This morning, in the presence of the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, Fra’ John T. Dunlap, the celebration took place for the admission of Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, to the Order of Malta with the dignity and rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion.
The cardinal received the insignia with attribution to the Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice in the chapel of the Magistral Palace in Rome. Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Zuppi himself with the Order of Malta’s prelate, Monsignor Jean Laffitte.
Pope Francis’ Special Delegate to the Order of Malta, Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, and the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Andrea Riccardi, took part in the ceremony, bringing their greetings.
Also present were the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, the Grand Hospitaller, Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis, the Ambassador to the Holy See, Antonio Zanardi Landi and the Procurator of the Grand Priory of Lombardy and Venice, Clemente Riva di Sanseverino.
Born in Rome on 11 October 1955, the Cardinal was ordained a priest in 1981. He was vicar of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere for 19 years, during which he worked closely with the Community of Sant’Egidio, becoming its general ecclesiastical assistant in 2000. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Rome and three years later Pope Francis named him Metropolitan Archbishop of Bologna. On 24 May 2022 the Pontiff chose him to be president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.