Edmond John Kersey de Polanie-Patrikios (1972-), known professionally as John Kersey and in religion as Mar Joannes Edmundus, was educated at undergraduate and postgraduate level at the Royal College of Music, London, where he was subsequently a Junior Fellow, and pursued further graduate studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge.
Following a number of school, college and university teaching posts in the UK and overseas, he is today Chancellor of European-American University (Bunyoro-Kitara) and head of its various constituent institutions, and Chancellor and Supreme Head of the Western Orthodox University. He is also a Full Professor in the International Program of the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, and a Doctorate (PhD) in Humanities (predominantly Law and Business Administration) from the Universidad San Juan de la Cruz, Costa Rica. He additionally holds a Doctorate in Education with specialization in Higher Education from the former Universidad International in Panama and a further Doctorate in Humanities in History from the Universidad Empresarial de Costa Rica, for which his thesis was on the British Old Catholic Archbishop Arnold Harris Mathew (1852-1919).
Following lay and ordained service in a number of churches, he has since 2008, served as a bishop in the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a Continuing Anglican denomination recognized by the Statutes of the State of New York since 1932, becoming that church’s fifth Primate and Catholicos of the West in 2015. He holds additional degrees and diplomas in Christian theology and divinity.
In August 2011, he was elected by the Supreme Council of San Luigi as Archbishop and the eighth Prince-Abbot of San Luigi (as Edmond III) and Superior-General of the Order of Antioch. He was confirmed in the associated title of Mukungu of the Ancient Abbey-Principality of San Luigi (Fizzan) by H.M. the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara the following year.
In 2012 he was appointed Prefect of Great Britain of the Confraternitas Oecumenica Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani. In March 2015, he succeeded his adoptive father the late Prince-Archbishop Kermit William de Polanie-Patrikios as Ecclesiast of All Byelorussia and Prince of Miensk and Vilna, also inheriting numerous other titles of nobility. As a consequence of this legacy, he adopted the additional surname of de Polanie-Patrikios for himself and his heirs.
His recent books, all of which are published by European-American University Press, include The University Outside State Control (2009), the first to address its controversial topic in depth, Arnold Harris Mathew and the Old Catholic Movement in England 1908-52 (2010), and Joseph-René Vilatte (1854-1929): Some Aspects of his Life, Work and Succession (2011). He is also an award-winning concert pianist, having recorded over one hundred CDs for his own record label Romantic Discoveries Recordings, including first recordings of works by Beethoven, Alkan, Mendelssohn and many others.
He is Grand Master of the San Luigi Orders (consisting of the Order of the Crown of Thorns, the Order of the Lion and the Black Cross, and the Grand Prix Humanitaire de France et des Colonies), Grand Master of the Royal Belarusian Orders, and head of the Nicholson Orders, comprising the Valiant Order of St. John the Baptist, the Order of Ave Maria and the Order of S. Teresa – The Little Flower. He serves as Protector and Prelate–Knight Grand Cross of Justice of the Royal Byelorussian Protectorate of the Orthodox Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. In the Royal Byelorussian Protectorate of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem he is Protector and Prelate Grand Cross of Justice. He is also He is also a Knight Grand Cross of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (O.S.M.T.H.) and a Knight of the Order of the Precious Blood of the Old Roman Catholic Church. In the Royal Order of St Stanislaus he has received the Gold Cross of Merit and the Medal of the Wroclaw Commandery. He was awarded the Order of Merit of Leszek II by the Royal House Polanie-Patrikios in 2015 as well as an Honorary Datuship from the Sultanate of Baloi, Mindanao, Philippines, and the title of Datu Paduka from the Royal House of Maharaja Adinda Aranan, Mindanao, Philippines. He holds the highest rank of Perpetuum (Grand Cross) of the Ordinis Venerabilis Sodalicii Mariae Ss. Boni Consilii Mortis et Misericordiae, Città di Castello, Italy, which is probably the oldest religious brotherhood in continuous existence today. In the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, he is an Honorary Royal Chaplain to H.M. the Omukama and a Knight Grand Cross in the Most Honourable Order of Omukama Chwa II Kabalega, as well as being a Senator and Member of the Academic Council with the rank of Senior Fellow in the Royal Scientific Senate for Humanity, Health and Development Affairs of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. He is a Royal Patron and Member of Council of the Heraldry Society of Africa (Uganda), of which H.M. the Omukama is Protector.
He received the honorary rank of Colonel in the Hungarian National Guard (1956), together with its highest award, the Hungarian National Guard Grand Star (awarded with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Defence) and the Medal of the Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution. He was admitted as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St George the Martyr (Hungary) in 2017 and in the same year was honoured by the Order of the Calamian Star of Peace (Coron Island, Philippines) with the title of Grand Commander. In 2012 he was awarded the Verdienstkreuz in Gold from the Confraternitas Oecumenica Sancti Sepulcri Hierosolymitani, Bavaria, Germany, of which he is also an Honorary Brother, in recognition of his achievements in Alternative Education, Music and Theology and his humanitarian efforts for Africa. Subsequently he has received the Medal “Pro Probitas” in gold (Class I), the highest award of the Collegium Heraldicum Concordiae, Poland, the Jerusalem Cross and Medal of the Regent of the Union of the Polish Monarchists Association, and the Grosses Verdienstkreuz in Silber of the Freundeskreis Hoch- und Deutschmeister, Mannheim/Baden, Germany. He has received honours from Polish military and veterans’ societies, including the Cross of Merit of the Polish Society of War Veterans and Former Political Prisoners, and the Badge of Honor – Cross of Merit for organization of soldiers of the Home Army Uprising Special Forces “Jerzyki” (“Swifts”), as well as the Commemorative Cross of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Marshal Józef Piłsudski. He serves as Royal Protector and Member of Sovereign Council of the Regency of Lomar, an international humanitarian organisation.
He has been honoured by the Governors of four States of the United States of America, being a Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, an Admiral of the Great State of Nebraska, Lieutenant Colonel Aide de Camp Governor’s Staff of the State of Georgia and an Honorary Texan. In 2014, he received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama in recognition of his commitment to volunteer service. He holds several honorary doctorates, and honorary fellowships from music colleges and societies of musicians. He was appointed a Pontifical Academician in 2016, becoming an Honorary Academician of the Pontificia Accademia Tiberina in Rome, and in 2017 was elected an Academician of Honor of the Norman Academy, which is headquartered in Florida, USA, and recognized by the government of The Gambia. He has been awarded the distinction of Academic Knight of Verbano by the International Order “Greci-Marino” – Academic Order of Verbano, Italy.
His personal website at www.johnkersey.org gives further details of his publications and his work as a historian and musician.