One may draw an analogy with the Co-Principality of Andorra, one of whose joint heads of state is the Bishop of Urgell. Unlike the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, the Bishop is appointed by the Pope and can be removed from office by him, but this gives the Holy See no authority whatsoever
over Andorra, its institutions or government. Of all the major Catholic institutions, the Order of Malta has the greatest claim to be free of Vatican control; now every other Catholic organisation or charity should be put on notice that at any time it may be taken over by the Pope. Many of those members of the Order who have given generously to its work because they saw its sovereignty and independence as an advantage in carrying out its mission, may now be reconsidering their
commitment to future support. The Order will find it very hard to carry out its mission in Orthodox and Moslem countries if it is merely an arm of the Vatican. This is potentially disastrous for all Catholic institutions, colleges, schools, universities, charities and religious orders which have been considered autonomious institutions.
: --Previous Message--
: I posted on possible trouble within the
: Order on the Franco-Iberian Board (1st Jan)
: where such items relating to the Order of
: Malta have been posted before (see below).
: All I can say at this stage is...absolutely
: extraordinary! What on earth is going on and
: why has the Pope seen fit to interfere in
: this drastic way with what was, to all
: intents and purposes, an internal
: disciplinary matter for the Sovereign Order?
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