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More Trouble for TLM, Institute of Christ the King in La Crosse
Michael J. Matt POSTED:8/5/13
Editor, The Remnant  



The following letter was reportedly distributed and read at the Mass offered by The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at St. Mary's Ridge near Cashton, WI.  There are some perplexing aspects to this letter that leave us concerned.  First, there is no signature on the letter.  Why not?

Second, the priest mentioned, Father Klos, has been the priest of the Novus Ordo parish (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, St. Mary's Ridge, WI) which shares the church with the Latin Mass Apostolate for several years. We are told that he does not know how to say the Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and has not participated in any of the Latin Mass Apostolate functions thus far.

The then-bishop of La Crosse, Raymond Cardinal Burke, invited the Institute of Christ the King to take up residence in the old convent at St. Mary's Ridge in 1996 thus establishing the Institute in the United States. So, why this sudden move to hand it over to diocesan priests not known to be particularly favorable to the old Mass?  

At this posting we have left a telephone request with the Institute’s offices in Cashton, WI, asking for further information and confirmation.  In the meantime, let us hope and pray that this development has nothing to do with a much feared and widely predicted crackdown on the Traditional Latin Mass in general under the reign of Pope Francis …MJM

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Nearly 20 years ago, at the invitation of (then) Bishop Raymond L. Burke, members of the Institute of

Christ the King, Sovereign Priest took up residence in the former convent at St. Mary's Ridge as their North American headquarters. These were the days following Blessed Pope John Paul's permission for priests, with the permission of the local bishop, to offer the Mass according to the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII for those people who desired to worship according to this venerable form.

Eventually Mass was offered to the public on St. Mary's Ridge in this form. And then, four years ago, the small community at St. Mary's Ridge was given their own resident vicar.

In the meantime Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI expanded Blessed Pope John Paul's permission for priests to offer the "Extraordinary Form" without specifically seeking the permission of their bishop in order to meet the needs and desires of the communities to which they have been sent. He even expressed the desire that all of those studying for the priesthood should be trained so as to be able to function with equal comfort in both forms.

More and more diocesan seminarians and even already ordained priests have taken up the call of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to learn to offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. As a result, Bishop Callahan has determined that the time has come for the Extraordinary Form community of St. Mary's ridge be served by the local pastor. Fr. Klos will begin meeting with community members at the beginning of September so that the catechetical year and planning for the year can begin in a timely manner. Canon

Gardner's last Mass will be Sunday, September 29.

Bishop Callahan appreciates the efforts of Msgr. Schmitz, Canon Gardner and the other canons of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest and looks forward to their continued service and collaboration in the Diocese of La Crosse, especially through their service at St. Mary's Oratory in Wausau, WI. He is also grateful to Fr. Klos, the pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary- St. Mary's Ridge, for his willingness to undertake shepherding those Catholics attending Mass at St. Mary's Ridge who have a devotion to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.

Over the past two years over 70 priests have been moved as Bishop Callahan and the Diocesan Personnel Council have executed the Diocesan Pastoral Plan in order to best meet the needs of the Catholic population of the Diocese of La Crosse. This is one more movement in that effort. All members of Christ's Body, the Church, are asked to continue in their prayers, support, and encouragement for Bishop Callahan and our priests, diocesan and religious, native and international, who continue to faithfully serve the people of this diocese in the person of Christ, Head of his Body, the Church, and Sovereign High Priest.

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