Ratzinger Retrospect, “Lefebvre Needed His Own Bishops”
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