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Knights of Malta accept Pope’s intervention

January 30, 2017

The Sovereign Council of the Knights of Malta voted on January 28 to accept the resignation of Fra’ Matthew Festing as grand master of the group: a resignation that had been demanded by Pope Francis.

The council also accepted the Pope’s decision that all recent actions and decisions by the outgoing grand master were null and void. Thus Albrecht von Boeselager, who had been expelled from his post as chancellor, was restored to that post.

In bowing to the Pope’s authority, the Sovereign Council thanked the Pontiff for respecting the group’s legal sovereignty. A statement following the vote stressed that a papal delegate, who will be appointed to supervise the group, would be responsible for a spiritual renewal.


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  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Feb. 06, 2017 6:43 PM ET USA

    Let's see if I have this right. The Pontiff "respects the group's legal sovereignty," yet he has appointed Archbishop Becciu as his representative to act on his behalf in all matters relating to the Order? It doesn't sound as though the Order is all that sovereign, but perhaps it shouldn't be. All I know is what I read.