Skip to comments.The Last Crusade Of The Templars
Posted on 11/29/2004 2:57:11 PM PST by blam
The last crusade of the Templars
By Ruth Gledhill
The knights want a Papal apology nearly 700 years after they were disbanded and hounded into exile
THE VATICAN is giving serious consideration to apologising for the persecution that led to the suppression of the Knights Templar.
The suppression, which began on Friday , October 13, 1307, gave Friday the Thirteenth its superstitious legacy.
A Templar Order in Britain that claims to be descended from the original Knights Templar has asked that the Pope should make the apology.
The Templars, based in Hertford, are hoping for an apology by 2007, the 700th anniversary of the start of the persecution, which culminated with the torture and burning at the stake of the Grand Master Jacques de Molay for heresy and the dissolution of the Order by apostolic decree in 1312.
The letter, signed by the Secretary of the Council of Chaplains on behalf of the Grand Master of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon Grand Preceptory, with a PO box address in Hertford, formally requests an apology for the torture and murder of our leadership, instigated by Pope Clement V.
We shall witness the 700th anniversary of the persecution of our order on 13th October 2007, the letter says. It would be just and fitting for the Vatican to acknowledge our grievance in advance of this day of mourning.
Apologies have already been made by the Roman Catholic Church for the persecution of Galileo and for the Crusades. The Templars hope that these precedents will make their suit more likely to succeed.
Hertford Templar Tim Acheson, who is descended from the Scottish Acheson family that has established Templar links and whose family lived until recently in Bailey Hall, Hertford, said: This letter is a serious attempt by a Templar group which traces its roots back to the medieval Order to solicit an apology from the Papacy.
He added: The Papacy and the Kingdom of France conspired to destroy the Order for reasons which modern historians judge to be primarily political. Their methods and motives are now universally regarded as brutal, unfair and unjustified.
The Knights Templar officially ceased to exist in the early 1300s, but the order continued underground. It was a huge organisation and the vast majority of Templars survived the persecution, including most of their leaders, along with much of their treasure and, most importantly, their original values and traditions.
The Hertford Mercury newspaper has reported newly discovered Templar links with Hertford, including a warren of tunnels beneath the town. At the heart of the maze of tunnels is Hertford Castle, where in 1309 four Templars from Temple Dinsley near Hitchin were imprisoned after their arrest by Edward II, who believed that they were holding a lost treasure. The treasure was never found.
When Subterranea Britannica, a group of amateur archaeologists, expressed an interest in investigating Hertfords tunnels last month, they received anonymous threats telling them not to.
The Templars captured Jerusalem during the Crusades and were known as keepers of the Holy Grail, said to be the cup used at the Last Supper or as the receptacle used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Christs blood as he bled on the Cross, or both.
Interest in the Templars and the Holy Grail is at an unprecedented high after the success of books such as The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, and the earlier Holy Blood Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln, which claimed that Jesus survived the crucifixion and settled in France.
The Knights Templar were founded by Hugh de Payens, a French knight from the Champagne area of Burgundy, and eight companions in 1118 during the reign of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, when they took a perpetual vow to defend the Christian kingdom. They were assigned quarters next to the Temple. In 1128, they took up the white habit of the Cistercians, adding a red cross. The order knights, sergeants, farmers and chaplains amassed enormous wealth.
In Rome, a Vatican spokesman said that the demand for an apology would be given serious consideration. However, Vatican insiders said that the Pope, 84, was under pressure from conservative cardinals to stop saying sorry for the errors of the past, after a series of papal apologies for the Crusades, the Inquisition, Christian anti-Semitism and the persecution of scientists and heretics such as Galileo.
Puhleeze. The Templars were initially a very good, completely orthodox order. Some of them - not all, by any means - seem to have started dabbling in things ranging from the occult to homosexuality. It's unfortunate that the whole order had to be suppressed, but many orders have been suppressed in the life of the Church, some for heterodoxy and some simply because they had outlived their usefulness. With the Templars, it was a bit of both.
In any case, the Templars gave rise to a whole Masonic wing and to lots of New Age books, so why should their self-proclaimed heirs complain? Nowadays, the Templars are more popular than orthodox Catholicism.
Church article ping.
The article, however, does not say they are asking for an apology for the disbanding of the order due to heresy, but for the torture and murder of our leadership . . .
In any case: Praise is due to the early Crusader Templars. PC or not. ;)
"Templars are more popular than orthodox Catholicism"
agree with everything but the above from your comment.
There is a Romance assoc. with the Templars, because of the Grail and Arthurian legends. But I see no sign that they are about to overcome the Holy Roman Catholic Church. ;)
Interesting article though...
"settled in France"....Dang....
"I think most Templar descendants would argue that the church spread rumors about their participation in the occult or homosexuality"
well, they can argue that . . .
but when there is truth to the charge, it is not merely "rumor."
700 YEARS! Get over it, already...and get a real life - preferably not one that requires KKK costumes.
Double Puhleeze. The Templar founders were adventurers and opportunists. The Church and Crusades were where the action was. They were "suppressed", as you put, it because the Pope and certain European royalty were afraid of the financial empire the Templars were creating.
There are no Templars.
These whack-jobs are just playing dress-up.
" It would be like asking Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth, or Tony Blair to "apologize" for the outrages and terrorism of Henry VIII and Oliver Cromwell. "
EXCELLENT idea! Or if not apologize, at least allow the appropriate tarnishing of their images in history lessons . . . ;)
"...The Knights Templar were founded by Hugh de Payens, a French knight from the Champagne area of Burgundy ..."
This is hugh! The Knights were getting stuned on champagne and burgundy...
Since the Templars died out in the 14th Century and left no descendants, I think you're wrong.
There are no "Templar descendants".
Since the Papacy in 1307 was pretty much owned lock, stock, and barrel by King Phillip of France, and the suppression of the Templars was his idea, shouldn't they be asking the French government for an apology?
Yep, that was my initial reaction.
The actor behind the whole thing was the King of France, not the Papacy.
I am always amused by the suggestion that while the Templars were TOTALLY innocent and persecuted for merely political reasons that, Oh, yes, "We admire them for being great esoteric masters of the occult and arcane heresies." That really makes a lot of sense. Must be that Duh Vinci code again... You have to drink the right wine out of the right skull at 13 minutes after midnight during a full moon to understand the hidden meaning. [irony]
The Catholic Church and the Vatican were not responsible for that. The torture and executions of leading Templars were the work of Philip IV, king of France, acting on his own. He had a very uneasy relationship with the Catholic Church.
The Vatican later disbanded the order, and issued some statements which diminished their reputation. But followed in the wake of the French govt actions, and did not involve prison and torture.
Must be why you see so many Temples of the Knights Templar all around these days.
"to apologize for the French Revolution as well".
AND I would also like France to apologize for Napoleon messing up the calendar from 1798 - to 18something.
Well, there are the Knights of Malta. They stayed true, didn't they?
"Holy Blood, Holy Grail" did not claim that Jesus survived the cross. It suggested that Mary Magdeline, pregnant with Jesus' child, emmigrated to southeastern France and settled there. The rise of the Cathars in that region lend some support to that notion, but, by no means, confirm it.
Since it was an order of celibate monks, any descendants - being bastards begotten through fornication and violation of solemn vows - would be living proof of the charges against their ancestors.
That's my understanding too - that the French King had trumped up charges regarding the occult and homosexuality brought against the Knights Tempalr in order to destroy them and their reputation.
While most of the Templars were killed, some escaped to Switzerland where traces of their philosophy can be found today.
There are no Templars alive today so no apology is necessary.
How would the rise of the Cathari lend support to that crazy notion? Almost every possible negative description of Catharist doctrine was given by their critics - how could they have omitted such a glaringly heretical claim?
Good point. They are asking the Vatican to apologize for what they did NOT do (torture etc) and NOT for what they did do, which was disband the order for heresy . . .
The Jesuits were also disbanded once. THEY were later reinstated. (Tho might be time for another look?) ;)
So the Templars COULD have petitioned for reinstatement later, PROVIDED that their actions and beliefs were compatible with the Church . . . which they were not . . .
LOL! What are you, some kind of trouble maker?? (grin)
I read a book awhile back that claimed the pirates of the carribean were actually remnants of the templar fleet(manned by former knights)...and that columbus sailed to the new world escorted by former templar ships...and that the scottish rite was founded by templars in exile.
It was an interesting book, but i'm not sure I beleive it.
Exactly what Scotland Yard thought.
Luckily, an anonymous tipster warned them in time to save Castle Aaagh.
They might want to put in a request to Scotland for an apology for the rapes of Saxon and Welsh women by Picts as well.
Roger that. It would have been a little difficult for "the Vatican" to have had anything to do with this considering that it didn't exist in the 14th-century and the papacy had been removed to France in one of the manifestations of Gallicanism.
The "Church" has perpetuated more atrocities on mankind than anything other than, maybe Communism.
They used to just exterminate their opposition.
And yes, they did lie about the Templars....while they were exterminating them.
"by Picts "
Now you are really making me search the history storage areas of my brain! But that is a good thing . . . I do remember Picts . . . not much else . . .
Fortunately, my daughter is getting a VERY good education in history and western civ at an academy named for another poster . . .
The changing of the calendar was done by the revolutionists, not by Napoleon. I believe he changed it back.
"scottish rite was founded by templars "
have heard that
have not heard about a connection w. Columbus; he was a believer of Catholocism, but whether or not he had escort ships (Templar or otherwise), I have not heard.
Not even close, pal. Not even close.
If Napoleon changed the calendar back, then he (or his heirs and sucessors) should be made to apologise for THAT. Lets keep the apologies flowing.
Speaking of the DaVinci Code I'll toss in a plug for "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco.
If you really want to know a lot about the Templars and all of the famous esoteric groups of history, what is claimed about them, from a unique and skeptical perspective (don't want to give away too much of the plot) it's a great novel.
Problem is the first 50 pages or so are mind-numbingly boring. Then it gets good. It's the DaVinci Code for non-morons.
National Treasure was the first I'd heard of the Knights of the Templar. Why were they disbanded officially?