I realize this thread topic will probably attract a lot of attention – good and bad alike (probably more bad than good ;)). At any rate, let me make it clear that the purpose of this thread is NOT to discuss whether or not the SSPX was ever in schism. Nor is it to discuss how, if it weren’t for Archbishop Lefebvre, we wouldn’t have Ecclesia Dei, Summorum Pontificum, etc.
My post has to do with a tendency I’ve seen on here of even some self-professed FSSP and diocesan TLM attendees to believe that Archbishop Lefebvre did a good thing by consecrating bishops without permission from Rome – despite the fact that canon law says such a thing is an excommunicable offense. Now, according to many catechisms and guides for confession, one of the ways we can be an accessory to another’s sin is defense of the wrong done. If we condone Lefebvre’s actions, doesn’t that make us an accessory to his sin?
Let me also make it clear that I’m well aware that canon law also says that in regard to consecrating bishops without permission, there’s no excommunication if the offender acted out of grave fear or felt there was an emergency. And who knows? Maybe Archbishop Lefebvre felt that way. But this thread is NOT to make judgments about his subjective guilt in the matter, which only God knows. Yet while we can’t judge his motives or intent, what he did was still objectively wrong, and so isn’t it gravely sinful to approve of objectively sinful actions?