Constitutional Reform of the Order of Malta: in Rome the international strategic seminar
Over 140 participants. Five central themes
The international strategic seminar on the constitutional reform of the Sovereign Order of Malta was held in Rome from 8 to 11 February. The event was presided over by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre and saw the participation of 140 members of the Order from the five continents. The constituent organs of the Order also took part: the Sovereign Council, the leaders of the more than 50 territorial entities located in the world, and the participants of the 10 international working groups that over the last 6 months have elaborated the most relevant proposals for reform.
The Lieutenant of the Grand Master opened the three-day meeting: “After the constitutional crisis that we experienced between the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, the need to tackle a process of reform of our fundamental laws became evident. All our reflections must be seen in the context of the extraordinary development that our medical, humanitarian and diplomatic activities have recorded in the world in the last decades”, added Fra’ Giacomo, reserving a heartfelt thanks to the Special Delegate of Pope Francis.
Monsignor Angelo Becciu was present at the opening of the work, and urged the Order of Malta to renew the indissoluble bond that unites the two fundamental aspects of the mission of the Order: “True fidelity, in the context of religious reforms, consists in knowing how to hold together a tenacious attachment to the values defined in the spiritual heritage of an order, and a bold conviction that the form with which these values must be incarnated must continually adapt to the specific conditions of each time and place … The reform aims to renew the forms of the Order founded on the same principles that inspired its creation almost one thousand years ago and its action”.
Organized in five round tables and a plenary session- focused on how to strengthen the worldwide action of the Order of Malta – the consultative seminar reiterated the religious nature that guides the humanitarian mission, codified in the founding motto “Tuitio Fidei Obsequium Pauperum” – witness of faith and help to the poor. Specifically, the seminar dealt with five themes: the role of the central government, the role of local organizations, the criteria of eligibility for offices, the spiritual formation and the process of membership. Numerous points of convergence emerged, including: strengthening the training of office bearers, expanding the decision-making base called to evaluate strategic issues, increasing the number of women with leadership functions.
“We had the opportunity to listen to different points of view, to share experiences, to confront ourselves on complex subjects. The path of the reform is certainly more outlined now. During our navigation, we will find other difficulties, other obstacles, but thanks to the goodwill that has animated our debate – and to constant prayer – I am certain that we will carry out the reform,” declared Fra’ Giacomo at the conclusion of the work.
The next step in the reform process will be to refine the proposals by translating them into a concrete program to be implemented in the months to come, with the approval of the Sovereign Council. A General Chapter will finally approve the new constitution.
The Council Complete of State, the election of the Grand Master or Lieutenant of the Grand Master, has been scheduled for 2 and 3 May 2018.