The Pontifical Orders in Ireland
The Pontifical Orders of Knighthood are secular orders of merit whose membership is conferred on a direct decision of the Pontiff as Head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State. Awards are gazetted in Acta Apostolica Sedis, the Gazette of the Holy See. Priests and members of religious orders cannot become papal knights. Diplomas of appointment are issued from the Secretariat of State. Perpetual succession no longer occurs arising from the conferral of a knighthood. Membership of the Association of Papal Orders, for those who wish to join, commences when they receive their diploma of appointment and is conditional on persons remaining in communion with the Church. Non-Catholics who were honoured with a Papal Knighthood by His Holiness are also welcome as members.
- For knights and dames of the Pontifical Order of Pius IX (Pian Order):
- Knight or Dame Grand Cross - GCPO
- Knight or Dame Commander – KCPO/DCPO (with or without star)
- Knight or Dame – KPO/DPO
- For knights and dames of the Pontifical Order of Saint Gregory the Great:
- Knight or Dame Grand Cross – GCSG
- Knight or Dame Commander – KCSG/DCSG (with or without star)
- Knight or Dame – KSG/DSG
- For knights and dames of the Pontifical Order of Saint Sylvester:
- Knight or Dame Grand Cross – GCSS
- Knight or Dame Commander – KCSS/DCSS (with or without star)
- Knight or Dame – KSS/DSS
- There are 93 current members, which include fourteen Dames, are distributed among the four Ecclestical Provinces and elsewhere. The Diplomatic Corps, Politicians, and Civil Servants account for 12 with a further 11 associated with Ireland but appointed elsewhere. A further 64 awards were made to those serving in the Papal Wars of 1860. There are no current members registered in the Diocese of Ardagh, Kilmore, Clonfert, Killaloe and Waterford & Lismore.
A total of 345 Knights and Dames have been identified thus far.