ORDER OF MALT. THE POPE CHOOSES THE BUSINESS PARTY
4 Novembre 2020
Yesterday afternoon, after the news came out of the appointment of Cardinal Silvano Tomasi as Delegate of the reigning Pontiff for the Order of Malta, we had a conversation with someone who is well-acquainted with the internal affairs of the Order. They painted a very discouraging picture for us, which we share here with you. Enjoy your reading.
Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae… as we have wanted to prove, this time too we were right. The newly-created Cardinal Silvano Tomasi has been appointed Special Delegate of the Pope to the Order of Malta. “I appoint him as my Special Delegate to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes, and of Malta (S.M.O.M.) – writes Bergoglio – with the task of collaborating for the greater good of the Order, with His Excellency Frater Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas, Interim Lieutenant and Grand Commander, and with the next Grand Master who shall be elected as soon as there is an opportunity. He shall enjoy all necessary powers to decide questions that will arise over the implementation of the mandate given to him, to receive the oath of the next Grand Master, and he will be my exclusive spokesman for all that pertains to relations between this Apostolic See and the Order. I ask him – Bergoglio concludes – to carry out this office as my Delegate until the conclusion of the process of updating the Constitutional Charter and the Maltese Code, and for as long as I shall deem it useful for the good of the Order itself.”
We have already warned about the potential danger of this appointment, because the choice of the person destined for the task of officially representing the Holy See to the Order of Malta – ever since the Cardinalis Patronus was frozen out – carries the risk of causing great harm, even of being “fatal” – as someone within the Order told us – to the survival of this almost 1000-year-old institution as it has been known to history and common sense.
We have already written about Tomasi’s lack of moral virginity, we have already spoken about his connivance with certain internal elements of the present governance of the Order (which is fully entangled and whose members are the protagonists – rightly or wrongly, for better or for worse – in the present institutional crisis); we have already written about the suspected friendship with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin…and it has seemed to us from the beginning that it was a solemn imprudence that there was even the possibility of his being named as the Pope’s representative after he was personally involved in the affair linked to the multi-million dollar trust that later lit the fuse of the total congestion of the internal system which led to the resignation of Grand Master Festing and thus, in fact, to a form of commissioner of the Order itself. Apart from the controversy over condoms – as we recalled a few days ago – the real question was the approval of the budget that Festing vetoed, because those millions were not returned…whose trip was sponsored by the “Caritas in Veritate” Foundation headed by Msgr. Tomasi. … And yet – as we recalled – it was Tomasi himself (on a papal appointment strongly sponsored by his close friend Parolin) who acted as commissioner to Festing who was accused of having abused his power by removing Grand Chancellor Boeselager. And the rest is history.
Now, therefore, as we had predicted, Tomasi has attained his goal, and his friends within the government of the Order have probably also achieved theirs, since for them the appointment of this octogenarian prelate is a sort of blessing…because now nobody will break the eggs in their basket, exactly as we had also unfortunately foreseen.
After the defenestration of Festing and the restoration of the government by an abusive act, in fact, Becciu’s appointment revealed itself to be not very pleasing to the present governance…and in fact the handlers of Via Condotti trusted that there would be an accelerated reform through the manipulation of the Grand Master Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre, who however died before being able to put things in place. Becciu’s presence constituted an increasingly cumbersome obstacle, first of all because he worked for the interests of the Holy See as he carried out his role (in an aseptic way and, in fact, without connivance with those environments to which he was completely foreign), but also because he insisted on the observance of procedures, reiterating that it was necessary to first elect a head of the Order and then to proceed to the General Chapter, after “ample” discussion about the reform.
Tomasi’s appointment is therefore the icing on the cake, and potentially constitutes a safeguard for the German party, from whom he has received benefits and probably is expecting more. It is clear that he is counting on concluding his career as Cardinalis Patronus. But the Order thus finds itself, as they say, “at dinner with the assassin.”
Many within the Order fear precisely the connivance of Tomasi with the political group that currently holds power, those dark and nebulous ties that lead to mysterious affairs of doubtful ethics, which not only involve the breaking of the Seventh Commandment but go much further, because in order to be realized they require an institution that is formally upright while hiding its rottenness. Tomasi could be the sphinx presiding over the desired reform of the eminences grises of the German governing party, the one who conceals elements that would damage first of all the Holy See because they want to deprive it of the intimate bond that presently exists with one of its most ancient religious orders. The point that strikes many is the fear of being transformed into an NGO without a charism, into an institution whose very nature has been mutilated, which retains certain traditions only to preserve a certain “idea” of itself but which in reality is an empty container, or better said a container with contents completely different from the wrapper. The project of reform – which we have already mentioned other times – seeks in reality to transform the Order into a functionalistic structure and adapt it to merely philanthropic ends; the reform marginalizes the role and function of the nucleus of the professed knights to a mere “quota” necessary to preserve the rights of the Order to its status in international law (beginning with its sovereignty, whose guarantee is provided by the Holy See) but in reality all the power would be in the hands of the so-called “knights of obedience” of whom it is proposed that there would be two levels: an ordinary level based on a “promise” (given to the local hierarchy) and a “superior” level based on a “vow” which would include only a few select people (chosen by those who govern the order). In other words, the Order, while formally maintaining a certain religious element, would be governed by laypeople linked to each other by a vague bond of obligation (read: “clientelism”) which is therefore quite worrisome (because it would have little or nothing to do with the ordinary canonical laws that govern the obedience of religious).
And should Tomasi be the one to watch over all this? How can we be certain that we will truly work for the interests of the Holy See? What is his degree of impartiality in this whole story? On the other hand, this entire affair seems to be a grotesque pantomime: a few weeks ago Tomasi was exhumed by Repubblica (which certainly does not have divinatory powers) to make a moralizing comment about the Becciu affair (without having either a reason nor the title to do so, since, in the end, even as Apostolic Nuncio his career was quite mediocre, having spent almost his entire career in supra-national organisms and messing things up here and there, never being denied); then his name was announced among the octogenarian cardinals (who, at least in curial tradition, are normally people close to the reigning pontiff who are being rewarded for particular merits…someone ought to explain to us what high merits Tomasi has); and now, after being received in audience the other morning at Santa Marta, he has been appointed Special Delegate to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It all seems artfully designed. And what’s more, we challenge anyone to match the speed with which he gave an interview to Vatican News just half an hour after the news was announced (12:35 pm) in which he commented on the appointment and proposed his ideas about what he ought to do. Such publicity was not even given to Becciu when he was appointed, overthrowing a Cardinal Patron for the first time in history, and at the time the Order was in full institutional crisis.
Everything clearly stinks of a curial mess, which provokes still more fears and concerns in the inner circles, because in the next few days (November 7-9) the Order is holding its Council of State in Rome, which is supposed to choose a head for the Order. It is quite notable that in the letter appointing Tomasi as Delegate it explicitly says that a “Grand Master” is to be chosen. The insiders tell us that normally, during times of transition, there has always been an election of a “Lieutenant Grand Master” who remains in office for one year and who has the same functions as the Grand Master but without the same sovereign prerogatives, precisely in order to give governmental stability in the ordinary administration of the Order but without locking up the office. But it seems that this is precisely what the present governing party wants, to the point of already having a candidate in Frater Marco Luzzago, who naturally has everything to gain from this operation, securing him with a position that, to date, is still in play.
In addition, in the last few days a letter has been disseminated signed by four professed American knights who have presented an appeal to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life in which the various problems at present are connected to the composition of the Council of State, arguing that the number of religious present will be less than the number of lay members, and that this would raise a question of the Council’s legitimacy, since it would be electing not only a head of state but also the “Supreme Moderator” of a religious order. The route taken by these professed knights, who say that they speak also in the name of the majority of the other religious members, is perhaps only a firecracker, because, beyond the canonical question (which the experts have assured us is very doubtful technically speaking, according to the rules in force), they want to draw the attention of the Holy See to the upcoming elections, so that it will exercise a more attentive vigilance.
What now concerns the pars sanior of the Order, however, is the appointment of Tomasi, who once again moves from being controlled to being a controller. His collusion with certain people is known to all (in fact what we and many others have written in the past has never been denied).
What is certain is that the words of his interview do not leave much room for interpretation: he speaks of harmony between the internal factions, he speaks only of a “nucleus” of consecrated members, of adaptation to the needs of today. And he does not hesitate, with that foolish hypocritical ostentatious humility which is now the hallmark of this neo-church, to call himself a “donkey pulling the cart.” To which we have to respond by asking: Who is the coachman? Who is the whip? And, above all, what is being carried in this blessed cart?
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