Frequently Asked Question

Wasn’t the Order split into several fractions?

Yes, in the 1970s there were acrimonious splits, most notably into the "Malta" obedience under the (Spanish) Duke of Seville, and the "Paris" obedience under the (French) Duke of Brissac. However, it is important to note that these splits were formally resolved several years ago, under the Houston reunification agreement (2006), and the Norwich Agreements of unity followed by confirmatory Chapters-General in Vienna and  Manchester (2008). The Spiritual Protector encouraged these reunions and a new Grand Master for the reunited Order (Don Carlos Gereda y de Borbón, Marquis of Almazan and cousin of the Duke of Seville) was elected by the combined votes of the Knights and Dames at the Vienna and Manchester Chapters-General. A new constitution was adopted at Houston (2006) to which (following further reunification in 2008) Constitutional amendments have been recommended and accepted subject to the next Chapter-General. Copies of these agreements are under the "Constitution and bye-laws" tab in the Members area of this website.
Unfortunately, other groups as yet remain outside the unification process. French-based schismatic groups, known as the Orléans Obedience and the Saint Lazare International, were for a time under the protection of the Orléans branch of the French Royal family. However, in a communiqué dated 31 January 2014, the Count of Paris withdrew his support and temporal protection and that of his family from these fractions. Other small schismatic groups also exist often with only a local or regional base. The British-based Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem - United Grand Priories of the Order of Saint Lazarus was originally founded in 1995 as a new organization and does not claim to be a descendant of the historic Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

Q&As are compiled by the Grand Officer of Arms, Professor Michael Ross; the Historian and Grand Archivist of the Order, Professor Charles Savona-Ventura; and the Vice Grand Justiciar, Mr. Justice Bernard Barton S.C.

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