The Order of Malta has summoned its top governing body for a special session to formally accept after the Pope announced a takeover of the sovereign lay Catholic group.
The meeting is set for Saturday.
The Vatican announced it was taking over the Order after the chief knight, Fra’ Matthew Festing, openly defied Pope Francis in a public spat over a condom scandal. Fra’ Matthew resigned on Tuesday and the resignation of its leader the Vatican announced it would name a papal delegate to run the order.
The Vatican’s intervention is extraordinary given the Order of Malta isn’t a typical religious order like, for example, the Jesuits, but rather a sovereign entity under international law, one that has diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries, the Holy See included.
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