The Jesuit New World Order

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Order of Malta ― the Vatican’s second treaty-making “sovereign entity”

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta has concluded more than 70 concordats with countries worldwide. Called “cooperation agreements”, these treaties let it deliver state-funded social services in accordance with Catholic doctrine. This religious order is “sovereign” when it deals with nation states, but not when it deals with the Vatican. It is firmly controlled by the pope.
Who knows? The Knights of Malta know
This excerpt from the National Catholic Reporter (1989) describes their behind-the-scenes activity.
Concordat with the Order of Malta (2010): text
Cloak-and-dagger origins and text of the concordat which controls most of the social services in Hungary.
Founded at the time of the Crusades, the Order of Malta, (at first called Knights Hospitaller), was a Catholic military religious order like the Knights Templar. By the 19th century their days of fighting Saracens were long gone and they had withdrawn successively from the Holy Land, from Rhodes and from Malta. However, their mediaeval glamour appealed to captains of industry hoping to purchase acquaintanceship with princes and nobles, and the Order had become very rich. (Upon entering the Order they pay not only annual membership dues, but also “passage money” which was originally the price of the crusaders’ passage to the Holy Land.) Their wealth, powerful connections and aristocratic sense of entitlement gave them an independence that made the pope uneasy.
It took two popes to tame the Knights
It was Pius XII who first tried to rein in the scandal-plagued Order of Malta. Its Knights were accused of selling titles, [1] living in an unmonastic manner [2] and had even been caught “black-marketeering”, by using their diplomatic immunity to smuggle luxury items into Italy. [3] 
In 1951 the pope challenged their claim to independence by ruling that because the Order of Malta lacked land it only had “functional sovereignty”. [4] His point, of course, was that the State of the Vatican City, with 110 acres, enjoyed true sovereignty, thus outranking the Order of Malta.
Naturally the aristocrats who were used to running their own show argued back. [5] Pius didn’t succeed in placing the SMOM under the Vatican watchdog in charge of the other religious orders [6] and finally settled for their promise to revise their constitution in order to curb the practices that were causing criticism of the Church. [7]
A decade later his successor, John XXIII, made a renewed attempt to bring the Knights under papal control. This time the pope wisely avoided the whole sovereignty issue, which was a two-sided sword. After all, between the end of the Papal States and the signing of the Lateran Treaty the Vatican itself had been landless, yet it still claims unbroken sovereignty.
Knights’ new constitution binds them to the pope
No further attempt was made to treat the SMOM like other religious orders and send along Vatican investigators for “apostolic visitations”. Instead, in 1961 the pope obliged them to adopt a new constitution which gives them in-house watchdogs. The new constitution lets the pope appoint a Cardinal Patron (art. 14), who reports directly to him, and it requires papal approval for the appointment of the Prelate to assist the cardinal. (art. 19) The pope also gets control over election of the head of the order, since papal consent is necessary before announcing any new Grand Master.
The Order’s constitution further stipulates that the Grand Master is bound “to execute the acts of the Holy See, insofar as these relate to the Order” (art. 15.2.g). In other words, he has to follow the rules laid down by the pope. And, of course, obedience to the pope is an essential part of being a Grand Master since, in addition to claiming the title of prince, he is also a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.  [8]
At the end of the ten-year power struggle between the knights and the Vatican it was the pope who emerged as the winner: The Order maintained that it was sovereign and therefore not subject to anyone. The Vatican replied that the Order was not subject to anyone except the Holy See”. [9]
Broad scope of Vatican medical doctrines  Despite its total dependence on the Vatican ― as reflected in its own constitution and the Grand Master’s rank of cardinal ― the Order of Malta claims to be independent. Its previous Grand Master said The Order is sovereign, it does not depend on any other state or government and it does not pursue any economic or political goal.” [10]
Yet, despite these protestations, it certainly depends upon the government” of the Catholic Church. (The Vatican maintains that the Church government is also a national government.) And this dependence on the Church has wide-reaching medical consequences.
One branch of the SMOM says on its website that “It supports Catholic positions in bioethics and opposition to campaigns to promote abortion, euthanasia and the harvesting of human embryos.” [11] In fact, it opposes not only “campaigns” for these, but also refuses to offer these services or even to refer patients who want them.

Furthermore this policy is more restrictive than may appear at first sight. That’s because the Vatican has redefined these all words. For the Church “abortion” includes the morning-after pill which prevents implantation, “euthanasia” includes letting a patient who wants to die refuse food and drink, and “the harvesting of human embryos” includes using aborted embryos which would otherwise be wasted to help save lives.

Order’s state-funded London hospital follows Vatican rules
The furore over “John and Lizzie’s” is instructive. This is the Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth in London which is run by the Order of Malta. It is funded by the government (through the National Health Service), self-paying private patients, private health insurance companies, and charitable donations. In other words, by everyone except the Catholic Church, yet this who has the say.
In 2005 Cardinal, Murphy O’Connor who is its patron, consulted with the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog group, about the fact that the hospital has sublet some space to NHS doctors who were legally obliged to provide any services their patients needed, including  prescribing the morning-after pill and referring them for abortions. [12] Acting on Vatican advice, the Cardinal imposed new guidelines, which led to the resignation of two directors. [13] This code of ethics was drawn up to specifically to “stop doctors referring elsewhere any women who inquired at the hospital about contraception, the morning-after pill or abortion. It also bans amniocentesis to detect Down’s syndrome in unborn children and in vitro fertilisation for couples struggling to conceive naturally”. [14] When the majority of the doctors objected they were threatened with “immediate legal action” if the code were not accepted in its entirety. [15]
However, in public the hospital is playing this down. In 2011 the claim on the website that this “operates according to Catholic ethics”, was softened to a vague mention of “the Catholic ethos upon on which [the hospital and hospice] were founded”. [16] Softly, softly.
Even quieter is the way the SMOM has blended in with the Venerable Order of Saint John, a largely Protestant order, which in the UK runs the familiar St John Ambulance Corps. Together they form the Orders of St John Care Trust. (Who can keep track of all these St. Johns?) Since 1999 the OSJCT has been busily taking over care homes from local governments. [17]
 Well positioned to enforce Vatican health doctrines worldwide
● SMOM distribution of medical supplies: The Order of Malta collects, sorts and distributes medicines and medical equipment to hospitals worldwide. [18] What are the chances that the SMOM is going to include condoms or that it will supply hospitals with family planning programmes, let alone abortion clinics?
In Honduras, the AIDS capital of Central America, the SMOM is increasingly active, reporting that “in the last few years distributions amounted to a value of US$45 million.” [19] Honduras is also where the newly-elected Pope Benedict XVI was confronted with open defiance of Vatican policies by Catholic-run AIDS prevention programmes. In 2005 the director of a hospice said, “As a Catholic charity we can’t hand out condoms but we give advice about them and make sure people know where to get them”. [20] However, the SMOM which is expanding its influence in Honduras is directly under Vatican control. There is no need to rein in the SMOM,as was done in 2011 to the worldwide Catholic charity, Caritas. [21]
● SMOM control of end-of-life care: “Care for the terminally ill in hospitals, hospices and at home has developed during recent years into one of the key projects among the Order’s activities.” [22] 
● SMOM care of pregnant women, including rape victims: In the Dominican Republic the Order of Malta runs mother-and-child clinics which offer “a wide range of antenatal and postnatal services”. [23] The SMOM does not permit abortion and those family planning methods that it defines as such (like the pill, the IUD and the morning-after pill). Since 2009 the Dominican Constitution has defined life as beginning at conception, which obliges compliance with this Vatican doctrine. [24]
Another focal point for the SMOM is Kenya, where abortions are rearely provided in public hospitals. Thus unsafe abortions account for 35 percent of maternal deaths in Kenya, versus the global average of 13 percent. [25] Rich Kenyans can get safe abortions by travelling abroad, but poor women risk injury or death when terminationg a pregnancy. Many are reported by neighbours to the police and jailed for up to 14 years if convicted of terminating a pregnancy. Some women are believed to have died in police cells as they bled to death. [26]
The SMOM points out that Kenya also provides an operational base for the countries to the north, including South Sudan. [27] This is where mass rape was used as a “weapon of war” against the population there [28] and even, by their own army as an electoral tactic in 2010. [29]  However, according to the Vatican doctrine enforced by SMOM health services, these injured girls and women must be forced to bear the resulting babies, whatever the cost to themselves. 
The Order of Malta makes quiet “concordats”
According to its Grand Master, by 2010 the SMOM had made at least 70 of these “cooperation agreements”, “with more on the way”. [30] Sometimes the SMOM operates as the intermediary which delivers the aid funded by a donor nation. The agreements it makes with both donor nations and the recipients of aid are not the usual memoranda of understanding or contracts [31], but instead are set in stone as international treaties between two sovereign nations. In everything but name they are Vatican concordats. Here are a few recent examples: 
2010 ― with Hungary (3 November), making it the country’s largest social service provider.
2011 ― with Kenya (14 September) which serves as a base for the Horn of Africa and also with Mali (5 December) where the SMOM currently acts through the Ordre de Malte France. 
2012 ― with France (4 April)
A cardinal has asked why his own church needs a diplomatic service. [32] The same as been asked for the Order of Malta. The Knights have been criticised for “the maintenance of expensive embassies whose benefit to the local needy and poor is highly questionable”. [33] Shrewd observation. It could be argued that the whole diplomatic apparatus of the SMOM only makes sense if this strangely ceremonial charity was interested in more than just delivering aid. A worldwide charity with diplomatic status is well positioned to further the social and political goals of the Vatican. And it even specialises in maternity hospitals and hospices which are pivotal for advancing the Church’s “pro-life” programme ― one which some would prefer to call “life at all costs”.  
This Order has trademarked nine names: “Warning - Self-styled ‘Orders of St John’”

The largely Protestant counterpart, the Venerable Order of Saint John / four Orders of St John of Jerusalem, generally known as the Order of St John, also complains about “the ever increasing number of organisations which misuse the symbols and emblems of the Orders of St John, causing confusion in the minds of the public”. 
* Zedler, Universal Lexicon, vol. 2 (1733), col. 438. “Hand-Kuß, zum Hand Hand-Kuß lassen, ist eine Gnaden-Bezeigung, so grosse Herren einem geringeren erweisen.”
The picture is of former Grand Master Fra’ Andrew Bertie and the video of his successor, Fra’ Matthew Festing.

1. “Vatican ends rift with Malta Order”, New York Times, 5 April 1953.

James J. Algrant, “A more measured view of The Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem” [no date].
The Order of Malta ... required modest contributions from those who could furnish nobiliary proofs and much heavier ones from those admitted in the category of Magistral Grace for which nobility was not required. It boiled down to supplying an illustrious name for the order's roster or funds for its coffers. 
2. “Religion: Chastened Knights”, Time Magazine, 20 April 1953.,9171,822784,00.html
“...some 20 ‘Professed’ Knights, bound by religious vows, must start living something like the communal life of a religious order”
3. “Religion: Chastened Knights”, Time Magazine, 20 April 1953.,9171,822784,00.html
In 1946, a shipment of penicillin, ordered in the U.S. by an unnamed representative of the Knights, turned out to contain not only drugs but radios and other luxury goods, which the Knights' diplomatic immunity had got past Italian customs. [Etc.]
4. Decree of Pius XII, 10 December 1951, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, XLV, 1953, pp. 765-767. Mentioned in “Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta”, Wikipedia.
The Holy See in 1953 proclaimed that the Order had only functional sovereignty, being free of land (as per official statement already issued two years earlier).”
5. Count Charles Zeininger de Borja, “Quelques Considerations sur la Souveraineté de l'Ordre de Saint-Jean dit de Malte”, Rivista Araldica, XLIX, 1951, pp.171-176.
6. It was then known as the “Sacred Congregation for the Religious”, and is now called the “Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life”.
7.  “Vatican ends rift with Malta Order”, New York Times, 5 April 1953.

8. Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, “The Prince and Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing”.

9. “Pope and Malta Knights End Feud”, New York Times, 25 June 1961.
10. Fra Matthew Festing, “Address of the Grand Master to the diplomatic corps”, 9 January 2007.
11. Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, (accessed 18 July 2011).
12. Jonathan Petre, “Celebrity birth hospital faces inquiry over Catholic ethics”, Telegraph, 12 August 2005.
13. Riazat Butt, “Directors quit Catholic hospital in ethics code row”, Guardian, 7 December 2007.
14. “Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth: continuing saga”, Catholic Family News, 28 May 2007.
15. [untitled], Catholic Family News, 14 May 2007.
16. Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, London, UK, “About us” (accessed 18 July 2011).
17. The Orders of St John Care Trust, History of OSJCT, 2011.
18. Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Activity Report 2003, p. 33.

19.  Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Activity Report 2010, p. 65. 
20. “Catholics’ anti-condom stance turns to rubber”, Reuters, 12 May 2005.

“AIDS-hit Honduras disobeys Vatican”, Reuters, 11 May 2005. Reposted at: 
21. Patrick B. Craine, “Vatican official criticizes outgoing Caritas secretary-general”, Life Site News, 7 March 2011.
22. Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, “Hospitals, medical centres and health programmes”.

23. “Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, Activity Report 2010”, p. 64. 
24. “Political deal lets Vatican in on new Dominican Republic constitution”, Concordat Watch.
25. Katy Migiro, “Kenya backstreet abortions kill thousands every year, Reuters, 25 October 2011.
26. Jody Clarke, “Abortion: a class issue”, Irish Times, 8 November 2011.
27. SMOM, “Cooperation Agreement between the Kenyan Government and the Order of Malta”, 10 October 2010.
28. Amnesty International Report, “Sudan: Darfur: Rape as a weapon of war: sexual violence and its consequences”, 18 July 2004.
29. “South Sudan Army Commits Rape Crimes Ahead Of Coming Elections”, Sudan Vision Daily, 28 March 2010.
30. Richard Owen, “New Grand Master’s crusade to explain his ancient Catholic order”, Times, 9 April 2010.
31. Victorian Government Solicitor’ s Office, “Memoranda of understanding”, 2008.
An aid agreement can take the form of a flexible memorandum of understanding (MOU), for example: Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, “Aid Agreements With Cambodia”, 19 May 2000.
32. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, “Il cardinale Martini ‘Un Concilio sul divorzio’”, La Repubblica, 18 June 2009.
33. Mark Karydis, “Worthy work of another sovereign order” [letter to the editor], Times of Malta, 16 July 2011.

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