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Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto

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Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto
FraGiacomoDallaTorre.jpg
Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Reign3 May 2018 – 29 April 2020 (Acting: 30 April 2017 – 3 May 2018)
PredecessorLudwig von Rumerstein (Acting)
SuccessorRuy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas (Acting)
Grand CommanderLudwig von Rumerstein
Reign7 February 2008 – 11 March 2008 (Acting)
PredecessorAndrew Bertie
SuccessorMatthew Festing
Grand Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Reign2 June 2004 – 12 February 2009
PredecessorLudwig von Rumerstein
SuccessorGherardo Hercolani Fava Simonetti
Grand MastersAndrew Bertie
Matthew Festing
Born(1944-12-09)9 December 1944
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Died29 April 2020(2020-04-29) (aged 75)
Rome, Italy
Burial5 May 2020
FatherPaolo dalla Torre, Count of Sanguinetto
MotherAntonietta Pulvirenti De Grazia

Fra' Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto (9 December 1944 – 29 April 2020) was the 80th Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Born in Rome to a noble family with extensive ties to the Vatican, he completed his studies at the Sapienza University of Rome and taught at the Pontifical Urban University. He joined the Order in 1985 and took full vows in 1993 to become a Knight of Justice. Dalla Torre served two separate stints as interim leader of the Order, from February to March 2008 and again from 2017 until 2018. He was elected Prince and Grand Master of the Order on 2 May 2018.[1] During his time in office, he endeavoured to repair the Order's relations with the Vatican. These had become strained when his predecessor was controversially forced out by the Pope. Dalla Torre's three-year-long incumbency came to an end when died of throat cancer in 2020.

Family and personal life[edit]

Dalla Torre was born in Rome (part of the Kingdom of Italy at the time) on 9 December 1944, to a noble comital family that was originally from Treviso and has a strong affiliation with the Holy See. His father – Paolo dalla Torre, 3rd Count of Sanguinetto – was an art historian and Director General of the Vatican Museums from 1961 to 1975.[2] His mother was Antonietta Pulvirenti De Grazia.[3] His brother, Giuseppe dalla Torre [it], a lawyer, was the President of the Tribunal of the Vatican City State,[2][4][5] and was formerly Lieutenant General of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.[6] His grandfather Giuseppe Dalla Torre [it], a journalist, was the editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano from 1920 to 1960.[2] Furthermore, when Pope Benedict XVI was still a cardinal, he once entrusted his cat to dalla Torre's care while he was away from the Vatican.[7]

Dalla Torre studied Christian archeology and art history at the Sapienza University of Rome. He held academic posts at the Pontifical Urban University, where he taught classical Greek and served as its Chief Librarian and Archivist.[2][8] He published several academic writings on medieval art history and was an expert in the field.[2][9] He was also a musical enthusiast, particularly for Italian opera.[10][11] His knowledge of music was described by Times of Malta as "prodigious".[10]

Order of Malta[edit]

Knight[edit]

Dalla Torre became a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) in 1985 and took solemn vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Knight of Justice eight years later in 1993.[12] Consequently, he joined a select group of approximately 60 professed knights, out of a total of 13,500 knights and dames internationally,[7] and quickly rose through ranks of posts set aside for these knights.[2] In 1994 he was elected Grand Prior of Lombardy and Venice, a position he held until 1999. From 1999 to 2004 he was a member of the Sovereign Council.[12] Dalla Torre was elected Grand Commander of the Order in 2004. Four years later, as Grand Commander, he automatically became Lieutenant ad interim (acting head of the Order) when Andrew Bertie, the 78th Prince and Grand Master, died on 7 February. He held that position for just over one month until the election of a new leader was held on 11 March. Because he was the "leading Italian member" of the SMOM at the time, dalla Torre was viewed as a candidate for the position on a full-time basis.[2] However, that post ultimately went to Fra' Matthew Festing.[13]

Dalla Torre was elected Grand Prior of Rome on 24 January 2009.[4][14] He was re-elected as Grand Prior on 12 February 2015,[15] and held that office until he was elected Lieutenant of the Grand Master and acting head of the SMOM on 29 April 2017.[16] This took place three months after the resignation of Fra' Matthew Festing as Prince and Grand Master.[14][17][18] Dalla Torre served in this capacity until 2 May 2018, when he was elected Prince and Grand Master.[12][17] He was the early favourite to secure the post, having been one of a small number of candidates qualified for it.[2] Before the election was held, a letter written by Ludwig Hoffmann-Rumerstein was sent to Pope Francis without first being vetted by the Sovereign Council. It requested that he grant professed knights two thirds of the seats on the Council and guarantee that the next Grand Master would be selected from among that group, while doing away with the requirement of noble ancestry. These proposed changes were viewed as a bid to stymie dalla Torre's election as leader, and were turned down by the Pope.[7]

Grand Master[edit]

Fifty-seven members of the SMOM were chosen to vote on the nomination of dalla Torre as Grand Master. Among them were two women, marking the first time in the history of the Order that female members participated in the selection of a new leader.[10] Upon becoming Grand Master, his full title became "His Most Eminent Highness Fra' Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Most Humble Guardian of the Poor of Jesus Christ".[19][20] He took the oath of office on 3 May at Santa Maria del Priorato Church,[21] in the presence of the Council Complete of State who elected him.[12]

As a Vatican insider, dalla Torre sought to swiftly repair the Order's relations with the Holy See,[22][23] according to the Associated Press.[22] These had been damaged after Festing was requested to resign by Pope Francis in 2017. The Pope had also stepped in to reinstate the Grand Chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager, whom Festing dismissed from the Order after the SMOM's charity wing under Boeselager's watch was unintentionally implicated in handing out condoms in Myanmar to prevent the transmission of HIV.[11][24] Under dalla Torre's leadership, the Order's conservative bloc was "eased out" in favour of the reform-oriented group,[9] and institutional changes were in the process of being rolled out.[11][23] This led The Daily Telegraph to describe him as being "utterly in the hands of" the progressive German association of the Order.[2]

Dalla Torre informed the Order in a letter issued on 10 June 2019 that all of its official liturgical celebrations had to use the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite and not the Extraordinary Form (also known as the Tridentine Mass).[25][26] These celebrations include the SMOM's investitures, masses during its pilgrimages, memorial masses, and its solemnities and feasts. He highlighted how article 3 of Summorum Pontificum (the motu proprio issued by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 on the use of the Tridentine Mass) grants the Major Superior of religious institutes like the Order of Malta the authority to decide which form of the Mass to be used.[26] The letter made clear that this directive does not encompass – nor aims to encroach on – the "personal preferences" of members in their everyday lives outside of the Order.[25] The diplomatic public affairs and press officer of the SMOM, Marianna Balfour, stressed that dalla Torre's letter was merely a restatement of existing principles, not the creation of new guidelines, and was "aimed only at fostering unity in the Order".[25]

During his tenure as Grand Master, dalla Torre made state visits to countries such as Benin (January 2019), Cameroon (July 2019), Germany, Slovenia, and Bulgaria.[11][17] On each of those occasions, he paid a visit to the healthcare facilities run by the SMOM, where he staff and patients.[11] In September 2019, he expressed his interest in visiting Russia should he be given the opportunity to by the Grand Chancellor, given the Order's historical relations with the country;[27] Paul I of Russia was his predecessor, serving as the de facto 72nd Grand Master from 1799 until 1801.[28] Dalla Torre was also personally involved with many of the Order's charitable works for the sick and the poor. He served food to the homeless at Termini and Tiburtina train stations on a weekly basis.[11][29] He also participated in the SMOM's pilgrimages to Lourdes, Loreto, and Assisi, as well as its international summer camps for disabled youths.[11][29]

In his last official action as Grand Master, dalla Torre met with the Sovereign Council on 2 April 2020. They agreed to convene an extraordinary General Chapter in November 2020 to approve the reform of the SMOM Constitution of 1961. Dalla Torre issued a letter to that effect on 28 April.[30]

Death[edit]

Dalla Torre died in Rome shortly after midnight on 29 April 2020,[29] at the age of 75.[24] The Order emphasised that his death was not caused by or related to the COVID‑19 virus.[22] He had been receiving treatment for throat cancer in the months leading up to his death.[24] A message of condolence conveyed by Pope Francis praised dalla Torre as "a zealous man of culture and faith" who embodied "a spirit of service for the good of the Church [and] dedication to the most suffering".[11] The Minister for European and Foreign Affairs of Malta, Evarist Bartolo, also expressed his condolences on behalf of the government of Malta.[10] His funeral Mass took place on 5 May at Santa Maria del Priorato Church, presided over by Giovanni Angelo Becciu. He was buried in the crypt of that church next to two of his predecessors, Angelo de Mojana di Cologna and Andrew Bertie.[31] Although the election of a new leader usually takes place within three months after the death or resignation of the previous Grand Master, a source from the Order has confirmed that this will probably be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[9][23] Grand Commander Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas will serve as the interim leader of the SMOM until the election is held.[24]

Publications[edit]

  • dalla Torre, Giacomo (2003). "La biblioteca e l'archivio di 'Propaganda fide': prospettive di ricerca". In Zarri, Gabriella (ed.). Ordini religiosi, santità e culti: prospettive di ricerca tra Europa e America Latina : atti del Seminario di Roma, 21–22 giugno 2001. Galatina: Congedo. pp. 153–191. ISBN 9788880864899.
  • Frammenti di storia familiare, 2012 (with Giuseppe dalla Torre). Roma: Aracne, 2013.
  • "Una scena rara e controversa della scultura paleocristiana", Bollettino dei musei comunali di Roma 19 (1972): 22–26.

Honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto elected 80th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta". Order of Malta. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Fra' Giacomo dalla Torre, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. London. 29 April 2020. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Elward, Ronald (2 May 2018). "The Heirs of Europe: Sovereign Military Order of Malta". Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Ordine di Malta, Dalla Torre eletto luogotenente". La Stampa (in Italian). 29 April 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  5. ^ Reese, Thomas (14 July 2016). "'VatiLeaks': A foolish and embarrassing case". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  6. ^ "Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, The Grand Magisterium of the Order". The Holy See.
  7. ^ a b c Lamb, Christopher (1 February 2018). "Pope blocks recruitment as Knights of Malta tussle for control of order". The Tablet. London. Archived from the original on 1 May 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  8. ^ Arocho Esteves, Junno (29 April 2020). "Knights of Malta grand master dies at 75". Crux. Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Order of Malta: Grand Master Giacomo Dalla Torre dies at 75". BBC News. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d "Grand Master of the Order of Malta dies in Rome". Times of Malta. 29 April 2020. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Mares, Courtney (29 April 2020). "Grand Master of the Order of Malta dies at 75". EWTN. Catholic News Agency. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d Brockhaus, Hannah (2 May 2018). "Knights of Malta elect Dalla Torre 80th Grand Master". EWTN. Catholic News Agency. Archived from the original on 3 May 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  13. ^ McKenna, Josephine (29 April 2017). "Knights of Malta elect new leader as Vatican seeks to bury feud". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto elected Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta". Order of Malta (Press release). 29 April 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  15. ^ "Elezione del Gran Priore di Roma". Ordine di Malta Italia. 18 February 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018.[dead link]
  16. ^ Smith, Sean (29 April 2017). "Knights of Malta will return to Rome in a year after electing a temporary leader". The Tablet. Retrieved 29 April 2017. The new lieutenant will have exactly the same powers as a grand master.
  17. ^ a b c "Leader of worldwide Order of Malta dies in Rome at 75". The Foundation for Evangelization through the Media. Aleteia. 29 April 2020. Archived from the original on 1 May 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  18. ^ Conti, Paolo (29 April 2017). "Ordine di Malta, Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre nuovo Luogotenente generale". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Fra Andrew Bertie". The Times. London. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2020. (subscription required)
  20. ^ Kelly, Michael (31 July 2014). "An enduring mission to the poor". The Irish Catholic. Dublin. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre takes oath". Order of Malta. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  22. ^ a b c "Dalla Torre, Grand Master of Knights of Malta, Dies at 75". The New York Times. Associated Press. 29 April 2020. Archived from the original on 6 May 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  23. ^ a b c Pullella, Philip (29 April 2020). "Knights of Malta Grand Master who healed rift with Vatican dies". Reuters. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  24. ^ a b c d "Grand Master of the Order of Malta dies at 75". The B.C. Catholic. Vancouver. 28 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  25. ^ a b c Glatz, Carol (12 June 2019). "Order of Malta's leader tells members: Tridentine Mass not allowed". Crux. Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  26. ^ a b Brockhaus, Hannah (11 June 2019). "Order of Malta leader restricts use of extraordinary form within order". EWTN. Catholic News Agency. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  27. ^ "Order of Malta's Grand Master would like to visit Russia". Russian News Agency TASS. 11 September 2019. Archived from the original on 27 December 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  28. ^ "The Grand Masters of the Order of Malta". Order of Malta. Archived from the original on 1 May 2020. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Grand Magistry Announces Death of H.M.E.H. Grand Master Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto". Order of Malta. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  30. ^ Cernuzio, Salvatore. "Ordine di Malta, verso l'elezione del nuovo Gran Maestro tra coronavirus e una riforma "in alto mare"". La Stampa (in Italian). Archived from the original on 7 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Funerali fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre: card. Becciu, "esempio per tutti i membri del Sovrano Ordine di Malta"". Servizio Informazione Religiosa. 5 May 2020. Archived from the original on 5 May 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020. (in Italian)
  32. ^ a b van Brantegem, Vik (29 April 2020). "Il Gran Magistero dell'Ordine di Malta annuncia la scomparsa del Gran Maestro". Innovative Media Inc. Retrieved 29 April 2020. (in Italian)
  33. ^ "HRH the Duke of Castro Expresses his Congratulations to Fra Giacomo dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, 80th Grand Master of the Order of Malta". Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. 2 May 2018. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  34. ^ "Le onorificenze della Repubblica Italiana". Presidenza della Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  35. ^ Order of Malta (13 December 2019). Il Gran Maestro dell'Ordine di Malta in Visita di Stato nella Repubblica di Bulgaria [The Grand Master of the Order of Malta on a State Visit to the Republic of Bulgaria] (in Italian). YouTube. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ludwig von Rumerstein
Grand Commander of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Gherardo Hercolani Fava Simonetti
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Andrew Bertie
Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Acting

2008
Succeeded by
Matthew Festing
Preceded by
Ludwig von Rumerstein
Acting
Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Acting: 2017–2018

2017–2020
Succeeded by
Ruy Gonçalo do Valle Peixoto de Villas Boas
Acting