Faith Is Greater Than Obedience…

One of our young, teenage readers asked me to post the following article from The Angelus, August 1988 – he reads the blog and is keen to discover what we all think of the claims of Professor Albert Drexel.  What follows is taken from The Angelus website: archbishop-marcel-lefebvre-i-have-never-changed

Fr. Albert Drexel wrote Faith Is Greater than Obedience, a collection of words Our Lord spoken to him a few years before he died. These locutions have every mark of credibility, for Fr. Drexel was an experienced priest, a professor—certainly not one to give into flights of imagination, nor one easily deceived by the devil…

“Faith Is Greater Than Obedience” words of Our Savior to Professor Albert Drexel on March 5, 1976

Professor Albert Drexel was born in Hohenems in the province of Voralberg in Austria. He was the third of five brothers, who were also priests, and he was ordained in 1914.

Professor Drexel held three doctor degrees as an Austrian scientist of philology and ethnology. In 1932, he had a private audience with Pope Pius XI; he taught as professor in the Vatican University for Missions and was later used as an expert in racial questions at the Vatican. He wrote many books on Philology and Theology. He died on March 9, 1977.

July 4, 1975 …My Church lives in the midst of apostasy and destruction. She lives also among  numerous faithful and loyal people. In the history of My Church, there have been times of decline, of desertion and devastation, in consequence of wicked priests and tepid shepherds. But the spirit of God is most powerful, and has raised up the Church and caused it to blossom again, but smaller, upon the ruins and graves of unfaithfulness and desertion. The work of Ecône, of My servant Marcel, does not perish!

March 5, 1976 …My faithful son Marcel, who suffers a great deal for the faith, is going on the right path. He is like a light and pillar of truth, which many ordained priests of Mine are betraying. Faith is greater than obedience. Therefore, it is My will that the work of the theological education for priests continues in the spirit and will of My son Marcel, for the salvation and great help of My one and true Church.

May 7, 1976 …My one and true Church shall be renewed by priests. Know then: There shall grow up a new generation of young priests. And these priests, repulsed by apostate ecclesiastics, are drawn to the spiritual life of the saints, and they will openly profess themselves as servants of Christ; they shall wear the habit of their vocation and order, and will not have human respect or worldly love. These priests are trained already in a few places, and they are distinguished by three characteristics: by the life of prayer, by the flame of their Eucharistic love and profoundness, by the devotion and honoring of the Mother of redemption, the eternal Virgin Mother Mary. These three reasons will bring the success of saints to this young generation of priests, and will raise My one and true Church to new splendor, and with great vigor.

June 4, 1976 …Therefore you should know: Whoever lays hands on and destroys that place where young men are educated to be priests after the heart and will of God, shall draw down the curse of Heaven and Mine in this time, and for all eternity. A blessing to those, and My blessing, to whoever protects and promotes such a place. A threefold curse to those who seize such a place wrongly and who block thus the road to the future priesthood!

August 6, 1976 …Your other worries are concerning a doubt about the painful situation in which My son Marcel finds himself. He suffers injustice, because of his fight for the faith and because it was an unjust verdict given to him. But there shall come a time in which this injustice will be repaired in time here on earth: this son of Mine is a worthy servant of My one and true Church.

October 1, 1976 …Therefore I am very pleased with My son Marcel, because he has stood up against all misunderstandings and persecutions, for the salvation of the faith, and because the Eucharistic sacrifice means for him the most Holy.

December 3, 1976 …But priests like My worthy servant Marcel are persecuted, condemned and outlawed, because they see the sacramental sacrifice as the truest and holiest, and celebrate the mystery of My body and blood with holy reverence.

February 4, 1977 …For the peace of your soul, and for your work you do for the Church, you should know: My servant Marcel is within My love, because of his strong faith, his true humility, and his great reverence.   Source 

74 responses

  1. Editoryet?

    As I know you have concerns, as do I, about Medjugorje, I am sure you will provide evidence that Rome has attested that this private revelation is valid, and may be promulgated as true. If not, why would you endorse one and not the other?

    Or are you saying that as he was a priest is likely to be true solely because he is a priest?

    • Sean P,

      I don’t recall endorsing anything. I was asked by a young reader to post the article because he (not moi) is interested in learning what the bloggers here think of it.

      I’ve posted many threads on Medjugorje – yet I’m never going to endorse it.

      I hope this clarifies the matter for you.

      PS – what’s with the “Editoryet”? I don’t get that.

      • Thank You for the clarification. However, as your mission is to keep people focussed on “Truth”, and you said Bishop Seamus was “clowning around” when distributing Ashes publicly, isn’t it foolish to appear to give credence to private revelations that find echoes in your own heart, and mind?

        • Sean,

          What you are really trying to say, is that you don’t like Archbishop Lefebvre and so you don’t want to think God endorses (to use your own word) what he said and did to protect the Faith and the Mass at this time of crisis.

          So, no, it’s not “foolish” to post this thread. By posting the threads on the Medjugorje hoax I don’t give them credence but, on the contrary, use them to highlight the errors of those alleged visions, and, similarly, we may use this thread to discuss the merits or otherwise of the alleged locutions to Fr Drexel.

          Unlike the Medjugorje “Lady”, Our Lord has not spoken heresy to Fr Drexel, and given the priest’s credentials, it makes for a much more fruitful discussion that any Muddy Gorgie thread.

          I’m surprised that nobody, especially your good self, has yet picked up on the key point of the thread, which is the title of Fr Drexel’s book (and this thread) – Faith Is Greater Than Obedience… Well…

          Is it?

          • Editor

            I have no reason to dislike The Archbishop. By all accounts he was a man of principle, even if he was not, it seems, right in his judgement.

            However, the thread consists largely of stuff from a private revelation not recognised by The Church, and one give to a priest whose cause is not before Rome. Thus neither the “revelation”, or the man, should be elevated to the role of teacher, for The Universal Church, on the subject of the worthiness, or rightness, of a particular Archbishop..

            Further, the title of the Book, and thread, is no guide as faith is led, fed, and sustained, through obedience, and life giving Sacraments, prayer, self denial, and almsgiving. Faith and obedience are not opposites or choices that counter each other. The root meaning of obedience is to listen or hear, and we are called to faith in the one whose voice we hear. See John 10:27

            An individual is to listen to God, and not the dictates of his own mind and heart, and more especially His Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, and those to whom he has entrusted The Deposit of Faith – in Holy Scripture and Tradition – under The Leadership of The Pope, and The College of Bishops. As The Baltimore Catechism teaches “Q. 499. Why is the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, the visible Head of the Church?

            A. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the visible Head of the Church because he is the successor of St. Peter, whom Christ made the chief of the Apostles and the visible Head of the Church.”

            • Sean,

              You seem to interpret the Pope’s role as visible head of the Church on earth, as meaning we must “obey” his every word.

              Is that your position?

              If so, please tell us what you think of the fact that St Athanasius “disobeyed” the Pope of his day and is now a canonised saint and Doctor of the Church?

              Also, your opinion on Pope John XXII who taught the heresy that the soul is not judged immediately at death, but only at the General Judgement at the end of time. He did not recant this heresy until he was on his deathbed by which time many souls will have accepted this false teaching. Who would be most pleasing to God, then, those who “obeyed” the Pope and propounded this heresy, or those who resisted and refused to accept it?

              No evasions, please, and thank you – answer these key points which really amount to – is it ever lawful to disobey a Pope (apart from obvious situations where a pope may, in theory, demand us to commit a crime). In any other circumstances, is a Catholic permitted to “disobey” a pope? If so, why – by what standard or measure?

              • It is not lawful to disregard teachings made ex-cathedra, or given with the explicit, and implicit, intent to impart an infallible teaching. Therefore for example, in an ad hoc homily in St Martha’s House, or in an inflight interview, a Pope may give a personal opinion, or give the wrong emphasis to something, or, for example, a Swiss Guard may ignore the promptings of the Pope.

                However, for example, encyclicals may not be addressed or the whole Church, or written, or published, with the intent of imparting an infallible teaching. And so the recent “Green” encyclical may, like a curate’s egg, be good in parts, but like every other encyclical ever published, may not contain one word of infallible teaching, and it is The Pope, and The College of Bishops, and the wider Magisterium, that are to take out from the store of things old, and new, and draw out, from the mass of documents, available those teachings that are binding, and wholly consistent, with Tradition and Holy Scripture.

                The Second Vatican didn’t define anything new, but it, under the guidance of The Pope, followed the process I outlined in the previous paragraph.

                • Sean P

                  Demonstrate to us here how the ecumenism and religious freedom taught by the pastoral Council Vatican II is consistent with Church teaching pre-Council.

                  As for Archbishop Lefebvre, named by Pius XII as “the best of my Apostolic Delegates”, considering that the priesthood has fairly rapidly collapsed since the Council, that seminaries and religious houses have closed in their thousands, that vocations have all but dried up, that millions in the West have abandoned the faith, and that many Catholic chapels and services now strongly resemble Protestantism, I would say the Archbishop was more than “a man of principle”, he was a man of prophetic vision.

                  And what about Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of holy communion. These things were illicitly introduced into the Church by rebellious prelates and initially forbidden by the Popes until the abuses became so widespread as to become the custom, yet they remain indults. How do you explain this disobedience of so many prelates to the instructions and commands of the Pontiffs, your Cardinal Koch among the rebels, while at the same time you accuse Archbishop Lefebvre because he refused these and other dangerous Protestant innovations, like the New Mass.

      • Editor,
        I don’t know that I can rightly weigh in on this but regarding the content of the Locutions, (btw St. John of the Cross says locutions are the least susceptible to error) My only hesitation aside from giving the Church Her due, is that Our Lord never places emphasis on belief over obedience. I think of St. Teresa who was commanded to give the “fig” to her appartions and heard Our Lord commend her for her obedience.

        • Diamhuireduit,

          Yes, but you must never forget that when Our Lady and Our Lord commend obedience over their requests being carried out, it is never a question of anything contrary to the Faith. Here, Our Lord is speaking about a crisis in the Church where the upper hierarchy appear to have lost the Faith and are seeking to change it. That is unique in the history of the Church. We’ve never had a pope who told atheists they could get to Heaven no matter what, as long as they were good people in this world, never had a pope telling the Jews they don’t need Christ. We cannot possibly obey a pope when he recommends us not to seek converts, or any other false teachings such as spreading ecumenism and inter-faith activities which are divorced from seeking converts. That’s the difference. That’s why I won’t be surprised if, one day, Fr Drexel’s locutions are recognised by the Church as yet more evidence of God’s Providential mercy, seeking to help confused souls in this time of dreadful, and unique, crisis.

          Having said that, I do recognise that you make a valid point and were we NOT in this time of crisis, I’d be saying that you are correct, doesn’t seem right etc. The rules, however, change in times of war – spiritual, religious and moral, as well as wars of the earthly kind!

          • Editor

            You claim not to endorse these Locutions and say that you have only posted them to promote discussion. However, when challenged about the issue of obedience and faith you respond “here, Our Lord is speaking about a crisis in the Church where the upper hierarchy appear to have lost the Faith and are seeking to change it.”

            John 18:38

            • Sean

              I’m now convinced that you are the same troll I’ve banished before. My usual checks have failed.

              Now, I’m gong to answer this and then you’re going firstly into moderation and if your daft nonsense continues, you’ll be blacklisted.

              When I said what you quote, it was in response to another blogger pointing out – rightly – that normally, Our Lord or Our Lady in apparitions, encourage the seer to be patient, to wait for the priest or bishop to do their bidding. However, here, IF THESE LOCUTIONS ARE GENUINE – Our Lord is saying that Faith is more important than obedience, which is true. Always was and always will be.

              However, in the history of apparitions/locutions, it may be a first for Our Lord to actually say so (I don’t know that) and THE EXPLANATION FOR THAT WOULD BE THAT WE ARE IN A UNIQUE CRISIS. I suspect that Diamhuireduit understood my meaning, even if it has to be spelt out for you. Frankly, I should not have to spell such an obvious component of my comment to any adult of average intelligence and good will. You are clearly missing, if not both, then one or the other.

              Now, you’re posts will undergo scrutiny and not be released unless there is something of worth to contribute to our discussions, not trivial nit-picking or worse.

              • Editor,

                I’ve had a locution that WACJ / Sean P etc etc will return as Martin B. Also that he is unhealthily obsessed with this blog. What thinkest thou?

                • Trollfinder General,

                  WOW! I have looked in my admin page and I can now confirm that your locution is authentic! WOW!

                  I’ll get the prayer cards printed right away (with a note “for private use only”) so we can all pray for your canonisation!

                  There’s no Devil’s Advocate any more so you’ve as good a chance as anyone!

                • Trollfinder General

                  Martin B. has been posting here for years under the pseudonym Athanasius. I assure you that I have no connection with either of the two others you name.

                  As an aside, I had one of those extraordinary locutions today, of the kind that frequently produces out of body experiences. Yes, I finally plugged in that chair my mother bought me for Christmas and was instantly elctro locuted!

                  • Athanasius,

                    Unless you’ve started replying to your own comments, you are not the same Martin B who submitted this short (typically bland “get me through the initial moderation stage”) comment, earlier today: replying to Athanasius, Martin B writes: I am fascinated by this, I am glad someone can bring clarity to the subject.

                    Nope. That’s not you – unless, as I say, you’ve started replying to your own comments, AND can be in two places at once! In which case, we need a “bi-location” thread as well as the “locutions” thread!

                    • Editor

                      If it hadn’t been for the neccesity of bi-location I would probably have claimed that I was only trying to give myself a god press.

                    • Athanasius,

                      I take it that’s a typo at the end, that you really meant to type a “good press” not a “god press” – or was that a Freudian slip?!

                  • No, verily Athanasius, thou art not the troll Martin B. I will let thee know his next troll-name if I am given another locution . . . .

                • Trollfinder General,

                  What was the location of your locution? Alsatian? Croatian? Did it require quotation? Translation? Was it the result of starvation, vexation, sedation? Or perhaps of excessive taxation?

                  Editor, we must immediately open the cause for this divination!

          • Editor
            My father was fond of saying “Our Lord promised the gates of Hell shall not prevail, He didn’t say they wouldn’t try.”
            With the appeal to Arianism- like times this crisis is not so unique no? What of the maxim that one can never err through obedience? Granted this pontiff SAYS many er unfortunate things but he has not commanded us to DO anything contrary to Faith unless I have missed some motu proprio??

            • Diamhuireduit

              The Arian crisis doesn’t even come close to being as bad as this one. Not remotely.

              In this crisis, we have had a series of popes who have said and done unthinkable things; the previously unheard of ecumenical and inter-faith events, most notably the Assisi gatherings with the Pope insisting that the religious leaders of non-Christian and non-Catholic religions pray to their own deities etc. Popes going into synagogues and mosques to praise those religions and not even mention the name of Christ.

              No, believe me, the Arian crisis was a day at the seaside compared with this – truly unique – event in the history of the Church. Our Lady, recall, was sent by God to forewarn us of the diabolical disorientation to come – that, in itself, is evidence enough of the fact that we are living through the worst ever crisis in the Church.

              The fact that there are Catholics who cling to the idea that blind obedience is the answer, is only compounding the problem.

              If the Pope commands us to do something that we don’t like, and would prefer not to obey, then – presuming it is in conformity with Catholic Tradition – we cannot do wrong by obeying. That’s different from blind obedience, stifling our reason in order to go along with every casual word, or every statement made in various interviews or documents which do not carry the weight of papal authority – and that covers every document which contains “teachings” or opinions contrary to the Faith.

          • The question at the head of this subject is a little misleading. It’s not faith vs obedience, as if the two could ever truly be in opposition. Rather, it is obedience to God in the faith handed down vs obedience to men who seek to alter the faith by abuse of power. Obedience to God and the Faith revealed by Him is a higher virtue and duty than obedience to human superiors who clearly err. Knowing the distinction is what made St. Athanasius take the stand he did. The same applies to Archbishop Lefebvre. He new the limit of Papal authority.

            The Pope may not alter the faith in any way whatsoever. His principle duty as Successor of St. Peter is to faithful protect and pass on that which has been handed down by Tradition and entrusted to him, the deposit of Faith. This is not what Catholics have witnessed of the Popes since Vatican II and that’s why the Church is presently suffering the worst crisis in her sacred history.

            We now have Pope Francis legislating, against Apostolic Tradition itself, to permit women and even non-Catholic women to participate in the Mandatum (washing of feet) on Maundy Thursday. It is an outrage completely at odds with even Our Lord’s own example.

            • Athanasius,

              I don’t know what you mean by “the question at the head of this subject (being) a little misleading…” There IS no question at the head of this subject.

              If you refer to the headline – which is actually the title of Father Drexel’s book (Faith Is Greater Than Obedience) I think the context makes it perfectly clear that it means Catholics have every right and duty to NOT obey or accept as authoritative, any statements from a churchman, however senior, and including a pope, if what he is saying is contrary to the Faith. It follows on from that, of course, that those who adhere to the Faith cannot, logically, be “disobedient” to God, since the Faith comes from God, so – as you rightly acknowledge – there is no opposition.

              If I’ve misunderstood (and missed the question to which you refer) please correct me and I will, with my customary “humility to go” – apologise! 😀

    • Sean P,

      I’ve always understood that we are free to believe private revelations if we choose, but we just can’t treat them as approved by the Church.

      Reading the words of Our Lord (allegedly) to Professor Drexel, I can’t see anything dubious in them. I am more inclined to believe them than not believe them.

      • Lily

        We can “believe” private revelations judged by The Church, after an official investigation, to be not contrary to the faith. The “revelations” given above have not been subjected to any such scrutiny, and I am sure the official Church would advise you to take them with a pinch of salt, as you would a chat with your milkman, even if you understand him to be a good Catholic.

    • Dominie Mary,

      I think that particular claim is very obviously bogus. However, let’s not be side-tracked. The topic of this thread is Professor/Father Drexel’s alleged locutions. Let’s stick with that.

    • Aquinas,

      Welcome!

      However, you appear to be very quick to accept the authenticity of the alleged locutions from Our Lord.

      What makes you think they are true?

      • Editor,

        Isn’t there something in the revelations of Our Lady of Good Success about “one man” who would resist the revolution? (I’m paraphrasing)

        • RCA Victor,

          Our Lady of Good Success said to Mother Marianna in the 17th century, about the 20th century: “Pray constantly, implore tirelessly, and weep bitter tears in the seclusion of your heart, beseeching the Eucharistic Heart of my most holy Son to take pity on His ministers and to end as soon as possible these unhappy times by sending to His Church the Prelate who shall restore the spirit of her priests.”

          Some argue that this prelate is yet to come, that Archbishop Lefebvre’s work was to preserve the priesthood but that since the majority of priests have gone along with the Vatican II revolution, there will be another prelate to undertake the work of restoration.

          I’d be interested to know what you (and others) think…

          • Editor,

            Whilst on (SSPX, Ignatian) retreat last summer, we were played recordings of various sermons and conferences during meals. One of them quoted a passage from a talk by Abp. Lefebvre, in which he referred to the quote you cited. He added, “I do not claim that I am that man….(and I can only paraphrase the rest – but he was certainly quite aware of the circumstances his mission had created, and the alignment of those circumstances with Our Lady’s words).

            As for my opinion, I think it is obvious who that Prelate is. What other Prince of the Church not only resisted the diabolical revolution personally and unequivocally, but also established and organized the world-wide means to overcome it?

  2. My first reaction is that this sounds too much like wishful thinking. A traditional priest, shortly before his death may well have had delusions arising from his own distress at the crisis in the post-Vat.II Church and his conviction of the holiness of the saintly Archbishop and the truth of his teaching. There isn’t much more on-line about it to help one judge, except for this additional material which shows similarity to other private revelations. Heaven repeating its message over and over, or susceptible minds being influenced by other revelations and imagining it? I tend to be sceptical about private revelations, but if they contain nothing contrary to the faith, then they are a source of help and consolation to souls.
    http://avalon44.tripod.com/p/drex.htm

  3. I had never heard of Albert Drexel before; I am interested to know in what way Our Lord is claimed to have spoken to him (eg an apparition)?

    In any case, the writings are noticeably prophetic on a few counts. Noticeably in terms of the injustices and suffering borne by Archbishop Lefebvre, the most serious of which were still a decade away from the time of these writings.

    Additionally, “The work of Ecône, of My servant Marcel, does not perish!” has proven true. It has long-since become clear that the SSPX is here to stay and will continue to grow. In the early days, I think ++Lefebvre and the like minded were perceived as stubborn old fools, who would die out in short order. The indults granted in places for the mass was likely thought to be a short-term matter.

    In the book “The Living Flame” which charts the first 25 years of the SSPX in the UK, a parish priest in Lancashire is quoted when the SSPX mass centre in Leyland opened (in 1976, I think). He made his remarks in a local paper, saying “This thing will die out in time” – the opposite prediction to what we encounter here, and it is very clear to us today about which prediction has proved accurate.

    The most important sentence in all these writings is undoubtedly “Faith is greater than obedience”. I often marvel at those who prioritise (e.g.) a canonical status over the Catholic faith. I imagine Hell must hold many priests and religious who were canonically regular, as well as lay people who went to them. I suppose, as the flames lick at their backsides, the lay people can console themselves that at least they got to participate fully in the new mass – haha! 😉 It is the Catholic faith which is important first and foremost, not the approval of any mortal.

    Sadly it seems these days that a regular canonical status means very little, if indeed anything, when you consider the many zany individuals who hold such status. What exactly does it count for?

    Beyond ++Lefebvre, there are many examples of justifiable disobedience in Church history – not least the examples of St Paul and of St Athanasius.

    • Gabriel Syme,

      Fr Drexel did not have an apparition – an appearance (in this case, of Our Lord) but his private revelation took the form of locutions – hearing, an interior “voice” (of Our Lord).

      In trying to discern the likely truth of these locutions, I think it is important to note (1) that what Fr Drexel claims was said, have turned out to be prophetically true and (2) nothing that Fr Drexel claims was said by Our Lord is contrary to the Faith.

      These facts give Fr Drexel’s claims a head start, to put it mildly, on the nonsense of certain other alleged private revelations, notably the Hoax of the Century in Muddy Gorgie…

      • Editor

        With respect, at least The Local Church, under the local Ordinary, must judge these locutions to be credible before they are given an ounce of credence. I am not aware of any such judgement. or that the cause of the seer/hearer is before Rome.

        As a good Catholic gal surely you would urge people to err on the side of caution.

        • Why do you insist on trying to give the impression that I am promoting these locutions, instead of focusing on the CONTENT – alleged – to have been spoken by Our Lord?

          I’m getting emails suggesting that you are the awful WACJ under a different guise. My usual checks may have failed, but if you persist in playing silly beggars then I will, with respect, blah blah, use my magical skills to make you disappear, or at least your comments! Gerragrip. You’re obviously not a friend of this blog, i.e. of traditional Catholicism, so either participate without repeating the same old criticisms, or find another blog.

  4. What is said about Archbishop Lefebvre is, of course, perfectly true and perfectly Catholic, but there is no solid evidence that these words were ever spoken directly to Fr. Drexel by Our Lord, though he seems to have been a devoted and highly regarded priest who is unlikely to have made them up. It must be left to the Church at some future, healthier time to decide on the authenticity of Fr. Drexel’s claim. One thing I can state for certain is that one day Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonised as a great defender of the faith.

    • Athanasius

      You wrote “One thing I can state for certain is that one day Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonised as a great defender of the faith”

      I think, The Church, from time immemorial, has said that no individual, or group, can, or should, anticipate, in any way, or at at level, the judgement of The Church on the question of the sanctity, or future canonisation, of an individual.

      Indeed, usually, and most lawfully, any prayers cards praying for a sign from Heaven that a person is worthy in the sight of God says something like “For Private Use Only”, and positively discourages anyone from anticipating the judgement of The Church on such matters.

      Further, The Council of Trent said no-one can judge the state of their own soul, and by extension they cannot judge the same for others.

      On this very blog an expert said, speaking of Luther, said a person who died excommunicate cannot be posthumously be reconciled to God, and the excommunications imposed, as Bishop Fellay has acknowledged, when he was ordained were not lifted until March 2009, and The Archbishop died in 1991.

      • Sean,

        Eh? Nobody is permitted to have an opinion on the possible sanctity of a deceased, apparently saintly, soul? Where does that leave the group famously calling for “sainthood now” for Pope John Paul II who was manifestly anything but a saint in terms of the requirements for canonisation?

        You do get yourself tied up in knots at times by confusing apples with oranges. Nobody is demanding (as did the group in St Peter’s Square on the death of Pope John Paul II) that Archbishop Lefebvre be canonised – but we are not prohibited from expressing an opinion on the matter. Anyone reading any of his writings – Open Letter to Confused Catholics springs to mind – will be able to see the pivotal role he has played, and continues to play via the SSPX – in the preservation of the Faith at this time of terrible crisis.

        And forget about the “excommunication” – that was illicit as more than one Canon Lawyer has declared. St Athanasius was “excommunicated” twice, and he is now a Doctor of the Church.

        That Bishop Fellay required the lifting of the illicit excommunications as a pre-condition for further talks with the Vatican, doesn’t mean they were any less illicit, but the Bishop knew that the rest of the world – ignorant people who think every word the Pope says is infallible; that if the pope opines that it might rain tomorrow, will go out and buy an umbrella – for their sake, and in order to remove all doubt, he required a statement lifting these “excommunications”. Incidentally, in that statement, so some Canon Lawyers have noted, there is a sentence which indicates that they were illicit and if that applies to the Bishops living at the time, it obviously applies to Archbishop Lefebvre.

        You need to cultivate a Catholic mind, not a post-conciliar mind. There have been many Councils in the Church, not just the “merely pastoral” Vatican II, so think like a real Catholic, not a merely (that word again) Vatican II specimen.

        • Editor

          Why would a loyal Catholic base their judgement on a book written by an Archbishop who was excommunicated, and was not, in his lifetime, restored to Full Communion. Thus, the example of St Athanasius is no guide here.

          As to the fact that more than one Canon Lawyer says the excommunications were illicit, then more than one has disagreed with how to apply Canon 915, and it took Cardinal Ratzinger and The Roman Rota to settle that one. Ultimately, it is Rome, and Rome alone, that decides on its interpretation and application, and Rome/The Pope had to lift the excommunication.

          “DECREE OF EXCOMMUNICATION
          From the Office of the Congregation for Bishops, 1 July 1988.

          Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Tulle, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning of 17 June last and the repeated appeals to desist from his intention, has performed a schismatical act by the episcopal consecration of four priests, without pontifical mandate and contrary to the will of the Supreme Pontiff, and has therefore incurred the penalty envisaged by Canon 1364, paragraph 1, and canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law.
          Having taken account of all the juridical effects, I declare that the above-mentioned Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, and Bernard Pellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta have incurred excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.

          Moreover, I declare that Monsignor Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop emeritus of Campos, since he took part directly in the liturgical celebration as co-consecrator and adhered publicly to the schismatical act, has incurred excommunication as envisaged by canon 1364, paragraph 1.

          The priests and faithful are warned not to support the schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, otherwise they shall incur the very grave penalty of excommunication.

          From the Office of the Congregation for Bishops, 1 July 1988.

          Bernardinus Card. Gantin Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops”

          I believe you frequently say – especially in relation to Ecumenism and Inter-faith dialogue – error has no rights. Therefore, if a Catholic, and Catholic, has been judged to be in the wrong you would, surely, agree they cannot put preconditions on the actions to be taken to overcome the error? How then can you say Bishop Fellay tried to do that?

          A supporter of Tradition is, one would hope, one who is consistent.

          • From the Decree remitting the excommunications:

            …On the basis of the powers expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, by virtue of the present Decree I remit the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae incurred by Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, and declared by this Congregation on 1 July 1988. At the same time I declare that, as of today’s date, the Decree issued at that time no longer has juridical effect.

            Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, 21 January 2009

            So, the Congregation for Bishops later indicated that what you quote from the same Congregation for Bishops, no longer stands.

            You’re saying that if a pope unjustly excommunicates someone, that’s it unless the excommunication is lifted in their lifetime. That means you think excommunication is an infallible act, which it is not.

            • Lily

              I said no such thing, and in an earlier reply I actually published the document which quotes Canon Law, and gives the reason why the excommuications took place. An excommunication can be lifted.

            • Lily

              If you read the thread about Luther you will see that one of your regular commentators, not me, says you cannot posthumously lift an excommunication. Not me. I assume too, an excommunicate is “outside the Church”, and, therefore, cannot be saved.

              • So you think that God is unjust? That if a pope unjustly excommunicates someone, and they die before that wrong has been righted, that the soul goes to Hell?

                I’ve changed my mind. It’s not apples and oranges that you have a problem identifying, it’s banana skins.

          • Editor

            Btw the way an emotional crowd, mourning the loss of someone, is not the same as someone writing in the cold light of day – decades after the death – ““One thing I can state for certain is that one day Archbishop Lefebvre will be canonised as a great defender of the faith”.

            Every prayer card I have, including recently issued ones, praying that God recognise the sanctity of a named person, states the prayer is not for public recitation, and that its publication does not, and is not intended to, pre-empt the judgement of The Church.

            A person cannot oppose fast track canonisations, lament the loss of the Devil’s Advocate, and still say publicly that in you view a recently deceased person, whose cause for canonisation is not even being considered, is a saint, and retain credibility as a commentator on such matters.

            • Sean P

              Do you oppose fast track canonisations and the loss of the Devil`s Advocate?

              I have always maintained that no one should be canonised, unless they died relatively young, until at least 70 years after their death. That would allow time for any crank or accuser, false or otherwise, to come out of the woodwork before the canonisation and before any scandal came out.

              Seeing last night`s BBC`s, scraping-of-the-bottom Panorama programme looking to attach a scandal to Pope John Paul 11
              I think my thoughts have been justified.

              It didn`t take long before the Devil`s Advocate was missed.

          • Sean

            Let me just remind you that it is dishonest and unjust to quote people in such a way as to give a wholly different meaning to their words.

            Bishop Fellay may well have spoken of the lifting of the excommunication on Archbishop Lefebvre, but he did not refer to it in any way that gave the impression that he recognised its authority. You should have stated this clearly.

            The excommunications of Archbishop Lefebvre and the four SSPX bishops was an unjust act by John Paul II. I will not go into all the deatils of Canon Law, divine justice or natural justice here, these can be found on various SSPX websites and elsewhere if your interested in truth. I just wanted to make the point that Archbishop Lefebvre was by no means in the category of the arch heretic and schismatic Luther, whose innovations have been steadily introduced into the faith since Vatican II, begining with the New Mass, Commuion in the hand, etc. So, furiously opposed to Sacred Tradition, as you appear to be, does not give you the right to be dishonest like the conciliar revolutionaries you seek to defend.

            And let us not forget that Pope John Paul II who apparently excommunicated Sacred Tradition in the person of Archbishop Lefebvre, the only living remnant of fidelity to the ancient faith at that time, whose brave stance is responsible for the existence of today’s other Traditional groups within the Church, was the same Pope who arranged the syncretist gatherings at Assisi, during which an image of Budha was worship atop a tabernacle while other pagans ritually slaughtered chickens on a Catholic altar. He was the Pope who kissed the Koran, in which book Our Lord’s divinity is rejected and the Blessed Trinity blasphemed. He was the same Pope who received the mark of a Hindu deity on his forehead and participated in Animist rites in Togo. And he was the same Pope who sat in the presence of a bear-breasted woman as she addressed the congregation. So please, give it a rest.

            And by the way, have a read at this last paragraph of the Decree of Benedict XVI lifting the excommunications. Pay particular attention to the final sentence in said paragraph where the 1988 Decree is nullified in its entirety. Hence the qualification “At the same time…”, meaning “also”.

            That was Benedict’s very wise and clever way of nullifying Archbishop Lefebvre’s excommunication against foreseen objections from the anti-Traditionalists in the Curia. The entire Decree was abolished.

            “On the basis of the powers expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, by virtue of the present Decree I remit the penalty of excommunication latae sententiae incurred by Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta, and declared by this Congregation on 1 July 1988. At the same time I declare that, as of today’s date, the Decree issued at that time no longer has juridical effect.”

            • a bear-breasted woman? The mind boggles, Athanasius! I know it’s a typo, just having a laugh at your good-natured expense. On a more serious note, I must congratulate you on the quality of your contributions. Many thanks!

            • It has not juridical affect meaning the canonical crime is forgiven. Schism can be said in many ways. It is also a state and a sin, as well as a crime. Benedict remitted the legal penalty, not the state in which they were and now in i.e. separated from Rome.

            • Further, “at that time” only means “also” if English is a language where anything can mean anything you want. “At that time” means at the time previously mentioned. It is as different as tunc and etiam.

        • “…ignorant people who think every word the Pope says is infallible…” We tried to tell you at Vatican I, but the Pope just put his foot on our head.

          “so think like a real Catholic…” Since a Catholic is one who is united to the Roman Pontiff as the canons of Vatican I say–they also say such unity is necessary for salvation, but whose cares about that when we can chant in Latin, right–then I guess we should cultivate unity with Rome.

      • Sean P

        “I think, The Church, from time immemorial, has said that no individual, or group, can, or should, anticipate, in any way, or at at level, the judgement of The Church on the question of the sanctity, or future canonisation, of an individual.”

        Telll that to the Modernist Churchmen who rushed through the Cause of John Paul II to meet the demand of a crowd of emotional groupies during his funeral, not to mention the fact that canonising John Paul II was akin to canonising the Conciliar revolution that he implemented with great vigour, such as the scandals at Assisi and kissing of the Koran.

        Have you seen the new revelations on TV about John Paul II and “the woman he loved”? It was aired last night and has made the Scottish Daily Mail centre pages today. Perhaps someone should have been made aware of this association during the so-called “process” that ran just nine years from zero to canonisation. But apparently the entire Curia was aware of it.

  5. I had never heard of Father Albert Drexel till now. I do not see anything dubious or contrary to Faith in reading the locutions in these private revelations. Prophetic, yes. But like Athanasius, would surmise that they be left to the Church to investigate at a future date.

    In any case this link provides information on the life of Archbishop Lefebvre.

    http://cfnews.org/page10/page70/lefebvre_bio.html

  6. I agree with Christina’s post, and also find this rather strange wording:

    Whoever lays hands on and destroys that place where young men are educated to be priests after the heart and will of God, shall draw down the curse of Heaven and Mine in this time..

    • Therese,

      Yes, that IS strange. I hadn’t noticed that… Fancy me not noticing that… Could it be something to do with translation? Interesting…

      In any event, remind me to tell the trolls next time the subject arises, that I’m not actually infallible (yet…) 😀

  7. I’m afraid I’m leaning towards doubt as to the validity of these alleged words of Our Blessed Lord.

    http://avalon44.tripod.com/p/drex.htm

    I can’t understand how Fr Drexel’s own words and thoughts which are so beautiful expressed, ie

    My greatest grief in the hour of death is the dilapidation of faith in the Roman Catholic Church. My last desire is the reconciliation of Rome with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Glory be to the triune God, now and in eternity!

    when compared with those allegedly spoken by God. (See the text) are so superior in tone and expression. It doesn’t ring true, and the attitude expressed reminds me too much of fakes like Medjugorje, et al.

    Just my opinion of course, and does not in any way demean or decrease my belief that Archbishop Lefebvre was a true son of the Church, without whom we would all be in a much, much greater mess than we are now.

  8. Here is a site where one can download PDFs of Father Drexel’s book, and also links to his book, in two parts, on Gloria TV: http://albertdrexel.20m.com/ (these latter are not videos, but display as on-line books).

    Other than that, there is not much information about him, as Christina has already posted. He was apparently a good and faithful traditional priest, who refused to say the NOM.

  9. There were many points raised in this discussion but let us return to the initial point. We have a priest talking about the attitudes of many priests he has met who yes seem to be obedient and do the right thing yet they are lacking in Faith and indeed this is causing many problems in the Church. He was saying Faith is greater than Obedience in a practical situation. If we take Faith is greater than obedience in a theological way then we are indeed in trouble..

  10. And the Faith says,

    “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. . . . ’ [Matt. 16:18]. On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep [John 21:17], and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. . . . If someone [today] does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he [should] desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?” (The Unity of the Catholic Church 4; first edition [A.D. 251]).” Cyprian of Carthage

    “”In the power of the same Holy Spirit, Peter, both the chief of the apostles and the keeper of the keys of the kingdom of heaven, in the name of Christ healed Aeneas the paralytic at Lydda, which is now called Diospolis.” Cyril of Jerusalem

    “[Christ] made answer: ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church. . . .’ Could he not, then, strengthen the faith of the man to whom, acting on his own authority, he gave the kingdom, whom he called the rock, thereby declaring him to be the foundation of the Church.” Ambrose of Milan

    “In this way, by unity with the Roman Pontiff in communion and in profession of the same faith, the Church of Christ becomes one flock under one Supreme Shepherd. This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.’ Vatican I

    • Mastersamwise

      Are you referring to the Petrine office or the persons of individual Popes? There is a difference, you know. Popes can personally err and err greatly. The Petrine authority, on the other hand, cannot err in teaching the universal Church on faith and morals. The problem is that too many like you are mixing up personal papal initiatives, some of them dangerous to faith, with official Petrine teaching. Hence your confused comment.

  11. Master Samwise

    what exactly are you trying to say? Your post of Feb 18th at 3:20 simply contains quite a number of quotations from scripture and Catholic Tradition. Do you think that Catholics can in good faith obey a Pope, bishop or priest whose orthodoxy is questionable and who make statements which contradict what all Catholics everywhere have always held to be true, at least up until 1962 or so..?

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