I would like to turn the readers attention to Orders of the Vatican. These are not instructions from our most beloved Pope but honorific Orders given or sanctioned to the good and honourable by our Holy Father.
There are two types of Orders, three really, but I will explain.
Papal Orders:- These are Orders given to individuals on the express orders of the Pope after being advised by Cardinals and Bishops for people who have done good works for the Church.
These five orders are 1.) Supreme Order Of Christ. 2.) Order of the Golden Spur. 3). Order of Pius IX. 4.) Order of St Gregory the Great. 5.) Order of St Sylvestor, Pope and Martyr. These are in descending order in terms of importance. One man I know is Joe Kennedy, the one time contractor in Manchester for his charitable works in Manchester and Mayo, richly deserved and good luck to him. He received the Order Of St Gregory some years ago. Jimmy Savile was also honoured with this order a while ago but in the light of recent news the Church is thinking of taking it off him. A bit too late perhaps but what in heaven’s name good did he do the church other than ape the behaviour of priests.
I will miss out the second type of Orders and go on to the third type, The Apochryphal Orders. These are historic orders founded by people other than the Pope but at one time or another have been given the OK by the ruling Pope of the time. One of these is The Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St George. Impressive title but I fear it is for people who like to dress up in fancy gear and long dresses. The order was formed in the 16th Century by two Italian brothers down on their luck. At some stage in the 19th Century the Pope gave it a nod. For some time now it has been run by the House of Bourbon which has three descendants all vieing for the head honchoship of the Order. Lots of whose members use this Order has a jumping off board to attain membership of the second type of Order which is the Orders Of Chivalry. Members of the Order Of St George include various bishops, ambitious legal types and odds and sods generally who inhabit those circles. One of those is Baroness Scotland from the West Indies, one time Attorney General of England and Wales under both Blair and Brown but more famous for fiddling her Parliamentary Expenses and getting away with it and for her charitable works in aiding illegal immigrants in their search for jobs where she did receive a little come-uppance and a fine of £5,000. In these Orders that kind of malfeasance is chicken shit compared to some.
I now turn my attention to The Orders Of Chivalry. These are historic orders of the Church, a thousand or so years old, founded in the time of the Crusades. They have largely grown independent of the Church but the Pope as the final say in who is their leader or Grand Master. However all members have to swear an oath of Obediance to the Pope.
The Orders Of Chivalry are 1.) The Order of the Holy Sepulchre. 2.) The Sovereign Military Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta to give it its full name. It is normally known as the Knights of Malta. 3.) The Teutonic Knights which is mainly a clerical organization.
I could write away for weeks on these Orders Of Chivalry but I just want to concentrate on the Knights of Malta. Why? Because I have just finished reading Ray Mouton’s book In God’s House where the hero discovered that a perticular important judge in New Orleans had interfered in a legal process to help a rapist priest have a good time in prison. He said in the book after finding out this judge was a Knight of Malta that he would research this Order. The confines of the book did not allow that to happen but Ray might write another book on this same topic.
I decided to do my own research and here it is. The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta has about 13,000 members worldwide. It was founded in 1048 by Amalfian (Neapolitan) merchants as a monastic order to run a pilgrim hospital in the Holy Land. In 1291 the Sultan of Egypt ran them and they settled in Rhodes and one of his ancestors oiked them out of there in 1523 and they went to Malta until removed by Napolean in 1798. From Malta they went to Rome and settled on the Aventine, one of the Eternal City’s seven hills, where they are to this day, nice and close to the Vatican.
In one of the head- scratching anomalies of this 21st Century world the Order is classed as a sovereign entity under International Law. It has its own postage stamps and coinage and enjoys observer status at the United Nations Organization in New York, similar to the Red Cross. Which means they can sit in on debates, distribute literature but not vote. The Knights maintain diplomatic relations with 104 countries but not with the USA but it does have offices there in the UN and in Washington where it is represented at the Inter-American Development Bank.
When it comes to this Order, conspiracy theorists abound, linking them to the Kennedy assasinations and spreading the AIDS virus through its links with African health schemes. The members of the Order have been classed as christian supremacists, white supremacists and anti-semites. Any bad thing that could be said about this organization has been said. Yet it grows in confidence and stature. Looking at its international position you would be right in thinking this is a very powerful organization and a quick peek at its membership makes you feel very worried.
On the net there are lists of members, I have trawled through them and made a list of those past and present members that caught my eye. I have listed these in alphabetical order:-
Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair, George Bush, George “Dubya” Bush, Jeb Bush, Frank Capra, William Casey, Bill Clinton, Giscard D’Estaing, Avery Dulles, Rudy Giuliani, Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, General Alexander Haig, William Randolph Hearst, Heinrich Himmler, J Edgar Hoover, Lee Ioccoca, Joe Kennedy Snr, Ted Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Cardinal Pio Laghi, Clara Booth Luce, Nelson Mandela, Rupert Murdoch, Oliver North, “Tip” O’Neill, Kim Philby, Augusto Pinochet, Ronald Reagan, Nelson & David Rockefeller, Rick Santorum, Frank Sinatra, Amschal Mayer von Rothschild, Kurt Waldheim, General Westmorland.
What a strange party of bed-fellows, most of them knew how to open their zips, some to both sexes but mainly for the gratification of the lady. What on earth could they be up to? I thought if the ones I recognise as strange, what about the thousands I did not recognise? So I picked four at random from the long list in front of me.
Thomas von Essen. This man turns out to have been a great mate of Rudy Giuliani, Mayor of New York at the time of 9/11. Thomas had been head of the New York Fire Brigade for years when 9/11 broke and was blamed for having hundreds of men up the twin towers with faulty equipment and especially radios that did not work. He was sacked a couple of months afterwards.
Canon Edward West was for 40 years canon of the Episcopal/Anglican Cathedral in New York, St John the Divine. Reputed to be the biggest church in Christendom. He was an Anglican priest with Serbian Orthodox tendencies which confused casual visitors. The Episcopalian Church in America is linked to freemasonry, satanic rituals and homosexuality and dual lives are common with most clergy. On top of one column in the cathedral is a sculpture of the twin towers collapsing which was commissioned in 1997, four years prior to it happening. Canon West used to get his rocks off visiting clubs in the docklands area of New York where he used to lie in a ceremonial tub and have young boys piss on him. A thoroughly decent and charming scholar.
William F Buckley was the foremost conservative thinker in 20th Century America. Spent his younger years in the CIA, a defender of McCarthyism, a white supremacist until he saw the situation changing in the 1960s and a great supporter of President Reagan.
Elmer Bobst, a pharmaceutist, chairman of Warner Lambert, one of the biggest drug firms in the USA. A multi-millionaire. A lifelong friend of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon and a blatant anti-semite. After he died his two grandaughters accused him of having an incestuous relationship with them for 20 years. A friendly judge threw the case out of court.
I thought I would try one more to pick somebody decent amongst this shoal of horrors. I went for a lady, Sister Noreen Falcone, seemed like a decent Irish/Italian name and so she was. She turned out to be the the President of the Order in America and a nun to boot, she has given her life to the Order and good works. The Jesuit College in New York has a library named after her. Her husband Michael Falcone is one of the biggest real estate developers in the State, I get a whiff of the Mafiosa as well as something else.
So there we are, I am not making judgements, Our top dog is mixed up in some very strange company. Ratzinger and those before him probably are and were sticking to the old adage of holding there friends close and their enemies closer.