MESSAGE OF THE GRAND CHANCELLOR
Rome, Magistral Palace - 18 April 1997
Having been unanimously called, by the confidence of His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and Grand Master, Fra' Andrew Bertie, and the Sovereign Council to the high office of our Order's Grand Chancellor, I would like to use the Rivista Internazionale to extend warm greetings to all my Confreres who have pledged their lives to the vow they made when entering the Hierosolymite Militia.
First of all, I want to address a sincere thought to my predecessor, Amb. Baron Felice Catalano di Melilli, a teacher and far-sighted diplomat to whom is due the increase in diplomatic recognition which between the 80s and 90s brought the Order's presence to almost 70 countries.
The world theatre has changed profoundly over the last years, just as the situations in which the Sovereign Order is called to perform its mission have changed. The fall of the Berlin wall on one side and the spreading of unitary policies on the other mark a crisis in values tending to chaos, which can only find the hope to overcome the barriers of daily difficulties in spirituality and in men of goodwill, in the awareness of being human beings serving other human beings.
In this scenario and in the context of the action of the Holy Church world-wide, the Sovereign Order wants to step towards the third millennium confirming its loyalty to the principles of the Church, solemnly ratified by the decisions of Vatican Council II, ensuring a productive adjustment to the needs of everyday life.
A life in which the regulations have profoundly changed and where individual behaviour necessitates not only new approaches but also new rules capable of enlightening consciences in the respect of human dignity.
Assuming today the office of Grand Chancellor for the remaining two years of the legislature, I pledge to complete the procedures under way for the constitutional amendments to the Order's Charter and Code.
This pledge follows on from the action initiated as far back as 1988 with the seminar of the Future Strategies Programme and concluding now with the Extraordinary Chapter General, which will certainly confirm the loyalty to the Order's charisma in a pondered evolution towards realising the aspirations of the Order's members world-wide: respecting the religious, nobilary and lay character of the Order of St. John.
I wish to add to this personal pledge aimed at a new form of relations with the Holy See both on a constitutional level and on that of international law - the awareness of the need for action within the Order to modernise its structure, also vis à vis the constitutional amendments which are to be implemented.
This must prompt a new vision of the Order's diplomacy on both the bilateral and multilateral levels. Nor must we neglect the problems of image; the Communications Secretariat must help to lead it towards modem technologies and the actions needed to create communication spotlights in the regions where the Order is less well known.
The creation of a museum in the Grand Master's Palace on Rhodes is one example of this kind of action.
A new hospital will be set up in the area of the Indian Ocean.
A series of publications will be announcing the coming "Ninth Centenary of the Order", which we hope to be able to celebrate in 1999 with the return of the Knights to the Island of Malta, sovereign on the territory of Sant'Angelo.
Finally, among our goals for the millennium is that of enhancing our diplomatic relations with the Holy See on the plane of co-operation and for combating the religious sects spreading in South America and Africa, and with the Italian government for the health agreement which would enable the Order's Association of Italian Knights to increase its investments in the sector.
Gran Maestro insieme con le Alte Cariche e i Membri del Sovrano Consiglio, eletti dal Capitolo Generale del 1999 durante la Cerimonia del Giuramento.
Rome. Magistral Palace. H.M.E.H. the Prince and Grand Master with the High Charges and the Members of the Sovereign Councils who were elected at the Chapter General of 1999, during the Ceremony of the Oath.
Last but not least, I want to turn my devoted thoughts to H.M.E.H. the Grand Master who, in his onerous journeys to the poorest and most remote countries and State visits to areas struck by war and hardship, constitutes an example for the daily action of the Order's members; an example which I intend to follow in carrying out my mandate.
This is the programme for the next two years. I want today to exhort all my Confreres - on whose co-operation I now count - always openly to testify with words and works the fecundity of our religious credo together with the vitality of our chivalrous tradition.
Always pledged to serving the poor and the sick, under the protection of the Holy Virgin of Fileremo and our Patron Saint John the Baptist.
Roma. Palazzo Magistrale. S.E. il Gran Cancelliere del Sovrano Ordine, l’Amb. Conte Don Carlo Marullo di Condojanni, nel suo studio al Gran Magistero.
Rome. Magistral Palace. H.E. the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order, Amb. Count Don Carlo Marullo di Condojanni, in his office at the Grand Magistry.