Society of St. Peter

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Coat of arms of the Society of St. Peter

The Brotherhood of Saint Peter ( Latin : Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri FSSP) is a Catholic society of apostolic life of clerics under papal law . It takes a Catholic-traditionalist point of view and was founded in 1988 as a reaction to the unauthorized episcopal ordinations of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre . Founding members were priests of the priestly brotherhood of St. Pius X, founded by Lefebvre . The German district of the brotherhood has its seat in Wigratzbad in the district of Lindau (Lake Constance) in Western Allgäu .


The Society of St. Peter was founded on July 18, 1988 and established by Pope John Paul II on October 18, 1988 as a clerical society of apostolic life under papal law.

The founders were members of the Pius Brotherhood, who did not want to support the unauthorized episcopal ordinations by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. By choosing the name they expressed their special attachment to the papacy. Founding members included Fathers Josef Bisig, Patrick du Fay de Choisinet, Denis Coiffet, Gabriel Baumann, Engelbert Recktenwald and Klaus Gorges as well as Walthard Zimmer, Martin Lugmayr, Raymund Noll, Bernward Deneke, Dominic Schubert, Alexander Leonhart, Peter Miksch, Thomas Hauth and Dietmar Aust. The first General Superior was Josef Bisig from 1988 to 2000. His successors were Arnauld Devillers (until 2006) and John Berg (until 2018). The current superior general is Fr. Andrzej Komorowski.

In 2000 there was a dispute over direction, whereupon the superior general Fr Arnauld Devillers was not elected by the chapter, but was appointed by the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos . At the same time it was determined that no member of the brotherhood should be forbidden from celebrating Holy Mass in the proper form, which was a point of contention.


Generalate of the Community

  • Superior General: Fr Andrzej Komorowski (Poland)
  • Assistants: P. Daniel Geddes (USA), P. Arnaud Evrat (France), P. Stefan Reiner (Germany)
  • Councilors: Fr. Paul Giard (France), Fr. William Lawrence (USA)
  • Secretary General: Fr Arnaud Evrat (France)
  • General Economist: P. Stefan Reiner (Germany)
Wigratzbad place of prayer (Lindau district)

Districts and Regions

  • District upper German-speaking area: P. Bernhard Gerstle
  • District Superior France: Fr. Benoît Paul-Joseph
  • District Superior North America: Fr. Michael Stinson
  • Head of the “Southern Cross” region: Fr. Christopher Blust
  • Rain of the Saint Petrus Seminary, Wigratzbad, Europe: Fr. Vincent Ribeton (France)
  • Rain of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary , Denton , America: Fr. Josef Bisig (Switzerland)


According to its own information, the community has 437 members, including 287 priests, 21 deacons and 129 seminarians in 129 dioceses in 13 countries on four continents (as of November 2017). 28 nationalities are represented. The average age is 38 years.


As a Society of Priests, the FSSP only accepts priests (or seminarians) as members. A Confraternity has existed for lay people close to the Society since 2007 . Its members have no financial, but only spiritual obligations (daily prayer in the opinion of the Society, annual foundation of a Mass intention ). According to its own information, the Confraternity has 5859 members (as of November 2017).


Similar to the Society of St. Pius X. , the Society of St. Peter, recognized by Rome, takes a traditionalist standpoint, but not in the same form. The Second Vatican Council is recognized without reservation, the Roman rite renewed in the liturgical reform in its version of 1970 is accepted and the criticism, in the tradition of Lefebvre , of currents viewed by members of the brotherhood as modernist is weakened to such an extent that there is no confrontation with Rome. An important concern of the brotherhood is the celebration of the Holy Mass in the so-called extraordinary form in Latin according to the ordinance of the Missale Romanum from 1962.

Pastoral care

The priests of the brotherhood have been trained in Wigratzbad (Bavaria) since the founding of the brotherhood and since 1994 in Denton ( Nebraska ), the generalate of the brotherhood is located in Freiburg (Switzerland) . There are no bishops in the brotherhood; ordinations are carried out by bishops who are close to the brotherhood. The Brotherhood is mainly active in Europe and the United States, but also in Australia, Benin, Canada, Colombia, Nigeria. In Germany, in addition to Wigratzbad, she is also active in Augsburg, Bad Wörishofen, Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen, Munich, Neckarsulm, Cologne, Recklinghausen, Stuttgart, Rosenheim and Türkheim. With St. Petrus Canisius in Saarlouis , the brotherhood acquired its first own church in Germany in 2012. There are four branches in Austria (Vienna, Innsbruck, Linz and Salzburg), as well as in Switzerland (Rotkreuz, St. Pelagiberg, Thalwil and Zurich). In Rome in 2008 she was given the personal parish of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini as an example of the implementation of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum . The Fellowship has 40 personal parishes worldwide.


  • Roland Scheulen: The legal status of the Priestly Society “St. Peter". A critical examination against the background of the current structure and discipline of the Latin Church. Ludgerus, Essen, 2001, ISBN 3-87497-233-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Déclaration d'intention des fondateurs. Society of St. Peter, July 2, 1988, accessed October 19, 2018 (French).
  2. a b Statistical information. Society of St. Peter, November 1, 2017, accessed October 18, 2018 .