(LifeSiteNews) — The Shrine of Christ the King, run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) in Chicago, confirmed on Sunday that the public Masses and confessions of the priests of the ICKSP have been canceled. An official sign from the Institute was posted at different locations, saying: “As of August 1, the celebration of public Masses is suspended. Confession times are discontinued. The Chapel remains open for prayer.”
With it, LifeSite’s July 18 report has been confirmed. The report gave the background of this suspension, based on the insider knowledge of Keith Armato, a prominent Chicago Catholic layman involved with the Institute.
Armato, who had been able to read the letter of Cardinal Cupich announcing the suspension of the ICKSP priests as of August 1, explained to LifeSite at the time that the reason for this suspension is that the Institute could not, in their conscience, sign a document presented to them by Cupich.
In that document, which contains several points, the ICKSP priests were asked to sign that the Novus Ordo Mass is the only true expression of the Roman rite, thereby rejecting the traditional Roman rite. Among other things, the priests were also asked to accept that they would have to ask the archbishop for permission to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass, and that this permission would be limited to two years and could be revoked at any given time. Armato had told LifeSite that the Institute could not sign this document because it goes “against their charism.”
The Institute’s Shrine is dedicated to the traditional Roman rite and has served some 400-500 faithful each Sunday who will now be deprived of the traditional Mass and sacraments. The Institute is located on the South Side of Chicago, therefore serving a diverse community with different groups and some of them quite poor. They will now be deprived of much of the pastoral care of the Institute’s priests.
As LifeSite learned, aside from the signs posted at different locations of the Institute, the priests themselves did not speak about the matter this Sunday at Mass. They merely asked for prayers. Many observers do not understand their silence, also in light of the fact that many parishioners have heavily donated to them for the restoration of their church in Chicago that had caught fire a few years back and is in need of restoration.
After Mass, the Institute conducted yesterday a Eucharistic procession. People attending were seen weeping.
Jeremy Dannebohm, a publisher at Memorare Media, posted on Facebook a photo of the Eucharistic procession and stated:
A sobering image. Following a Eucharistic Procession, the faithful of the Shrine of Christ the King prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary in the Presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the entrance to their place of spiritual refuge, which has been shuttered by the Archdiocese of Chicago. As I reflect on this image, I’m reminded of the words of St. John Chrysostom who said, ‘I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.’
Matt Gaspers, the managing editor of Catholic Family News, posted a challenge on Twitter, calling Cardinal Cupich out for letting pro-LGBT events take place in his churches while he suspends the ICKSP. He asked Cupich: “Why do you allow ‘married’ homosexuals to give a ‘Father’s Day reflection’ at @oldstpats and @soulplay18 (a layman) to preach at Holy Family, yet you persecute faithful priests devoted to the traditional Mass and sacraments (@ICKSP)?”
Why do you allow “married” homosexuals to give a “Father’s Day reflection” at @oldstpats and @soulplay18 (a layman) to preach at Holy Family, yet you persecute faithful priests devoted to the traditional Mass and sacraments (@ICKSP)?
“Have you no fear of God…?” (Luke 23:40)
— Matt Gaspers (@MattGaspers) July 31, 2022
On social media, Catholics are reacting strongly to this suppression of the ICKSP, with some calling out Cupich, while others criticized the ICKSP for not fighting back enough. Some call upon the ICKSP to follow Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s example who went into disobedience for the sake of preserving the traditional Roman rite and the Church’s traditional teachings. Others – such as Dr. Peter Kwasniewski – show more sympathy with the current situation of the ICKSP, which could be suppressed altogether as an order, should they go into a state of disobedience.
It is clear that the final responsibility for this situation in Chicago lies in the hands of Pope Francis who, since July of 2021, has declared war on the traditional Roman rite. By publishing his document Traditionis Custodes which declares that “liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II [i.e. the Novus Ordo Mass], in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite,” Francis thereby cancelled the Sacraments of the ancient rite that date back centuries.
Not only is the Institute of Christ the King being canceled in Chicago, many other diocesan parishes are currently being deprived of the traditional Latin Mass and the traditional Sacraments.
LifeSite just reported on the news that Bishop Michael Burbidge, of the Diocese of Arlington, has now reduced the places for traditional Masses from 21 to 8 locations, with some of the remaining Masses being pushed out of parish churches into gyms and other halls. This restriction goes into effect on September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady.
As with the ICKSP, diocesan faithful are indignant about the treatment they are receiving from the Catholic Church who, under the current pontificate, so often speaks of mercy and against rigidity.
LifeSite has reached out to the Archdiocese of Chicago, asking for comment. We shall update this report should we hear back from them.