Difference between FSSP and ICK

What is the difference between the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and the Institute of Christ the King? Are there any subtle differences? Basically I know they both exist primarily to serve traditionalist Catholics (like myself) by offering the classical Roman Rite and the older forms of the other six Sacraments.

Others might have more details, but I believe that whereas FSSP priests will receive solo assignments for parish work the ICRSS is more of a stickler upon having all its priests in some sort of community, no matter how small.

Excerpt from fssp.org/en/presentation.htm

The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical right, that is, a community of Roman Catholic priests who do not take religious vows, but who work together for a common mission in the world. The mission of the Fraternity is two-fold: first, the formation and sanctification of priests in the cadre of the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite, and secondly, the pastoral deployment of the priests in the service of the Church.

Excerpt from institute-christ-king.org/getToKnow.html

Thirty-five houses in ten countries, fifty priests, and over sixty seminarians in fifteen years are perhaps sufficient proof that the Institute is on the right path within the Church. It is not our intent to grow quickly and to become mushroom-like, that is big and weak, but to consolidate our Institute by a careful selection of possible candidates and by an always-growing emphasis on a solid community life according to our own spirituality. We do not press our candidates into a typical uniformity of mind and expression, but again we follow St. Francis de Sales who commands us “to be good at what we are,” which means that through the collaboration with the grace of God, everyone has to develop the different talents and gifts according to the will of the Lord and to eliminate from his character those traits that are opposed to the divine teachings. It is a combat for life but a fraternal community, the participation in the mysteries of the liturgy, and the continuous study of the marvelous tradition of the Church as reflected by Scripture and the Magesterium, which are the appropriate instruments that give us the strength never to cease in this battle but to look forward to it every day with renewed joy and confidence.

*** a community of Roman Catholic priests who do not take religious vows***

I am confused and maybe someone can help me here. I am not trying to be a smart aleck…but how can one be a priest ***without ***taking religious vows? I guess I had not heard of that before. Thanks for any info…


I think you are confusing ordination (priest, deacon) and religious vows (brother, nun)

All priests are ordained. However, some priests are also in religious orders such the franciscans, jesuits, etc. and take the vows of that order in addition to being ordained.

The religious vows mentioned are not referring to Holy Orders, but instead to the vows of Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and in the case of Benedictine orders, Stability and Conversion

Does anyone know do FSSP and ICK priests get on that well?? I have noticed an FSSP speaking about the ICK and the way they use lace, and the ‘smells and bells’??Didn’t seam to be using a positive tone.

I think they both use lace and ‘smells and bells’. But I could be wrong.

I have come across a couple of FSSP people who don’t seem to like the Institute, but I’m sure that’s not a general policy.

I hope to join the Institute as a seminarian next year, but I like the Fraternity, just I’m more attracted to the Institute, especially their spirituality.

And as for the ‘bells and smells’ - isn’t that part of the beautiful traditional rite of mass?

They both wear lace, and it’s very beautiful.

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Yes, but some FSSP seem to think ICRSS focus too much on lace, vestments etc.,

I think the lacy vestments are very beautiful and add to the atmosphere of reverence, and totally fit with the surroundings and the elements of the TLM. I’m sure the ICRSS priests are focussed on the sacred mysteries, and nothing else. If lacy vestments are their tradition, so be it.

Another difference between the FSSP and the ICRSS (Institutum Christi Regis Summi Sacerdotis) is the language of seminary formation.

FSSP has 2 seminaries, one in Denton, USA, Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary and the other in Wigratzbad, Germany, the International Seminary of St. Peter. Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary is for those who speak English while the International Seminary of St. Peter is for German and French speakers.

On the other hand the ICRSS has its seminary in Gricigliano, Italy where the formation is in French.

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