Archbishop Paul Cremona, O.P. 

Archbishop of Malta

 


Events

Date Age Event Title
25 Jan 1946   Born Valletta
29 Sep 1967 21.7 Solemn Professed Member of Order of Friars Preachers
22 Mar 1969 23.2 Ordained Priest Priest of Order of Friars Preachers
2 Dec 2006 60.9 Appointed Archbishop of Malta
26 Jan 2007 61.0 Ordained Bishop Archbishop of Malta
18 Oct 2014 68.8 Resigned Archbishop of Malta

 
 

 

 

                                                                                      

Episcopal Lineage / Apostolic Succession:
  • Archbishop Paul Cremona, O.P. (2007)
  • Archbishop Joseph Mercieca (1974)
  • Archbishop Michael Gonzi + (1924)
  • Archbishop Mauro Caruana, O.S.B. + (1915)
  • Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val y Zulueta + (1900)
  • Mariano Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro + (1882)
  • Edward Henry Cardinal Howard + (1872)
  • Carlo Cardinal Sacconi + (1851)
  • Giacomo Filippo Cardinal Fransoni + (1822)
  • Pietro Francesco Cardinal Galeffi + (1819)
  • Alessandro Cardinal Mattei + (1777)
  • Bernardino Cardinal Giraud + (1767)
  • Pope Carlo della Torre Rezzonico + (1743)
  • Pope Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini + (1724)
  • Pope Pietro Francesco (Vincenzo Maria) Orsini de Gravina, O.P. + (1675)
  • Paluzzo Cardinal Paluzzi Altieri Degli Albertoni + (1666)
  • Ulderico Cardinal Carpegna + (1630)
  • Luigi Cardinal Caetani + (1622)
  • Ludovico Cardinal Ludovisi + (1621)
  • Archbishop Galeazzo Sanvitale + (1604)
  • Girolamo Cardinal Bernerio, O.P. + (1586)
  • Giulio Antonio Cardinal Santorio + (1566)
  • Scipione Cardinal Rebiba +

 

Biography

 

 

Mgr Cremona was born in   Valletta  on January 25, 1946, to Joseph and Josephine nee Cauchi. He has two siblings: an elder brother and a younger sister. He was educated at the  Montesseori  School in   Valletta  and at the Lyceum in Ħamrun. 

In September 1962, Fr Cremona joined the Dominican Order, and was professed on September 29, 1963. He studied philosophy and theology at the  College of  St Thomas Aquinas at the Dominican priory at Rabat, and was ordained as priest on March 22, 1969.

 

After his ordination, Mgr Cremona was sent to follow higher studies in Moral Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome where, in 1973, he graduated Doctor in Theology presenting the thesis The Concept of Peace in Pope John XXIII.

From 1974 to 1980, he was Prior at the convent of Our Lady of the Grotto at  Rabat  . He was re-elected to the same office in 1997 and served up to 2003. In 1981, he was chosen Provincial of the Maltese Dominicans, an office he held for two four-year terms.

 

In 1989 he was appointed parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima in Gwardamangia, Pietà where he served until 1993; he then became responsible for the formation of Dominican novices and students at Rabat, an office he again held between 2004 and 2005. In 2005, Mgr Cremona become parish priest of Jesus of Nazareth in Sliema.

 

Mgr Cremona held other offices in the Archdiocese, including Archbishop's Delegate for Consecrated Life, assistant spiritual director at the Seminary at Tal-Virtù,  Rabat, member of the Presbyterial Council, and President of the Council of Maltese Religious Major Superiors (KSMR).

 

Mgr Cremona used to be invited every year to preach Lenten sermons in different parishes and churches. He has been sought regularly by a great number of religious and lay people particularly by married couples, for spiritual direction, and to hear Confessions.

 

He has written a good number of books dealing with theology and spirituality, including writings on the Creed and the Commandments and four books he wrote jointly with Fr George Frendo, OP, now a bishop in  Albania  .

 

Ordination

 

Mgr Cremona was announced as the new bishop-elect on December 2, 2006.

 

The ordination took place on January 26 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in  Valletta. The Mass with the rites of ordination was led by the outgoing Archbishop of Malta, Joseph Mercieca, who was the principal consecrator, assisted by the Apostolic Nuncio Mgr Felix del Blanco Prieto and Mgr George Frendo OP, a longtime friend of Mgr Cremona, and Auxiliary Bishop of Tirana-Durres in  Albania. Hundreds of priests concelebrated, while two large tents were erected in the city for the many who could not enter the Co-Cathedral.

 

When the nomination of Mgr Cremona was made public on December 2, 2006, Apostolic Nuncio Felix del Blanco Prieto announced to journalists and the Presbyterial Council meeting at the Curia in Floriana: "Pope John Paul II was received in Malta with unforgettable enthusiasm as 'the second [Saint] Paul'. Today as per mandate of Pope Benedict XVI the diocese is being entrusted to another Paul."

 

The new Archbishop invoked Bishop Saint Augustine: "For you I am a Bishop but with you I am a Christian."

 

Resignation

 

Archbishop Paul Cremona O.P. tendered his resignation as the head of the Maltese Church on Saturday 18 October 2014.  The 68-year-old archbishop wrote to Pope Francis requesting to step down.  His resignation as accepted by Pope Francis.  Mgr Cremona was the first head of the Church in Malta to step down before retirement age since the 19th century when Bishop Publio Maria Sant resigned on  25 September 1857 due to health reasons.
 

His term was a difficult one. He had to deal with growing religious indifference, cases of clerical sex abuse, the introduction of divorce, and in 2014 legislation putting gay partnerships on a par with marriage. Among the highlights of Mgr Cremona’s episcopate were the canonisation of Malta’s first saint  Dun Ġorg Preca in June 2007  and Pope Benedict’s visit to Malta in April 2010.

 

Mgr Cremona acquired the title of Emeritus Archbishop of Malta. In a letter addressed to Mgr Cremona, the Holy Father thanked Archbishop Emeritus Cremona for his episcopal ministry, well known and appreciated for its human warmth and spiritual proximity to the people of God.  The Holy Father, Pope Francis nominated His Lordship Mgr Charles J. Scicluna, Titular Bishop of San Leone, as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante with the authority to govern the Archdiocese of Malta until the new Archbishop of Malta takes canonical possession of the Archdiocese. During the period in which the Archiepiscopal See of Malta is vacant, ordinary pastoral ministry is guaranteed under the leadership of the Apostolic Administrator, but all innovative initiatives are to be put on hold for the new Archbishop to decide about them.

 

 

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