Pope Francis to intervene as secretive, ancient order of Catholic knights becomes divided over moral issue

Pope Francis is investigating the dismissal of the Order of Malta’s grand chancellor. The Chancellor was dismissed amid scandal with opponents accusing him of distributing condoms in Africa.

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) — According to opponents, Grand Chancellor Albrecht von Boeselager distributed aid packages in Africa with condoms. He then tried to cover up the fact that condoms were distributed in the package. The use of condoms as contraceptives is in opposition to Church teaching.qrcode

Pope Francis has asked for more details from the Order of Malta, which is an ancient order of knights dating back one thousand years, to the 11th century. The Order opened one of the first hospitals for pilgrims to the Holy Land and remains engaged in charitable work today.

To investigate the incident, Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Gianfranco Ghirlanda, a Jesuit and a canon lawyer, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the former UN Ambassador to Geneva, and several senior members of the Knights of Malta to assist.

The knights have been deeply divided by the scandal and it is likely Pope Francis wishes to end the division. The order is also asking its members to remain united in the wake of the scandal.

Some Church members are divided over the issue, saying that condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV in places where the disease is almost ubiquitous. While this is true, the use of contraceptives is sinful, dividing users from the creative will of God. Instead, he Church teaches the far better practice of abstinence, which is 100% safe and effective. Nobody has ever contracted or spread the HIV virus though the practices of chastity and monogamy, and abstinence.