In a recent interview with LifeSiteNews, Bishop Athanasius Schneider described the action of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre as “prophetic."1 This was not the first time that Bishop Schneider identified himself with the description of a Catholic leader of our time as a prophet. In 2017 Roberto de Mattei published his second book on Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, this time with the description “Prophet of the Reign of Mary” in the subtitle, and Bishop Schneider wrote the preface. “To spread ever more in souls and in human society the Kingdom of Christ through Mary,” Bishop Schneider stated regarding Dr. Corrêa de Oliveira, “this was the heart of his life and activity.”
Why would Bishop Schneider view these two Catholic leaders of our time, one an archbishop and the other a layman, as prophets? It was Prof. de Mattei who showed the doctrinal link and historical context defining the apostolates of these two leaders, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. It is the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a doctrine taught by Popes of the modern era in response to the growing secularism. As Roberto de Mattei wrote:
While liberal Catholicism denied the social kingship of Christ, all counter-revolutionary authors, faithful to papal teachings, see it as an indispensable ideal and principal remedy to the crisis of our time…. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre summed it up with the formula They Have Uncrowned Him, the title of one of his last books, subtitled “From Liberalism to Apostasy: The Conciliar Tragedy”…. Plinio embraced this ideal from his youth, capturing its close connection with devotion to the Sacred Heart.2
The fact that Bishop Schneider has focused his attention on both an archbishop and a layman, as central traditional Catholic leaders of our time, demonstrates the importance that the Church has given throughout her history to the collaborative roles of Church and State, and therefore of the clergy and the laity together. Dom Prosper Guéranger’s fifteen-volume work The Liturgical Year is a supreme example of this close unity between the spiritual and the temporal orders. While devoted directly to an explanation of the liturgy, it contains at the same time a description of the effects of the liturgy throughout history in political and social life – reflected above all in the lives of the saints venerated in the sanctoral cycle, along with the adoration of Our Lord as illustrated in the temporal cycle.
In volume 12, the third book of The Time After Pentecost, written by other monks of Solesmes after Dom Guéranger’s death, there is an important example of this unity between spiritual and temporal society: “…as has ever been the case since the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost was directing every event for the ultimate good of the Church. He it was who inspired the Normans to give solidity to their conquests by declaring themselves vassals of the Holy See, and thus fixing themselves on the apostolic rock.”3 ________________
1 “Bp. Schneider defends Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia, calls Abp. Lefebvre ‘prophetic’” https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/bp-schneider-defends-francis-consecration-of-russia-as-fulfilling-our-lady-of-fatimas-request/?utm_source=home_blogs&utm_campaign=usa
2 Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira: Prophet of the Reign of Mary (Boonville, New York: Preserving Christian Publications, 2019), p. 261. https://www.pcpbooks.net/prestashop/books-in-print/89113-plinio-correa-de-oliveira.html
3 The Liturgical Year, vol. 12, Time After Pentecost, Book III (Boonville, New York: Preserving Christian Publications, 2022), p. 272. https://www.pcpbooks.net/prestashop/books-in-print/89113-plinio-correa-de-oliveira.html https://www.pcpbooks.net/prestashop/books-in-print/89171-the-liturgical-year-vol-12-time-after-pentecost-book-3.html