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Top Knight of Malta: Vatican reforms threaten sovereignty

January 19, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: The top official of the Knights of Malta has warned that a Vatican move to rewrite the group’s constitution could threaten the sovereignty of the ancient order.

Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager said that the recent Vatican announcement violated promises made by Pope Francis that the sovereign status of the Knights of Malta would not be challenged.

Von Boeselager also said that he had been unable to register his concerns with the Vatican because “that avenue has been closed to me”—suggesting a breach in relations. Such a breach would be both significant and ironic, since in 2017 the Vatican intervened in an internal dispute within the Order of Malta, to restore Von Boeselager to office after he had been removed by the Order’s top leaders. At the time, the leaders complained that the Vatican intervention violated the Order’s sovereignty.

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a worldwide charitable group, energetically defends its sovereign status, which guarantees its ability to maintain diplomatic relations with other states, easing the process of providing humanitarian aid.

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