Meeting of representatives of Central and Eastern European countries

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Governatore Generale e Luogotenenti a Praga_Sett 2023 - 1

A series of sectorial meetings between the Governor General, Ambassador Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, with European Lieutenancies and Magistral Delegations began with the Iberian group in Madrid, and continued with the Nordic countries in Stockholm, the Italophones in Assisi, the German-speakers in Vienna, and the French-speakers in Paris, was missing, in order to close the circle, a meeting with representatives of the Lieutenancies and Magistral Delegations of Central and Eastern European countries.

Thus an Investiture in the splendid Prague Cathedral, celebrated by the Cardinal Grand Master last Sunday, September 10, was the perfect pretext to convene representatives from that geographical area in the former capital of the Empire.

The meeting was held in the usual cordial and informal atmosphere in the setting of the ancient Strahov Monastery. Alongside the Governor General and Vice Governor, Jean Pierre de Glutz, was the host Magistral Delegate, Professor Tomas Parma. Also present were: Bela Jungbert for Hungary, Claude Grbesa for Croatia, Andrei Sznaider for Poland, accompanied by Chancellor Pavel Szopa, Nicholas Ehrer for Switzerland, and Stefan Ahrenstedt for Sweden.

The Governor General began by recalling the reason why he considered promoting the formula of sectorial meetings in Europe, after noting that the formal general meeting among all the European brethren was too "crowded" to allow a useful debate and a fruitful exchange of evaluations.

Vista di Praga_Sett 2023 - 1

The meeting in Prague allowed the Governor General to present the latest developments in the activities of the Grand Magisterium, and relations with the Holy Land and the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, an update on events related to the Palazzo della Rovere, and a presentation of future appointments such as the Consulta and the Holy Year 2025.

As repeatedly noted, the biggest problem in the Central and Eastern European geographical area concerns communication, mainly because of the plurality of languages. The Governor General recalled the intense information activity carried out by the Communications Office headed by Fran├žois Vayne, but also the need for such information to be translated and disseminated within each area concerned, for the benefit of members who do not know the principal languages for communication. This can also facilitate the recovery of confreres who have drifted away and no longer follow the Order's activities. The ensuing discussion was lively and everyone spoke. All present expressed interest in repeating the experience on an annual basis, and the Magistral Delegate for Croatia, Claude Grbesa, offered to host the next meeting in Pula at an Investiture of his Magistral Delegation.

A particularly topical issue that was addressed was that of the observance of the new Ritual, which by now-after some initial hesitation-is being applied by all the Lieutenancies; where this has not been the case, it seems to be due to inadequate familiarity with it and its rationale, despite the five languages-including German-in which it has been circulated. It was therefore hoped that members of the Order would visit the Grand Magisterium website directly and that the spirit of communion in the Order would be strengthened.

The outcomes of the meeting were reported the very next day to the Cardinal Grand Master, who was in turn able to meet with the brethren from Central and Eastern Europe, who were also joined by some aspiring candidates from Slovakia, a country where work on the creation of a new Magistral Delegation has begun.


(September 2023)