"Happy Easter" -- An Unusual Telephone Call Between Pope Francis and the Maltese Order
Pilgrimage Site of the Madonna delle Grazie in Alife (Campania) A phone call from the pope reached Msgr. Sapienza there.
(Rome) Some telephone calla from Pope Francis are puzzling. Telephone contact recordings are certainly a hallmark of this pontificate which date back to the evening of March 13, 2013, when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope in the Sistine Chapel. On the same evening, the new Catholic Church's chief spoke to various persons who were close to him. A sensation for a pope.
In the past four years, the faithful and the media have become accustomed to the fact that the Pope is always on the phone or mobile phone. This was also the case on Easter Monday. The addressee of the call was unusual, it was Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of the Papal House. The mission of Monsignor Sapienza corresponds to that of a secretary of the Roman dicasteries. He is the number two in the Pontifical Household, after his Prefect, Archbishop Georg Gänswein.
Pope Benedict XVI Had appointed Sapienza to the Apostolic Protonotary two days before his unexpected resignation was announced. The award of this pontifical title was suspended by his successor, Pope Francis, shortly afterwards indefinitely. In any case, the reigning pope has a special appreciation for the head of the papal household, as yesterday's telephone call shows.
The telephone call was made by the local bishop of Alife-Caiazzo, Monsignor Valentino Di Cerbo. On Easter Monday, Sapienza, together with a group of Maltese Knights, had taken a trip to Campania. Mariano-Hugo Prince of Windisch-Graetz, Head of the Younger Line of the Austrian Princes, who had possessions in the area, had given the invitation to this effect. Prince Windisch-Graetz is Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Slovakia and Slovenia as well as Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
When the knights visited the diocesan prayer site of the Madonna delle Grazie in Alife, Monsignor Sapienza received the telephone call from Pope Francis. That was a few minutes before he turned to the Regina Coelito the faithful on St. Peter's Square. Monsignor Sapienza told the Pope where he was, describing the chapel and landscape in the hinterland of Caserta. Monsignor Sapienza passed the mobile phone to the local bishop, whom the Pope also briefly greeted. The Pope wished Monsignor Sapienza to have a happy Easter, and he extended the same wishes to all the knights, the knights and the church rector. A sympathetic gesture, which was also recorded and published accordingly.
He was astonished that the Pope was calling a staff member on Easter Monday, who had just left the Vatican for a one-day trip, and whom he just had in his vicinity -- just to describe the landscape. In Rome it is speculated that the call would have had more to do with the Maltese knights who accompanied Monsignor Sapienza, and to whom papal closeness was to be demonstrated.
In the Sovereign of Malta, there was a violent dispute at the beginning of December 2016, which led to the resignation of the Grandmaster Fra Matthew Festing at the end of January by a direct papal command . Festing is also a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The Order has been under the supervision of a papal commissioner. A new Grand Master will be elected at the end of April. In the context of the conflict, the choice of a directional decision is the same. The Italian knights have a not insignificant role. Behind the scenes, it's about candidates and voices.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: MiL / Diocese Cremona (Screenshot)
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