Churches

The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of San Luigi

TSL ecclesiastical armshe ecclesiastical jurisdiction of San Luigi was in full communion with the Catholic Church from 1883 until 1899 and 1925 to 1929. Between 1899 and 1925, and 1929 to the present day, it has been fully independent and autonomous. Throughout its latter history it has served as a demonstration of the unity of faith that is held between the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican churches, with elements of all three traditions being held in balance by the Prince-Abbots and latterly also Archbishops of San Luigi.

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The Catholicate of the West

CatholicateThe Catholicate of the West came into being as a union of the smaller sacramental churches in the United Kingdom in 1944 calling on the model of the nineteenth-century Catholic Apostolic Church (sometimes called “Irvingites”). It was initiated following the 1943 Council of London, which had been convened to discuss the response to the Syrian Orthodox Church repudiation of the Western successors of Prince-Abbot Joseph III. The Council concluded that the then-Syrian Patriarch should be deposed for schism and elected its own candidate in his place, who was designated as the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Ancient Orthodox Catholic Church. The resulting movement, embracing the Ancient Orthodox Catholic Church and the Catholicate of the West, became the only indigenous representation of true Western Orthodoxy in Britain at that time.

The Catholicate under the leadership of Maran Mar Georgius (Hugh George de Willmott Newman) pursued a mission as an ecumenical federation of autonomous church bodies, achieving a wide international membership by the late 1940s. In 1950, it was incorporated in India. In 1953, Mar Georgius and several other members of clergy left the Catholicate, which continued to exist via its American representation. In 1977, the Catholicate was formally merged with the Apostolic Episcopal Church, and in 2015, the Prince-Abbot of San Luigi became the primate of the Apostolic Episcopal Church and the Catholicate of the West.

Today, the Catholicate of the West is the federative ecumenical body under which the various churches and religious orders of the Abbey-Principality are organized.

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