By a “motu proprio” decree signed by Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Grand Master of the Order, Ambassador of Austria to the Holy See, Alfons Kloss, was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
On July 26 the Governor General Leonardo Visconti di Modrone, who has personally known Ambassador Kloss for many years because of their common diplomatic engagement, presided over the ceremony of conferral of the Grand Cross of the Order at the presence of his wife, Mrs. Anna Maria Kloss Gudenus, Chancellor Bastianelli, other members of the Grand Magisterium and the whole staff at Palazzo della Rovere, headquarters of the Grand Magisterium.
As Ambassador to the Italian Republic in Rome (2001-2007) and diplomatic counselor to the President of the Republic in Vienna (2007-2011), he has always acquired particular merits and helped the cause of the Church.
Ambassador Kloss concludes his mandate in Rome at the end of July after seven years in his position. A devoted Catholic, he has now been offered by Cardinal Schönborn the presidency of the “Pro Oriente” Foundation created in Vienna by the late Cardinal Franz König to promote the dialogue between the Roman and the Oriental Churches.
After having mentioned his new engagement with the “Pro Oriente” Foundation with the task of reinforcing relationship with Orthodox and Oriental Churches, Ambassador Kloss stated: “I feel this appointment as a responsibility, a call to commit to these issues trying also to conceive common initiatives in the future.”
“I receive this honor with great emotion, and I commit to carrying forward the Order’s mission, with which I was entrusted today,” he concluded.
(July 27, 2018)