Saturday, October 6, 2007

Vatican To Publish Paper To Clear Templars

The Vatican has announced it will soon publish a book revealing documents from the Vatican Office of Secret Archives that will show Pope Clement V's exoneration of the Order.

On October 25, the Vatican office of the Secret Archives will unveil the book Processus contra Templarios, containing "a previously unpublished and exclusive edition of the complete acts of the original hearing against the Knights Templar," the Vatican has announced. Containing reproductions of the original parchment documents, the book is "the most elaborate and important publication yet undertaken" by the Archives, the Vatican states. The book will be a special collector's edition, with only 799 copies produced.

The material will come from Barbara Frale's research and rediscovery of what is known as the Chinon Parchment, a document known about for centuries, but "mis-filed" in the archives in the 17th century. Frakes found the parchment six years ago, and while it has been summarized in print, it has never been fully published before. It describes an inquisition by Clement V and members of the Inquisition of members of the Templar Order imprisoned at Chinon Castle in France. Based on questions put to the knights, according to reports, the Pope found the knights innocent of wrongdoing (although from my reading of the summary, it is unclear whether he pardoned ALL of the Order, or just those who were questioned). Of course, none of this made any difference, since the Templars were imprisoned by King Phillip IV, and Clement was a timid puppet of the king. The knights were tortured and executed, and Clement's pronouncement of their innocence was kept a secret. His opinion of the case addressed their immortal souls, but did nothing to spring them from Chinon's keep.

See also the BBC story.

An image and explanation of the parchment is available on the Vatican website here, but alas, no translation or even Latin transcription is available yet. That's what will be in those 799 books...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This move appears to be in response to the annual campaign by modern-day followers of the Templar tradition.

A letter to the Pope from living descendents of the Templars appeared in the press in 2004: "We shall witness the 700th anniversary of the persecution of our order on 13th October 2007," the letter said. "It would be just and fitting for the Vatican to acknowledge our grievance in advance of this day of mourning."

On 25 October 2007, exactly 13 days from the morning of the anniversary, an official document will be released by the Vatican absolving the Knights Templar and confirming their innocence.

Full story with sources and additional reading material:-