A FIRST OBSERVATION
The Church, by approving the Society of Saint Pius X, approved also that it live, i.e., that it have all the ordinary means to lead its religious life and fulfill its aim. This is a fundamental consideration when taking into consideration the nullity of its suppression (QUESTION 3).Moreover:
BUT, PRIMARILY, IT IS AN ATTACK ON THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS
In the three weeks before the ordinations to be held on June 29, 1976, Archbishop Lefebvre was approached by Rome as many as six times with the request that he establish normal relations with the Vatican and that he give proof of this by saying a Mass according to the new rite. He was told that if the ordination Mass on the 29th would be with the Missal of Pope Paul VI, then all opposition would be smoothed over. This offer was brought to the Archbishop on the vigil of the Feast. One Novus Ordo Missae and all would be well. Herein we see most clearly the one fundamental reason for the campaign against Archbishop Lefebvre and his Society: exclusive adhesion to the old Mass and refusal to say the new.
Therefore, the suspensions are null:
But even if unjust, shouldn't censures be observed?
Before such an unjust campaign of suppression, the Society could only continue.
Rome, moreover, has always tacitly recognized the Society of Saint Pius X's legitimate continuation (for example, in May, 1988, when Cardinal Ratzinger agreed to the principle of having a bishop consecrated from among the Society's priests) and the nullity of the suspensions (for example, when in Dec. 1987, Cardinal Gagnon did not hesitate to attend as a prelate the Mass of the "suspended" Archbishop).
1. cf. Question 2, n.2
2. cf. Michael Davies, Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, vol. I, p. 136.
3. The Angelus, Apr. 1987, p.3 (Fideliter, No. 55, p. 3ff.).
Holy Cross Seminary, Goulburn, Australia