Order of Malta members ordered to ‘swiftly’ report fellow Knights critical of Pope Francis
LONDON, England, April 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Knights of Malta top brass are warning members not to use social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook to make statements “offensive to the Holy Father.” Members are also being warned not to defend a highly acclaimed book critical of the Francis pontificate written by a former Knight of Malta.
Referring to Articles 119 to 125 of the Order’s Code, members were threatened with disciplinary action if they did not comply. Punishments ranged from warnings to expulsion, reported the Catholic Herald, which had seen the Holy Saturday communication sent to members.
Members were also warned to “swiftly” report those who ignored the order.
“We ask that you to [sic] pay the utmost attention to avoid exposing the Order to any further damage and to swiftly report any behaviour which is not in line with that envisaged by membership in the Order,” the communication said.
Last December, Henry Sire released The Dictator Pope using the pseudonym Marcantonio Colonna. Sire was suspended from the Knights of Malta after revealing last month his authorship of the scathing biography of Pope Francis.
Released in both Italian and English on December 4, The Dictator Pope immediately caught the attention of Catholic media. The book marshaled compelling evidence that Pope Francis is a scheming Peronist figure who has a history of changing his opinions to suit his audience.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Sire stated that the “popular image of Pope Francis is one of the most extraordinary deceptions of the present time, and contrasts totally with the reality of Bergoglio’s character as it was known in Argentina before his election and is known in the Vatican today.”
Sire has stated that his suspension from the Knights of Malta is “illegal.”
The Knights of Malta were dragged into the headlines in 2016 when it was discovered that the Order had been dispensing contraceptives through its charities in Africa. The Order’s Sovereign, Englishman Fra’ Matthew Festing, asked the man deemed responsible, Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager, to step down. In response, Boeselager appealed to Pope Francis, who subsequently requested Fra’ Matthew’s resignation. The story of the scandal appeared in The Dictator Pope.