Pope Francis has today appointed the Reverend Msgr. Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos as the new Prelate of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Born in 1966 in Orense (Galizia) in Spain, Luis Manuel Cuña Ramos has spent most of his life in Italy, mainly in Rome, where he was awarded a doctorate in Ecclesiastical History and carried out archival studies. He was ordained a priest by St. John Paul II on 14 June 1992 for the diocese of Orense. After spending two years in his diocese, he returned to Rome to work at Propaganda Fide Historical Archives, where he remained for almost a quarter of a century. He was a visiting professor at the Pontifical Urban University and at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Since 2012 he has served as historical consultor of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints. Three years ago, he returned to his hometown to serve as Episcopal Delegate for the Cultural Heritage of the Bishopric of Ourense.
Since 2013, as Magistral Chaplain and Spiritual Caregiver, he has actively participated in the Order of Malta’s works, as well as taking part in its numerous pilgrimages to Lourdes and Loreto.
Monsignor Cuña succeeds Monsignor Jean Laffitte, appointed Prelate of the Order of Malta by Pope Francis in July 2015. The Order of Malta’s Grand Commander Fra’ Emmanuel Rousseau thanked Monsignor Jean Laffitte for his eight years as Prelate of the Order, wishing him “a fruitful ministry for the future”. For his part, Monsignor Laffitte expressed his “gratitude for having been able to serve the Order throughout these years. It has been an honour and a joy”.
According to art. 22 of the Constitution, the Prelate is responsible for the Order’s clergy in the exercise of their priestly function and ensures that the religious and priestly life of the chaplains and their apostolate is carried out according to the Order of Malta’s discipline and spirit. He supports the Grand Master, the Grand Commander and the Coordinator of the Second Class in supervising the religious life and devotion of all members and all aspects relating to the spiritual nature of the Order’s institutions and works. The Prelate is appointed by the Supreme Pontiff after consulting the Cardinalis Patronus. At each session of the General Chapter and the Chapter of Professed, the Prelate presents a report on the spirituality of the Order’s clergy.