Archbishop Lefebvre has been accused by those who did not know him of having been “bitter” over Vatican II. “He was too colored by the French Revolution,” not a few neo-Catholic writers have said of His Excellency. “He couldn’t understand the nuanced approach the Council took to the modern world. So he lashed out.”
Aside from being completely aware of what was going on, Archbishop Lefebvre always gave his comments against the Conciliar Church not in a resentful, angry way but always with a keen sense of his duty as a bishop to act with propriety. He never threw around personal insults, used foul language, or invoked terms like “stupid,” “loser,” “John Paul, the King of Heretics,” or “Montini the Clown.”
It’s easy these days to forget to follow in the Archbishop’s footsteps in this manner. Does our behavior, our choice of words, our conviviality towards other Resistors, and the way we argue really reflect what we claim to be? The last remnant in the Church? Or is it closer to a jaded group of know-it-alls who constantly bicker and fret over this or that for hours on end and who look down on “naive, idiot Catholics” who “don’t get it”?
Below is a brief section taken from page 293 of A Bishop Speaks: Writings and Addresses, 1963-1976 that is instructive for how Resistance Catholics ought to behave not just in person and online with those who cannot see the SSPX’s fall into liberalism, but also with those who do see the crisis in the Society and consider themselves in the same lifeboat as they do, trying to not capsize. As always, the Archbishop is our guiding light in these dark times. His words:
We should pray also for the faithful who maintain Tradition that they may always preserve a strong, firm attitude, but not an attitude of contempt for persons, insult to persons, insult to bishops. We have the advantage of possessing the truth – we are not at fault – just as the Church has the superiority over error of having the truth: that superiority is hers. Because we have the conviction that we are upholding the truth…that truth must convince, it is not our person. It is not outbursts of anger, or insults to people, which will give added weight to truth. On the contrary, that could cast doubt upon our possession of the truth. Becoming angry and insulting shows that we do not completely trust in the weight of truth, which is the weight of God Himself. It is in God that we trust, in Truth which is God, which is our Lord Jesus Christ. What can be surer than that? Nothing. And little by little that truth makes, and will make, its way. It must. So let us resolve that in our expressions and attitudes we shall not despise and insult people, but be firm against error – absolutely firm, without compromise, without relaxation, because we are with out Lord. It is a question of our Lord Jesus Christ. The honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glory of the Blessed Trinity is at stake, not the infinite glory in heaven, but the glory here below on earth. It is truth; and we defend it at any cost, whatever happens.