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Order of Malta turns the page: We reaffirm our loyalty to the pope


The Order of Malta has made clear its total fidelity to the pope and his successors and will call a council in the next three months a council to choose a new superior.

During a widely attended press conference in Rome, the central government of the Order put an end to the recent crisis that culminated in the resignation of its Grand Master Fra 'Matthew Festing.

Grand Chancellor, Order of Malta
"We are grateful for the Grand Master, that he accepted the proposal to resign, and this has put the elected government of the Order back in a position where it can stand up to its constitutional responsibilities and govern the affairs of the Order.The Order reaffirms its loyalty to the Holy Father, let me reassure all members and everybody that the Govern of the Order is and will remain at the service of the Holy Father. Our devotion to the teachings of the Church is irrevocable and beyond question". 

The Chancellor of the Order, who was expelled by the Grand Master and later rehabilitated when the Grand Master resigned, said that they did not expect the scalation of the events.

He said that Pope Francis decided to intervene when it was said that the pope had previously agreed that he be expelled.   

Grand Chancellor, Order of Malta
"In the context of obedience nothing can be asked, which is not in the frame of the constitution and the code of the order. First and second, it was based on the assumption that the Holy See has asked for my resignation. Both were not the case, so therefore I did not feel to be committed of my promise of obedience to follow the request. And that obviously the result also of the Vatican inquiry. There was an increasing tension and disagreement between the elected government of the Order, not only me, also my colleagues sitting here and the others, and people brought in by the Grand Master without regard to the Constitution in positions which are not constitutionals". 

From now on, the only spokesman for the pope with the Order will be a "Pontifical Delegate" that Francis has not yet named. The main mission will be to renew the branch of religious of the Order of Malta, with 55 members. He will not be involved in the political or diplomatic relations of the Order of Malta.

Grand Chancellor, Order of Malta
"The pope made it very clear that his focus will be the religious side of the order.” 

The press conference concluded with these moving declarations of the grand chancellor, on what really matters to the Order of Malta.

Grand Chancellor, Order of Malta
"This crisis will be a marginal event in history. What is more at stake is the crisis we are facing in the world and the misery and the pleat of the millions of people homeless, migrating, and fleeing drowning in the Mediterranean, tormenting on their way, please don´t forget to report about these cases, and fight the arrogant ignorance regarding these crisis”. 

The Order of Malta is near 1000 years old and has about 120 thousand members, including brothers, volunteers and personnel. They work in humanitarian projects in 120 countries. They are experts in emergency situations and assistance to refugees.

- PR