This decision came as a surprise, since usually the master retained his position for life.
The Grand master of the order of Malta Matthew Festing resigned after a conflict with the Vatican.
This happened as a result of a personal meeting of Festing with Pope Francis. “Dad asked him to leave his post, and he agreed,” — said the official representative of the order. Now the decision should be approved by the government of the order — the Sovereign Council. After the final resignation of Restinga and to elect a new Grand master as head of the order will be fulfilled by Grand commander Ludwig Hoffmann von Romerstein.
This step came as a surprise to the knights as a rule, the master has his office for life.
To the resignation of Festinha brought conflict with the Holy see after the overthrow of the Grand Hospitaller of the order of Albrecht von Fraher Boeselager because of his too liberal interpretation of the tenets of Catholicism. When the Pope set up a Commission to investigate the circumstances of the incident, the order issued a statement in which he asked the Vatican not to meddle in its internal Affairs.
The order of Malta is a knightly religious order of the Catholic Church. It has the status of observer organization at the United Nations and the Council of Europe that maintains diplomatic relations with 105 States. The order considers itself a state, although this claim is disputed by many international lawyers. The order issues its own passports, print stamps and currency. Grand master of the order is a papal Viceroy.
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