Our Next Project: “They Have Uncrowned Him” Audiobook

We’re thrilled to announce the next audio project from Angelus Press – an audiobook recording, released for free, of Archbishop Lefebvre’s classic, “They Have Uncrowned Him.” But to do so, we need to raise close to $8,000. Will you help us get this project completed by donating now at ?

Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 23

“Building Up vs. Pulling Down”

It Twenty years have gone by and one would have thought that the reactions raised by the Council reforms would have calmed down, that the Catholic people would have buried the religion in which they had been brought up, that the younger ones, not having known it, would have accepted the new one. That, at least, was the wager made by the Modernists. They were not unduly disturbed by the uproar, sure of themselves as they were in the early days. They were less so later on. The frequent and necessary concessions made to the spirit of the world did not produce the expected results. Nobody any longer wanted to be a priest of the new religion and the faithful turned away from their religious practice. The Church which tried to become a Church of the poor became a poor Church, obliged to resort to advertising to collect Peter’s Pence, and to sell off its properties.
During this time those faithful to Tradition drew together in all the Christian lands, and particularly in France, Switzerland, the United States and Latin America.
The fabricator of the new Mass, Msgr. Annibale Bugnini, was himself obliged to recognize this world-wide resistance in his posthumous book,16 a resistance which is growing and organizing itself unceasingly and drawing support. No, the “traditionalist” movement is not “slowing down” as the progressivist journalists write from time to time to reassure themselves. Where else are there as many people at Mass as at St. Nicholas-du-Chardonnet, and also as many Masses, as many Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament or as many beautiful ceremonies? The Society of Saint Pius X throughout the world owns seventy houses, each with at least one priest…

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 22

“What Families Can Do”

It is high time to react. When Gaudium et Spes speaks of the movement of history “becoming so rapid that everybody finds it hard to follow,” we can take this as meaning the headlong rush of liberal society into disaggregation and chaos. We must take care not to follow!
One cannot understand how the leaders can claim to be of the Christian religion whilst destroying all authority within the State. On the contrary, it is important to re-establish this authority which is prescribed by Providence in the two natural societies of divine right, the family and civil society, whose influence here below is fundamental. In recent times it is the family that has suffered the hardest blows. The changeover to Socialism in countries like France and Spain has only speeded up the process.
The ensuing legal measures demonstrate a great cohesion in their determination to ruin the institution of the family: the reducing of parental authority, easy divorce, the disappearance of responsibility in the procreative act, the legal recognition of irregular unions and even of homosexual couples, juvenile cohabitation, trial marriage, the reduction of financial and social assistance to large families, etc. The State itself in its own interests is beginning to see the effects of this in the declining birth rate, and wonders how in the near future the rising generations will be able to maintain the pensions of those who are no longer economically active. But the effects are considerably more serious in the spiritual field.
Catholics must not follow, but as citizens they must bring all their weight to bear to put right what is needed. This is why they may not remain aloof from politics. However, their endeavors will be most effective in the upbringing they give their children.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 21

“Neither a Heretic Nor a Schismatic”

My statement of November 21, 1974, which triggered off the proceedings of which I have spoken, ended with these words: “In doing so…we are convinced of remaining loyal to the Catholic and Roman Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being faithful dispensers of the mysteries of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” When publishing the text, the Osservatore Romano omitted this paragraph. For ten years and more our opponents have been set on casting us out of the Church’s communion by presenting us as not accepting the Pope’s authority. It would be very convenient to turn us into a sect and declare us schismatics. How many times the word schism has been applied to us!
I have not ceased repeating that if anyone separates himself from the Pope, it will not be I. The question comes down to this: the power of the Pope within the Church is supreme, but not absolute and limitless, because it is subordinate to the Divine authority which is expressed in Tradition, Holy Scripture, and the definitions already promulgated by the Church’s magisterium. In fact, the limits of papal power are set by the ends for which it was given to Christ’s Vicar on earth, ends which Pius IX clearly defined in the Constitution Pastor Aeternus of the First Vatican Council. So in saying this I am not expressing a personal theory.
Blind obedience is not Catholic; nobody is exempt from responsibility for having obeyed man rather than God if he accepts orders from a higher authority, even the Pope, when these are contrary to the Will of God as it is known with certainty from Tradition. It is true that one cannot envisage such an eventuality when the papal infallibility is engaged; but this happens only in a limited number of cases. It is an error to think that every word uttered by the Pope is infallible.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 20

“The Mass of All Time”

One fact cannot have failed to surprise you: at no time during this affair has the Mass been in issue, although it is at the heart of the conflict. This enforced silence is the tacit admission that what is called the Rite of St. Pius V remains fully authorized.
On this subject Catholics can be perfectly easy in their minds: this Mass is not forbidden and cannot be forbidden. St. Pius V who, let us repeat, did not invent it but “re-established the Missal in conformity with the ancient rule and the rites of the Holy Fathers,” gives us every guarantee in the Bull Quo Primum, signed by him on July 14, 1570:

“We have decided and declare that the Superiors, Canons, Chaplains and other priests by whatever title they are known, or Religious of whatsoever Order, may not be obliged to celebrate Mass otherwise than as enjoyed by Us. We likewise order and declare that no-one whosoever shall ever at any time be forced or coerced into altering this Missal: and this present Constitution can never be revoked or modified, but shall for ever remain valid and have the force of law….Should anyone venture to (make such an alteration), let him understand that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”

Supposing that the Pope could withdraw this perpetual indult, he would have to do it by an equally solemn act. The Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum of April 3, 1969, authorizes the so-called Mass of Paul VI, but contains no expressly formulated prohibition of the Tridentine Mass. So much so that Cardinal Ottaviani could say in 1971: “The Tridentine Rite has not been abolished as far as I know.”

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 19

“The Seminary of Econe and Rome”

You are perhaps, perplexed readers, among those who observe the course of events with sadness and anguish but are nevertheless afraid to attend a true Mass, in spite of the desire to do so, because they have been persuaded that this Mass is forbidden. You may be one of those who no longer follow the priests in anoraks but who view with some distrust the priests in cassocks as if they were under some kind of censure; is not the bishop who ordained them suspended a divinis? You are afraid of putting yourself out of the Church; this fear is of praiseworthy origin but it is uninformed. I want to tell you what the position is about these sanctions which have been given such prominence and caused such loud rejoicing among the Freemasons and the Marxists. To understand it properly a little history is needed.
When I was sent to Gabon as a missionary, my bishop immediately appointed me as professor at the Seminary of Libreville, where for six years I formed seminarians, of whom some later received the grace of the episcopate. When I became a bishop in my turn, at Dakar, it seemed to me that my principal concern should be to look for vocations, to form the young men who responded to the call of God and to lead them to the priesthood. I had the joy of conferring the priesthood on one destined to be my successor at Dakar, Msgr. Thiandoum, and on Msgr. Dionne, the present Archbishop of Thiés in Senegal.
Returning to Europe to take up the position of Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, I tried to maintain the essential values of priestly formation. I have to admit that already by then at the beginning of the sixties, the pressure was such and the difficulties so considerable that I could not achieve the results I wanted. I could not keep the French Seminary in Rome, which was placed under the authority of our Congregation, on the same right lines as when we were there ourselves between 1920 and 1930.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 18

“True and False Obedience”

Indiscipline is everywhere in the Church. Committees of priests send demands to their bishops, bishops disregard pontifical exhortations, even the recommendations and decisions of the Council are not respected and yet one never hears uttered the word “disobedience,” except as applied to Catholics who wish to remain faithful to Tradition and just simply keep the Faith.
Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.
We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”
The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practice spiritual abortion or contraception.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 17

“What is Tradition?”

Modernism is indeed what undermines the Church from within, today as yesterday. Let us again quote from the encyclical Pascendi some typical features which correspond with what we are experiencing now.

“The Modernists say that Authority in the Church, since its end is purely spiritual, should strip itself of all that external pomp, all those pretentious adornments with which it parades itself in public. In this they forget that religion, while it belongs to the soul, is not exclusively for the soul and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who institutes it.”

It is under pressure from these “speakers of novelties” that Paul VI abandoned the tiara, bishops gave up the violet cassock and even the black, as well as their rings, and priests appear in lay clothes, usually in a deliberately casual style. There is nothing among the general reforms already put into effect or insistently demanded that St. Pius X has not mentioned as the “maniac” desires of the modernist reformers. You will recognize them in this passage:

“As regards worship (they want) to diminish the number of external devotions or at least stop their increasing …. Let ecclesiastical government become democratic; let a share in the government be given to the junior clergy and even the laity; let authority be decentralized. Reform of the Roman Congregations, above all the Holy Office and the Index….Finally there are those among them who, echoing their Protestant masters, seek the suppression of priestly celibacy.”

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 16

“Neo-Modernism or the Undermining of the Faith”

The Revolution, it has been said, expresses “the hatred of all order that has not been established by man, and in which he is not both king and god.” At its origin we find that pride which had already been the cause of Adam’s sin. The revolution withinIn the complete revision which has taken place in the Church’s vocabulary, a few words have survived, and faith is one of them. The trouble is that it is used with so many different meanings. There is, however, a definition of faith, and that cannot be changed. It is to this that a Catholic must refer when he no longer understands anything of the garbled and pretentious language addressed to him.
Faith is “the adherence of the intellect to the truth revealed by the Word of God.” We believe in a truth that comes from outside and which is not in some way produced by our own mind. We believe it because of the authority of God who reveals it to us, and there is no need to seek elsewhere.
No one has the right to take this faith from us and replace it by something else. What we are now seeing is the revival of a Modernist definition of faith which was condemned eighty years ago by Pius X. According to this, faith is an internal feeling; there is no need to seek further than man to find the explanation of religion: “It is therefore within man himself that it is to be found; and since religion is one form of life, it is found in the very life of man”—something purely subjective, an adhering of the soul to God, who is inaccessible to our intellect. It is everyone for himself, in his own conscience.
Modernism is not a recent invention, nor was it in 1907, the year of the famous encyclical. It is the perennial spirit of the Revolution, and it seeks to shut us up within our humanness and make God an outlaw. Its false definition of faith is directed to the destruction of the authority of God and the authority of the Church.

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Open Letter to Confused Catholics: Chapter 15

“The Marriage of the Church and the Revolution”

The Revolution, it has been said, expresses “the hatred of all order that has not been established by man, and in which he is not both king and god.” At its origin we find that pride which had already been the cause of Adam’s sin. The revolution within the Church can be explained by the pride of men of our times who believe they are in a new age when man has finally “understood his own dignity,” and has acquired an increased awareness of himself to the extent that one might speak of a social and cultural metamorphosis whose efforts have had repercussions on religious life. The very pace of history is becoming so rapid that one is hard pressed to keep up with it. In short, the human race is passing from a mainly static conception of the order of things to a dynamic and evolutive conception. The consequence is an immense series of new problems which call for new analyses and new syntheses.
These wonder-struck phrases which, with many others of the same sort, occur in the Introduction to Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, are of ill-omen for a return to the spirit of the Gospel. In so much change and transformation, it is hard to see how this can survive.
And what is meant by the statement: “An industrial type of society is spreading little by little, radically transforming our ideas about life in society” except that the writer is prophesying as a certainty what he wanted to see appear: a concept of society that will have nothing in common with the Christian concept expressed in the social doctrine of Church? Presuppositions of that nature can lead only to a new Gospel and a new religion. And here it is:

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