“Obviously the question poses itself. In order to continue, should I consecrate bishops, or should I let the seminarians fend for themselves, so that after my death they might find bishops to ordain them?
“I do not know one bishop in the whole world who would agree to do it. Several cardinals and a few bishops have some sympathy with the Society. But I do not believe that one or another of them would agree to ordain our seminarians, for fear of thunderbolts from Rome. I was illegally and unjustly disciplined with a suspens a divinis for having ordained priests. All the more reason if I consecrated bishops!
“In the new Canon Law, excommunication is prescribed, and no doubt that is no accident. It was made with us in mind. And so those bishops will not dare to risk being excommunicated.
“That doesn’t frighten me, though, because Rome already treats us in practice as though we were excommunicated. What more can they do against us?
“Suppose that I were excommunicated, that we were all excommunicated: what additional evil would be added to what we are already enduring now? We can no longer go about the parishes. We cannot celebrate Mass in a church. If we ask for permission from a bishop for an exceptional circumstance, it is not granted us. If we want to perform the slightest ceremony in a diocese, communiques are sent to the press forbidding the faithful to attend: ‘They are suspended! They have broken with Rome and are against Rome. They are no longer in communion with the pope.’
“An excommunication would do nothing more to us, especially if you are willing to consider where it would come from. To be excommunicated by liberals, by modernists, would be instead a badge of orthodoxy. That would prove that we have stayed on the right line. We would be excommunicated because we do not think as they do. Well, yes, we do not think as they do. That is true!
We find ourselves therefore in a situation that has some urgency. To be sure, the Good Lord has allowed me to have rather good health. But the years are going by, and I am nearing my end. Our seminaries are filled with seminarians who are ready to receive priestly orders. Well, then, given their [i.e., Rome’s] repeated refusal to lift that suspension, in which they believe, but which was illegal, as I have already proved, we are prevented from continuing in a normal fashion the work of the Society, which however was officially recognized, and in the absence of a bishop who can replace me, what should we do?
“Should I do nothing and consign myself totally to the grace of God, to Providence, come what may; or should I consider that it is my duty to consecrate several bishops so as to allow the Catholic priesthood to continue in order to save souls?
“This is why, together with Bishop de Castro Mayer, during our last meeting in Argentina, we did not rule out that possibility.
“Of course, one may object that in order to consecrate bishops who have apostolic succession, authorization from Rome is required. That is true. And why would we not have that authorization? Not because what we wanted to do was bad, but because it would be contrary to the current modernist, liberal orientation of Rome. ‘You are going to make traditional bishops in order to ordain traditional priests. We don’t want that any more. We want priests who are in the spirit of Vatican II.’
“From this radical opposition, we can conclude that it is impossible to accede morally to the pope’s wishes—physically, or course, it is still possible—but morally [impossible] because it is oriented toward the application of the Council and its consequences. That is his work. That is his purpose. It is useless to try to put tradition into his mind."