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Knights of Malta chancellor confirms: former grand master asked for resignation

February 27, 2017

Albert von Boeselager, whose dismissal from his post as chancellor of the Knights of Malta sparked a crisis within the fraternal order, has confirmed that it was the group’s former grand master, Fra’ Matthew Festing—and not Cardinal Raymond Burke—who demanded his resignation.

Von Boeselager was restored to his post when Pope Francis intervened in the Order’s affairs; Festing resigned at the Pope’s request. The chancellor said that the demand for his resignation came after a controversy that had begun in 2015, over the distribution of condoms in a program sponsored by the Knights of Malta’s charitable arm. He said that Cardinal Burke approved the move for his resignation, but Festing made the demand.

Last week the acting head of the Order, Fra’ Ludwig Hoffman von Rumerstein, said that Cardinal Burke was the one who asked for von Boeselager’s resignation. Cardinal Burke replied that he was “stunned” by that claim. “I consider it a calumny,” he said.

Von Boeselager said that reforms were needed in the Order of Malta. He said that the process leading up to his dismissal was arbitrary, and the move was carried out in violation of the Order’s own rules.


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