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Pope’s delegate orders former head of Knights of Malta not to attend election of new leader

April 18, 2017

The former grand master of the Knights of Malta has been directed by the Vatican not to travel to Rome for the election of the Order’s new leader on April 29.

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Fra’ Matthew Festing, who resigned in January at the request of Pope Francis, has received a letter from Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Pope’s special delegate to the Order of Malta, asking him to stay away from the April 29 election “as an act of obedience.” The former grand master—who is eligible to be re-elected by the council of the Knights of Malta—should not be present for the vote, the archbishop wrote. “Your presence would reopen wounds, only recently healed,” Archbishop Becciu said.


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Apr. 19, 2017 3:33 PM ET USA

    Any act that is or appeals for or can be perceived as an act of standing for Catholic orthodoxy in now to be described as a threat to a fantasy serenity and is therefore to be regarded as evil by those promoting indifference to abortion, adultery, and Lutheran heresy within the Church. Those gates of hell are getting closer and closer.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 19, 2017 1:30 PM ET USA

    Talk about freedom!! The former head has every right to attend.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Apr. 18, 2017 6:27 PM ET USA

    This doesn't say much for the Pope's idea of free and open elections.