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Ratzinger Retrospect, “Lefebvre Needed His Own Bishops”

Cardinal Ratzinger told two priests in summer 2003 during a meeting at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that he considered Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who had died excommunicated, to be “the most important bishop of the 20th century.”

LifeSiteNews.com (December 3) received a written recollection of Ratzinger’s words written by one of the priests. Ratzinger said,

- "I consider him to be the most important bishop of the 20th century with regard to the universal Church.”

- “Had the French episcopate at that time shown even a little more Christian charity and fraternity towards Archbishop Lefebvre, things might have taken a different course.”

- “From my current point of view, I have to agree with Archbishop Lefebvre in retrospect about having his own bishops. Today [= 2003] after the experience of ’15 years of Ecclesia Dei’, it is clear that such a work as that of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X cannot simply be handed over to the diocesan bishops.”

Despite these nice words, it was Ratzinger who poisoned the negotiations with Lefebvre in the 1980s. Once, Lefebvre came to see Ratzinger who decided not to receive him while he was sitting at his door.

Lefebvre realised he dealt with people “who are not honest” and were playing for time (= his death). Months before the 1988 episcopal consecrations, Lefebvre told Ratzinger, that he will ordain a successor in any case. Ratzinger replied, “If that's how it is, the protocol is over. It's finished. You are breaking off relations.”

It seems, that this harshness haunted Ratzinger for the rest of his life. Therefore, as Pope, he lifted the excommunication of Lefebvre’s successors in 2009.

Picture: Marcel Lefebvre, Joseph Ratzinger © wikicommons, CC BY-SA, #newsFhftyxvqql
Jan Joseph
Geweldig dat kardinaal Lefebvre volgens paus Benedictus de belangrijkste kardinaal van de 20e eeuw is. Kardinaal Lefebvre is een Heilige en zal zeker Zalig en Heilig verklaard worden door de Eerste Paus van de Pius X broederschap.
Ave Crux
...and Archbishop Lefebvre will one day be canonized as a modern day Saint Athanasius.
Rand Miller
I don't think so. Unfortunately although he seemed to be godly, he was a heretic and schismatic.
Ultraviolet
GTV's Self-Appointed Official Seer disagrees. MFW...
Roberto 55
You are wrong Rand. He was never heretic and schismatic, but we can say it about Francis...
Ave Crux
@Rand Miller Really.....? It would be good to understand the history of the Church, the betrayal of the Church, and your terms before using them.
(photo credit Ultraviolet ;-D )More
@Rand Miller Really.....? It would be good to understand the history of the Church, the betrayal of the Church, and your terms before using them.

(photo credit Ultraviolet ;-D )
Ultraviolet
@Rand Miller Technically @Ave Crux is correct. People throw the word "heretic" around here entirely too often. Her phrase "betrayal of the Church" is exactly what schismatics do, though I'm certain that wasn't her intended meaning. ;-)
Roberto 55
abp. Lefebvre was true visionary and what he saw after V2. council, confirmed then card. Ratzinger couple decades later as good...