Most Blessed Father,
Gravely affected by the news of the death of your venerable predecessor and brother, His Holiness Benedict XVI, please accept my deepest sympathy and that of all the Order of Malta, which was honoured to have for many years the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger among its most illustrious members.
This is a moment of great sorrow for the entire Church and for all those who have had the grace to know and approach His Holiness Benedict XVI, but it is also an occasion of spiritual joy for the completion of the earthly journey and of the mission entrusted to him as a faithful servant of the Lord and of the Church.
Together with you, Your Holiness, we are experiencing these moments in sadness, but also in serenity and gratitude for the example of meekness and service we have received from the man whom the Lord has just called to himself.
Most Holy Father, please accept the assurance of my filial devotion as well as that of the Order of St John and the community of the Grand Magisterium.
Fra’ John Dunlap