- Jan 24, 2020
Fifteen months after appointing Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu as his personal envoy to the Knights of Malta, Pope Francis extended the original mandate, requesting that the bishop stay in the post until the order has concluded its reform.
Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre was elected the 80th grand master of the Knights of Malta May 2 and promised to continue the reform of the order begun last year when he was elected its interim head.
After a crisis put the Knights of Malta into the media spotlight with numerous articles speculating about a rift between conservative and progressive factions within the ancient order, the organization is seeking to update its rules while holding steadfast to its most important traditions.
The Knights of Malta have elected Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre with the title of lieutenant of the grand master. He most recently has been the grand prior in charge of the order’s Rome chapter. The election was necessary after the former Grand Master of the order, Fra’ Matthew Festing was forced to resign after a dispute with Pope Francis over the attempted ouster of an official of the order.
Just a few days before the Knights of Malta convene to elect a new leader, the former head of the order has returned to Rome defying the Vatican’s wishes. The former Grand Master, Matthew Festing, did not say if he would vote for himself, though in a recent plot twist the order confirmed that the new leader would only be temporary.
In an interview, the Grand Chancellor of the historic Order of Malta, Albrecht von Boeselager, talks about the order’s crisis, the path going forward, the pope’s plan for reform and what is being done to help migrants, refugees and those displaced by war and poverty.