Pope’s Private Letter Reveals Early Involvement in Power Struggle

Documents released by WikiLeaks today shed light on a power struggle within the highest offices of the Catholic Church. Amongst the documents is a private letter written by Pope Francis. The existence of this letter, addressed to the papal envoy Cardinal Raymond Burke, has been the source of much speculation in the media [1]. It is now published for the first time in full and with the Pope’s signature.

This letter concerns the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, also known as the Order of Malta or the Knights of Malta, originally founded in Jerusalem during the Crusades in 1099. As the name indicates, it has been widely recognised as a sovereign entity in itself despite theoretically being subject to papal authority as a Catholic institution.

This ambiguous status cuts to the heart of the dispute as it reached a fever pitch after Pope Francis forced the abdication of Matthew Festing as Prince and Grand Master of the Order in January 2017. A month earlier Festing had dismissed the Order’s Grand Chancellor Albrecht Freiherr von Boeselager.

Continue reading the documents at wikileaks.

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