The Frenchness of Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of St Pius X: a new reading

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The case of Marcel Lefebvre and the Society of St Pius X (SSPX) deserves fresh perspectives. The current historiography is too franco-centric, focused on selective aspects of Lefebvre’s biography and the actions of isolated individuals, rather than with the life of the SSPX itself. After evaluating the current state of the historiography, this article proposes a new analysis of the SSPX’s political discourses in France and internationally and undertakes to reframe the relationship between Lefebvre’s life and his congregation by re-examining his African missionary experiences. Such new perspectives will be helpful as the SSPX moves towards regularisation under the pontificate of Pope Francis.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-94
Number of pages16
JournalFrench Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Early online date30 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • society of St Pius X (SSPX), Marcel Lefebvre, Action française, far right, missionary Catholicism, Pope Francis


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