Decree erecting the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter

[Original: Latin]

Prot. No.234/88


This Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, in virtue of the special faculties granted to it by the Sovereign Pontiff, and graciously accepting the petition of the Reverend Father Josef Bisig, by this selfsame Decree erects the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a clerical society of Apostolic Life with Pontifical Right, according to the prescribed norms of Canon Law and with all the legal consequences involved. This same Fraternity of St. Peter proposes the sanctification of priests through the exercise of the pastoral ministry, particularly in conforming its life to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and by observing the liturgical and disciplinary traditions invoked by the Roman Pontiff in the Apostolic Letter Ecclesia Dei of 2 July 1988, given “Motu Proprio“.

This erection brings with it the rights enumerated in Canon 611. The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is regulated by the norms of the Code of Canon Law, the prescriptions of this Decree, its own Constitutions and other appropriate laws.

The members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, as well as other priests who are guests in houses of the Fraternity or who exercise the sacred ministry in their churches, are conceded the use of the liturgical books in force in 1962.

In order that the necessary unity of the Church might be better fostered, the members of the priestly Fraternity of St. Peter are with particular diligence to seek communion with the bishop and diocesan priests according to Canons 679-83. In the exercise of the pastoral ministry the prescriptions of the law are to be observed, particularly in what concerns the valid and licit celebration of the Sacraments of Penance and Marriage, as well as what is laid down in canon 535 concerning the transcription of these events in the parish registers.

The constitutions of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, having been accepted by this Pontifical Commission, are approved for three years. The Reverend Father Joseph Bisig is named Superior General of the same Fraternity, equally for three years.

Bearing in mind what is set out in this decree, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is under the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff as transmitted to this Pontifical Commission for all that concerns it, until otherwise provided for.

The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, in an audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 18 October 1988, ratified and ordered the publication of this decree, erecting the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a Society of Apostolic Life and approving its constitutions ad experimentum.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given at Rome, from the seat of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, this 18th day of October in the year 1988.