PopeWatch wonders if the Pope had this all planned out when he assigned Cardinal Burke to the Knights of Malta?:
ROME-Pope Francis has appointed a personal delegate to the Sovereign Order of Malta to serve as the sole liaison between the embattled order and the Vatican, virtually replacing American Cardinal Raymond Burke.
The man tapped for the job is Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy Secretariat of State (known as the “substitute”). The decision was announced by the Vatican on Saturday, through a letter from Francis to Becciu.
As “sole spokesperson in all matters relating to relations” between the Vatican and the order, the pope writes, Becciu will have “all the necessary powers to decide any issues that may arise concerning the implementation of the mandate entrusted to you.”
Becciu’s assignment as papal delegate will last until a new Grand Master for the order is elected, which could take place in April after the group’s Sovereign Council is summoned, according to what was announced by the Knights of Malta in a recent press conference.
Technically, Burke is the papal envoy to the order. He assumed that role in November 2014, after leaving the post of head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court.
Becciu will in the meantime work closely with Ludwing Hoffmann von Rumerstein, currently the Lieutenant ad interim of the order, appointed last Saturday, after former Grand Master Matthew Festing presented his resignation at the pope’s request.
Festing’s resignation marked the end of a power struggle between the Order of Malta and the Vatican, which began with the dismissal of Albrecht Boeselager from his position as Grand Chancellor in early December. The month-long spat included Francis’s creating a committee to examine the order’s situation, which the now former Grand Master had declared “legally irrelevant.”
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