Pope Francis has demanded and obtained the resignation of the head of another sovereign state, and will appoint his own temporary supervisor until the state elects a new head of state approved by the pope.
Adventists need not be worried – this country doesn’t really count as significant.
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) has 3 citizens, its own passports, currency (the scudo), and postage stamps, and ambassadors to many more countries than it has citizens. Since 1798, it has had no territory other than a few buildings in Italy and Malta with extraterritorial status. After World War II, it briefly had an air force.
From The Spectator:
Canon lawyer Dr Edward Condon this morning tweeted out the reaction of many Catholics:
In terms of international law, the Holy See just annexed another sovereign entity.
A source close to the order puts it more bluntly:
‘It’s like an invasion. Nine hundred years of sovereignty wiped out overnight.’
… Festing and the leadership of the order refused to accept the authority of the inquiry, because – they argued – the Vatican had no temporal authority over a body that is independent under international law.
This is nothing that should worry Adventists. It’s a symptom of a deeper struggle within the Catholic Church.
Official Vatican statement: Comunicato della Sala Stampa, 25.01.2017