When Archbishop Lefebvre called Vatican II the French Revolution in the Church, he was not being clever or witty. He was serious and he meant it literally. In They Have Uncrowned Him, the Archbishop gives a clear and concise refutation of the error of Liberalism, its origin in the 16th century Protestantism and its triumph in Vatican II.
Liberalism is so pervasive in today’s society that we are probably not aware of how infected we really are. They Have Uncrowned Him is a wake-up call for all:
- The Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ is not a nostalgic wish; rather, it is a “dogma of the Catholic Faith, which no one can put in doubt without being a heretic” (p 99).
- Likewise, Separation of Church and State is “an impiety and an error close to heresy” (p 102).
- Archbishop Lefebvre calls Liberal Catholicism a “sickness of the mind” (p 111).
- The Archbishop illustrates a rule: “Liberalism leads from compromise to betrayal” (p 229).
- He calls Religious Liberty of Vatican II a “Masonic victory” (p 67).
- He reminds us that we must have a correct sense of history or a goal of history, which is the “recapitulation [restoration] of all things in Christ” (p 140).
- The remedy Archbishop Lefebvre offers is to return to the sane and sound Thomistic teaching (and therefore thinking) and then to rebuild the Social Kingship of Christ.
- He warns that once confidence in the truth is lost, Catholics (Congar, Rahner, Murray, Bea, etc.) then turn away from God and engage in senseless dialogue with the world, which leads to compromises and to the inevitable loss of Faith.
The Archbishop gave this book a subtitle: From Liberalism to Apostasy • The Conciliar Tragedy.
Since the publication of this book, several Traditional groups (Le Barroux, Campos, the Institute of Good Shepherd, the Redemptorists of Papa Stronsay) have been lost to Conciliar Rome.
More recently, the SSPX has pivoted towards Liberalism: In 2012, with the April 15 Declaration and the July General Chapter 6 Conditions, the SSPX openly abandoned the principles of Archbishop Lefebvre and pursued regularization/recognition with Conciliar Rome. This was followed by punishments and expulsions of priests who questioned and disagreed with the new orientation.
The Archbishop, after the 1988 Consecrations, clearly held the position that Vatican II cannot be understood in the Light of Tradition (chapter XXVII). He called the Council a “robber council” (p 163). Compare this with the April 15 Declaration, paragraph 4: “The entire tradition of Catholic Faith must be the criterion and guide in understanding the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which, in turn, enlightens – in other words deepens and subsequently makes explicit – certain aspects of the life and doctrine of the Church implicitly present within itself or not yet conceptually formulated.”
Lessons to be drawn from They Have Uncrowned Him
Those who want to work from within the SSPX in order to bring the SSPX back to the founder’s principles and those who want to work from within Rome in order to convert Rome must remember that they are not exempt in any way from the fate that befell the other Traditional groups who were regularized/recognized by Conciliar Rome:
• They must be silent on thorny issues, for example, errors of Vatican II.
• They need to compromise on thorny issues in order to be accepted by others who have already compromised.
• Finally, Liberalism creeps in and the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ becomes an embarrassment (especially after they have lost all their friends). Suddenly, all these Catholic “things” (doctrines) become imprudent and must be deferred until better times.
From reading They Have Uncrowned Him, one must conclude that it is time to work for the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The first and the most important step is strict adherence to Catholic Doctrine. This means the refusal to compromise with liberals whether in Rome or scattered throughout the Indult communities.
The great Cardinal Pie understood that the only way to fight the Revolution is to be faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ. To Napoleon III, who prided himself for restoring Catholicism by implementing Religious Tolerance (Vatican II already at work), the Cardinal (then Bishop) answered: “[If] the moment has not come for Jesus Christ to rule, – well! Then the moment has not come for the government to endure [to stay in power]” (p 28). In other words, God will not bless those who compromise in order to do good. This is a violation of the principle that one cannot do evil in order to do good.
They Have Uncrowned Him should be read by all members of the Resistance and especially by those attempting to change the SSPX or Rome from within. The book was relevant when the Archbishop wrote it; it is equally relevant today.
They Have Uncrowned Him, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Angelus Press, November 1992,
3rd Edition, pp. 261
Sr Constance (TOSF)