Pope launches investigation of Knights of Malta after they fired top official over condom scandal
December 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has appointed a commission to investigate the recent removal of a top Knights of Malta official who allegedly oversaw the distribution of condoms in the developing world.
Jesuit canon lawyer Father Gianfranco Ghirlanda, Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, and senior members of the Order of Malta have been appointed to "quickly inform the Holy See" about the situation.
Earlier this month, Albrecht von Boeselager was fired from his post as Grand Chancellor on the grounds that he violated his promise of obedience. He refused to resign even though his superiors asked him to, thus violating his vow of obedience and allowing the order to take disciplinary action.
Von Boeselager allegedly oversaw the distribution of condoms while he was Grand Hospitaller, the person in charge of the charitable work of the Order, through the international charity Malteser International. He was also at the time a member of Malteser International’s board.
The Catholic Church teaches that artificial methods of contraception are intrinsically evil. Von Boeselager allegedly didn't report Malteser International’s issues with fidelity to and compliance with Church teaching to Order of Malta higher-ups.
According to the Times of Malta, "A Vatican source said the investigating team would not concentrate on the issue of condoms but on the internal events that led to the sacking of von Boeselager."
The president of a Catholic watchdog group told LifeSiteNews that it will soon be releasing an investigation of its own revealing evidence Boeselager oversaw programs in direct opposition to Church teaching.
"In just a few hours, the Lepanto Institute will be publishing a video report detailing the promotion and distribution of hundreds of thousands of condoms and the distribution of oral contraceptives by Malteser International," said the Lepanto Institute's Michael Hichborn. "This information is vital to any honest investigation by the Vatican because the distribution of contraception took place for nearly 10 years while Boeselager was in charge of Malteser."
"The news of the papal commission investigating Boeselager's removal from his senior post has made it imperative that we immediately publish the findings we sent to the Knights of Malta at the end of November," said Hichborn. "The fact of the matter is that Boeselager's removal was completely justified, and our new report proves it."