Saturday, January 19, 2013
There will be an upcoming documentary released later this year on the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The problem with not having a pope is the tendency among Traditionalists to idolize their leaders. The Archbishop was a good man, but even canonized saints had their faults. The movie, like the Archbishop's biography entitled Marcel Lefebvre (written by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais), paints a very sanitized version of the Archbishop. They also will leave out Levebvre's quotes made later in his life when he sees sedevacantism as a viable theological conclusion. One can hardly blame him for his confusion and trepidations in dealing with an unprecedented near universal apostasy in the wake of Vatican II.
The unforgivable sin of the SSPX in extolling the virtues of their leader, is when they make it appear as if he were the original clergyman who rose up in the preservation of the One True Church of Christ. When the Vatican II sect is one day destroyed (as all false religions will be crushed eventually), the true pioneer of the Traditionalist Movement will be revealed as a Belgian born priest, Father Gommar A. DePauw. Lefebvre's biographer gives him only a brief mention in a single paragraph, and the movie will probably not mention him at all. He was a canon lawyer who was a peritus (i.e. a theological advisor) at Vatican II. He fought along side Cardinal Ottavianni against the Modernist heretics, and in 1964---yes, 1964!---founded the Catholic Traditionalist Movement to stop what was happening. His number one enemy at the Council was the suit and tie wearing Fr. Joseph Ratzinger(whose name he used to always pronounce RAT-zinger). I knew Fr. DePauw personally, and he converted me to the True Faith at age 16 in 1981. I attended Mass with him until his holy passing in 2005.
When Fr. DePauw needed a bishop to support him only ONE stood up. It was not Archbishop Levebvre. It was not Archbishop Thuc. It was not Bishop Mendez. It was not Bishop de Castro Mayer. It was Bishop Blaise Kurz, who in 1966 answered the call. Consecrated by Pope Pius XII himself at the main altar of St Peter's Basilica on October 29, 1939, Bishop Kurz was the exiled Ordinary of the Diocese of Yungchow, China. He alone stood up. Fr. De Pauw told me that the greatest thing he ever did in his life was something he never did: he never offered the so-called "Novus Ordo" invalid Vatican II bread and wine service. He only offered the True Mass his whole life. Due to the courage of DePauw and Kurz, this emboldened the others, including Lefebvre, to come out in defense of the True Faith. Father established the Ave Maria Chapel in Westbury, Long Island, New York in 1968. Prior to this, he had been offering the True Mass in a rented room of the Chrysler Building in Manhattan. Long Island has been rightfully called, "the home of Traditional Catholicism." To read more about Father De Pauw, visit the CTM website at www.latinmass-ctm.org.
At the end of his life, it is my personal belief having known him, that he had come to the conclusion that the Chair of St. Peter was empty. He did not insert JP II's name in the Canon at least since 1999. Like every human being, he had his faults. But both DePauw and Kurz remained true to the Profession of the Catholic Faith they had sworn on the day of their ordinations, namely to keep the Faith "whole, entire and inviolate until the last breath of my life." Had those other Traditionalists that Fr. De Pauw would refer to as "Johnny-come-latelys" stood up with Bishop Kurz and himself, perhaps enough of the laity would have come out to stop the Vatican II sect from taking hold as strongly as it did. So, when the movie on Archbishop Levebvre comes out with the historical revisionism of the SSPX that the Archbishop was the first to stand strong for the True Faith, please remember with gratitude a humble Belgian priest and his German born Bishop ally, who were truly the pioneers and say a prayer for the repose of their beautiful souls.