The Council Complete of State meets April 29
The Council Complete of State, the body responsible for electing the Grand Master or Lieutenant of the Grand Master (with the same powers as the Grand Master, but in office for a year), will take place on 29 April. The 2017 Council Complete of State, which will meet in the Magistral Villa – the extraterritorial headquarters of the Order of Malta in Rome – will consist of 56 voters including:
– Lieutenant ad interim (1);
– Members of the Sovereign Council (9);
– Prelate (1);
– Grand Priors and Procurators of Grand Priories (6);
– Professed Bailiffs (7);
– Professed Knights representing the Grand Priories (10);
– Professed Knight elected by the Knights in gremio religionis (1);
– Knight in Obedience elected by the Knights in gremio religionis (1);
– Regents of the Subpriories (5);
– Presidents of the national Associations (15).
Who is eligible
The Grand Master is elected for life by the Council Complete of State from among the Professed Knights with at least ten years in perpetual vows if they are younger than fifty years of age; in the case of Professed Knights who are older, but who have been members of the Order for at least ten years, three years in perpetual vows are sufficient. At the moment, there are 12 eligible candidates.The requisites for the Lieutenant of the Grand Master are the same as those prescribed for Grand Master.
The Professed Knights taking part in the Council Complete of State have the right to propose three candidates within the first day of the Council, the so-called ‘terna’. Following this decision, the voting election procedure begins. To elect a Grand Master, a majority plus one vote of those present having the right to vote is required. To elect a Lieutenant of the Grand Master:, a majority of those present having the right to vote is required.
If the ‘terna’ is presented and a candidate is not elected from the ‘terna’ in the first three ballots, all voting members have freedom of choice in successive ballots amongst the 12 eligible Professed Knights.
What happens after the election?
The candidate elected to the office of Grand Master or Lieutenant of the Grand Master, having been notified of his election, must acknowledge his acceptance or refusal of the office immediately. Shortly thereafter, the election is communicated by letter to the Pope by the elected candidate.
If the process on 29 April results in a candidate being elected, the next morning, the elected Grand Master or Lieutenant of the Grand Master will take his oath in a solemn session of the Council Complete of State, in the presence of the Pope’s Special Delegate, Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu. Holy Mass will then be celebrated in the Order’s church, Santa Maria in Aventino.