Orders of Knighthood and of Merit: The Pontifical, Religious and Secularised Catholic-founded Orders and Their Relationship to the Apostolic See by Peter Bander Van Duren
Orders of Knighthood and of Merit presents the many Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood in a new perspective, and deals not only with the Pontifical Equestrian Orders and the two surviving religious Orders of Knighthood, but with the many Catholic-founded but secularised Orders - dynastic, state and crown - that exist today. He examines their relationship, where one exists, to the Apostolic See and the Papacy in the light of the changes that have taken place, as well as the dichotomy between the different roles and functions of the Holy See and the Apostolic See, the Mater et Magistra of all Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood. Having been able to study various source materials hitherto and not since available to others, he exposes the misunderstandings and misinformation that exist in this field, and highlights errors that have been perpetuated, sometimes for centuries, through genuine lack of information, as well as those that, for political expediency, have been deliberately concealed. The chapter and appendices on the Pontifical Orders of Knighthood are designed to assist papal knights in their role and functions that their appointments have given them. The author places the Catholic-founded Orders of Knighthood in perspective, and shows that the continued existence of many of them is based not only on authoritative ecclesiastical and temporal documents of foundation, Papal Briefs and Bulls, but also on their lay apostolate which has continued without interruption.