- Jan 25, 2020
In a new interview with a German newspaper, Pope Francis denies seeing conservative American Cardinal Raymond Burke as an “enemy,” but does take a gentle swipe at “fundamentalist Catholics,” saying their self-assurance reminds him of St. Peter just before he denied knowing Jesus.
Speaking about the situation of Christians in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan acknowledged that if he had children, he too would be trying to flee the region, despite the efforts being expended by the Catholic Church, which include guaranteeing that refugees have a roof over their heads and not just a tent.
Leaders of the Knights of Malta said on Thursday that a recent power struggle involving Pope Francis and the Vatican took its toll, including on fundraising, but now they’re determined to shift the focus back to their humanitarian mission, especially with immigrants and refugees.
Far from being an autocratic intervention in the affairs of a ‘sovereign’ state, the pope’s decision to appoint a delegate to govern the Order of Malta following the resignation of its Grand Master reflects his duty of care to a Catholic organization in need of serious reform. Despite attempts to portray Francis as an autocrat, he’s doing no more than what popes have always done for Catholic groups in similar circumstances.
In what’s likely to be seen as a big win in the Vatican’s clash with the Knights of Malta, the order’s Sovereign Council accepted the resignation of their Grand Chancellor as requested by Pope Francis and appointed an interim replacement. The Knights of Malta also pledged cooperation with a papal delegate, and voiced gratitude for the Vatican’s “interest in and care for the order.”
There may well be more behind the Order of Malta’s angry rebuttal of Pope Francis’s attempt to investigate alleged improprieties than meets the eye. Francis’s unhappy experience with the Knights in Argentina may have something to do with it.