The Constitutional Grand Priory of Carpathia of The Order of Saint Lazarus is “not” a separate entity from The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus Jerusalem, but rather it is our answer to the 2004 Schism. A Schism that was supposed to unite two (2) branches of the Order. Instead it created havoc, confusion, further splintering of the Order and caused unrepairable damage to at-least two elaborate international programs.
Before the summer of 2004, two branches of The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, under two different Grand Masters, administered various jurisdictions of the Order around the world. The Malta Obedience – under the patronage of Don Francisco de Borbón y Escasany, 5th Duke of Seville, and the Paris Obedience – under the patronage of François de Cossé-Brissac,13th Duke of Brissac. Unfortunately, instead of unification, the 2004 Schism presented the opportunity to form several new Saint Lazarus organizations. Today, we have an additional seven (7) new groups parading under the name of the Saint Lazarus Order with no legal connection to the original two branches or the historical Order. This created confusion and mistrust not only inside the Order, but also with the churches and the public. At one point, things got so embarrassing that the hierarchy of various Christian churches began to shy away from the Order, especially when certain high ranking members of the Order openly propagated the absurd claim that the Order of Saint Lazarus was responsible for the reintroduction of Christianity into the post-communist countries of Central Europe. With all of that, and more, as one could have expected the 2004 Schism provided a very fertile ground to the opponents of the Order, especially to their Internet Trolls.
How could this happen?
For the past several decades a number of events undermined the ability of the membership to set things straight. Even today, many honorable members of the Order see this phenomena as confusing and as an uphill battle. However, after 2004, several jurisdictions of the Order, within the Central Europe – Carpathia Basin – and several adjacent countries, took the position that until the healing process is completed, and the self-serving “chivalry historians” get tired of debating the “time-line” of the Order, we will continue to fulfill the Order’s historical objectives: – To serve in the war against the Leprosy in an effort to alleviate human suffering. And, that is our noble tradition.
Traditionally, the Order of Saint Lazarus was, and we believe that it should continue to be, a Nobiliary Order of Christian chivalry – a knightly service Order. Unfortunately, for decades, this process has been challenged by various interest groups and unscrupulous opportunists within and outside of the Order, in effort to control the Order. However, what we experienced during the 2004 Schism has roots with many local and international Order of Saint Lazarus administrators, who for their own reasons “believed”, and unfortunately continue to believe, that the strength of each Jurisdiction and the Order itself, lies in the “membership numbers” and not in the quality of its its members. By doing so, these “jurisdictional creations” became a quagmire of platforms for medal seekers and social climbers. In short, what we are experiencing and seeing today, is that the associates in the category of “Magistral Grace” – ”the honorary members” of the Order, have become the new policy makers with their own dubious schemes hiding their true objectives behind political correctness.
A “nasty business” or just a “nifty trick”? Was anyone deceived? A “staged financial audit”, “finger pointing”, “feel good projects”, “promise to generate higher revenue for the Order”, and finally the “schism” were used to attain personal aspirations of the few. Unfortunately, even today, many of these same people continue to play an influential roll in each obedience of the Order.
The Order objectives are not about distributing used clothing, or acting as “a promotion agency” for various commercial medical products to third world countries under the heading of “charity”. But we are about supporting the War Against Leprosy. There are many good and respectable Christian and none-Christian organizations that are experts in collecting and distributing used closing, and there are many international marketing companies that are good at promoting their client’s commercial products to new markets. So let them do it.
Regardless of the above statement, pertaining to the Order’s main objectives, we also believe that there is nothing wrong with any individual Jurisdiction of being involved with various local charitable work and social community programs, such us youth crime prevention, first aid training, search and rescue, ambulance services, elderly care, or any other meaningful programs, however, all of these activities should be secondary to Saint Lazarus’ main objective. The Order was, and it always should be about individual member’s commitment to support the War Against Leprosy.
The membership in all Constitutional Jurisdictions of Carpathia is by invitation only.
We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the Grand Prior & NGOs Honorary Executive President.
H.E. Chev. Professor Charles Savona-Ventura, GCLJ, MD, DScMed for his great research and many publications on the history of the Order of Saint Lazarus. This booklet is proof of His Excellency’s dedication to details and ability to present a sensitive issue in a most diplomatic manner.
We would like to suggest that you support his work, and work of the Grand Priory of Maltese Islands.
Torri ta’ Lanzum, Mesija, San Gwann, Malta.