29 January 2016

Apostolic Visitation Concluded: Vatican Definitively Approves Constitutions of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

Good news in any form is welcome these days; this is very good news indeed.  In light of the treatment of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate under this Pontificate, some commentators have been sensing impending doom in the recent apostolic visitations of the Institute and of the Fraternity of St. Peter. Now, at least in the case of the Institute, we can see that it has ended well.

Concluding its visitation of the Institute five years after its elevation to a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right, Rome has given definitive approval to the constitutions of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. The Holy Father and all who had a hand in this deserve thanks for this just outcome.

There are many reasons to be grateful to God for such an outcome.  I would like to focus on just my own personal views here.  First, in this climate, where all of the traditional expressions of faith and praxis are in such disfavor by those at the highest levels, the Vatican has given its stamp of approval to an Institute whose very essence is the accomplishment of the ancient liturgical prayer of the Church, in all its beauty and majesty. Even the most cynical among us must acknowledge that at least some outlet for the traditional liturgy might escape the scythe of banality.

Second, like the FFI, the Institute has been favored by the assistance of His Eminence, Cardinal Burke in a public way.  Any notion of fallout to the Institute for such an association appears to have been unfounded. I am glad for this, too.

Third, the manner in which the Institute was founded, and the way it conducts its affairs, must also be considered a cause for the acceptance it receives here.  Monsignor Gilles Wach and Canon Phillipe Mora, proteges of the great Cardinal Siri, founded the Institute in 1990 as a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right in Gabon, Africa, where it still has an apostolate.  Later, the Institute established its seminary in Gricigliano, Italy, on land donated by the Martelli family, and was under the authority of the Archbishop of Florence.  Finally, in 2008, the Papal decree Saeculorum Rex elevated the Institute to a Society of Pontifical Right. 

Throughout, the Institute has gone about its business for the salvation of souls without backing down, yes, but also without picking unnecessary fights.  Hence, the most orthodox and (dare I say it) the most heterodox bishops have invited them into their dioceses, knowing that the Institute would do its job without unnecessary drama. The Institute, for better or worse, was founded two years after the drama surrounding the SSPX episcopal consecrations and their fallout.  As such, it has not been tied to the event-- perhaps in this way it has escaped "blame" from those who despise the SSPX, but then again those who admire the SSPX and FSSP have not given it the "credit" either.  It has made its own way.

There are those who fault the Institute for this, but I disagree-- and if you have read this blog for seven seconds you know I am one who would gladly pick unnecessary fights on all sorts of subjects. The practice of humility the Institute has so assiduously followed (but, timman, what about their fancy clothes?)--yes, I said humility-- has served it well. It has been proven wise. Now, we all sense that a day may soon come where everyone will make very public stands on matters of the gravest import for the Church and our own souls. Some think the Institute will fold on that day.  I don't. Those of us blessed enough to be under the spiritual care of the Institute can attest to their good work and steadfast faith, accomplished with great charity.

Finally, we should acknowledge the assistance of heaven in all of this.  The Institute, dedicated to Christ the King and Eternal High Priest, consecrated daily to Mary the Immaculate Conception, and under the patronage of Saints Francis de Sales, Thomas Aquinas, Benedict, and Therese of Lisieux, has been protected from disaster throughout its 26 years.  For a still relatively small society, it has done much good.

May the Institute continue its mission, working out the truth in charity, for the salvation of souls.  Deo gratis!


Daily Consecration of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest to the Blessed Virgin Mary  

In the presence of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and with heaven and earth as our witness, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet, O Mary, Our Lady.  

We acknowledge Thee as our Mother, as the Immaculate Conception, living tabernacle of the Divinity, as Queen of angels and of men, as Mother of the Church and of the Catholic priesthood, and as refuge of the afflicted. That is why, small and weak that we are, we wish to consecrate to Thee our Institute, our families, our persons, our works, our future, all that pertains to us and is in us, and which God, in His immeasurable goodness, has entrusted to us for our good use.

We also consecrate to Thee the value of our good actions,
past, present, and future, leaving to Thee the entire and full right of disposing of us and all that belongs to us. Mary, be our Mother; sanctify us, purify us, correct us, guide us, pray for us and protect us.

Help us to perfectly fulfill the duties of our state of life. Extinguish in us all self-love, which prevents Thy Divine Son, King and Sovereign Priest, from reigning in and around us. 

Cover abundantly with thy maternal protection all the parishes, chapels, schools, works and missions entrusted to the Institute, and mayest Thou forever impede the devil from reigning, in any manner, in this Institute which desires to be entirely Thine for the greater glory of God, the exaltation of our Mother the Holy Catholic Church, and for the conversion of sinners. Amen.


Elizabeth R said...

Semper Deo gratias et Mariae

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful news! My sister-in-law is a second grade teacher at a nominally catholic school and they asked each teacher to chose a charity or cause as a service project for each class. My sister-in-law asked me for suggestions and I recommended the Institutes Adopt-A-Seminarian program. My sister-in-law said the idea was very well received and now her class has started fundraising to donate. She is hoping that whatever seminarian is adopted will be able to correspond with her class through out the year. It makes me very grateful that these children will be helping and at the same time introduced to the Beauty and Power of the Catholic Faith.

Take care and God bless!

Jane Chantal said...

I was so delighted when this was announced at the Log Church last Sunday. What a cause for rejoicing and thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

From someone 'condemned' for being on the 'wrong side,' and trust me, the Timman condemns everything not fitting into his tiny world, I applaud this.
The Catholic church is catholic indeed. It is a big tent that, like Heaven itself, can accept most all practices and spiritualities. Wherever people are gathered in God's name, He is there, whether we humans approve or not.
Congratulations - this is indeed good news.

thetimman said...

TIYS, thanks, your more than kindness puts me to shame. The model of graciousness.

Anonymous said...

Dear Timman,

It seems like this good news could have been well-reported in its entirety without reference to the SSPX or any "unnecessary drama" in its history. After all, the Institute is not, as you say, tied to those events, and it has "made its own way."

That you laud the virtues of the Institute and its clergy is expected. That you do so in such a way that the SSPX and its history should be seen in the opposite light, seems unnecessary at best.


thetimman said...


I'm glad you wrote, because I meant no negative sentiment towards the SSPX at all. I didn't say who or what caused the "drama" subsequent to the consecrations. I just thought the Institute's non-involvement with it might be a reason why it has grown and become accepted the way it has. I'm certainly not anti-SSPX.

God bless.