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Sovereign Order of Malta thanks Pope for intervention, sees ‘renewed vigor’

February 03, 2017

Albrecht von Boeselager, the grand chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta, thanked Pope Francis for “his guidance that helped end … crises” in the order’s governance.

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Boeselager also said that “in all his decisions the Pontiff showed respect and regard for the Order of Malta, while at the same time acknowledging in all his actions, the sovereignty of the Order.”

Boeselager had been expelled from his post by Fra’ Matthew Festing, the Order’s grand master. He was later restored to his position after Pope Francis ordered Festing to resign.

Boeselager said that his expulsion reflected the fact that Festing had been “ill advised.” He declined to comment on the role of Cardinal Raymond Burke, the patron of the Knights of Malta. However he did confirm that a new papal delegate, to be named by Pope Francis, would become the main conduit between the Order and the Holy See. Regarding the future role of Cardinal Burke, Boeselager said: “That is left to the decision of the Holy Father.”

“The resignation of the Grand Master opens a new phase in the life of the Order, and with renewed vigor, the Order concentrates fully on the enormous challenges in humanitarian diplomacy and the work on the ground,” the Sovereign Order of Malta said in February 2 statement.

The Order’s current government “thanked the members of the Papal Commission for the rapid delivery of their report” on the situation. The Order also rejected “unfounded and baseless allegations of a conflict of interest raised against members of the commission.”

In its February 2 statement, the Order lamented “discriminatory positions towards immigrants”:

We are alarmed and concerned by the proliferation of discriminatory positions towards immigrants, not least, based on their national origin. History has already provided us with plenty of examples showing the dramatic and monstrous consequences of policies based on origin and race. Likewise, the Government takes a strong stance against the increasing disregard for the humanitarian laws encoded in the Geneva Conventions ratified by the family of nations.


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Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: rpp - Feb. 06, 2017 9:00 AM ET USA

    Didn't the Poles also "thank" the Germans after the Germany invaded in 1939?

  • Posted by: [email protected] - Feb. 04, 2017 9:27 PM ET USA

    What a train wreck! Kiss the sovereignty of the order goodbye. They were just raided and overcome by a left wing commission of a leftist Pope. In stead of standing together as they did so long ago for which they are famous, they just folded and gave up. Very sad because they also handed Cardinal Burke on a platter for the Pope to crucify. Pray for Cardinal Burke and ask God to preserve the Church.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Feb. 03, 2017 3:10 PM ET USA

    What kind of vigor? Was the Order founded for "humanitarian diplomacy?" Freemasons could sign on for that. What "work on the ground" the distribution of condoms? Alarmed by discrimination against immigrants based on their national origin? Yes if their origin is State which sponsors terrorism! This sounds like the Pope-Francis-agenda imposed on the Order after a hostile takeover. Does the Order have any supernatural mission according to Pope Francis and von Boselager? What a disaster!