“The See of Peter and the posts of authority in Rome being occupied by anti-Christs, the destruction of the Kingdom of Our Lord is being rapidly carried out even within His Mystical Body here below, especially through the corruption of the Holy Mass which is both the splendid expression of the triumph of Our Lord on the Cross – Regnavit a Ligno Deus – and the source of the extension of His kingdom over souls and over societies.”
At first blush, some might think this quote was penned by Martin Luther, or another figure from the Protestant Reformation. Though there may be some parallels with certain things the reformers said, this was not written by a Protestant but by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on August 29th, 1987 – less than one year before he went into schism. Rather than rush to praise him as the St. Athanasius of our time, Catholics should take a deeper look into the things he said about the papacy. For instance, in his 1974 declaration, Lefebvre, much like Luther, suggests the pope has embraced a false Gospel. He states:
“No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic Faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries. ‘But though we,’ says St. Paul, ‘or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema‘ (Gal. 1:8). Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.”
If an honest evaluation of his writings is compared to Catholic ecclesiology, Catholics will realize there is a closer resemblance to Martin Luther than St. Athanasius – not to mention the former died excommunicated (as did Lefebvre), whereas the latter died in communion with the pope.
Michael is a graduate of Christendom College Graduate School of Theology where he received his Master of Arts in Theological Studies (Cum Laude) in 2018. He is currently working on a doctorate in Theology with Pontifex University and is writing a dissertation on the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Michael is the founder of the Reason & Theology show, where he has interviewed many of the leading figures in contemporary theology. He has worked with Catholic Answers as an affiliate apologist and also appeared on EWTN, SiriusXM Radio, Radio Maria. He has also contributed frequently to various newspapers and websites.