Rorate-Caeli published a new English translation of a 1978 article by Rev. Louis Bouyer, a former Lutheran, and co-founder of Communio that gives a fascinating look at Archbishop Lefebvre and the after-effects of the Second Vatican Council.
The whole thing is worth reading, probably several times, because it is extremely rich in its observations. (My emphases)
Once the story-making faculty has been unleashed like this, when it is kept alive by too obvious a chain of scandals that pass unseen, tolerated, or even encouraged by the very ones who increasingly dig their heels against those who, on their end of things, lose all sound judgment because they’re persuaded—not without some semblance of good reason—of being the only ones “defending the truth,” well then there is no extreme to which this now delirious faculty won’t go . . . . Hence the deplorable or rather grotesque situation into which Archbishop Lefebvre has allowed himself and his followers to be cornered. It turns a champion of pontifical authority into a die-hard rebel and dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists into mere blind defenders of the routines that have in fact proven to be the inevitable ruin of all genuine tradition, since they harden it for themselves before giving their adversaries the best excuse for liquidating it . . . .
But clearly this is not where Archbishop Lefebvre himself or even the most mediocre of his henchmen see or place their core demands, even if they are not entirely free from that sort of hang-up. The great majority of those who listen to them, who respond to their fund drives, and who are evidently more and more numerous to place their hope for the faith and the Church in them, are all the more inclined to go to them because they believe that this is the way, and the only way, to preserve for themselves and for their children the Christian faith pure and simple, the Gospel’s moral and religious ideals, and sacraments that have not been voided of their content. . . .
Also keep in mind that besides a small handful of fanatics, it isn’t just simpletons bereft of critical judgment who come to this. And even if it were so, that would be, or should be, a matter of concern for those who keep repeating that the Church must give herself to the poorest of the poor in all aspects. What is getting to be worrisome, especially over the last year, is seeing unquestionably “adult,” “well-formed,” “responsible” (to use fashionable clerical language) Christians, whom just yesterday no one would have suspected of being able to fall into such aberrations or what must be termed puerile illogic, get to the point—albeit moaning and groaning—of saying what I heard someone say to one of the greatest French scholars, to one of the highest magistrates in our country, to famous professors of our great universities, not to mention members of the Academy Française (not all of whom deserve to appear in L’Habit Vert): “Besides Lefebvre, what bishop in our country still dares to stick out his neck for the Catholic faith?” . . . .
At the end of the day, our bishops, who endlessly whine about Archbishop Lefebvre and his “Lefebvrists,” do just what is needed to insure his recruitment and prestige . . . simply by doing nothing at all of what the good People of God expects of its bishops. And they do nothing of the sort because they were formed (?) and chosen for precisely that purpose . . . .
But for that one mustn’t be afraid of the truth, especially of the truth whose guardian one is supposed to be. No one ever “possesses” the truth, above all the truth of the Gospel, if any. On the contrary, one has to allow himself to be possessed by it.
Very interesting. How much more now, 50 years after the Council, do we need to be possessed by the truth of the Gospel, to have that mind in us which was in Christ Jesus and not falling into extremes, based on our own personal judgments or speculation due to worry.