The following is an extract of a conference Archbishop Lefebvre gave in Econe on April 11, 1990.
“I admit that the masses celebrated according to the new rite are not all invalid, in view of the bad translations, of its ambiguity
You have on that subject some explanations from the book of Mr. Salleron, those are in my opinion, probably the best ones which were
given and the most complete. He really made a study of the Novus Ordo Mass. It’s hard to do it more perfectly and more completely then
what he did very courageously. He is not afraid to say in which way the Novus Ordo Mass is equivocal. There are three chapters, one after
the other, which show that it is equivocal and it is clear that the Novus Ordo Mass favours heresy. For those reasons, the Novus Ordo
Mass is a failure. There are three chapters which are very well written for us now. Also, his whole analysis of the Novus Ordo Mass and
the whole history with all very well studied documents are really enlightening. If someone is still adhering to the Novus Ordo after
having read that book, it is because he will never understand anything. Besides, that is why I brought it with me to the Holy Office. And
then, when they talked with me about the Novus Ordo, they interrogated me. “So concerning the New Mass; how is it that you say some
rather serious things about it?” So, I can assure you they asked me questions. It’s shocking. “Do you maintain that a faithful Catholic
can think and affirm that a sacramental rite, especially the one of the Mass, approved and promulgated by the Pope, can be nonconforming
with the Catholic faith or favour heresy?” I said: “Well here! You are holding the book. Those are not even my words, you see! But I
agree absolutely with what he says: it’s an equivocal Mass, a Mass favouring heresy …”
So, I also advise you to have this in your library, this book by Salleron, and to give it to the people who are hesitant. “But, even so,
we know brave priests who are good and who are trying to say the New Mass well etc.…” Read this! You will see! It is the New Mass in
itself! It is not about the priest who is saying it. It is not because he says it piously or anything that the new rite changes. It is
not because it changes anything in the rite of the Mass. It is obvious that this new rite is a rite that has been made only to draw us
closer to the Protestants! That is clear! Finally clear!
On this subject, re-read also the article by Fr. Boyer in the supplement of the Dictionary of Catholic Theology. After the table of
contents, there are a few articles and in particular a very long article by Fr. Boyer who was my teacher at the Gregorian, who is now
dead, and who was very highly regarded, a man of value who was, for some time, Secretary of the Secretariat for Christian Unity.
Basically, I think he was appointed to this Secretariat to give a slightly more traditional image and to give some confidence to the
people. As you know, Fr. Boyer was a respected man, highly regarded in Roman circles and among teachers. He wrote a long article on
ecumenism, an article very well documented where he quotes some phrases of Pope Paul VI requesting that we go as far as possible in
suppressing everything that can hinder the Protestants in our ceremonies, excluding, obviously, what might be contrary to the Faith. But,
I do not see how we can change the texts of our Mass and diminish them without harming the Faith? It is not possible! The Mass is
everything! Once we remove what bothers the Protestants, how can we say that we are not going to touch the Faith? It is contradictory.
They are unbelievable orders, and that is literally what is written by Fr. Boyer. So what do you want to do?
“And that’s why I never will celebrate the Mass according to the new rite, even under threat of ecclesiastical penalties and I will
never advise anyone positively to participate actively in such a mass.”
Because people are still asking us those questions: “I don’t have the Mass of St. Pius V on Sunday, and there is a Mass said by a priest
that I know well, a holy man, so, wouldn’t it be better to go to the Mass of this priest, even if it is the New Mass but said with piety,
instead of just staying away?”
No! That’s not true! That is not true! Because this rite is bad, is bad, is bad! This is the reason why this rite is bad, it is poisoned!
It is a poisoned rite! Mr. Salleron says it very well here: “It is not a choice between two rites that would be good! This is a choice
between a Catholic Rite and a practically Protestant rite!” It’s harmful to our Faith, the Catholic Faith!
So, it is out of question to encourage people to go to Mass in the New Rite, because slowly, even without realizing it, they end up
ecumenist! It’s strange, but it’s like that. It is a fact. Then, ask them questions on ecumenism, on what they think of the relations
with other religions and you will see! They are all ecumenist. For the priest himself, the fact of saying this mass and celebrating it in
a constant manner, even without thinking about anything, about its origin, or why it was made, turns him and the people who assist at it
ecumenist. And, if we ask them about ecumenism, their answer will be: “But of course! You can be saved in all religions, it’s obvious!”
This is the New Mass, the Novus Ordo Mass.
Of course, that’s why it says: “…positively to participate actively at such a Mass.” But we can exceptionally, as it Canon Law says for
things like Orthodox ceremonies, for some reasons we can assist passively. For a wedding, funerals of parents or things like that, where
we feel obliged to be present and we cannot do otherwise, we assist passively. We don’t receive communion, we are not participating in
the Mass, but we are doing it more out of politeness towards the people who assist at it, than for assisting at the sacrifice of the
Mass. Those are conditions that are already mentioned in Canon Law, the old Canon Law. But attending it as one’s Sunday Mass, no! It is
better to stay home reading and going once a month. Make the effort to go once a month and do 100 km if necessary, to attend the Catholic
Mass! Like in the missions, we were visiting our faithful’s three times a year. We could not do more! That was the average. This didn’t
mean that they were bad Christians. They could not do otherwise. It is not an impossible thing. People say: “But am I not committing a
grave sin by not going to Mass?” Not at that Mass! It does not oblige under pain of grave sin. We are never forced to do something which
would tend to diminish our Faith. It’s not possible. God cannot force us to do that. On the other hand, we are seriously obliged to do
everything possible to attend the Mass of St. Pius V, the Catholic Mass. There, the obligation remains, but not for a rite that is almost
Protestant. On the contrary, there is an obligation not to go.
I’m a little surprised, you know. Sometimes, I receive a lot of requests for consultations from our priests who are in the priories and
some are asking me: “What should one reply to a person who says he cannot have the Mass of St. Pius V and who believes that he is under
the obligation to go to a New Rite Mass, said by a good priest, a serious priest who offers all the guarantees almost of holiness? etc.”
But I don’t understand why they can’t answer this themselves! They don’t find the conclusion by themselves and they feel obliged to ask
me such a thing. It’s incredible! So you see, there are still some who hesitate. This is unbelievable!
And that, you will see, will be mandatory for those who have left us. For the Fraternity of St. Peter, for Dom Gerard, even if they never
say the New Mass themselves, even if they have our convictions, they will be obliged to consider the New Rite as having the same value as
the Traditional Rite! In practice, when they receive Novus Ordo priests who come to visit them, they will be obliged to let them say
their Mass and tell them: “No problem. But of course, say your Mass.” This is fatal! They cannot do otherwise. Look at the cohabitation
of the two rites with Father Lafargue! In Paris there, with Father Veuillet! And beware! Father Lafargue and Father Veuillet must not go
tell the others that their Mass is bad or say: “You must come with me, you must come with us.” It is well marked in the contracts. The
two rites are valid, do not criticize… So, this is not possible. It is cannot be otherwise. They are trapped!
April 11, 1990