In this June 25, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis greets the Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Matthew Festing, right, at the end of a private audience in the Pontiff's private library at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca, File)
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Pope Francis has ended a bitter dispute with the Knights of Malta by demanding and obtaining the resignation of the ancient Catholic order's top official in a row over condoms.The resignation of Grand Master Matthew Festing, confirmed by the order on Wednesday, follows a month-long stand-off that had become a test of the reforming pope's authority over Church conservatives.In theory, Briton Festing was in the job for life. His resignation will have to be approved by the Order's sovereign council.It erupted last month when Francis appointed a five-strong team to examine the circumstances in which the Order's number three was forced out of his job.
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