Scandal strikes at ancient Order of Malta over ex-chancellor

Salina Journal

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday named a high-powered commission to investigate a reported condom scandal at the Order of Malta, the conservative Catholic religious order that dates from the medieval Crusades.

The order’s grand chancellor, Albrecht von Boeselager, was forcibly ousted earlier this month after the Order of Malta said “an extremely grave and untenable situation” came to light. Italian daily Il Messaggero said the scandal concerned von Boeselager’s tenure as health minister and claims that he didn’t prevent the order’s workers in Africa from distributing condoms.

Church teaching opposes artificial contraception. However, even some Catholic priests and nuns in Africa and elsewhere have condoned the use of condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS.

The order hasn’t provided details, but said the scandal involved von Boeselager’s tenure as health minister and said he had concealed the problems until an internal investigation uncovered them last year.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.