RIVISTA 1993                                                 


Malta, Sant’Angelo Fort 10/11 December 1993

Second Seminar for the Order’s Strategies

The Order’s needs for renewal in view of the year 2000


There are four subjects of crucial importance in respect of which the Commission, in agreement with the Secretary of the Future Strategies Commission, Count Winfried Henckel von Donnersmarck, considered it useful to hear the opinions of the highest charges of the Order.

The Strategies Commission acted as organiser of the Seminar, appointing four co-ordinators, who provided special terms of reference for their respective subjects, and assistants to each Working Group:

1 - «The Relationship Between the Order’s Headquarters and peripheral Bodies»

Co-ordinators: Fra’ John Edward Critien,  Jean Pierre Mazery, Knight of Magistral Grace

2 - «The Structure of the Order’s Classes»

Co-ordinators: Fra’ John A. MacPherson,  John Bellingham, Knight Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion

3 - «The Role of the Dames»

Co-ordinators: Monika Schwarz, Dame of Magistral Grace, H.E. Richard J. Dunn, Knight of Obedience

4 -  «The Order’s Charisma and Image”

Co-ordinators: H.E. Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein, Don Jose Maria Rodriguez Ponga y Salamanca, Knight of Honour and Devotion.


«We must not forget», Count Marullo continued, «that the Seminar is a chance for reviewing all the topics of particular importance for the Reform of the Constitutional Charter and Code, which the Sovereign Council did not feel it could decide on by itself.  All the work of the Groups must take this as their point of reference. The deliberations will form an integral part of the suggestions which the Commission for the Reform of the Constitutional Charter and Code will present to the Sovereign Council for it to evaluate, if it so desires, and submit to the General Chapter. We have undoubtedly taken on a difficult task”, Count Marullo added, «but the Order cannot and does not want to go outside its aims and canons, its traditions. The spirit of reform certainly involves adjusting to the Second Vatican Council and up-dating its structures in view of the new millennium.” Having thus defined the scope of the Seminar, its Co-ordinator Count Marullo wanted to stress that this is a phase of a «bloodless revolution which all humanity is experiencing with the third millennium around the corner, a revolution aimed at doing away with the previous governmental structures, in order to establish a new constitutional system, more suited to the life of a changing society.» «The necessity for these changes”, continued Count Marullo, “is also felt by the government of the Order of Malta, albeit in a lesser way given its philanthropic aims to help the suffering and needy.

These aims are the cornerstone of the Order’s actions, but in a profoundly renewed society it is necessary to adjust its structure to the current situation so that the aims themselves are more specifically pursued and achieved. It has thus been noted in the Seminar that a simple constitutional engineering on our Statutes is not in itself sufficient and it is impossible to work on single norms, because the basic structure itself has to be revised in the light of the changes occurring on an international scale, as Count Marullo pointed out. «Thus the General Chapter must see the proposals of the Commission, and those of the Grand Priories and National Associations, recommending a radical reform of the Statutes, giving the Sovereign Order more flexible government patterns, and above all stressing its sovereignty, which is indispensable for acting in the international community as «par inter pares». «This historic issue», concluded Count Marullo to the applause of the assembly, «is intrinsically bound up with the complex works of the strategies commissions, since the Order’s renewal must also involve pinpointing goals in line with the new, rapidly forming scenarios”.


  Malta. La Valletta. La penisola di Vittoriosa con i contrafforti di Forte Sant’Angelo sul quale sventolano la bandiera dell’Ordine e quella della Repubblica di Malta. Con l’Accordo stipulato nel dicembre 1998 il Forte č stato concesso al  Sovrano Ordine ed č sede dell’Accademia Internazionale Melitense.

Malta. Valletta. The Vittoriosa peninsula with the Sant'Angelo Fort, where the flag of the Order and the flag of the Republic of Malta fly together. The Fort was granted to the Sovereign Order under the Agreement signed in December 1998 and is now the seat of the Accademia Internazionale Melitense.




It is recommended to establish special consultative bodies providing the necessary professional support for the High Officers of the Order and it is suggested that regular meetings be arranged between the Grand Magistry and the Order’s bodies, as well as local meetings, and visits of the High Officers to the peripheral bodies. The Grand Priories, Sub-Priories and National Associations express their wish to be able to play a more active role in the sessions of the Sovereign Council. It is requested that the Grand Magistry promote guidelines both for spiritual aspects and the hospitaller activity as well as for the phenomenon of false Orders, with written regulations on the relations between the Grand Magistry and the Order’s Entities and on the role of Embassies.

Changes are recommended in the structure of the Second Class to enable members of the Third Class to undertake, after a period of probation, a more fitting religious commitment, without reservations as regards the canonical and nobility requirements for being admitted to the ranks of the High Officers. It is proposed that an International Commission be created, made up of the Grand Priors, Regents of the Sub-Priories and Presidents, with the task of issuing, in particular where there is no nobility institution, a specific definition of “nobility”, to be applied to applicants to the category of Grace and Devotion. It is also suggested that new categories be instituted in the Statutes of the Grand Priories, Sub-Priories and National Associations, for those maintaining close contacts with the Order.

A greater presence of women in the life of the Order is proposed, of equal ranking with the position of Knights, particularly with reference to admission of women also without proofs of nobility.

The importance of co-ordinating our humanitarian action is stressed: external communications must be focused on this and internal communications should aim at increasing the spiritual and caring commitment of members, enhancing the diplomatic structure. The need is reiterated of preserving and consolidating the Order’s innate features, its twofold religious and lay aspect, its hospitaller vocation, its nobility component - also understood as nobility of thought and action - its tradition and its sovereignty.