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Pope grants cathedral status to Douglas church 

It will be the first Catholic co-cathedral in the British Isles

Pope Francis has granted a church in Douglas cathedral status.  

The Church of Saint Mary of the Isle will be a co-cathedral to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King which is based 80 miles away in Liverpool. 

It will be the first Catholic co-cathedral in the British Isles.  

The recognition is part of the late Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. 

Plans for an official ceremony - during which Archbishop Malcolm McMahon will formally take possession of his seat to mark the Church becoming a Cathedral - are being drawn up. 

Monsignor John Devine, parish priest of St Mary of the Isle, said: "It is not just an honour for Douglas but it acknowledges the unique faith story of the Isle of Man.

“It has been a year long process to get to this point.

"I was first approached by Douglas Borough Council who pointed out that cities have cathedrals, the Island already has an Anglican cathedral in Peel, but they enquired whether it would be possible to elevate the church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Douglas, to the status of a cathedral.

“The Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Rev Malcolm McMahon, on the advice of canon lawyers, petitioned the Holy Father; a request supported by both the Anglican Bishop of Sodor and Man, the chief executive of Douglas Council and the President of Tynwald.”

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon said: “The Isle of Man is a significant part of our archdiocese - it constitutes one third of its land mass and the Island’s Catholic community has increasing diversity with parishioners coming from many different parts of the world.

"It is fantastic that we can acknowledge this with the announcement of a co-cathedral – a status that is rare in the Catholic Church. It is something that everyone on the Island will take great pride in.”

Right Revered Peter Eagles, Anglican Bishop of Sodor and Man, added: 'It is a source of great gladness to me that we have such strong ecumenical relationships here on the Island.

"It has often occurred to me that that Saint Mary of the Isle has a dignity and spaciousness that is as appropriate for a cathedral as for a parish church and I fully support the bestowing of co-cathedral status.”

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