction, but for political reasons, being pressured by seven of his subordinates, among whom was Fr. des Lauriers himself, who at that time was at Ecône.

TIA has other witnesses that Msgr. Lefebvre used to say the Novus Ordo Mass during that period. However, the sources of this information, persons who rely on the SSPX, prefer to remain unknown. The document below, supposedly authored by Fr. des Lauriers, allows us to offer this datum to our readers for the first time. We would be grateful if they could confirm it or deny it with reliable evidence in order to clarify this issue.   The Editor

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Monsignor, We Do Not Want this Peace
People Commenting
"You celebrated the “innovated Mass” from the beginning of April 1969 until 24th December 1971.

"On 5th May 1969 some friends who held you in high esteem, among whom was the signatory of these lines, had come to be present at the Mass which you celebrated at the altar where lie the remains of St. Pius V in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major.

Astonishment, scandal and grief! Upon the very tomb of St. Pius V it was the "innovated Mass” which you celebrated! On the way out, you were confronted on the piazza by a respectful, though sorrowful, inquiry to which you declared, "If Mgr. Lefebvre were seen to celebrate the traditional Mass, there would be danger of scandal."

To these same friends who were labouring with your encouragement on the elaboration of the text which later became the "Letter of Cardinals Bacci and Ottaviani," you gave a comforting assurance, "We shall have six hundred bishops.” That was certainly something to convince the Pope! Well... there was not a single Bishop, not one, and not even you. In fact, in reality, you were more concerned about "not giving scandal” than about defending the truth. (...)

You continued to celebrate the "innovated Mass” at Fribourg and at Econe. The initial hopes bore fruit nevertheless: Bernard Tissier, de Malleray, Paul Aulagnier, Bernard Waltz and three others. On Christmas Day at the end of lunch, the Dominican Father whose signature is below and who was then staying at Econe remarked, with gentle irony, "Monseigneur, it is a pity that, while maintaining Tradition, you have been celebrating something called a "New Mass” which is not the Mass of Tradition.” This simple remark really set the house on fire. The "six," all your living hope, exploded. Each in his way and all together repeated the same message to you: "How is it possible to establish fidelity to Tradition on a 'Mass' which was 'innovated' in opposition to Tradition?” The incident was very vehement and, moreover, quickly closed. (...) On that night of 24-25th December 1971 at the Midnight Mass, to the great joy of everyone, you returned to the rite promulgated by St. Pius V. (...)

Maundy Thursday
(signed) Guérard des Lauriers O.P.
12th April 1979
for a group of the faithful who cling to tradition

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Posted January 4, 2011

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