From the dusty historian: Knights Templar Exonerated by Vatican

Templar SealAt least that’s what is being claimed about a book set to be released this week by the Vatican’s secret archives. Processus contra Templarios is based on a text called the Chinon Parchment which, according to the BBC had been incorrectly filed; it contains the record of the investigation into the charges of heresy surrounding the Templars before their dissolution. Check it out:

The Vatican is to publish a book which is expected to shed light on the demise of the Knights Templar, a Christian military order from the Middle Ages.

The book is based on a document known as the Chinon parchment, found in the Vatican Secret Archives six years ago after years of being incorrectly filed.

The document is a record of the heresy hearings of the Templars before Pope Clement V in the 14th Century.

The official who found the paper says it exonerates the knights entirely.

Prof Barbara Frale, who stumbled across the parchment by mistake, says that it lays bare the rituals and ceremonies over which the Templars were accused of heresy.

{read it all}

The Vatican library is closed for renovations at the moment, and I’m not sure how one would go about getting the book, but what a great one to practice one’s rusty Latin skills on! If anybody knows where I can order a copy, let me know.

UPDATE: scratch that, I just found out how many of these are to be printed and what they will cost.  I guess I’ll have to visit it at a library somewhere:

Only 799 copies of the 300-page volume, “Processus Contra Templarios,”—Latin for “Trial against the Templars”—are for sale, said Scrinium publishing house, which prints documents from the Vatican’s secret archives. Each will cost $8,377, the publisher said Friday.

An 800th copy will go to Pope Benedict XVI, said Barbara Frale, the researcher who found the long-overlooked parchment tucked away in the archives in 2001.

{read the rest}

  • Stephen Beavers

    This needs to be published somewhere for the whole world to read. I have belived that the Knights Templar plays; and has for a long time played a very important role in the Church . So I have but one question shouldn’t the French goverment have to give the Knights back their possessions. I belive that this would only be right because they were the ones that abused their aurthority; through their perilous leader Philip the (Fair?)

  • Jody+

    Thanks Stephen,

    I think you’re right, this does deserve to be published broadly and it needs to reach the common collection of knowledge about the Templars.

    As far as the government of France paying the Templars back, that would be much more tricky. First, you’d have to establish that the government of France today is the proper successor to Philip le Belle (a better argument might be his decendents among European royalty, if there are any), especially given the collapse of the French monarchy, the revolution, Napoleon’s empire etc… There have been a lot of governmental changes in France since Philip’s day.

    The other issue would be finding the proper successor to the Knights Templar. Many Templars joined other orders after their supression, but they did not all join the same order. So should one (or all) of these orders get a pay out? Or maybe the Roman Catholic Church? But then of course there are various modern day organizations claiming to be Templars. I think we may have to be happy with the fact that their name has finally been cleared of the most heinous charges and that in fact, what many historians have susspected to be the case has been corroborated by documentary evidence.

  • stephen beavers

    Is it possible since the exoneration for the Templars to form another military order under the church; and become like the K.O.C. but within the Anglican Church.
    The Holy Catholic Church seems to be very proud of the K.O.C. Should’nt the Anglican Church have it’s order also; and the Knights Templar be reinstated.

  • stephen beavers

    I would like to ask why can’t we bring the knights templars back to support the Anglican Church; after all they were exonerated of all charges.I am quite sure that a lot of other people would agree that this would solve a lot of problems in the church. The Order has survived after all these years and even thrived. I belive that anything that God has Ordained will survive forever. I feel This needs to be thought about. The Chatolics Have the K.O.C. why can’t we have the Templars

  • David B.

    The Masonic Knights Templar have assisted with several ordinations as well as Easter, Christmas and Asscension Day Services in the Episcopal and Anglican Communion. We are always pleased to assist in St. Johns’ Day obersvances. While not exclusively Anglican, many Knights are.

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