The one thing worse than political coverage is Church coverage. Almost always the reason for this is that they see everything through the political lens.
This time from Reuters.
The ousted Grand Master of the Knights of Malta Catholic charity will attend a meeting that could elect his successor, the group said on Wednesday, in a direct defiance of Pope Francis’ order for him to stay away.
A spokesperson for the Knights said Matthew Festing, who resigned on Jan. 24, had informed the group that he would come to the meeting this Saturday at its headquarters in Rome.
It was not clear if he would stand for re-election, as some of his supporters have urged him to.
On April 15, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, who the pope named “special delegate” to the ancient chivalric group, ordered Festing not to travel to Rome for the election.
“Your presence would re-open wounds, only recently healed, and would prevent the event taking place in an atmosphere of peace and regained harmony,” Becciu said in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters from a Vatican source.
So is it true that Matthew Festing defied the Vatican or the Pope’s order? Nope.
The Vatican has reconsidered an earlier instruction forbidding the Order of Malta’s former Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing from attending the election of his successor this week.
According to sources within the order, Fra’ Festing will be coming to Rome to vote in the Saturday election partly because his absence as a professed knight would have invalidated the ballot.
Now I understand the whole debacle regarding the Order of Malta has run more like a soap opera than normal church governance. The whole thing has seemed rather heavy-handed as seen by an outsider such as myself. Still the Reuter’s story is typically bad as the whole emphasis of the story isn’t even correct. What actually happened was much more interesting and Edward Pentin provides his typical excellent coverage.