The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter is a Society of Apostolic Life. The Church’s Code of Canon Law defines a Society of Apostolic Life in this way: “Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members, without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a life in common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for the perfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions” (Can. 731).
Thus, members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter do not take religious vows. However, at the priest’s ordination, he solemnly promises to obey his Ordinary, or Ecclesiastical Superior. For the FSSP priest this means he must obey his FSSP Superior in matters regarding the internal life and discipline of the Fraternity – and the Diocesan Bishop in other matters regarding the apostolate where he is assigned. Each member incardinated in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter also makes a solemn obligation to preserve perpetual celibacy, the same as other priests in the Latin Rite of the Church. In addition, each member must strive to practice the spirit of poverty according to the Constitutions. Thus, the priest’s salary is quite modest and he strives to live simply, detached from worldly comforts and possessions.