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Archbishop Lefebvre's Practical Reflection on the Seminary

Archbishop Lefebvre - Seminary

One might think that Archbishop Lefebvre didn't hesitate one moment in determining the mode of formation of priests during the conciliar storm. Was he going to repeat what he had known in Rome during the time of Pius XI or the Holy Ghost seminaries of the bush and that of Mortain after the war? What about isolated and/or undercover seminaries? Archbishop Lefebvre hesitated for a while, but finally he decided in favor of a classical seminary (according to the wishes of the Council of Trent) to give the seminarians the most solid and complete formation possible:

Archbishop Lefebvre on October 10, 1977:

[....] Then we had to choose. Obviously it was a serious decision: do we quit, do we stop, or do we keep on going? Well, I admit that I am astonished myself that I had no hesitation. Sometimes, going back, I say to myself: How could I have gone through this period without hesitation, that is, without having a desire to quit?

But, you see, there was a little hesitation about the way in which to carry on. Should there be smaller groups of seminarians who would continue their studies and we would then visit them, continuing the seminary in a somewhat more undercover way. Well, after a meeting we had with the teachers, we said: No, that is not possible, it would be the death of the seminary, so that's useless. Either we continue, or we don't continue, but we cannot continue in a dispersed manner, it will make the studies very difficult, it will make the perseverance of the seminarians very difficult, as well as their recruitment and all that ... No, this is not possible. We must simply continue as we used to do. I believe that it was indeed the right solution, the solution that Providence wanted. Because I sincerely believe that the seminary was necessary for many things. Not only for the formation of priests. I believe that the seminary was, and still is, I hope, thanks to God, a witness of the past, and a witness of what the Church is, of what the Church should be. It's a witness. And this witness has already had considerable results. It's not about me and myself, not at all, it's about the seminary, it is the work which continues and which has an enormous impact by the fact of its continuity, by the fact of its firmness in doctrine, of its firmness in faith, of its maintaining Tradition[...]

It is also in this perspective that the faithful Bishops [Fidélité] encourage the Saint Louis-Marie Grignion seminary. The main reason lies in the provision of the most competent and complete faculty possible. We know that Archbishop Lefebvre had all the trouble in the world to build and preserve it [his seminary] because of the liberal or sedevacantist crises, but this is a test that the St Louis-Marie seminary does not have to undergo, as the stability and seriousness of the faculty is assured because of the Dominican fathers. The St Louis-Marie seminary, however, does have its crosses: it does not have, for the moment, buildings that would allow it to live a bit more comfortably: it is undoubtedly a trial imposed by Providence to have future priests who won't have known the bourgeois comfort of certain SSPX seminaries.