Vatican fights attempt to discredit Knights of Malta probe

(Crux) Adding another piece to the puzzle in the ongoing saga involving the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, the Vatican issued a statement Tuesday commending the work being done by the members of a committee created by Pope Francis to look into the order, and also not-so-subtly reminded the group that despite its sovereignty, it’s still a Catholic institution.

The statement says the Holy See wishes to “reiterate its support and encouragement” for the work being carried out by the members and volunteers around the world, “in fullfilment of the aims of the Order: tuitio fidei (the defense of the faith) and obsequium pauperum (service to the poor, the sick and those in greatest need).”

The following graph, however, says that for the support of that mission, the Holy See “reaffirms its confidence” in the five-member commission appointed by Pope Francis on Dec. 21 to “inform him about the present crisis” in the orders’ direction.

The feud began on Dec. 8, when the order decided to oust Albrecht von Boeselager, the group’s chancellor. Since then, many observers have pointed towards a scandal regarding the distribution of condoms in Myanmar as the reason for the move. [More]