Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem
The Alliance of the Orders of Saint John of Jerusalem is a federation of European Protestant religious orders that share inheritance of the tradition of the mediaeval military Knights Hospitaller (Order of Saint John of the Hospital of Jerusalem).
Formed in 1961 to encourage closer collaboration between its member orders in matters of common concern, the Alliance Orders of Saint John comprise:
- 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 of Jerusalem"), based in Germany, as well as the non-German commanderies affiliated with the Bailiwick of Brandenburg:
- The Johanniter Orde in Nederland, based in The Netherlands.
- The Order of Saint John in Sweden, based in Stockholm, Sweden.
- The Order of Saint John (chartered 1888), based in the United Kingdom.
The Johanniter Orde in Nederland and the Johanniterorden i Sverige were formerly commanderies of the Bailiwick of Brandenburg and became independent orders in 1946.
As John Brooke-Little (when Norroy and Ulster King of Arms) later put into writing, the principal impetus for the Concordat of 1961 was not ecumenism or brotherhood: it was signed because none of the few remaining legitimate orders of Saint John could effectively shield themselves 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 Orders.
Mutually-recognised Orders of Saint John
The Protestant constituent orders of the Alliance, together with the Roman Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM), form the "Mutually Recognised Orders of Saint John": SMOM is acknowledged as being the senior order, with the other Alliance members stemming from the same root. None of these orders recognises any other so-called Order of Saint John (which SMOM, the Alliance Orders and others describe as "self-styled"), nor their claims to be successors of the mediaeval order of Saint John, nor any right to use the name and symbols of that order. The Alliance Orders' "Committee on the Mutually Recognised Orders of Saint John" constitutes a collaboration between its constituent members in protecting their shared heritage. This Alliance has evolved over time to the point where co-operation between the respective Orders is now ever closer: a representative of the Johanniterorden, for instance, 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 : Joint Declaration of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Alliance Orders of Saint 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.