Following the sudden and unexpected death of Dom Klaus Schlapps, OPR, OA, Duke of Saih Nasra in the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi, in January 2013, a number of changes have taken place.
It has become clear that, although it has been wished that amicable relations should continue with the Constitutional Jurisdictions of Carpathia of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus and the Commandery of Carpathia of the Orthodox Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem, some degree of independent re-organization is necessary in order to allow the work that Dom Klaus and the Prince-Abbot had planned together during their close collaboration to continue.
A committee of the Supreme Council of the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi was mandated by the Prince-Abbot to examine the situation and establish what the response to it should be. In August 2013, the committee concluded that it should petition the Prince-Abbot to exercise his right as a fons honorum to erect autonomous and extraterritorial Protectorates of San Luigi for both Orders. On 20 August, the Prince-Abbot duly issued Proclamations establishing each Protectorate as an ecumenical and extraterritorial Christian ecclesiastical community under the aegis of the Abbey-Principality of San Luigi. These developments represent a return to each Order’s origins as a body under religious governance.
While they share a common history with other institutions representing the Orders of St John and St Lazarus and are open to the possibilities of collaboration with them, the Protectorates have no official relationship with any other Johannite or Lazarite organization or Order at present. Their charitable work will be represented by the San Luigi Orders Charitable Trust, whose objects include the relief of poverty, sickness and distress. The distinctive ecclesiastical character of the Protectorates means that they are especially devoted to the support of the work of all Johannites and Lazarites worldwide through prayer.