Pope extends mandate of Malta envoy, sidelining critic

Source: Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has extended the mandate of his envoy to the Knights of Malta lay religious order to oversee reforms, further sidelining Francis’ conservative critic, Cardinal Raymond Burke.

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The Vatican on Friday released Francis’ letter to Monsignor Angelo Becciu asking him to remain his delegate and “exclusive” spokesman for Knights issues. Francis wrote it May 2 after the lay religious order elected Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre as its 80th grand master, a life term.

Francis had named Becciu to oversee the Knights after a governance crisis sparked by a condom distribution scandal erupted in late 2016. The previous grand master, Fra Matthew Festing, was forced to resign.

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