Pope makes church first co-cathedral in history of British Isles

Pope Francis has awarded a UK church “co-cathedral status,” making it the first of its kind in the history of the British Isles.

The Church of St Mary of the Isle, located in Douglas on the Isle of Man, has achieved this rare status after Douglas was formally recognised as a city during the late Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations in June 2022.

St Mary of the Isle will be co-cathedral along with Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. The two cathedrals are 80 miles apart and are separated by the Irish Sea, but both fall within the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Co-cathedrals are a rarity in the Catholic Church and exist only when two dioceses, each with its own cathedral, are merged or when one diocese spans two different civil jurisdictions, as in the case of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

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