Pope Francis has today nominated Monsignor Jean Laffitte as the new Prelate of the Sovereign Order of Malta.
Born in France, at Oloron-Sainte-Marie in 1952, Monsignor Laffitte graduated in Political Science at the University of Toulouse in 1973. He attended courses at the University of Cambridge in 1979 and the University of Salamanca in 1980, and entered the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome in 1984, reading philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and moral theology at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute.
Ambassador Larry Wang delivers the donation to Fra' Matthew Festing
The project launched thanks to a generous donation from the Republic of China (Taiwan)
To step up prevention and develop rehabilitation therapies for leprosy patients in Vietnam: this is the ambitious project of Ordre de Malte France, present in Vietnam for over 40 years with leprosy treatment and prevention programmes. Thanks to a generous donation from the Republic of China (Taiwan), the project can now be launched in its entirety.
Held on the feastday of St. John the Baptist, the Sovereign Order of Malta’s patron
This morning in the Vatican City, Pope Frances received in audience the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing.
During the meeting, the Grand Master illustrated to the Pontiff the Order’s work in assisting refugees and migrants in various parts of the world, from the Middle East to Africa. Fra’ Matthew Festing talked about the numerous projects underway to provide healthcare for displaced people fleeing from wars, violence and poverty, and also the social support projects for refugees in the countries of destination, such as France and Germany.
National Associations, rescue corps and volunteers unite to highlight the worldwide drama
The number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide has reached levels not recorded since the end of World War II. In Syria, over four years of conflict now mean that a family is forced to leave home every 60 seconds. It is calculated that every 3 seconds a person becomes displaced in some part of the world. 52 million people are in flight from disasters, wars and famine. Half of them are children. Some 17 million are refugees, over 33 million are internally displaced – that is, forced to leave their homes although staying in their country – and about 1.5 million are asylum seekers. In 2014, there were 866,000 new asylum applications in the industrialised countries – the majority were Syrians followed by Iraqis. Numbers that reflect a world in flames with burgeoning new crises and old trouble spots flaring up.