Réunion de la Noblesse Pontificale
The Réunion de la Noblesse Pontificale (RNP) was created in 1983 with the aim of bringing together members of families of pontifical nobility, whatever their nationality, i.e. those in the world who have received a hereditary title of nobility from the pontiffs. In addition to French families, it soon welcomed German, Belgian, Italian, Lebanese, Dutch, Swedish and Swiss families.
Sponsored by the Association d’entraide de la Noblesse Française (ANF) and by the Corpo della Nobilta Italiana (CNI), the RNP was recognised at European level in 1996 by its unanimous admission to the Commission d’Information et de Liaison des Associations Nobles d’Europe (CILANE). It thus maintains close relations with the seventeen other nobility associations in Europe. It has created a section in Belgium.
Its board of directors includes members, elected by the general assembly, from families of German, Belgian, French and Italian origin. The Belgian members are proposed by the Belgian section. The Italian members are represented on the Board by a member of a Roman princely family proposed by the Corpo della Nobilita Italiana.
The RNP was created in agreement with the Apostolic Nuncio representing the Holy See in France and maintains the closest relations with the various Nuncios, who preside over the association’s annual mass. The Vatican opens the doors of its Archives to the association so that it can access the elements necessary for the verification of the pontifical titles of the families of which one or more members wish to join. It has the benefit of a bishop emeritus as chaplain, proposed and appointed by the Archbishop of Paris.
The titles of nobility granted by the pontiffs were few in number compared to those granted by other European sovereigns, and the rules of evidence were applied with the utmost rigour, particularly under the aegis of the Association’s Commissioners of Evidence.
In addition to its specificity of bringing together families of all nationalities, the RNP gathers families whose ancestors have received hereditary titles, not for their attachment to a sovereign or for service to a monarchical cause, but for their loyalty to the See of Peter and the highest ideals of the faith. This is recalled in the writs of ennoblement issued.
The members of the association and their families are committed to continuing this unwavering loyalty to the Holy See and the Church in the spirit of solidarity and service that has characterised their history.
Through its historical research, the RNP seeks, finally, to make the role, history and illustrations of the pontifical nobility better known.