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Temporary Knights of Malta order chief takes oath of office

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/04/2017
The Grand Master's flag waves after the election of Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre, the Knights of Malta newly Lieutenant of the Grand Master, at the order's Villa Magistrale on Rome's Aventine Hill, Sunday, April 30, 2017. The ancient Knights of Malta religious order voted for a new leader after the old one was effectively ousted by Pope Francis. (Remo Camilli via AP) © The Associated Press The Grand Master's flag waves after the election of Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre, the Knights of Malta newly Lieutenant of the Grand Master, at the order's Villa Magistrale on Rome's Aventine Hill, Sunday, April 30, 2017. The ancient Knights of Malta religious order voted for a new leader after the old one was effectively ousted by Pope Francis. (Remo Camilli via AP)

ROME — The new, temporary head of the ancient Knights of Malta lay religious order has taken his oath of office.

Fra' Giacomo Dalla Torre was elected on Saturday during a period of reform after the last grand master was effectively ousted by Pope Francis.

On Sunday, Dalla Torre was sworn in as Lieutenant of the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta on Rome's Aventine Hill. The pope's special delegate, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, celebrated Mass.

The order undergoes a period of Vatican-mandated reform before electing a grand master following the resignation of Fra' Matthew Festing, who exited earlier this year in a dispute with Francis over the order's sovereignty.

Sparking the dispute was the distribution of condoms during the Knights' worldwide charitable work. Vatican teaching forbids condom use for contraception.

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