Archbishop Lefebvre on Jesus Christ and “All the Religions” (And a Contrast with Cardinal Bergoglio)
CFN Editor’s note: Below is a sober reflection on the truth of Jesus Christ and of false religions from Archbishop Lefebvre’s beautiful book The Mystery of Jesus. By contrast we have appended then-Cardinal Bergoglio’s statement from his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth (co-written with Rabbi Abraham Skorkai) on the Cardinal’s enthusiastic welcome of false religions to offer public prayers in a pan-religious ‘spirit of Assisi’ styled event that he organized at his cathedral.
Placed before the image of the Infant Jesus in the crib, some might be moved to say, “It is not possible, He could not possibly have created the earth; he was just born.” To these St. Paul gives the reply: He was just born, yes, but His Person is a divine Person, and this Person is God, the Word of God. It is truly the Word of God who is there present in the crib, who assumes this body and soul. It is the Word of God, it is this divine Person whom we address. When you speak to someone, you address the person. This Person was the Word of God, by whom all was created. How can anyone then say that this Person who is the Word of God made Man is not Savior, and Priest and King, the three great attributes that this Person gives to this creature of God by the grace of the hypostatic union?*1
Has any man then the right to be indifferent to the presence of the Word of God in our midst? It is inconceivable. God has willed to come among us; who then has a right to say, “Just let me live my life: I don’t need Jesus Christ to live.” It is unthinkable, especially since He came to save us from our sins. Consequently, we are all affected because we are all sinners. He came to die on the cross to redeem us from eternal damnation; can anyone then be disinterested? And how can they dare to compare this Person who is our Lord Jesus Christ to Mohammed or Budddha or Luther? How can a Catholic who has the Faith utter such words? How can they even speak of “the religions, all the religions, the cults” as if they were equal?
Pope Pius VII manifested his indignation when presented with the Constitution of France in which was affirmed the freedom of all the religions. He reacted against the words “all the religions.” By these words they were putting the holy religion of God, of our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same level as the heresies and schisms. He was outraged, and he wrote to the Archbishop of Troyes: “Go and see the king. Tell him that it is inadmissible for a Catholic monarch, for a king who calls himself Catholic, to allow the freedom’ of all the religions,’ without distinction.” The Pope was indignant. This should be the conviction of every Catholic.
It is not possible to be a Catholic and not feel outrage when they speak of “all the religions,” placing thereby our Lord on a par with Buddha and all the rest. They do not believe that our Lord is God. They do not believe that it is the Person of God who is before us. Clearly not. Are there several incarnations of God? In Buddha? In Mohammed? In Luther? No, there is only one, in our Lord Jesus Christ. This fact has enormous consequences, and we should sense this in prOeportion to our belief in the divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What St. John says on this point is very important, as we have seen. It can be summed up in this way: He who affirms that Jesus Christ is God is of God, and he who denies that our Lord Jesus Christ is God is an antichrist (cf. I Jn. 2:22). Antichrist! and, consequently, a devil. St. John, for one, had the Faith, and he knew how to draw the consequences.
It can be wondered today if there are any real Catholics left among those who call themselves Catholic, because everyone finds it natural to speak of freedom of religion and the liberty of worship. Yet that cannot be conceded, because it is contrary to the dignity of our Lord Jesus Christ. They will accuse you of being intolerant. How many Catholics think the same thing, even m our own Catholic families?
If you affirm there is only one true religion, the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all the others come from the devil, that they are of the Antichrist because they deny the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, they will accuse you of being intolerant. “So, you want to go back to the Middle Ages,” they will sneer. No, we only want to restore what is: our Lord is King. The day when He comes suddenly in majesty upon the clouds of heaven they will say, “Ah, indeed, He is King; we did not believe it was possible.”
Yes, our Lord is King, and He will be the only one, there shall be none beside Him. People are not able to convince themselves of it. They are infected by liberalism, by the secularism that affects many. Our Lord Jesus Christ is no longer ascribed his true place.
His reign must be established on the earth as in heaven.
It is He himself who said so in the prayer that He taught us, the Our Father: Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. And this must be the object of our prayers, the intention of our sufferings, and the purpose of our life. We must have no rest until our Lord’s reign is established. A Catholic whose heart is not animated by this profound desire is not a Catholic. He is not one of the faithful of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Contrast: Cardinal Bergoglio welcomes “All Religions”
On pages 219-220 of his book On Heaven and Earth (co-written with Rabbi Skorka), Cardinal Bergoglio states with great satisfaction:
“When I began the Te Deum Masses as Archbishop, I came down with the nuncio accompanying the president and we walked to the door. All of you, representatives from other creeds [other ‘religions’] would remain in your place like puppets in an exhibition. I changed that tradition: now the president goes up and greets all the representatives of other creeds… Since the Te Deum in Salta in 2009, the ceremony is divided in two: not only is the traditional, classic song performed, and the Eucharist, together with the homily and the Catholic prayer, but representatives of other creeds also present their own prayers. Now there is greater participation.”*4
Click here for more on Cardinal Bergoglio’s ecumenical mindset, including his enthusiasm for Pentecostals.
1. The union of two natures, divine and human. of Jesus Christ in one unique person, the Person of the divine Word. From the fact that this man Jesus Christ, is God, he is necessarily Savior, Priest, and King.
2. The Mystery of Jesus, The Meditations of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre [Kansas City: Angelus Press, 2000], pp. 23-25.
3. On Heaven and Earth (English Translation) Jorge Mario Bergoglio & Abraham Skorka [New York: Doubleday, 2013], pp. 219-220.
4. To answer a question that often arises: No, this write-up is not in any way intended to propound a sedevacantist thesis. CFN is not a sedevacantist publication, nor are any of its writers. This piece is merely intended to demonstrate the teachings on Jesus Christ and their implications regarding so-called other religious, and also to show that Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is a man of the post-Concilliar orientation, particularly regarding ecumenism and inter-religious activities – a far cry from the Catholic spirit personified in Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and the pre-conciliar popes, including the above-quoted Pope Pius VII.