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Unauthorised use of Sovereign Order’s name

The Embassy of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, known also as The Order of Malta, wishes to inform readers that it has no connection with the organisation which calls itself the “Knights Hospitallers of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta – The Ecumenical Order”. This organisation has recently been given coverage by this newspaper in connection with the fact that the renowned singer Cliff Richard has been made a member of this organisation.

It is pertinent to note that the organisation in question is not recognised by the Republic of Malta or by the Holy See.

This is simply one of the many organisations which have, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to impersonate the Order of Malta by making irregular and unauthorised use of its symbols and names. Some of these organisations use the Republic of Malta as their headquarters, possibly for the purpose of giving their members or prospective members the misleading and erroneous impression that they have a historical connection with the Order which made Malta its home between 1530 and 1798.

The Order of Malta is indeed saddened when it learns about individuals who have been led to believe that they are joining a bona fide Order of Chivalry, possibly parting with a significant amount of money in the process, only to discover some time later that they have simply been hoodwinked into joining an organisation that is devoid of any legitimacy.

The Sovereign Order of Malta is a lay religious Order of the Roman Catholic Church, present in over 120 countries worldwide, where it organises philanthropic activities aimed at providing assistance to the infirm while defending the faith.

It provides care in the humanitarian, medical and social spheres regardless of race or religion. It runs hospitals and medical centres, institutions for the elderly and the disabled, an emergency corps and ambulance services. One of the more well known of the Order’s hospitals is the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem, which provides maternity services to women in an area of the world where medical conditions are most challenging.

The Order is a sovereign entity, subject of international law, and enjoys diplomatic ties with over a hundred countries worldwide.

The recent proliferation of organisations which make incorrect, indeed unlawful, use of the Sovereign Order’s names and symbols risk jeopardising the important work carried out by its many members, staff and volunteers throughout the world.

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