Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Grand Master is Asked To Resign

In Canada the homely Knights of Columbus are much more of a household name than the Knights of Malta, but the Order is a Big Huge Deal in Europe, including the United Kingdom. Thus, traddy elements in Great Britain have been watching the OM news with bated breath.

The story began as a battle between the British  Fra' Matthew Festing and a German, which swiftly turned into Fra' Matthew versus a lot of Germans and thus, surprise, surprise, the Pope. 

Result: Fra' Matthew resigns.

As usual, Ed Pentin fills in the gaps. 

What does this mean for ordinary Catholics? Well, I imagine there will be a lot of hand-wringing among Catholics who enjoy hanging onto the cloaks of the Knights of Malta, running errands, fetching the coffee, etc. There will also be a lot of talk on the blogs about the autocratic nature of the Supreme Pontiff. Hilary White's theory of "It's a purge" will get a lot of screen time. This is, after all, one more in a wave of "resignations" of the orthodox from Catholic institutions during the past four years. 

But what the trickle down effect will be, I do not know. I suppose what we do is carry on with daily prayer, weekly Mass (at least), frequent examination of conscience and confession, respect for the sacraments, reflection on the Scriptures, and self-education with the vast library of works by saints (including Saint John Paul II) on the Catholic faith. If you wish to marry, be rooted in reality about yourself, the other party and the perennial difficulties of marriage. If you are married, get all the help the Church offers, if you need it, to live a chaste married life. If you are in a state of mortal sin, walk away from whatever is keeping you there, ask around for an orthodox priest (if you don't know one), and go to confession.  


  1. What I don't understand in all of these situations (I know almost nothing about the above situation) is why all these "orthodox" people give up so easily. Does no one have a spine? What do the other side have on these people to make them give in so quickly?

    I know we can't do much about it other than take care of our own souls, but it does make one wonder?

  2. We come a cropper because of obedience. If the Pope tells a Catholic to resign, the Catholic has to resign. If the Pope gets rid of the Octave of Pentecost, then you put out green vestments for him on the Monday. When you're a traditionalist, you believe in such things as obedience. It's the progressives who break the rules until they are changed. The one big exception to this was the persistence of priests who have continued to say the Mass of 1962, and it came at a big cost.

    The interesting thing in the Malta story is that Fra' Matthew took his oath of obedience to the pope seriously, and the German seems not to have taken his oath of obedience to the Grand Master seriously.

    Add to this the story that the pope TOLD Cardinal Burke to get rid of the elements in the order, it's all very confusing.

    I'm curious as to what all this will all mean for journalists. If Pope Francis contacted EWTN, and said "Stop carrying Edward Pentin's reportage". what would the EWTN do? If that sounds laughable, consider that until yesterday Fra' Matthew was a sovereign, with the church status of a Cardinal and an ARMY. If the reports are true, PF has basically deposed a monarch.

    1. Will the Grand Master have to kneel outside the door of Domus Sanctae Marthae for three days in a hairshirt, I wonder?

      The more authority the Holy Father brings to bear, the less respect people will have for him. I pray he has a vision of Our Lord wielding authority from the cross. I'm seeing the point of the heavy unwieldy papal clothing more and more.