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CHICAGO (ChurchMilitant.com) - An organization of priests dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass can no longer offer public Mass in the Windy City.
Chicago's Cdl. Blase Cupich forbade the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest from fulfilling its mission in the archdiocese.
A sign posted on the grounds of Christ the King Shrine in Chicago reads, "As of Aug. 1, the celebration of public Masses is suspended. Confession times are discontinued. The chapel remains open for prayer."
Cardinal Cupich has forbidden the Institute of Christ the King to operate in Chicago (see image). This is very sad; Pope B16 said "it behooves ALL of us" to preserve the riches of the ancient Catholic Liturgy. pic.twitter.com/rGkVC2XupF— Watershed Staff (@ccwatershed) July 31, 2022
The ICKSP is a society of apostolic life of pontifical right founded in 1990.
The institute's website explains the traditional rite is a constituent element of its existence:
Recognizing the importance of a deep harmony between faith, liturgy, life and the power of beauty in attracting the human senses to the things above, an integral part of the institute's charism is the use of the Traditional Latin Liturgy of 1962 for the holy sacrifice of the Mass and the other sacraments.
Cupich's decision against the ICKSP comes on the heels of Pope Francis' apostolic letter issued motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, which marked its one-year anniversary in July.
In the motu proprio, the pontiff placed restrictions on the celebration of the traditional rite of the Church, ruling that priests can only do the TLM with explicit permission from the local bishop.
The pontiff recently doubled down on that motu proprio with another apostolic letter, Desiderio Desideravi.
Between the publication of the two apostolic letters, Cupich published a five-page policy in December 2021 to implement Traditionis Custodes, while adding some of his own restrictions. Those restrictions include the prohibition of TLM in the archdiocese on the first Sunday of every month as well as on Christmas, the Triduum, Easter and Pentecost.
Buzz among Catholics erupted weeks ago with rumors swirling about what was happening to the Chicago chapter of the ICKSP.
Blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf forewarned in mid-July:
So, effectively, since the news is out on Twitter and other places ... Cupich of Chicago has told the members of the Institute of Christ the King in Chicago, that he is effectively shutting them down as of 1 August. ... No Masses. Nothing. 31 July is their last day to function.
More recently, Fr. Zuhlsdorf noted dozens of priests pledged to pray for Cupich at Mass, "asking for graces to change his heart about the Institute of Christ the King."
Tomorrow, 1 August, SO FAR ... 67 priests have pledged to say Mass for @CardinalBCupich. We are asking for graces to change his heart about the Institute of Christ the King in the @archchicago. Please, Lord, help all these suffering people.https://t.co/gzU0tdRtSg— Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (@fatherz) August 1, 2022
Cardinal Cupich seems to be in the good graces of Pope Francis.
In June, the pontiff named Cupich a member of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cupich is also a member of the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Catholic Education.
But despite Cupich's prominent place on the current pope's totem pole, faithful Catholics remain consistently wary of the Windy City prelate.
Cupich permits rampant disregard in the archdiocese for the rubrics of the Novus Ordo. He allows everything from what can be called off-Broadway Liturgies like Fr. Michael Pfleger's at St. Sabina, and Vaudeville-like Masses such as Fr. Terry Keehan's at Holy Family, wherein the congregation is blessed with a guitar.
The cardinal himself has participated in Catholic liturgies mixed with pagan rituals. For instance, he blessed a puppet lion before Mass and allowed a Hindu "arati" during the Holy Sacrifice.
In January, attendees at the Chicago March for Life booed the cardinal during his speech. Amidst the heckling, Cupich retorted, "Now, these people won't let me talk because they're not here to respect the unborn. They're not here to respect you."
But many question Cupich's own respect for the unborn, since he peddles the "seamless garment theory" of his predecessor Cdl. Joseph Bernardin. The theory is that topics like abortion and euthanasia have a comparable moral weight to issues like immigration and unemployment.
In a 2019 survey by Complicit Clergy, Cupich was voted the worst American prelate in two categories — "trust" and "orthodoxy."
One commenter on that survey wrote, "He needs to become Catholic or resign and be laicized." Another remarked, "God loves him; may Cupich repent. Our diocese is a growing cesspool with him at the helm."