The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) is one of those rare organisations recognised as a sovereign entity by the international community even if they do not have a territory over which to exercise this sovereignty. The Holy See between 1870 and 1929 was in pretty much the same situation: a sovereign entity without its own territory.
The Order of Malta has its own Ambassadors to other Countries; issues passports with which you can travel just the same as with any other passport; issues currency you can use to actually buy things, and stamps you can actually use to send letters (though I think collectors get most of them). They even have armed forces, consisting of three battalions. This is anywhere between around 1,000 and around 2,500 soldiers. Not bad at all for an organisation counting 13,500 Knights, Dames and Auxiliaries. Actually, it makes sense, as this is – and always was – a militaryorganisation.
You may not know all of this. It is fully understandable. What is less understandable is that… the Pope doesn’t.
We do not know the reasons for this: it may simply be that, the Grand Chancellor having been removed for reasons of failing to adhere to Cathoilic doctrine, Francis saw in him a natural ally. It can also be that the chap in question has friends in the Vatican, whom he asked for help after his defenestration. Most likely, though, is that the Evil Clown thought he could slap Cardinal Burke across the hand with a big, fat Argentinian ruler. The decision was hastily made public shortly before Christmas.
The SMOM replied in very terse words, which can be summarised as follows: “hey you nincompoop, we are a Sovereign entity. You don’t get to investigate us more than you get to investigate Barack Obama. But by all means, if you need to let us know anything kindly talk to our Ambassador”.
This is so embarrassing that I am cringing myself on behalf of the old man, so that the Cosmic Cringing does not suffer any serious imbalance. This Bergoglio guy is a man of utter, stellar incompetence, coupled with an arrogance of Obamaesque dimensions. And I don’t even buy that the man was badly advised. It is far more likely that the man was told of the absurdity of his plan and decided to go on anyway, purely out of spite and utter childishness.
The episode is of some days ago, when yours truly was enjoying some well-deserved days in his native Country. But I thought I would report on this at some point, because it once again gives the measure of what goes on in the brain of that, as they say today, “epic fail” called Jorge Bergoglio.