The Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, with the deliberative vote of the Sovereign Council, has appointed Fra’ John Edward Critien to the office of Grand Chancellor ad interim

The Sovereign Council met on December 14 at the Grand Magistry in Rome. Fra’ John E. Critien, after taking the oath, has officially entered today into the fullness of his powers. Within the Government’s structure of the Sovereign Order of Malta, the Grand Chancellor is both the Foreign Minister and the Minister of the Interior. He is the head of the chancery and its related offices, and is responsible for relations with the national Associations of the Order. He is also the Order’s representative in dealings with third parties, and the implementing of policy and of internal administration of the Order. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, he is in charge of all diplomatic missions of the Sovereign Order of Malta in the world.

John E. Critien, born in Sliema, Malta, on 29 September 1949, is the younger son of the late Major Frank Edward Critien, and the late May Grech. After graduating Bachelor of Arts at the Royal University of Malta, John E. Critien continued his studies in Italy at the University for Foreigners of Perugia and the State University of Pisa. John E. Critien then settled in Pisa for 22 years where he taught English Language and Literature. John E. Critien was admitted into the Grand Priory of Rome of the Sovereign Order of Malta in 1983 after having distinguished himself in the formation of voluntary youth groups of the Order of Malta in Pisa and Florence. In 1993 he professed perpetual religious vows as Knight of Justice.

He was member of the Sovereign Council (Government) of the Order between 1994 and 1999 and was elected again in 2014. John E. Critien also occupied the position of Conservator of the Magistral Palace Library and Archives and Curator of the art collections of the Order. He has also been the curator of art exhibitions. In July 2000 Fra’ John E. Critien was appointed Knight Resident at Fort St. Angelo, Malta, a position he currently holds. In September 2001 he was elevated to the rank of Knight Grand Cross of Justice and in 2012 to rank the Bailiff Grand Cross and Justice, the first ever Maltese to hold this grade in the Order. He succeeds Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager who, as announced by the Grand Master in a letter sent to the heads of the national structures of the Sovereign Order of Malta on December 8, has ceased from office.