- May 31, 2020
After urging compliance the day before, it did not escape attention that Pope Francis didn’t quite follow suit in his public Mass Monday, held in St. Peter’s Basilica before the tomb of St. John Paul II to mark the centenary of his predecessor’s birth.
When I recently told a FedEx employee that I needed to ship something to Vatican City State, his puzzled response was, “What country is that in?”
Unfortunately, the legal reasoning used in the Knights of Malta saga is, in general, of poor quality. It could end up threatening the Vatican’s own position in international law, and it also risks undermining the whole concept of the rule of law at a time when that’s what we need to protect the most vulnerable in our society, such as the unborn, immigrants and refugees.
For anyone familiar with the Vatican over a long stretch of time, there are a couple of truly juicy ironies involved in its current probe of the Knights of Malta, and understanding those ironies may help explain both the defiant reaction the Knights have displayed publicly and the vertigo they may be feeling privately.