The Grand Master receives four new cardinals
Just two months after Pope Benedict XVI elevated Agostino Vallini and Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo from Italy, William Joseph Levada from the United States and Franc Rodé from Slovenia to the purple, Grand Master Fra’ Andrew Bertie conferred on them the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion in the Order of Malta.
This recognition pays tribute to the special relationship between the four cardinals, who are all already members of the Order, and the Melitense family.
Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo entered the Order of Malta as Conventual Chaplain in 1962, in the Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice and then in Rome. Nominated Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross in 1999, he has worked for many years in the Order of Malta’s youth and voluntary groups.
Cardinal William Joseph Levada was received into the Order’s Western Association of the United States, as Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem in 1996, as Archbishop of San Francisco.
Cardinal Franc Rodè was received as Conventual Chaplain ad honorem in 1997, and Conventual Grand Cross in 1999 as Archbishop of Ljubljana, Chaplain in Chief in the Slovenian Association
Cardinal Agostino Vallini was received into the Order of Malta as Conventual Chaplain Grand Cross ad honorem in 1994 when carrying out pastoral work as Bishop of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano.
The rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion was established by the Order many centuries ago, to be conferred on the leaders of its national and regional units. It is one of the most prestigious in the Order’s hierarchy.
The appointment of the four cardinals as Bailiffs renews an ancient and devoted relationship between the Order and the Church, as well as recognising their impressive personal ecclesiastical works.