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Father James Jackson arrested in Kansas

July 18, 2022 Catholic News Agency 2

Father James Jackson, FSSP, appearing at a Nov. 15 arraignment before the Rhode Island District Court. / Joe Bukuras/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 18, 2022 / 13:56 pm (CNA).
Father James Jackson, A Rhode Island priest who was arrested on f… […]

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What is the FSSP?

February 21, 2022 Catholic News Agency 2
The prostration of the ordinands at the Fraternity of St. Peter’s Roman Parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, June 27, 2013 / Alan Holdren/CNA

Denver Newsroom, Feb 21, 2022 / 10:02 am (CNA).

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 traditonal 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, Neb.


The Dispatch

FSSP says Pope Francis has issued decree confirming its use of 1962 liturgical books

February 21, 2022 Catholic News Agency 7
June 22,2013: The prostration of the ordinands during the Litany of the Saints at the Fraternity of St. Peter’s Roman parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini in Rome / CNA

Vatican City, Feb 21, 2022 / 04:49 am (CNA).

Pope Francis has issued a decree confirming that the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) can continue to use the liturgical books in force in 1962, according to the traditionalist group.

In a communique published Feb. 21, the FSSP said that Pope Francis met with two members of the priestly fraternity for nearly an hour, a week before he promulgated the decree.

“In the course of the audience, the pope made it clear that institutes such as the Fraternity of St. Peter are not affected by the general provisions of the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, since the use of the ancient liturgical books was at the origin of their existence and is provided for in their constitutions,” it said.

The FSSP is a canonically approved community of priests dedicated to the “formation and sanctification of priests in the cadre of the traditional liturgy” and the care of souls and pastoral activities in the service of the Church.

The group has more than 50 personal parishes in North America and is active in 39 dioceses across the United States. It also has 85 apostolates in France and Belgium and 79 apostolates in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The decree gives the FSSP full permission to offer the Traditional Latin Mass, carry out the sacraments, and fulfill the Divine Office, according to the Missal, the Ritual, the Pontifical and the Roman Breviary that were used in 1962.

This faculty is limited to the FSSP’s own churches and oratories, unless there is consent from the local Ordinary, with the exception of private Masses.

The FSSP said that Pope Francis signed the decree, issued in Spanish and Latin, on Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the date that the group was solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Holy See press office had not responded at the time of publication to a request from CNA to confirm the text of the decree.

According to the group, the pope received Father Benoît Paul-Joseph, the superior of the FSSP district of France, and Father Vincent Ribeton, the rector of St. Peter’s Seminary in Wigratzbad, Germany, in private audience on Feb. 4.

“During the very cordial meeting, they recalled the origins of the fraternity in 1988, the pope expressed that he was very impressed by the approach taken by its founders, their desire to remain faithful to the Roman Pontiff and their trust in the Church. He said that this gesture should be ‘preserved, protected and encouraged,’” the FSSP said.

The meeting took place more than six months after Pope Francis issued Traditionis custodes (“Guardians of the tradition”), a motu proprio that restricted the use of the Traditional Latin Mass and prohibited it from being celebrated in parish churches without the permission of the local bishop.

The priestly fraternity said in July 2021 that it was surprised and deeply saddened by the reasons given for limiting the use of the Missal of Pope St. John XXIII.

The group noted that the Traditional Latin Mass had prompted “many people” to discover the Catholic faith or return to the Catholic faith.

“How can we fail to notice, moreover, that the communities of the faithful attached to it are often young and flourishing, and that many Christian households, priests or religious vocations have come from it,” it said.

FSSP was founded by 12 priests who were formerly members of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), a group that has a canonically irregular status.

The FSSP’s constitutions reference the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, and the fraternity says that it “has always sought to be in accord with what Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called in 2005: ‘the hermeneutic of reform in the continuity of the Church.’”

“Grateful to the Holy Father, the members of the Fraternity of St. Peter are in thanksgiving for this confirmation of their mission,” the FSSP said on Feb. 21.

“They invite all the faithful who feel close to them as a spiritual family to attend or join them in prayer at the Mass tomorrow, on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, and to pray for the Supreme Pontiff.”


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EWTN documentary highlights chart-topping Christmas album from Germany, ‘Sancta Nox’

December 23, 2021 Catholic News Agency 1
Seminarians of the FSSP’s International Seminary of St. Peter. / Photo courtesy of Sophia Institute Press.

Denver Newsroom, Dec 23, 2021 / 16:00 pm (CNA).

A documentary airing on EWTN this Christmas will bring viewers to a seminary in Bavaria, home to an internationally diverse group of men whose singing recently topped the classical charts. 

Sancta Nox: Christmas Matins from Bavaria” is a Christmas album produced by seminarians at the International Seminary of St. Peter, the first seminary set up by the traditionalist Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). 

After its release this fall, the 17-song collection topped the Billboard’s Traditional Classical Albums chart.

“We are very surprised and grateful that people have already found this recording, and humbled that they have decided to add this music to the Christmas experience and traditions,” Manuel Vaz Guedes, one of the singers, told CNA in October. 

A documentary about the making of the album, also entitled “Sancta Nox: Christmas Matins from Bavaria,” is set to air on EWTN at 2pm ET on Dec. 25, and 10:30am ET Dec. 26.

Matins are part of the Divine Office, which priests and monks pray every day. Recorded in surround sound at the 12th-century St. Magnus Abbey, Bad Schussenried in Germany, the album features mostly Gregorian chant.    

Matins of Christmas Day, which are featured in the album, are traditionally said immediately preceding Midnight Mass.

The documentary features sweeping views of the singers and long stretches of beautiful music, punctuated by interviews with the seminarians. Throughout the film, the seminarians talk about their love for music, and Gregorian chant specifically. 

The seminary, located in Wigratzbad, Germany, boasts seminarians from nearly 20 nations. Among the nine singers on the album, there are six nations represented, with the average age being 25. 

The seminarians recorded the album under the direction of Christopher Alder, a Grammy Award-winning classical music producer and Christian Weigl, a Grammy Award-winning engineer. 

The film highlights the importance of the seminarians being “convinced by, and devoted to the religious texts that they’re singing.” The singers stress that they are meditating on the sacred texts and hymns while singing.