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Tags: vatican pope knights of malta john dunlap

Ancient Knights of Malta Gets Its First Nonaristocratic Head

Wednesday, 03 May 2023 11:00 AM EDT

ROME (AP) — A Canadian lawyer who found his vocation caring for AIDS patients in Harlem has been elected the grand master of the Knights of Malta, the first non-European and first nonaristocratic head of the ancient lay Catholic order that provides humanitarian aid around the world.

John Dunlap, 66, was elected by an absolute majority of 99 voting members of a Knights body known as “the council complete of state.” He immediately informed Pope Francis of his election and was being sworn in later Wednesday at the Knights’ magnificent villa on Rome’s Aventine hill.

The election brings a hoped-for end to a tumultuous few years during which Francis intervened to remove a previous grand master during a governance crisis. Francis then imposed a new set of constitutional reforms on the order in ways that critics said threatened its sovereignty.

The Knights of Malta is an ancient chivalric order that runs hospitals and clinics around the world. It counts 13,500 knights, dames and chaplains, 80,000 permanent volunteers and 42,000 employees, most of them medical personnel who lend first aid in areas of natural disasters and conflict zones.

As a sovereign body under international law, the Knights have diplomatic relations with more than 100 countries, which facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid in war zones and conflict areas, and participate in the U.N. and other international organizations as an observer state.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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- A Canadian lawyer who found his vocation caring for AIDS patients in Harlem has been elected the grand master of the Knights of Malta, the first non-European and first nonaristocratic head of the ancient lay Catholic order that provides humanitarian aid around the...
vatican pope knights of malta john dunlap
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2023-00-03
Wednesday, 03 May 2023 11:00 AM
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