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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

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Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

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Spokesman for Order of Malta: The chancellor was suspended because trust was damaged

2017-01-13

The 900 year old Order of Malta has recently been in the media after a group has been launched by Pope Francis to discover the cause of the removal of  Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta. 

While many have attributed the Chancellor's firing to a distribution of condoms a few years ago by some member's of the Order in third world countries, the Communications Director says the case is much more than that. 

EUGENIO AJROLDI
Communications Director, Order of Malta
"In the end, it's a matter of trust. In any organization of the world, if you don't have full trust between the number one and the number three obviously things cannot work. So at a certain point, the Grand Master decided to ask the resignation of the Grand Chancellor. That obviously is an internal act within the government of the Order. The head of the Order has a right to ask the resignation of the government of the Order and that's what simply happened.” 

While the Order of Malta is a lay, Catholic organization, they have stated in a letter dated January 10 that they will not cooperate with the Vatican investigation and the appointed group, of which four of the five participants are active members of the Order of Malta. 

EUGENIO AJROLDI
Communications Director, Order of Malta
"As far as we know, they keep collecting information and we will see. Technically we are not recognizing the group and are not collaborating with them. We have issued a document saying that if a member of the Order wants to go and to talk to this group of people that was appointed by the Holy See, they can do it. The only point from our point of view is that obviously they cannot make any declaration that is against the decision that was taken by the Grand Master and the government of the Order.”

The Communications director says the Knights of Malta have a right to keep this matter private, due to the fact that they are a sovereign institution that freely elects their governing body, including their Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, who is appointed for life, and the members of the government of the Order, who are elected for 5-year terms.

EUGENIO AJROLDI
Communications Director, Order of Malta
"We are a Catholic Order. We are a Catholic Order since 1113, so our relationship within the family of the Catholic Church is clear and it's not putting it in danger in anyway. Our mission is to help the poor and the sick within the Catholic teaching, so we are not questioning that at all.”

In a letter sent to Pope Francis for the World Day of Peace, the Grand Master has confirmed this stating, "the Order… even in a difficult and complex time, seeks to render its service in closely adhering to the teaching of the Church and the directions which come from the Successor to St Peter.”

Thus, the Communications Director says they will follow and have always tried to follow the moral teachings of the pope and the Church, and he does not expect this to change. However, he stated that the Order feels they have a right to defend their independence, and their existence as a sovereign state and that is what they intend to do at this time.  

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