“I Have Handed on What I Have Received”
On The Biography of Marcel Lefebvre
by John Vennari
The year was 1969. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre was sixty-five and retired. He had survived the tumultuous battles of the Second Vatican Council. He had just resigned as Superior General of Holy Ghost Fathers. He had spent himself for over 40 years in the Lord’s vineyard. He assumed his work was over. Providence had other plans.
A handful of seminarians at the time were dissatisfied with the priestly formation they were receiving: a formation both liberal and lax. Only four years after the close of the Council, the seminaries were already permeated by the modernist spirit of Vatican II: weekly liturgical experiments, seminarians concocting their own liturgies, seminarians going out at night, bad theology courses, no rule of life, no cassocks, no Latin, no discipline, contempt for Tradition, total collapse.
The distraught seminarians were advised to seek counsel from Archbishop Lefebvre, now living quietly in Rome. The Archbishop counseled the young men to try a House of Studies at Fribourg, but this turned out to be as unsatisfactory as anything they already encountered. The Archbishop then looked into another House of Studies in Switzerland only to find more disorder, more aggiornamento, more “spirit of Vatican II”. The seminarians were orphaned. They had no place to go. They had suffered ridicule for their traditionalist stand while in the seminaries of the new springtime. What could be done for them?
The rest of the story is here.