By Vatican News staff writer
In a letter dated 25 October 2021, the Pope thanks Cardinal Tomasi for the positive work he has already done since accepting the appointment as his Special Delegate to the Order of Malta, and takes note of the ongoing process to update the Constitutional Charter and the Code of the Order, expressing his belief that “it is important that the Extraordinary General Chapter be celebrated in conditions that will ensure the necessary renewal in the life of the Order.”
In light of this, he says, he has extended Fra' Marco Luzzago in his office of Lieutenant of Grand Master of the Sovreign Order of Malta until the conclusion of that General Chapter and the subsequent election of a new Grand Master by the Council Complete of State.
The Pope goes on to specify that, as his Special Delegate, Cardinal Tomasi has “all the powers necessary to decide any questions that may arise for the implementation of the mandate” entrusted to him, including the power to take upon himself “aspects of the ordinary government of the Order, even derogating, if necessary, from the current Constitutional Charter and the current Melitense Code, as well as to resolve all internal conflicts within the Order ex auctoritate Summi Pontificis.”
Furthermore, the Pope’s letter to Cardinal Tomasi reads, “in view of the forthcoming Extraordinary General Chapter, in order to meet any problems that may arise, I also expressly grant you the following powers
- To convene the Extraordinary General Chapter for a date that you will determine and to co-chair the same;
- to define ad hoc regulations for the composition and celebration of the Extraordinary General Chapter;
- to approve the Constitutional Charter and the Melitense Code;
- to proceed to the renewal of the Sovereign Council in conformity with the new normative texts;
- to convene the Council Complete of State for the election of a new Grand Master.
Pope Francis concludes expressing encouragement and support for the Sovereign Order of Malta and for the many works of charity it carries out thanks to the collaboration of members and volunteers in different parts of the world.