Vatican City, Jun 19, 2023 / 10:06 am
Pope Francis on Monday appointed Cardinal Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, to succeed Cardinal Raymond Burke as the patron of the Order of Malta.
The Vatican announced June 19 that the 80-year-old Jesuit cardinal will take on the role as the “Cardinalis Patronus,” the papal representative to the sovereign order responsible for promoting the spiritual interests of the order and its 13,500 members.
Ghirlanda has already played an active role in the Order of Malta’s reform. He was part of the team that drafted the order’s new constitution and spoke with the pope at length about the process, along with Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, the most recent special delegate to the order.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is both a lay religious order of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state subject to international law.