Factbox: Who are the Knights of Malta?

The Knights of Malta, an ancient Catholic order which operates as global charity, has its headquarters on one of Rome’s most exclusive streets, the cobble-stoned Via Condotti where red-and-white flags bearing the Maltese Cross fly above the entrance. The leadership of the order — formally, the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta — has been locked in a battle with the Vatican for the past two months.
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