his application to the Order due to protests from members.
Williams had reportedly been invited to submit an application to the Order last month, but pressure from current members concerned about his support for abortion ârightsâ and being an early supporter for same-sex marriage, caused him to withdraw his application without comment.
Falcone addressed the issue in a letter to the Knights and Dames of the Federal Associationâone of three Order of Malta associations in the United Statesâregarding the candidacy of Williams.
She voiced concern about the âconsiderable discussionâ that took place over Williamsâ application, calling some of it ânot always enlightened.â
Falcone particularly objected to âinaccurateâ descriptions of the Orderâs admission process. âAll applicants must successfully complete an 18-month period of formation before considerationâ she said. This process also includes an applicant meeting an âinitial threshold for admission,â and an âadditional examinationâ before being approved by the Board of Directors and Sovereign Council in Rome.
The process, according to Falcone, also requires applicants to participate in âspiritual activities and hands on volunteer projects with the poor and sick.â
CNA contacted Executive Director Joe Dempsey of the Federal Association for the Order of Malta for clarification on what the âinitial thresholdâ and âadditional examinationâ include, but Dempsey said he was unable to comment on the subject. He described Williams' application as an internal private matter, adding that the Order was going to let President Falcone's letter speak for itself.
Concluding her letter, Falcone asked members not to subject the Order and candidates to âneedless embarrassmentâ again by publically criticizing candidates, but instead voice their concerns to the Board of Directors or the candidateâs sponsor.