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Fra’ John Dunlap: “The new Sovereign Council will prove to be strategic in facing today’s great challenges”

The Extraordinary Chapter General of the Order of Malta, presided over by the Lieutenant of the Grand Master Fra’ John Dunlap and Cardinal Silvano Maria Tomasi, Special Delegate of the Pope, elected all the members of the Sovereign Council (the Order’s government), who will remain in office for six years.

The full government: the four senior posts – Grand Commander Fra’ Emmanuel Rousseau, Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Grand Hospitaller Fra’ Alessandro de Franciscis and Receiver of the Common Treasure Fabrizio Colonna; the Councillors of the Sovereign Council – Fra’ João Augusto Esquivel Freire de Andrade, Fra’ Roberto Viazzo, Fra’ John Eidinow, Fra’ Mathieu Dupont, Fra’ Richard J. Wolff, Francis Joseph McCarthy, Michael Grace, Clemente Riva Sanseverino, Josef Blotz.

Following the election, the members of the Sovereign Council took the oath and are therefore officially appointed.

Fra’ John Dunlap: “I am certain that the new Sovereign Council will prove to be strategic in addressing the great medical, social, humanitarian and spiritual challenges we face in the 120 countries in which we operate. My best wishes to the newly elected members for the success of their important task in the service of the Order of Malta’s mission.”

On Monday 30 January the Lieutenant of the Grand Master, the Special Delegate, together with the new Sovereign Council and the capitulars will be received in audience at the Vatican by Pope Francis.

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.