The Leadership of the Maltese Order "Completely Unusually" Present Themselves Before the Pope in Civilian Clothes
The Grand Master Dala Tore
(Rome) Last Friday, 23 June, the new leadership of the Order of Malta was received by Pope Francis in audience. The delegation was led by the Grand Masterless Order of the Governor of the Grand Master, Giacomo Count Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, who was elected for a year on the last 29th of April.
Vatican Insider, the news platform directed by the pontifical House Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli, reported enthusiastically the same day about the reception. At the same time, the site emphasized the fact that the delegation had not appeared in the uniform of the knights but in civilian clothes before the pope.
The 1000 year old order has passed through some dramatic months. At the beginning of December 2016 there was an open conflict between the then acting Grandmaster Fra Mathew Festing and Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager. Festing dismissed Boeselager, who found support with the Vatican Secretariat of State and with Pope Francis. The Grand Master insisted on the sovereignty of the Order in an Order. Pope Francis saw it differently. When, at the end of January, he received the Grand Master in audience, he did so less to give Fra Festing the opportunity to present his position, but to give him an ultimatum. The Grand Master took the consequences and resigned.
Dramatic conflict just a "bagarre"?
At the same time, the Vatican Secretariat of State re-elected Boeselager as "Grand Chancellor" in the name of the Pope. Until the election of a new Grand Master, Fra Dalla Torre will be responsible for the duties of the management of the Order, as a state administrator. The actual decisions fall on the Boeselager - Secretary of State.
The Pope's audience was traditionally held the day before the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, the patron of the Order. Topics were "the reform of the Order and humanitarian projects". Critics fear structural intervention in the religious order to cement a change in its course. At the core of the "reform," the assumption is that the first class should be subdued in favor of the Second Estate, to which Boeselager also belongs.
"Kneeling and hand kiss, moving look, civilian clothes. Farewell! decorations, red jackets and presumptuous photos."
Thus Vatican insider author Salvatore Cernunzio describes the "new humility" of the Order. The delegation, led by Statthalter Dalla Torre, had a total of twelve representatives. The Maltese Vicar presented himself to the Pope in a completely different way from that of the Order, which was "last December an actor behind a turbulent bagarre."
For Vatican Insider, the serious conflict, which has several courtly spies, was only a "tussle". After a "successful" operation, the Vatican apparently wants to go to the agenda.
All the members of the Sovereign Council, who had entered before Pope Francis, appeared in civilian clothes, "without the picturesque uniforms," Cernunzio said. The Order also expresses its dual character in its clothing: military as a knightly order through the red uniform, ecclesiastically through the black Cukulle. Obviously, the knights who had been "encouraged," says Cernunzio, left the appropriate uniform for the secular occasions last Friday in the closet because they "do not like the pope".
Even in the past, the Order's representatives had appeared wearing less formal civilian clothes before the pope. In the context of the Pope, however, past weeks were intended to emphasize this aspect and emphasize a contrast to the past.
The meeting lasted almost 25 minutes. All those present left the audience room "visibly moved", according to Cernunzio.
Pope Francis had "encouraged" them with the words:
"I am near to you, I pray for you, continue this way."
Maltese Order and Immigration
The governor assured the Pope that the Order was fully committed to the promotion of "international humanitarian law" and that it was increasingly active in the area of "Migration and Development". As of June 28, Fra Dalla Torre, will take part in the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Berlin.
In the course of the mass immigration to Europe and to the USA, Pope Francis has supported a "right to migration". In this connection, he had a strong demand for a change of the National Citizenship Act over the leadership of the Italian Bishops' Conference appointed by him. Those who are born in Italy will automatically be citizens of the country, according to the draft of the Italian left-wing government, which is currently being discussed by parliament. However, the latest opinion of the IPSOS Institute revealed that the majority of the Italians reject the Ius soli and demand the maintenance of the jus sanguinis, as the principle of pedigrees. The success of the bourgeois-right opposition in the municipal elections of Sunday confirms this trend.
Pope Francis, on the other hand, encouragted the Bishops' Conference to "cozy up" with the left-wing government, according to personal preferences, as the critics say: the pigments on the new palette ranges from registered partnerships for homosexuals to immigration issues. The Maltese Order seems to be viewed as a building block in the network of the "migration industry".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: Vatican.va (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org