Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Spanish Lawsuit Seeks To Rehabilitate Reputation of Knights Templar

In Spain, a group claiming to be descended from the legendary Knights Templar has filed suit against the Vatican in an attempt to restore the The Templar's reputation. The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ has sued, asking the Vatican to recognize the seizure of assets worth 100 billion Euros by Pope Clement V. Yesterday's London Telegraph reports:

The Templars was a powerful secretive group of warrior monks founded by French knight Hugues de Payens after the First Crusade of 1099 to protect pilgrims en route to Jerusalem. They amassed enormous wealth and helped to finance wars waged by European monarchs, but spectacularly fell from grace after the Muslims reconquered the Holy Land in 1244 and rumours surfaced of their heretic practices. The Knights were accused of denying Jesus, worshipping icons of the devil in secret initiation ceremonies, and practising sodomy....

The legal move by the Spanish group ... follows the unprecedented step by the Vatican towards the rehabilitation of the group when last October it released copies of parchments recording the trials of the Knights between 1307 and 1312.... The Chinon parchment revealed that, contrary to historic belief, Clement V had declared the Templars were not heretics but disbanded the order anyway to maintain peace with their accuser, King Philip IV of France.