The Grand Master receives Archbishops Sandri and Lajolo
Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the Holy See’s Substitute for the Secretariat of State and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States were received yesterday by Fra’ Andrew Bertie, Grand Master of the Order of Malta. During the meeting which took place at the Magistral Palace, the Grand Master conferred the Order’s Grand Cross pro piis meritis Melitensi on Archbishop Sandri and Archbishop Lajolo.
‘On this special occasion I would like once again to express my regard and friendship, as well as my appreciation for the invaluable service you offer to the Gospel, to the Church and to Christianity through your esteemed Order’s wide-ranging presence,’ Archbishop Leonardo Sandri affirmed. ‘This evangelical ideal of charity, so deeply rooted in your Order’s history and in its very identity, has been recently reiterated to the Church and reaffirmed to the entire world by the Holy Father Benedict XVI in the first encyclical of his pontificate, Deus Caritas Est. We read in the encyclical that ‘ charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others [ ], it is an indispensable expression of its very being. These words find a profound echo in the ideals and the spirit of the Order of Malta. In a world unhappily still rent with tensions, injustices and sufferings of various kinds, the message of love that your Order is committed to spreading everywhere is as active and relevant as ever. I would like particularly to point out your greatly appreciated presence in the Holy Land and in Latin America, but also underlining the valuable service offered to the many pilgrims who come to Rome to visit the heart of Christianity and to meet the Pope.’
Among those present at the meeting were the Grand Commander, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, the Grand Chancellor, Jean-Pierre Mazery, the members of the Sovereign Council, His Eminence Cardinal Pio Laghi and the Order’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Alberto Leoncini Bartoli.