Catholic World News

Controversy within Knights of Malta over dismissal of chancellor

December 20, 2016

A controversy has erupted within the Sovereign Military Order of Malta after the grand master of the Order, Fra Matthew Festing, dismissed the group’s chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager.

Boeselager, whose position within the Knights of Malta was roughly equivalent to that of a foreign minister, had refused an order from Fra Festing for his resignation. The grand master, noting that members of the order pledge obedience to their superiors, announced that the situation had become “untenable” and removed the chancellor for his post.

Von Boeselager said that he had been ordered to resign because he was seen as a “liberal Catholic.” He was reportedly instructed to step down because of his involvement in a plan to distribute condoms as a means of limiting the spread of AIDS. Cardinal Raymon Burke, the patron of the Knight of Malta, was directly involved in his ouster, von Boeselager told reporters.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 21, 2016 10:24 AM ET USA

    From his seemingly insignificant post as patron of the Knights of Malta, Cardinal Burke is demonstrating the leadership that propelled him to his former position of authority during Pope Benedict's papacy. I wonder if this action is more than good and proper discipline. I wonder if it is a signal to the Vatican that the loyal opposition to the current trend toward doctrinal deviancy in the Church is serious about the "correction" that must be made as a result of the continuing silence from Rome.