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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.