Pope Francis welcomed the Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Gilles Wach

Pope Francis welcomed the Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Gilles Wach Photo: Vatican Media

Pope’s embrace of the traditional Catholic world: he will give audience to institute that celebrates with 1962 Missal

Following the audience, it was revealed that Pope Francis invited Monsignor Wach to return for another meeting, this time with all members of the Institute and the Sisters, whom he will gladly receive in a future audience. This invitation is unusual, as the Pope has not previously received an entire institute of traditional orientation.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 06.25.2024).- On the morning of Monday, June 24, Pope Francis welcomed the Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Gilles Wach, along with Monsignor Rudolf Michael Schmitz, the Vicar General, and Canon Louis Valadier, the Provincial of France, in a private audience.

Given the Institute’s commitment to the liturgy according to the 1962 Missal, commonly referred to as the «traditional Latin Mass,» there was speculation that the meeting might address aspects of the Institute’s life or introduce new restrictions. However, the audience was actually granted in honor of Monsignor Wach’s 45th anniversary of his priestly ordination by Saint John Paul II, according to an official statement.

The Institute reported that the audience provided an opportunity to thank the Holy Father for his Apostolic Letter, Totum amoris est, dedicated to their patron saint, Saint Francis de Sales. Monsignor Wach also outlined the pastoral activities carried out worldwide by the Institute’s priests in service of the faithful. The Pope emphasized twice the importance of continuing to serve the Church according to their unique charism, fostering unity and harmony in the spirit of Saint Francis de Sales. He also expressed his appreciation for the prayers and apostolic and missionary work of the Sisters Adorers.

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Following the audience, it was revealed that Pope Francis invited Monsignor Wach to return for another meeting, this time with all members of the Institute and the Sisters, whom he will gladly receive in a future audience. This invitation is unusual, as the Pope has not previously received an entire institute of traditional orientation.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest was founded on September 1, 1990, with the appropriate canonical authorizations. Its general house and seminary are located in Gricigliano, Florence. On October 7, 2008, nearly 20 years later, the Institute was elevated to a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right by the decree Saeculorum Rex. It is a society dedicated particularly to the liturgy, following a canonical lifestyle.

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