(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 email@example.com
(Rome) Cardinal Raymond Burke, a brilliant jurist and the highest judge of the Holy See until the end of 2014, is a patient man with a great deal of suffering. But he can not just stand by for everything. Anyone who currently wants to understand what is happening in the Vatican and in the Church must listen carefully, look behind the scenes, read between the lines and, above all, question what the "information disinformation channels" are rumoring in the Vatican, says Marco Tosatti. In other words, anyone who wants to see through this, is called to be an observer. This is exhausting but necessary in the service of the Church.
In November 2014 Pope Francis dismissed him, away from the Vatican, to become Cardinal Patronus of the Order of Malta, to which he only said of this humiliation, where the Pope says to go, I go. When Pope Francis sent him to Guam, he said he did not see it as exile.
Cardinal Burke does not want to be the scapegoat
However, he does not want to be a scapegoat for the dirty laundry of others in the Order of Malta. In the Order, which is at the same time a sovereign state in international law, a severe power struggle had spread in December / January. With Vatican support, the first rank of the professed knights was in fact deprived of power by some members of the second class. Burke, the jurist, had to stand idly by to the legally unclean activity. The best laws are only as much in effect as people are found to ensure their compliance. In the Vatican, the Constitution was overthrown. Interpretation?
Journalists approaching the "magical circle" around Pope Francis, as Tosatti commented, gave the astonished public a certain reading of the events in the Order that had little to do with reality. Cardinal Burke did not speak, did not correct this. He was the Pope's ambassador to the Order. Ambassadors do not have to express their opinion, but to speak publicly only in the interest of their client.
The power struggle in the Order of Malta
Finally the letter became known to Burke on 1 December 2016 by Pope Francis. A letter containing clear instructions for action against certain power centers in the Order. As the Ambassador of the Pope, Burke also held on to the wasps' nest. He could not know this. The Cardinal Secretary suddenly interfered, stood up against him, and declared that with the Pope's letter everything had been quite different and misunderstood.
The Knight of the Second Estate, Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, as Major Chancellor in the Order, had been deposed by the Grand Master of the Order and reinstated by the Vatican, with Papal authority. The centuries-old hierarchical structures in the Order had been overridden by a papal fiat. Scarcely again in office, and now as the real ruler in the Order, Boeselager entered the press at the beginning of February, declaring that he no longer had any use for Cardinal Burke in the Order. A few days later, the Vatican sent the Cardinal to the South Seas, far from Rome.
"I regard this as libel"
Boeselager's attack was too brazen for the Cardinal. He came to the public to clarify that he had never called for the resignation of Boeselager. The accusation was piquantly repeated by Ludwig Hoffmann of Rumerstein, an Austrian knight, ie, a member of the old guard. Hoffmann von Rumerstein, according to the Order's Constitution, heads the Order until the election of a new Grand Master, but he has only to say as much about Vatican interference as the Vatican will allow. The unilateral representation of a certain Fronde has found numerous adepts, followers, and naive followers.
After Cardinal Burke's speech, Cardinal Burke then became clear: the assertion that he and not Grand Master Fra Matthew Festing had demanded Boeselager's head, "I regard as defamation." Grandmaster Festing, the subordinate in the internal power struggle, returned on January 24 after a conversation with Pope Francis, disappointed and unnerved. Hoffmann von Rumerstein may have thought of using the viewpoint of the Order's new representation in this critical situation. After all, the professed knights, like him, have to reckon with the fact that Pope Francis completely deprives them of power. The papal announcements to "reform" the Order were felt as a threat by parts of the Order.
"Anyone who allows distribution of contraception should also take responsibility for it"
After a reconstruction of the facts, the resignation request to Boeselager was not planned at all. Grandmaster Festing, with the written request of the Pope of December 1, wanted to create clarity. To this end, he invited Boeselager on 6 December and confronted him with allegations which had come to light independently by means of two investigation reports. It was only when the Grand Chancellor showed himself inscrutable that the confrontation escalated. The Grand Master demanded Boeselager's resignation. When this refused, Festing dismissed him. The rest is known .
Cardinal Burke on the clash of 6 December:
"I had no authority to demand the resignation of the Grand Chancellor. I have merely pointed out that a person consciously admitting the distribution of contraception in the works of the Order should also assume responsibility for it. The Grand Master then asked the Grand Chancellor to resign, which he refused. Then the Grand Master proceeded to his dismissal without me being involved in any way. "
Now the Pope had sent him to Guam to conduct proceedings against an emeritus archbishop. He sees this as a task, not as an exile from Rome.
"The Pope has never personally spoken to me about this mission."
Two operations and the proven information disinformation channels
The actual nomination was made by the Congregation for the Congo. Marco Tosatti wrote:
"In fact, in this rather mournful story two different, interrelated operations can be distinguished. The first operation concerns internal power struggles in the Maltese Order, which are probably also about money. It is unfortunate that the figure of the Pope was so obviously involved in this operation: he was the one who forced the Grand Master to retreat. We do not know what means he used to do."
Another aspect, according to Tosatti,
"...is the intervention of the Vatican Secretariat of State: It is known that the family of the Grand Chancellor who has been deposed and been rejoined after the Anschluss of the Order, by the Vatican has excellent relations with the Terza Loggia [Third floor, Secretary of State]; But they have substituted him for the task of spiritual renewal of the order ... "
The Swiss journalist Giuseppe Rusconi spoke of the Anschluss, referring to the "Anschluss" of Austria to the German Reich in 1938, in order to say that at the end of January, the Vatican was doing the same with the Maltese Order. The "Terza Loggia" means the third floor in the Apostolic Palace and is synonymous to say that the Boeselager family has "excellent relations" with the Pope.
"The second operation, on the other hand, appears to be an opportunistic action. There is an opportunity to attack, discredit Burke, who is a nuisance in other areas, and, at the same time, to confuse the real maneuvers by smoke candles. It is enough to make the rumors that [Burke] is guilty of all the guilt, friendships, informational channels ... Always this Burke! How much patience can the Pope muster with him! ... "
If you want to understand what is happening in the Vatican and in the Church, you must take the trouble to read between the lines, to look behind the scenes, and to look closely at who says what and what he says, especially when it is supposedly neutral, "in the newspaper stands".
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: Ordine di Malta Sicilia (Screenshot)
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