SSPX Archbishop Lefebvre Biographer Says Rome's Latin Mass Indult Could Bring Positive Change to Church Crisis

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As Rome indicates a favorable move toward the traditional Latin Mass, Dr. David Allen White releases "The Horn of the Unicorn", a new book on the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

I wanted average people with busy lives to be able to get through this book bit by bit

"It's never a bad thing to have more traditional Latin Masses being said," said Dr. David Allen White, author of "The Horn of the Unicorn", a new biography on the life of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), a fraternal order of Catholic priests established in Ecône, Switzerland, which was founded with full approval from Rome in 1970.

White's comments come after recent indications that Rome may issue a universal indult for Catholic priests to say the traditional Roman Mass.

"If this step by Rome causes more priests to be able to say the traditional Mass, that's good," White said.

White says the universal indult is a step in a direction that will be helpful to the future of the Catholic Church, though he says it is not the complete remedy for a near forty-year crisis that has affected the Church globally. White also pointed out that the traditional Roman Mass was never suppressed by Rome.

As pointed out in White's book, Lefebvre was later accused of disobedience for refusing to say the new rite of Mass because of its striking departure from Catholic Tradition. The aging Archbishop was also accused of latae sententiae excommunication when he consecrated four new bishops in 1988 for the purpose of providing leadership for the growing fraternal order of Catholic priests after his death, which occurred four years later.

White, a professor of English at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, responded to the suggestion of Bishop Richard Williamson of the SSPX to tell the story of Archbishop Lefebvre so that the world could see more than accusations of schism and excommunication. White completed the work, recently published by Angelus Press, in the summer of 2006.

The book follows another biographical work by White, The Mouth of the Lion (Angelus Press 1993), on the life and diocese of Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, bishop of Campos, Brazil, who was supportive of and present for Lefebvre's June 30, 1988 consecrations of four SSPX bishops in Ecône, Switzerland – the act which caused both bishops to suffer the accusation of latae sententiae excommunication less than twenty-four hours later.

"Readers will clearly see that Archbishop Lefebvre did not personally want the job of sticking out like a sore thumb," says White. "But, he saw vast changes coming upon the Church at break-neck speed that did not reconcile with Catholic teaching or the purpose of the Second Vatican Council, in many cases changes that had previously been condemned by past popes, and he believed he had to defend the faith."

"It seems clear that Lefebvre's choice was the correct one despite its grave inconveniences on his personal life," says White. "Certainly there would be no discussion of Catholic Tradition in the world today or the Tridentine Mass, let alone its resurgence around the world, had it not been for Archbishop Lefebvre."

"So many labels for Lefebvre, from schismatic to rebel to heretic, are simply unfounded and untrue," says White. "Even Rome admits publicly there is no schism and now to see the traditional Mass given this kind of attention, seems to indicate that good things are happening to eventually exonerate a pious and holy man who simply did what he promised he would do when he was ordained a priest and took the oath against modernism – defend the Catholic Faith."

The Horn of the Unicorn is considered a mosaic work on the life of Lefebvre rather than a definitive work such as the recently published biography Marcel Lefebvre by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais, a bishop of the SSPX.

"White weaves poetry, Scripture, anecdotes, news, and history into the story of the life of Archbishop Lefebvre, associating thoughts, images, notions, quotations in such a way that an understanding of the Archbishop and his times emerges," said Christopher McCann, director of product development for Angelus Press.

"I wanted average people with busy lives to be able to get through this book bit by bit," said White. "I wanted to produce something that would appeal to the mind and heart, not just bullet points of what happened with Lefebvre and Rome between 1971 and 1992. That's been done in works like Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre, and while works like this contain invaluable information, interested readers don't always have the time or capacity to turn reading into scholastic study."

The mission of Angelus Press is to promote the immemorial Tradition of the Catholic Church and the Tridentine Rite of Mass with an unswerving commitment to doctrinal orthodoxy and the authentic magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

About Angelus Press: For more information on important resources regarding the Tridentine Mass, The Second Vatican Council and the cause for Tradition, please visit:

About Dr. David Allen White:

For an interview with Dr. David Allen White or questions for the Angelus Press:

Contact – Jim Vogel: 1-816-753-3150 EXT 315

Toll-Free: 800-966-7337

Facsimile: 816-753-3557

Address: Angelus Press - 2915 Forest Ave. - Kansas City, MO 64109


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