New Avalon Catholic Church
- Your BattleTech News Round-Up For August, 2023
- Community Outreach - Locust Labs And Creating The Hunchback For Tex Talks BattleTech
- An Ode To Light 'Mechs: Why BattleTech Needs More Light 'Mech Love
- Bad 'Mechs - Ostscout
- It's The Economy, Stupid! Understanding And Comparing MechWarrior 5 In Its Historical And Economic Context
- Read more →
|New Avalon Catholic Church|
|Time period:||2779 - Present|
|Capital world:||New Avalon|
|Military:||Holy Order of Knight Defenders aka Knights Defensor|
The New Avalon Catholic Church (NACC) is an offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church established c. 2779. A key religious organization in the Federated Suns, the NACC's fortunes have been tied with that of House Davion, who have been long-standing members of this church.
When Stefan Amaris' soldiers first secured control of Terra in 2770 and laid siege to the Vatican, Catholic Pope Clement XXVII dispatched a message to the five cardinals who oversaw the Church in the Star League's other member states. Correctly anticipating his death at the hands of the Greenhaven Gestapo, Clement stepped down from his position and granted the cardinals the temporary power necessary to run the church in their respective domains.
Clement intended for the College of Cardinals to elect his successor once the opportunity arose, but New Avalon's Cardinal Kinsey de Medici received a garbled message which he interpreted to mean that Clement had placed him in charge of the Church. Later, upon learning of the massacre of Clement and nearly everybody else in the Vatican, de Medici moved swiftly to assume control of the Church. Despite being informed of Clement's actual message, he appointed a new College of Cardinals who confirmed his election as Pope Thomas X, following which the new pontiff announced his authority over all Catholics in known space.
Cardinals and other Church leaders in the other states refused to recognize Thomas X's authority, prompting him to excommunicate them all. While the war against Amaris raged this split was more symbolic than practical, but following Terra's liberation in 2779 the College of Cardinals convened once more and elected John Paul V as Clement's successor. Thomas X's refusal to submit to him or step down prompted the official break between the Roman and New Avalon Catholic Churches.
Despite this split the Vatican didn't dispute the apostolic succession of the New Avalon Catholic Church, allowing them to continue to perform valid Sacraments.
While the first years following the split saw conflicts both verbal and violent between the NACC and Roman Catholic churches, the onset of the First Succession War put a dampener on the struggle. This even affected the Churches' ability to investigate miracles, such as the alleged appearance of Virgin Mary on Kentares IV. The two churches have since kept peaceful, if sometimes strained, relations with one another.
By 3025 NACC members outnumbered Roman Catholics in the Federated Suns by about five to one, though the latter did have much more influence on worlds closest to Terra. The conflict between the two remained a visible part of religious life on many Suns worlds.
The NACC also had strong ties with the Suns' ruling family, dating back to its earliest years when House Davion supported the Church as a means of promoting nationalism at Terra's expense. One sign of this was at the wedding of Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner in 3028, which was concelebrated by one Cardinal from New Avalon and another who was Roman Catholic. Despite this relationship, which has given the NACC great influence throughout the realm, House Davion has never hesitated to defy the Church when its policies have come into conflict with the NACC. 
Following predations against NACC facilities in the Davion Outback which the AFFS was unable to prevent the Pope decided to reconstitute the dormant Soldiery of the New Avalon Catholic Church and announced the creation of the Holy Order of Knight Defenders on 1 January, 3084.
Within a week after the fall of New Avalon to the Draconis Combine in 3146, the incumbent Pope Beneficent XVII and the College of Cardinals were executed by House Kurita's soldiers as visible leaders of an unsanctioned religion within Combine territory. Other Church leaders escaped to join the Davion Assault Guards who had remained behind to resist the occupiers.
The current leader is Pope Leo XXI. Born Leonard Goodnight, he was a longtime member of the First Avalon Hussars before retiring and joining the Knights Defensor. His devotion resulted in being named Grand Master of that order in 3140. Following the murders of Pope Beneficent XVII and the entire College of Cardinals during the DCMS invasion and occupation of New Avalon, the surviving archbishops elected Grand Master Goodnight as the new Pope. He often leads the Knights Defensor in liberating Christian settlements from the "godless" Kuritans from the cockpit of his bright gold Regent, Justicar.
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 161
- A Light in the Dark Night, p. 12
- A Light in the Dark Night
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 114
- Warrior: Riposte, Chapter 38
- The Gauntlet
- Unit Digest: Knights Defensor, p. 3, "Knights Defensor Profile"
- Shattered Fortress, p. 26
- Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 21, p. 10