Catholic Chivalry

Catholic Chivalry

There is no doubt that various Catholic fraternal orders, devotional societies, and pious associations partake and aspire to the glorious traditions and history of Catholic chivalry. This has led in some cases, however, to confusion. In October 2012, the Holy See, acting through its Secretariat of State, felt compelled to issue the following clarification in the regard:

“In response to frequent requests for information concerning the recognition by the Holy See of Equestrian Orders dedicated to the saints or to holy places, the Secretariat of State considers it opportune to reiterate what has already been published, namely that, other than its own Equestrian Orders (the Supreme Order of Christ, the Order of the Golden Spur, the Pian Order, the Order of Saint Gregory the Great, and the Order of Pope Saint Sylvester), the Holy See recognises and supports only the Sovereign Military Order of Malta – also known as the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta – and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. The Holy See foresees no additions or innovations in this regard.

All other orders, whether of recent origin or mediaeval foundation, are not recognised by the Holy See. Furthermore, the Holy See does not guarantee their historical or juridical legitimacy, their ends or organisational structures”


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