What is the FSSP?

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP, which corresponds to the Latin Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri) is a clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, canonically erected by Pope St. John Paul II in 1988. Their priests serve in apostolates across the world, with the faithful celebration of the traditional Mass and Sacraments (Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite) at the center of their charism. The members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, nourished through the spiritual riches of the Church’s ancient Roman Liturgy, strive to sanctify the seminarians, religious and faithful entrusted to their pastoral care.

The Fraternity chose St. Peter as their special patron in order to express their gratitude, filial love, and loyalty to the Supreme Pontiff. With more than 300 priests and 150 seminarians from 30 countries, the Fraternity serves in over 130 dioceses on 5 continents. International headquarters are located in Fribourg, Switzerland and North American headquarters in the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Fraternity seminarians receive training at one of two international seminaries: Priesterseminar Sankt Petrus in Wigratzbad, Germany (for German and French speakers) and Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska (for English speakers).

CNA, by Carl Bunderson — The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a society of apostolic life which celebrates the Roman rite according to the liturgical books in force in 1962, published Monday a papal decree confirming their faculty to use those books.

The FSSP forms priests for the use of the traditional form of the Roman Rite, and having formed them, deploys priests in parishes for the service of the Church.

The priestly fraternity was founded in July 1988 by 12 priests of the Society of St. Pius X, and several seminarians. The founders left the SSPX to establish the FSSP after the society’s leader, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, consecrated four bishops without the permission of St. John Paul II.

Its founding was under the auspices of St. John Paul II’s 1988 motu proprio Ecclesia Dei, which set up a pontifical commission to facilitate the “full ecclesial communion of priests, seminarians, religious communities or individuals” who had been linked to the SSPX and “who may wish to remain united to the Successor [of] Peter in the Catholic Church, while preserving their spiritual and liturgical traditions.”

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei was suppressed in 2019, and its competence transferred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Competence for the former Ecclesia Dei communities, such as the FSSP, was later transferred to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life by Pope Francis’ 2021 motu proprio Traditionis custodes.

There are currently about 340 priests and 180 seminarians in the FSSP. It has parishes and chapels in 147 dioceses in North America, Europe, Oceania, Nigeria, and Colombia.

The FSSP is governed by a superior general, who is aided by assistants, counselors, a general secretary, and a bursar. The current superior general is Fr. Andrzej Komorowski, who is the fourth man to hold that office. The fraternity is arranged into a North American province and three districts: French, German-speaking, and Oceania.

It has two houses of formation: the Seminary of St. Peter in Wigratzbad, Germany, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, outside Lincoln, Nebraska.


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