Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

Coordinates: 46°48′17″N 7°09′37″E / 46.804796°N 7.160385°E / 46.804796; 7.160385
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter
Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri
FormationJuly 18, 1988; 35 years ago (1988-07-18)
FounderJosef Bisig
TypeSociety of apostolic life of pontifical right (for men)
HeadquartersMaison Saint Pierre Canisius, Fribourg, Switzerland
Coordinates46°48′17″N 7°09′37″E / 46.804796°N 7.160385°E / 46.804796; 7.160385
Membership (2023)
 • 368 priests
 • 201 seminarians
Superior general
Andrzej Komorowski Edit this at Wikidata

The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (Latin: Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri; FSSP) is a traditionalist Catholic society of apostolic life for priests and seminarians which is in communion with the Holy See.

The society was founded in 1988 under the leadership of 12 priests who were formerly members of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), another traditionalist organization, but were unwilling to remain part of it following the Écône consecrations, which resulted in its bishops being excommunicated by the Holy See.

Headquartered in Switzerland, the society maintains two international seminaries: the International Seminary of St. Peter in Wigratzbad-Opfenbach, Bavaria, Germany, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Nebraska, United States. The society is officially recognized by the Holy See and its priests celebrate the Tridentine Mass in locations in 147 worldwide dioceses.

Canonical status[edit]

According to canon law, the FSSP is a clerical society of apostolic life of pontifical right.[2] It is not, therefore, an institute of consecrated life and members take no religious vows, but are instead bound by the same general laws of celibacy and obedience as diocesan clergy and, in addition, swear an oath as members of the society.[2] The fraternity's pontifical-right status means that it has been established by the Pope and is answerable only to him in terms of its operation (through the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life; prior to January 17, 2019, through the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei), rather than to local bishops.[3] A local bishop still governs the fraternity's work within his respective diocese.[citation needed] In this sense its organization and administrative reporting status are similar to those of religious orders of pontifical right (for example, the Jesuits or Dominicans).

Mission and charism[edit]

Members of the fraternity celebrating Solemn Mass

The FSSP consists of priests and seminarians who intend to pursue the goal of Christian perfection according to a specific charism, which is to offer the Mass and other sacraments according to the Roman Rite as it existed before the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council.[4] Thus, the fraternity uses the Roman Missal, the Roman Breviary, the Pontifical (Pontificale Romanum), and the Roman Ritual in use in 1962, the last editions before the revisions that followed the Council.

The 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum had authorized use of the 1962 Roman Missal by all Latin Church priests as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite without limit when celebrating Mass "without a congregation".[5] Its use for Mass with a congregation was allowed with the permission of the priest in charge of a church for stable groups attached to this earlier form of the Roman Rite, provided that the priest using it was "qualified to do so and not juridically impeded" (as for instance by suspension).[6] That was abrogated by the 2021 motu proprio Traditionis custodes that emphasized deference towards the Missal of Pope St. Paul VI and added restrictions to which clergy could perform the Roman Rite according to the pre-Vatican II form. [7][8] In February 2022, Pope Francis confirmed that the FSSP could continue to celebrate the Latin Mass "in their own churches or oratories[.]"[9]

Following from its charism, the fraternity's mission is twofold: to sanctify each priest through the exercise of his priestly function, and to deploy these priests to parishes.[2][10] As such, they are to celebrate the sacraments, catechise, preach retreats, organize pilgrimages, and generally provide a full sacramental and cultural life for lay Catholics who are likewise drawn to the rituals of the 1962 missal.[2] In order to help complete its mission, the fraternity has built its own seminaries with the goal of forming men to serve the fraternity.


For the honour and glory of the holy Catholic Church, for the consolation of the much troubled faithful, and for the peace of their conscience, the undersigned, members until now of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, declare with profound regret over the illicit consecration of bishops on 30 June [1988] that they have remained within the Catholic Church as pars sanior of this same Fraternity, and that they have but one desire: to be able to live as a religious society in this Church and place themselves at her service under the authority, of course, of the Roman Pontiff, her supreme head.

— From the Declaration of Intention by the Founders (2 July 1988)[11]

The FSSP was established on July 18, 1988, at the Abbey of Hauterive, Switzerland, by twelve priests and twenty seminarians, led by Josef Bisig, all of whom had formerly belonged to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's Society of Saint Pius X; they were unwilling to follow that movement into what the Congregation for Bishops and Pope John Paul II declared to be a schismatic act and grounds for excommunication latae sententiae due to the consecration of four bishops without a papal mandate.[2][12][13] Josef Bisig became the fraternity's first superior general.


Palm Sunday procession at an FSSP apostolate in Perpignan, France

As of November 2023, the fraternity included 569 members: 368 priests, 22 deacons, and 179 non-deacon seminarians in 146 dioceses spread among Australia, Austria, Benin, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Switzerland, the United States, and Vietnam. The fraternity's membership represents 35 nationalities, and the average age of its members is 39. As of 2023, the lay Confraternity of Saint Peter had 9,546 members enrolled, who spiritually support the fraternity's charism.[14]

Superiors general[edit]

The FSSP's current superior general is Andrzej Komorowski, who was elected in 2018.[15] Former superior general include:

Provinces, districts and regions[edit]

The fraternity is divided into four districts:[16]

  • German-speaking District, Superior: Stefan Dreher
  • French District, Superior: Benoît Paul-Joseph
  • North American Province, Provincial: William Lawrence
  • Oceania District, Superior: Michael McCaffrey

Educational institutions[edit]

The fraternity has two seminaries:

Ezechiel House, a house of formation for first-year seminarians, exists in the city of Sydney, Australia. The Director of Ezechiel House is Fr. Duncan Wong.

In 2015, the fraternity established in Guadalajara, Mexico, Casa Cristo Rey, an apostolate which it plans to develop into a house of formation for first-year seminarians for native Spanish-speaking postulants. Presently, Casa Cristo Rey serves as a priestly discernment program for young men from Spain and Latin America.[17] In 2016 Casa Cristo Rey opened the Junipero Serra Spanish Institute, a program offering six or eight weeks of Spanish immersion for priests and seminarians.[18]

Until 2012, the fraternity also operated an American boarding school: St. Gregory's Academy in Elmhurst, Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Figures – FSSP".
  2. ^ a b c d e "What are we?". The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "Decree erecting the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, 18 October 1988". Documents. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. October 18, 1988. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "History of the North American District". What are we?. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum on the "Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970" (July 7, 2007) | BENEDICT XVI". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  6. ^ Summorum Pontificum, art. 5
  7. ^ "New norms regarding use of 1962 Roman Missal: Bishops given greater responsibility". Vatican News. Vatican City. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  8. ^ Pope Francis (16 July 2021). "Traditionis Custodes". Rome. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Pope Francis approves use of Latin Mass for group of traditionalist priests". America Magazine. 22 February 2022. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Excerpt of the Constitutions of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter". Documents. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. June 29, 2003. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  11. ^ "Declaration of intention by the founders, 2 July 1988". Documents. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. July 2, 1988. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  12. ^ "Audition of the Auditors II". Synodus Episcoporum Bulletin. Holy See Press Office. September 30 – October 27, 2001. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  13. ^ Devillers, Arnaud (Summer 2002). "A Response to Christopher Ferrara". Latin Mass Magazine. Archived from the original on April 14, 2004. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "Presentation". Confraternity of Saint Peter. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. November 1, 2023.
  15. ^ "Organization chart". What are we?. Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  16. ^ "New District Superior for the FSSP". Una Voce Carmel. February 26, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  17. ^ "About". Casa Cristo Rey. FSSP Mexico. September 2015. Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  18. ^ "FSSP in Mexico to Offer Spanish Immersion for Clergy". New Liturgical Movement. December 10, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2017.

External links[edit]

International links