July 16, 2024

Ex-Malta president: Disciplinary reform illegal in Britain

Ex-Malta president: Disciplinary reform illegal in Britain

The former head of the independent Order of Malta in Great Britain, Richard Fitzalan-Howard, has voiced outspoken criticism of Pope Francis’ reform of the order. The papal decree transferring control of the Maltese Society in Britain from the trustees to the Grand Priory of England was a “clear violation of British Charities Act” because it violated the articles of association without the consent of a majority of the trust’s trustees. Change the members of the council body. Fitzalan-Howard wrote in a letter published by the Catholic Herald on Friday.

“Neither canon law nor Maltese law has legal force in this country,” he continues. According to the statutes, funds donated by the British Maltese Organization have been allocated to him. “Any attempt to divert these funds, such as taxation, to any other purpose is illegal and will attract the attention of the Charity Commission.” The Charity Commission is a UK body that oversees the statutory work of charities. The trustees have a duty to manage the funds in accordance with applicable regulations.

Criticism of overall reform

Fitzalan-Howard criticized the reform as a whole: “The real tragedy for this order is the work of Vatican canonists, who ignore the ‘sui generis’ nature of the order as a religious code (rather than a clerical order) and proselytize it as a religious institutional constitution.” For example, the role of lay people and women in the order has been reduced. However, both groups represent the greatest potential for growth in the line. Vatican canons believe that British Maltese funds “should be the property of the Order in Rome and ultimately the property of the Vatican”.

See also  Communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs regarding temporary restrictions on immigration

In September, the Pope intervened deeply in the structure of the Order of Malta with a decree. The governing body was dismissed and a new constitution and legal code came into effect. Malta’s sovereign mandate has long been in deep crisis. The struggle to reform the 900-year-old society has, among other things, led to several changes in leadership. (cph)