The Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (August 2009)|
The Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem is a federation of Protestant religious orders in Europe that claim shared inheritance of the tradition of the mediaeval military Knights Hospitaller (the Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem).
Formed in 1961 to encourage closer collaboration between its member orders in matters of common concern, the alliance comprises:
- The Johanniterorden (Balley Brandenburg des Ritterlichen Ordens Sankt Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem, or the "Bailiwick of Brandenburg of the Chivalric Order of Saint John of the Hospital at Jerusalem"), based in Germany;
- the Johanniter Orde, based in The Netherlands,
- the Johanniterorden i Sverige, based in Sweden, and
- the Venerable Order of Saint John, based in the United Kingdom,
as well as the non-German commanderies affiliated with the Balley Brandenburg:
- the Johanniter Ridderskapet i Finland, based in Finland,
- the Association des Chevaliers de St. Jean, based in France,
- the Kommende der Johanniterritter in der Schweiz, based in Switzerland, and
- the Johannita Rend Magyar Tagozata, based in Hungary.
As John Brooke-Little explained decades later, the principal impetus for the concordat of 1961 was not ecumenism or brotherhood: it was signed because none of the few legitimate orders of Saint John could effectively shield itself from the claims of the self-styled orders while the legitimate orders themselves continuously debated among themselves which of them was legitimate. This concordat led to establishment of the Alliance.
Mutually Recognised Orders of Saint John
The Protestant members of the Alliance, together with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), form the "Mutually Recognised Orders of Saint John". These Orders recognise the SMOM as the original order, with the Protestant Alliance members stemming from the same root. None of these Orders recognises any other Saint John orders (which the SMOM and Alliance members describe as "self-styled"), nor their claims to be successors of the medieval order of Saint John, nor their claimed right to use the name and symbols of that order. As the Alliance, the committee on the "Mutually Recognised Orders of Saint John" represents a collaboration between the various member Orders to protect their shared heritage. This Alliance has evolved over time to the point where co-operation between the Orders is much greater. A representative of the Johanniterorden sits on the board of the St John Eye Hospital Group.
- Convention signed in Niederweisel, Germany, on the 13th of June, 1961.
- The Orders of Saint John Joint Declaration dated 14 October 1987.
- The Orders of St. John: A Shared Tradition http://www.allianceofstjohn.org/about/apdf/Alliance-SMOM_Shared3629E.pdf Joint Declaration of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and The Alliance of the Orders of St. John of Jerusalem 22 October 2004
- Hoegen Dijkhof, Hans J. (2006). The Legitimacy of Orders of St. John: a historical and legal analysis and case study of a para-religious phenomenon. Doctoral thesis. Leiden: University of Leiden. ISBN 9065509542.