The Consulta of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem is the Order’s main advisory body and is convened every five years. All the highest offices of the Order are represented including, the Cardinal Grand Master, and all the highest offices of the Order, including the Grand Magisterium, the Lieutenants and the Magistral Delegates take part. A representative from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and a representative of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches also attend.
The main aim of the Order “is to strengthen among its members the practice of Christian life, to sustain and aid the charitable, cultural and social works and institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land, particularly those of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which also includes Cyprus and Jordan, thus supporting the Christian presence in the Lands of the Bible.”
An Instrumentum Laboris or working document is being drafted by a special commission which the order says, “will help to direct the reflection of the participants, who will receive it before the meeting.”
Participating at Wednesday’s press conference at the Holy See Press Office was Grand Master, Cardinal Edwin O’Brien and following the briefing he spoke to Vatican News about the agenda for the upcoming Consulta. “This meeting we want to be sure we’re on the same page when it comes to the formation of our members and that starts with our Lieutenants… So it is our intention in this Consulta to review our new statutes and to see what role the Lieutenant should play in serving his membership…”, he said.
During the Press Conference the Cardinal spoke about not wanting to see the areas of the Middle East become like museums with people leaving their lands to find a better life elsewhere. Asked about this during the interview, the Cardinal said they were putting a focus on education. “Education is no less important in the Holy Land, in Palestine, even more important there because so many things that which they are deprived are beyond their reach, but we want to make education available to all of them and it is something the local pastors take very seriously.”
The Cardinal went on to say that the Order does its best to support the Pastors of the area and the Bishops “to become one with the people, to identify with their pains and with their needs; to give them some hope, some joy… and these are very important elements for stability”.
The Consulta will take place in Rome and run from the 13-16 November.