The Order of Malta is currently in a "transitional phase," according to its Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager. Expression for it is the election of a governor instead of a grand master for life.
This is what von Boeselager explained in response to a question in Rome. He called this at the same time a "clear signal for a common departure".
Transitional leader for one year
The Grand Council of State of the Order had elected on Saturday the 72-year-old Italian Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre as transitional leader for one year. Dalla Torre to lead the order during internal reforms and until a new grand master is elected.
Dalla Torre is destined to lead the reform process that has already been initiated, von Boeselager continued. "Consultations on the reforms have already begun. The government of the Order, under the direction of the Governor, will now form a series of committees on individual ies."
The goal is to evaluate the proposals received in the coming months and to translate them into concrete recommendations for action on which the General Chapter will vote, von Boeselager further explained. This is "an inclusive process that will certainly also help to strengthen cohesion and exchange in the Order," the Grand Chancellor said. Dalla Torre enjoys in the order due to its experience of many years and its past working "highest confidence and reputation".
The order, which is active among other things in international emergency aid and has its own status under international law, had fallen into a leadership crisis under former Grand Master Matthew Festing (67). Festing resigned as grand chancellor at the end of January after a dispute over von Boeselager's impeachment and reinstatement.
Dalla Torre had already led the order on an interim basis in 2008 in his role as grand commander following the death of the then grand master, Fra Andrew Bertie. Since 2008, Fra Giacomo Dalla Torre has been Grand Prior of Rome. His older brother Giuseppe Dalla Torre is a Vatican judge; he presided over the Vatileaks trials.