Patriarchate of the West Indies

Patriarchate Of The West Indies

Patriarchate of the West Indies

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The Titular Patriarchate of the West Indies () is a Latin Rite Titular Patriarchate of the Roman Catholic Church. It is vacant since the death of its last holder in 1963.

Attempt to create a jurisdictional Patriarchate in the Spanish Indies

King Ferdinand V of Castile asked Pope Leo X to establish a patriarchate for the ecclesiastical government of the American territories discovered by the Spaniards. The Holy See was not keen to accept the establishment of such an autonomous Spanish American church and, on 11 May 1524, Clement VII agreed to create it but only as honorific, without jurisdiction and without clergy. In addition, the Patriarch was banned from actually residing in the Americas. Antonio de Rojas, archbishop of Granada and bishop of Palencia, was the first patriarch. The following patriarchs were the bishop of Jaén Esteban Gabriel Merino (1530–1535) and the archbishop of Granada Fernando, Niño de Guevara (not the homonymous cardinal) (1546–1552). After the Niño de Guevara's death the office remained vacant because Philip II, against the Holy See policy, wished an actual jurisdicional Patriarchate. Finally, the king agreed in 1591 to propose the archbishop of Mexico City (but who was actually resident in Madrid as President of the Council of the Indies) Pedro Moya de Contreras. However, the new patriarch died before he could take the oath of his new office. In 1602, Philip III abandoned the idea of a fully jurisdictional Patriarchate and it turned into a...
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