A diplomatic row between the two could well spiral into a serious threat to the international legitimacy of both institutions.
This would have remained an internal matter, except that Pope Francis himself became involved. On November 10, he had a meeting with the order’s patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, who serves as an intermediary between the Vatican and the order. At the beginning of December, according to sources within the order, the Pope wrote Cardinal Burke a letter asking the order to take action against any possible cause of moral scandal. The exact content of the letter is unknown; but it was universally taken as a reference to the Boeselager situation.
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