Knights of Malta find compromise after papal clash


The Knights of Malta, a Catholic chivalric order and global charity, elected a new, interim leader on Saturday to oversee a period of reform and restore calm to the organization after its recent row with the Vatican.

The previous grand master, Briton Matthew Festing, resigned in January after a month-long, highly public spat with the Vatican over the running of the group, which laid bare tensions between a reformist Pope Francis and his conservative critics.

In a secret ballot, 56 electors appointed Italian Giacomo Dalla Torre as Lieutenant of the Grand Master, giving him just a one-year mandate while reforms are carried out.

“Pope Francis has been informed by letter of the election result,” the Knights said in a statement.

The Vatican appointed a special delegate to run the Rome-based body following Festing’s departure and had pushed, behind the scenes, for the appointment of a compromise, interim leader.

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