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Lefebvre argued that his actions had been necessary because the traditional form of the Catholic faith and sacraments would become extinct without Traditionalist clergy citing in his defense canons 1323 and 1324 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law

Lefebvre argued that his actions had been necessary because the traditional form of the Catholic faith and sacraments would become extinct without Traditionalist clergy to pass them on to the next generation. He called the ordinations "opération survie" ("Operation Survival"), citing in his defense canons 1323 and 1324 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first of which says that "a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls" is not subject to penalty for violating a law or precept, while the other says "the perpetrator of a violation is not exempt from a penalty, but the penalty established by law or precept must be tempered or a penance employed in its place if the delict was committed ... by a person who thought in culpable error that one of the circumstances mentioned in can. 1323, nn. 4 or 5 was present."[34]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Saint_Pius_X 

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