18 apr 17
For April 29, a meeting has been scheduled in Rome of the Council Complete of State among the Professed Knights, the organ that according to statute will proceed with the election of the new Grand Master of the Order of Malta.
As is known, the previous Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing of England, delivered his resignation on January 24 into the hands of Pope Francis, in obedience to his command.
Since then, the supreme authority of the Order has been represented, in the capacity of interim lieutenant, by Grand Commander Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein.
On February 4, however, Pope Francis also placed over the Order his own Special Delegate and “exclusive spokesman,” de facto endowed with full powers, in the person of Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute secretary of state.
The following letter is glaring proof of the exercise of these full powers.
In the name of the pope, Becciu prohibits the former Grand Master from taking part in the election of his successor. Not only that. He even forbids him to go to Rome on the occasion of the conclave.
The following is the full translation of the letter, sent to Festing on Holy Saturday.
The Special Delegate
to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order
of Saint John of Jerusalem
of Rhodes and of Malta
00120 CITTÀ DEL VATICANO
From the Vatican, April 15, 2017
Dear Venerable Brother,
From the moment I accepted the task entrusted to me by the Holy Father as his Delegate to the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, a priority of mine has been to deepen my knowledge of the Order either through personal meetings with its members or by means of correspondence in this way have been able to appreciate the vitality of the Order as well as the complexity of its problems what has also emerged is a certain disorientation, accompanied by deep suffering, due to the recent crisis. In all, however, one can clearly see the desire to turn a new page, working to reconcile the different elements and initiating a review of the Constitutions.
However, with a view to the Complete Council of State, to be held on 29 April, many have expressed their wish that you not come to Rome and participate in the voting sessions. Your presence would reopen wounds, only recently healed, and would prevent the even taking place in an atmosphere of peace and regained harmony.
In consideration of the above, and having shared the decision with the Holy Father, ask you, in my capacity as Special Delegate, not to be present at the Complete Council of State and to forego your trip to Rome on this occasion. I ask you this as an act of obedience, in which you will, without doubt, recognize this sacrifice of yours as a self-giving gesture for the good of the Order of Malta.
While extending to you my wishes for a Happy Easter, I assure you of a continued remembrance in my prayers.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop Angelo Becciu