A recent furore, surrounding this organisation and charity with over a thousand years of history, has begun to calm down . These two English & Welsh registered charities (along with SC040124) form part of the worldwide organisation based in the Vatican.
Issues for The Knights of Malta
It sees itself as a Roman Catholic ‘sovereign’ entity which runs refugee camps, drug treatment centres, disaster relief programmes and clinics around the world. As a result of recent turmoil a power struggle is taking place.
Internal fighting has enabled or forced Pope Francis to step into this semi autonomous organisation and rest control. An investigation has brought to light weaknesses in control systems, financial clarity and the conduct of its governance.
Matthew Festing, the British and recently deposed Grand Master of the order was banned from attending an election for his successor. He had accused and then dismissed the orders Grand Chancellor, Mr von Boeselager for condoning the distribution of condoms in an aid project in South-east Asia. After much negative publicity and internal politicking, German-born Mr von Boeselager was reinstated with Vatican backing.
As the Catholic Herald reports ‘At stake is the governance of what is still technically, … a sovereign international government which prints its own passports, wields enormous international influence, and controls considerable sums of money….. the religious and Catholic character of the order itself, and the true motivations of those who have triggered this whole process will be fiercely tested in the next year; and the new constitution which emerges will show not only who won, but what they were really fighting for in the first place.’
The British Charities
The Hospitaller order in December 2016 has reserves of over six million pound, annual income of £4,031,000 and charitable and other annual expenditure of £1,400,000 p.a.
The Military Order in December 2015 had reserves of £5,951,000 million pound, annual income of £4,166,000 and charitable and other annual expenditure of £1,035,000 p.a. (2016 accounts are due)
Expect more friction by May 2018 but don’t expect any illumination or clarity on the international funding and resources.
Current reserves look to be exceptionally generous unless charitable spending is dramatically increased. The trustees should stop politicking and start spending