Rorate Caeli

Ordinations for the Institute of Christ the King

Perepiscopus notes that for this year, the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest will have four new priests (three Frenchmen and one Italian), who will be ordained by H.E. Raymond Cardinal Burke, who is singularly close to the Institute. (In comparison, the ICRSS had three new priests in 2010 and five in 2009.)

An appeal for financial assistance for the ICRSS seminary that has been published in the name of the four ordinands notes that the Institute now has 80 seminarians, up from around 30 when the ordinands first entered the Gricigliano seminary (presumably during the time before Summorum Pontificum). It also reports that a total 15 seminarians will receive major orders this year. (I believe that this refers to the total number of ICRSS members who will be ordained to the subdiaconate, diaconate and priesthood. However, no break-down of that number is given.)


  1. \\It also reports that a total 15 seminarians will receive major orders (subdiaconate-diaconate-priesthood) this year. \\

    Did not beloved Pius XII declare the sub-diaconate to be a minor order.

  2. Anonymous12:16 AM

    Deo Gratias! I was under the impression that the ICK was much bigger. I figured that they were almost the same size as the FSSP but they are barely half the size. I guess they just do a great job marketing.

  3. Jack:

    No, he did not.

  4. Andre7:01 AM

    There will be 9 sub-diaconal ordinations, 2 diaconal ordinations, and 4 priestly ordinations.

  5. Anonymous10:42 AM

    Anon. 0.16:

    No, the I.C.R. has, I'm guessing, about about 70 priests but also 80 seminarists. The F.S.S.P. has about 235 priests and 150 seminarists; the S.S.P.X, 535 priests but only about 150 seminarist.

    The I.C.R. has alwasys been smaller and was approved later (1993). By the way, the abbreviations customarily follow the Latin (cf. O.C.D., not 'O.D.C.') (so there is no 'I.C.K.') and abbreviations themselves are normally abbreviated if they exceed four letters, so it's I.C.R. and not 'I.C.R.S.S.'.


  6. Jack,

    Eugenio declared the subdiaconate not to be a sacrament (diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy are sacraments and the traditio instrumentorum is not the form of Holy Orders despite the then-presumed-to-be-infallible Decree to the Armenians). One of the few things his reign left unscathed was the Roman distinction between the four minor and three major orders.


  7. Eugenio declared the subdiaconate not to be a sacrament

    When and where did Pope Pius XII declare that?

    (diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy are sacraments and the traditio instrumentorum is not the form of Holy Orders despite the then-presumed-to-be-infallible Decree to the Armenians).

    You're obviously referring here to Pius XII's Sacramentum Ordinis. However, in that Apostolic Constitution he does not mention the subdiaconate at all. He doesn't say it is a sacrament, he doesn't say it isn't a sacrament. Rather, he discusses the three major orders of deacon, priest, and bishop, without ever bringing up the subject of ordination to the major order of subdeacon. So, if he declared that ordination to the subdiaconate is not a sacrament, when and where did he do so?

    One of the few things his reign left unscathed was the Roman distinction between the four minor and three major orders.

    Traditionally there are four minor orders (porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte) and four major orders (subdeacon, deacon, priest, and bishop).

  8. Dear Jordanes,

    Yes, indeed, I am talking about S.O. I concede that S.O. does not mention the subdiaconate explicitly. However, in previous times, people held that (i) the subdiaconate and minor orders *were* sacramental and that (ii) the episcopate was not (hence, we say consecration of a bishop as opposed to ordination). Note, eminent theologians have even denied that even the diaconate is a sacrament (e.g., Cajetan, Durandus) whilst most medieval theologians were off the opinion that all seven (four minor; three major) were sacraments

    Certainly one of the purposes of S.O. was to clear this up once and for all. By emphasizing the sacramentality of the diaconate, priesthood, and episcopacy in S.O., Papa Pacelli was explicitly denying (ii) and implicitly (i). Documents cannot be read in isolation!

    As for the minor orders, again, traditionally there are seven: four minor and three major with the episcopacy being included within the priesthood (indeed, as the fullness of the priesthood).

    For references on both of these, see:
    [1] The Catechism of the Council of Trent.
    [2] The 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia ( and in particular the articles on Holy Orders; Minor Orders; and Subdeacon.

  9. Anonymous11:45 PM

    PART I

    Dear Ben,

    The idea that only the Deaconate,Prebyterate, and the episcopacy are sacramental is really an idea that has only become the prevailing opinion amongst Theologians relatively recently.

    It is true to say that people of former times did regard the reception of the minor orders as a Sacrament. Indeed, this was the prevailing opinion until relatively recently, and it is the opinion supported by Thomas Aquinas in his Compendium Summa Theologica.

    The Council of Trent lists all of the Orders that were part of Holy Orders in Session 23, and lists the minor orders as being among the orders. Indeed, it is probable that the reason that the Church always forbade the repetition of receiving the minor orders, was precisely because Council of Trent viewed them as Sacraments that could not be repeated without committing a sacrilege. (Some modern scholars dispute this and claim that the ordination to the minor orders ordinations were merely Sacramentals rather than Sacraments--as the Catholic Encyclopedia article that you mention claims--but these scholars do not provide any evidence or argument as to why this should be the case.) Especially, since their is grave evidence to the contrary.

    In any case, you noted that many Theologians argued in the past that the episcopacy was not sacramental but the minor orders were. It is true that many Theologians speculated on whether the episcopacy was sacramental or not, but Trent clarified things when it defined the Seven Holy Orders which had existed "from the very beginning of the church."

    The council listed Seven Orders. The Episcopacy was not one of the Seven Holy Orders listed at the Council. However, this is because the council used the word "Sacerdotes". This Latin word includes both presbyters and bishops and emphasizes the role of offering sacrifice. The council wanted very much to counter protestant heresies that denied that the mass was a true sacrifice.

    The council preferred to keep the number of listed orders at Seven, but this did not mean that the episcopacy was not sacramental. In fact, later on in the decree it is made clear that a bishop is a "grade" instituted "by divine ordination" which is greater than a presbyter--a fact which indicates a higher sacramental order though perhaps this was arguably not clearly stated. Any ambiguity of this fact, however, is definitively resolved in Pius XII's Sacramentum Ordinis.

    However, Sacramentum Ordinis doesn't touch on the minor orders at all, but Trent does. Trent argued that the orders of the minor orders which were inferior to the bishops and presbyters were also instituted by "divine ordination." Though, I suppose that one could argue that the word "ministers' in Canon V refers to only "Deacons, but this seems very improbable considering the tenor of the entire document that preceded the canon, and the fact that the word "ministers" is plural. It is seems clearly to reference all of the other orders that are previously discussed in the decree. (This idea is bolstered by the fact, that the orders below the priesthood are repeatedly called both "orders" and "ministers" throughout the decree.) In any case, just for convenience, here is the text of Trent, Session 23, Canon V:

    CANON V.--If any one saith, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy institued by divine ordination, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.

  10. Anonymous11:46 PM

    PART 2

    Also, Trent lists the Orders as follows

    Major Orders
    1)Priests (A short recap: The word for priest in the decree is "Sacerdotes" which includes bishops and presbyters. However it is still arguable from the decree that the episcopacy is a separate order from the presbyterate. Trent was probably just emphasizing the sacrificial role of the minister to protect the doctrine of the mass.)

    Minor Orders

    On a related note, the Council of Florence's Decree of Union with the Armenians (Exultate Deo) also discusses the matter and form of the sacrament of Order for "subdeacons" and the "other orders" which makes it clear that the Council thought that the minor orders were sacraments not merely sacramentals. (However, it must also be noted that this decree called the matter and form of the sacrament the Traditio Instrumentorum, which was corrected by Sacramentum Ordinis. Nevertheless, I do not mention this decree to discuss the matter and form of the sacraments but only to point out that the Council considered the minor orders Sacraments).

    By the way, Sacramentum Ordinum refers to the matter and form for the "Order" of the episcopacy which in my opinion makes it absolutely clear that it must be dogmatically speaking a sacrament.

    Also, I would argue that the use of the word "consecration" instead of "ordination" for a bishop was done not because people viewed episcopal consecration as non-sacramental, but rather because the word "consecrate" is trying to underpin the idea that the bishop is receiving the fullness of the Sacrament of Order.

    [1]Coucnil of Trent, Session 23
    [2]Sacramentum Ordinis
    [3]Compendium Summa Theologica
    [4]Council of Florence, Decree for Union with the Armenians (Exultate Deo, 1439)




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