Background to Fr. Jean de Morgon’s letter, excerpted from the TIA Website:
On February 5, Bishop Fellay was present at a meeting of the SSPX superiors in France that took place in St. Nicholas de Chardonnay, Paris. After his speech in which he gave an account of the recent steps regarding his relations with the Vatican, a Capuchin superior of the Convent of St. Anthony Aurenque, Fr. Jean de Morgon, stood up and asked whether it was Bishop Fellay’s intention to accept “the Conciliar Church, the Modernist Rome.” As the Bishop hesitated, the religious insisted a second and a third time, but received no answer to his question.
The Franciscan superior, also present, ordered Fr. Jean to be silent and leave the room. Fr. Jean declared in loud voice that “there is no obligation whatsoever to obey someone who contradicts Faith and Morals,” but he left the room. Afterwards, he was ordered to issue a letter of apology to Bishop Fellay.
Fr. Jean stated that he would apologize for the form of his question, not for its content. To this “letter of apology” he had been ordered to write, he attached a declaration in which he expounded the reasons for his disagreement with the accord. He sent this declaration to various friends and supporters of SSPX, who placed it on a French website on February 22, 2009. Recently, one of our readers sent it to us.
Letter from Father Jean, Franciscan of Morgon - 2009
Convent of St Antoine Aurenque
Aurenque, February 11, 2009
Our Lady of Lourdes
My Reverend Father,
My Reverend Mother,
In conscience, before God and before men, and for the common good of the Catholic tradition - and therefore of the Church - it seems to me to be my duty to add to my letter of apology the following:
After my vehement intervention of February 5, at the pressures that were put on me, whether in Saint-Nicolas or Caussade, I replied that I would apologize on the form (anger) but not on the substance (the complaint).
I therefore deeply regret my outburst, not only because it could have shocked others (although I subsequently received congratulations by telephone and letter), but also because it could disqualify or make them forget the subject of my complaint. Moreover, a simple letter of apology could lead you to believe that I also regret what I said, so I am obliged to come back to the substantive issue, and even explain it.
My first meeting with His Excellency Bishop Lefebvre dates back to June 1973, in Ecône, when he invited my parents (who had left a legacy at the seminary) to come and talk and eat with him. Three years later, I was at the Mass in Lille. My parents sacrificed their entire family fortune to buy buildings for Tradition. And at the moment, they are using their last efforts to set up a hotel for our convent, in a house they bought by selling the last one they owned. I think my old father will die of cardiac arrest the day he learns that all these buildings will come under the control of the Conciliar Church…
Until last Sunday, in the pulpit, I always defended the FSSPX in front of the faithful, and relayed its communiqués. I must confess only one incarnation - if it is one - by announcing the first “spiritual bouquet” of rosaries in 2006. After reading the three intentions in the order given by the fraternity, beginning with the liberalization of the Mass of Saint Pius V, I added that in my personal opinion, it was the return of the Social Royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ that deserved to be put first (Monsignor Lefebvre said that this point is more important than the Mass. Cf." The infiltrated Church…" p.70).
If I did not sing the Te Deum after the Motu Proprio, it is because my superior left me free on this point, and I did not want to acclaim a text that identifies in the same rite the long-standing Mass and a “bastard” Mass, as Monsignor Lefebvre often called it. However, I read Bishop Fellay’s statement to the faithful, which Suresnes had not sent me, but which a faithful person had found me on the Internet. The same goes for the second bouquet, which I announced, and of which I had the final communiqué of Bishop Fellay photocopied (Jan. 24) so that the faithful could read it and take it home with them.
Sorry for these lengths, but don’t say I’m against the FSSPX, a sedevantist, etc… The FSSPX, I consider it to be the work of the Church, and a second mother to me: it is to her that I am indebted for the integral preservation of my faith, my religious life, and my priesthood. I love her with all my heart, and that’s why I roar when I think she’s threatened.
One of the very first priests of the FSSPX told me, on a day of ordination in Ecône, that his father had taught him subversive methods, but prohibited their use. Only to know how to detect attacks and subversive people. During his professorship at Ecône, he was able to discover certain subversive seminarians and report them to Canon Berthod and Monsignor Lefebvre. The latter did not want to send them away, because they were good students otherwise. Canon Berthod had considered the case serious enough to threaten to resign if these subversive elements were not driven out. This not only tells us how Ecône lost one of its most eminent professors, but also how it experienced serious crises of dissent in the following years.
Without claiming to be an expert in this field, and even less to be engaged in this anti-subversive struggle - for I have dedicated myself totally to God and the times - I think I know what I am talking about when I use the word subversive, and I know a minimum in the processing of information, before I draw conclusions.
When I took the microphone, I said, in much the same way, that with several priests, we were very concerned about the evolution of the FSSPX’s relationship with the Vatican, which seemed to lead us slowly (but surely) towards a rally with conciliar and modernist Rome.
As soon as I returned from Paris, Providence took the time to confirm to me - if necessary - the progress of this rallying process, in a leaflet, brought by a faithful person with Internet access, to be signed to express our support for Benedict XVI. At the Sunday announcements, I thought I had to warn the faithful against this campaign, explaining to them that we must support Pope Benedict XVI with our prayers, because he bears very heavy responsibilities, but there is no question of giving him unconditional support, whereas he has just recently declared (oss.nom.fr 23/30 Dec. 08, p. 6) that the Church rejoices in the autonomy [ “autonomia” in the original Italian text] between the State and the Church, as a great progress of humanity. And to invite our faithful to read Monsignor Tissier de Mallerais’ article on the serious errors taught (and reprinted as they are) by Professor Ratzinger (Salt of the Earth N° 67, p.22-54).
And investigating this petition further, its source can be found on the Catholic Forum website (http://www.leforumcatholique.org/message.php?num=463376), where everyone can read that this petition comes from and is encouraged by the G.R.E.C., “Groupe de Réflexion Entre Catholiques”, set up in 1997 (we have therefore never been informed of the existence of this club for more than ten years!), bringing together clerics and laity from all tendencies of the “tradition”, especially rallies, but including the FSSPX, and working to “one day allow a reconciliation in institutional and legal forms”. This can only be done for the FSSPX, the only one represented there, and not (yet) rallied.
This undertaking, we also read there, is encouraged by the Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Baldelli, and Bishop Breton, Bishop of Aire and Dax, represents the French Bishops’ Conference. I learned from a colleague of the FSSPX that Bishop Breton had told him that he had met the Abbot of Cacqueray at a meeting of the G.R.E.C… I was not surprised, therefore, when I was told earlier that the superior of the District of France had just urged all our faithful at the Mutualité to sign this letter of support to Benedict XVI.
Is there still a need for further evidence of the determination of the FSSPX authorities to join conciliar Rome? Should we listen again to the recording of the Radio Courtoisie program of July 17, 2007, where Father Lelong, an active member of the G.R.E.C., was not afraid to assure the listeners that, for him, the current management of the FSSPX would be entirely committed to rallying and that it would essentially be a matter of reducing or silencing the recalcitrants in the FSSPX?
I am fully aware of the seriousness of these revelations and their consequences. I have weighed them and checked them as much as possible, with the means that Providence has been trying to give me recently. In conscience, I can no longer remain silent for long, nor be satisfied with prayer alone, nor wait until the house is completely in flames to cry out for fire! I am absolutely sure that I will do my duty and therefore the will of God, by sharing this with you. It is up to you to judge it in front of your conscience. And to think of the number of souls entrusted to you by Our Lord Jesus Christ and to whom you must give an account on the day of judgment, in the essential aspect of faith: "What do you ask of the Church? "Answer: JTF.
For my near future, I rely totally on divine Providence. I expect to be thrown out on the street, called “sedevancantist” (marginalization by defamation being a classic subversive technique). In case anything bad should happen to me (because everything has to be planned for) I have entrusted this letter and all my burning documents to reliable friends, who are able to transcribe them and distribute them if necessary. I know that my parents support me, and will help me to start again, or rather to continue my religious life elsewhere. It pains me enormously to become “vagus”, but if it is the will of God in this incredible crisis, Fiat!
Because I have no confidence in Bishop Fellay, who covers this whole operation with his authority, and little confidence in Bishop Williamson, who was observed during his secret contacts in Rome the week after Easter 2008. For our two other bishops, I hope that on the official day of the rally (which should not be as far away as is claimed, because Benedict XVI is getting old…), or even before, at least one of them will stand up and continue Bishop Lefebvre’s fight.
On that day, may our brothers of Morgon and Aurenque, who will refuse this surrender in the fight of the Faith, know that I will come back under the obedience of their superior or the eldest. In the meantime, let us all remain united in the prayer of the Rosary, and trusting in the final triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Fr. Jean O.F.M.