Monday, April 06, 2009

Who is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre?

Marcel-François Lefebvre (29 November 1905 – 25 March 1991) was a French Roman Catholic archbishop. Following a career as an Apostolic Delegate for West Africa and Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, he took the lead in opposing the changes within the Church associated with the Second Vatican Council.

In 1970, Lefebvre founded the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), which is still the world's largest Traditionalist Catholic priestly society. In 1988, against the orders of Pope John Paul II, he consecrated four bishops to continue his work with the SSPX. The Holy See immediately declared that he and the other bishops who had participated in the ceremony had incurred automatic excommunication under Catholic canon law.Lefebvre's supporters disputed the excommunication. In 2009, the Holy See lifted it for the four surviving bishops.
-excerpts from

This is quoted from the official SSPX website.
Question No. 2
Who is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre?

NOVEMBER 29, 1905

Birth of Marcel Lefebvre into a good Catholic family (five of the eight children would become priests or nuns).

SEPTEMBER 21, 1929

Marcel Lefebvre is ordained a priest.

1932 - 1946

Having become a Holy Ghost Father, he becomes a missionary in Gabon, Africa.

SEPTEMBER 18, 1947

He is consecrated a bishop and appointed Apostolic Vicar of Dakar, Senegal.

Three of the Lefebvres who became religious:  Marcel, Gabrielle and Rene

Three of the Lefebvre's. From left to right, Marcel, Gabrielle and Rene.

1948 - 1959

Bishop Lefebvre is Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Delegate for 18 African countries.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1955

He becomes the first Archbishop of Dakar.


His Excellency returns to France to be the Bishop of Tulle.

1962 - 1968

Archbishop Lefebvre is elected and acts as Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers.


...until resigning before the changes his congregation would force him to implement, and going into “retirement.”

Formal portrait of Archbishop Lefebvre as bishop of Dakar
Archbishop Lefebvre as Superior General of the SSPX:  in front of the former Main Altar at the Seminary in Econe

The Archbishop founds the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.

1970 - 1982

He acts as its first Superior General.

1970 - 1988

Until, in view of his imminent death, he consecrates successors, Archbishop Lefebvre does all he can to be faithful to the grace of his episcopacy, traveling the world to encourage Catholics to hold fast to the faith and traditions of their fathers, confirming their young and ordaining for them

MARCH 25, 1991

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre passes before his Eternal Judge.

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