Tracking Down the Tale of the Knights Templar

Posted on Updated on

frale.jpg 

The story has it all: Vatican intrigue, corruption, medieval castles, secret knights, papal enquiries, and royal conspiracies.

But it is not fiction.

More than 5 meters of recovered parchments reveal the actual account of one of the most important trials of the Middle Ages: The Processus Contra Templarios (Latin for “Trial Against the Templars”).

The Knights Templar was a powerful and secretive medieval order originally formed to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. The order was dissolved following charges of heresy in 1314.

This book reveals the order’s innocence.

The parchment is the transcript of the hearings that took place at Chinon, France in August 1308. It chronicles the accusations of heresy, the Templars’ defense and the Pope’s absolution of the order.

Since the Knights Templar was accused some seven centuries ago, the order has entered the realm of legend. Most recently the best-selling book, The DaVinci Code, speculated on the order’s actual, secret purpose.

Now, in an effort to restore the Templars’ reputation, the Vatican is selling 799 copies of the Processus Contra Templarios at 5,900 euros ($8,377) apiece.

The reproduction comes in a soft leather case, complete with a faithful replica of the original papal wax seals. Printed on a special synthetic parchment, it also contains translations into English and Italian, and scholarly commentary.

Barbara Frale, the 37-year-old Vatican archives official who rediscovered the Chinon parchment after more than 10 years of research in the Vatican Secret Archives, spoke with Discovery News about her find and about the medieval, crusading order.

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News: What’s it like working at the Vatican’s secret archives?

Barbara Frale: It’s such an incredible adventure. The archives are an endless labyrinth of historical treasures. The lives of so many Popes fill some 80 kilometers of shelves underground, beneath the Vatican. There are millions of original documents, you almost feel dizzy there.

It’s really detective work, and it begins right from the huge Index Room, which contains some 3,800 books.

Finding the right document is not easy at all. Also, you need years of study, a specialization in paleography, and several years of work experience to decode the ancient writings.

RL: What is your main area of study?

BF: I’ve been studying the history of the Knights Templar since 1995. At the Vatican Archives, I came across some big paper registers written when the papal court was in Avignon, France (1309-1378). I noticed that a bulk of documents which belonged to Pope Benedict XII actually contained some papers dating back to the reign of a former Pope, Clement V.

The document featured a piece of the trial of the Templars, namely the only enquiry which had been held by the pontiff, himself, at Poitiers, in the summer of 1308. There also was a “Rubrice,” a summary of notes written on some cheap paper.

These annotations turned to be a historical treasure far more than the refined and expensive parchments. There I could find the real thoughts of the Pope. My fascination with the Templars could only increase at this point. I had to dig deeper.

RL: So, how did you discover the Chinon parchment?

BF: In 2001 I found a list of provincial enquires that Clement V ordered to be held by diocesan bishops. An enquiry appeared to be a hearing held by Bérenger Frédol, one of the best canonist of his time and the Pope’s nephew. It appeared very strange to me that such a man would be sent to the country, to hold one of the ordinary diocesan hearings.

I was right: the enquiry was indeed the Chinon hearing. When I saw that original parchment with the seals of the three cardinals appointed by Clement V to judge the Templar General Staff in his name, I could not believe my eyes. It was the document so many historians had been searching for.

RL: What these documents from the Vatican Archives reveal that wasn’t known before?

BF: Since the trial of the Templars ended with the destruction of the order, with the Grand Master Jacques De Molay burning at the stake in 1314, it was believed that Pope Clement V agreed on the heresy charges moved by the King of France, Philip IV “The Fair.”

On the contrary, the Chinon parchment and the Rubrice show that Clement V wanted the Templar order to be saved. He wanted to reform and restore it to its original strength. Indeed, the Knights received the papal absolution from all charges of heresy.

RL: How did it happen that the Templars were imprisoned?

BF: It was a very dramatic event: on Friday 13, October 1307 the French soldiers broke into all templar preceptories and imprisoned the monks. It was a heavy abuse of power as the Templars were a religious order completely independent from royal authority.

The truth is that the King of France, who badly needed money, wanted to seize the Templars’ wealth. The order amassed fortunes through property and banking but declined after the Muslim reconquest of the Holy Land.

RL. What were some of the charges against them?

BF: The accusation of heresy focused on them denying Christ, spitting on the cross, and giving ‘three obscene kisses’ on the low spine, the navel and the mouth.

RL Were these charges true?

BF No. In reality, this was an initiation ceremony. It was performed to show the new knights the humiliation they could suffer if they fell into the hands of the Saracens. The hearings made Pope Clement conclude that the ritual was not blasphemous, although he did find the Templars guilty of lesser infractions of church law because of this ceremony.

RL: The Pope’s absolution did not prevent the King of France from burning many Templar leaders at the stake and basically dissolving the order. Could you explain why Clement V did nothing to save the Templars?

BF: The risk for the Pope was a schism in the Church. So he decided to sacrifice the Templars. The order was already enjoying a bad reputation because of charges of heresy and sexual misconduct

RL: The Catholic Church has been asked by several supposed descendants of the Templars to offer apology for what happened 700 years ago. What do you think?

BF: A serious historian knows that medieval issues must remain confined to the Middle Ages. You cannot transfer such issues, even if they are dramatic, to present time.

There has been a lot of talking about the Templars. So many books have taken inspirations only from legends, obscure traditions, supposed secret rituals and lost treasures. This has nothing to do with the historical documents.

RL: Your discovery is going to rewrite the history of the Templar order. Have you received a free copy of the Vatican book?

BF: No, but I am not missing it. After all, it is such a large book I would not know where to put it. The only place I can think of is a box under my bed, but I think it would not be the best company to sleep with.

in Discovery News

____________________________________________

It should be said that the first Templar group to be officially taken on a tour of the Secret Archives of the Vatican and to be presented with copies of the Chinon Parchment was the OSMTHU, back in 2002 under the Mastership of Fr+ Fernando de Toro-Garland.

After the visit was made public, many other groups claimed to be present and tried to legitimate their “close ties with the Vatican” (which were non-existent) by saying it had actually happened to them! Well, it hadn’t.

The fact that we were the first to be invited to take a look at the document was never used to legitimate or not our position. As Barbara Frale says, the parchment should not be taken out of its context, which is the middle ages. It does nothing to legitimate our Order or any other Order for that matter (look at this piece of news). And we never claimed that it would.

But it’s nice to remember that in the serious academic world, where history is history, we were considered back in 2002 worthy enough to be invited to look at it closely. And we have the photos.

frale2.jpg  

Photo taken during the visit. From left to right the late F+ Horacio Amadeo Della Torre, by then Preceptor of the Order, Prior of Argentina and member of the Magisterial Coucil; F+ Rosario Tomarchio (hidden behind F+ Horacio), Bailiff of Catania; Father Sergio Pagano, Prefect of the Vatican Secret Archive; F+ Fernando de Toro-Garland, by then Master of the Order; Barbara Frale; Fr+ Antonio Paris, by then Priori of Italy and Seneschal of the Order, member of the Magisterial Council (today Master of the Order) and F+ Jose Antonio Cabrera Diaz, by then Prior of Spain (now Treasurer of the Order and member of the Magisterial Council). Other Templars were present, including Fr+ William McCallum, Australian member of the Magisterial Council, but not pictured here.

 As you can see it wasn’t a group of tourists that visited a library, it was the true elite of the OSMTHU that has been governing the Order for many years. I still can’t forgive myself for not having been there!

About these ads

4 thoughts on “Tracking Down the Tale of the Knights Templar

    Bryan Dunne said:
    April 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Excellent interview. I attended the trial in the High Court in London where Michael Baignant of Holy Blood Holy Grail fame accused Dan Brown of stealing his ideas. Both of them were obsessed with the Knights Templar. It is good to see a historical discovery in the Archives casting doubt on the popular myths about the Order. Thank you.

    KATHLEEN said:
    June 7, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    June 6, 2009

    CLARIFICATION – I seek no glory or honors and let all glory be to God and in all ways I plce this document in Gods hands that of his son who was sent for all nations and is known as Jesus Christ, Saint Issa, Jehuda, the Gift giver and many other names.

    REPORT: The turn of the century was and is for Reconciliations of the past century rectification with instruments in place to ensure such atrocities do not ever happen again to innocent peoples and their supporters.

    REPORT: Evidence in the cold light of day is clear precise the Knights Templars; their supporters were always innocent; subjected to the greatest of atrocities then; it would seem to appear ongoing and covertly so.

    REPORT: In Alberta Friends of medicare report Federal; Provincial Legislation is being discretely created to seize financial resources property without reason, isolating their targeted victims; and kept out of communication.

    REPORT: 2009 Amnesty International Womens Day emails were clear showed clear irrefutable evidence these special interest groups in Canada were receiving tax payers Federal, Provincial, Private funding to set up, organize Communist cell blocks in Canada to the shock of Church groups and WW11 military veterans who have had these issues imposed upon them; look to Amnesty International (non partisan) to rectify these issues immediately

    REPORT: Gurkas; Alliances of the Scottish Highlanders under the guidance of her Majesty Elizabeth 11 Queen of the Scots, Chief of the Clan Mac Beth, member of a protected minority race under the United Nations.

    REPORT: What do I think of this rubbish:
    RL: The Pope’s absolution did not prevent the King of France from burning many Templar leaders at the stake and basically dissolving the order. Could you explain why Clement V did nothing to save the Templars?

    A) Templars were protecting Jewish people; they had more money then the King of France; the Pope, The Edict of Domitian to liquidate the House of David and Tribes of Israel was, still is enforced apparently.
    B) Suggestion a a Historian do your own research for accuracy in this matter.

    BF: The risk for the Pope was a schism in the Church. So he decided to sacrifice the Templars. The order was already enjoying a bad reputation because of charges of heresy and sexual misconduct.

    REPORT: I suggest your research also revealed that the Catholic Church was also enjoying the same bad reputation for heresy and sexual misconduct

    RL: The Catholic Church has been asked by several supposed descendants of the Templars to offer apology for what happened 700 years ago. What do you think?

    REPORT: Suggestion: Moral financial return of property and restitution must be made to these desceendents without hesitation

    BF: A serious historian knows that medieval issues must remain confined to the Middle Ages. You cannot transfer such issues, even if they are dramatic, to present time.

    Review Facts are Facts and these issues were made public by the Grace of God through many enlightened beings who does not wish these issues to remain confined to the middle ages it would seem to appear. Instead I pose this question; citing the Nuremburg War Trials
    A) Why were WW11 Nazis transported to many different nations including Canada

    B) Why has the Nazis party and Communist party not been made pursuant to all international Federal and Provincial Legislation illegal.

    C) Catholic Illuminati ADAM W allegedly created the Communists; Hitler Nazi Germany and the Mormons with explicit direction implimentation training women to be used as sexual vehicles, to train men in abuses to be perpetrated on other races, persons, transferred over into the mental health professions who acknowledge openly their training practice is destructive to their souls

    D) Over 200,000 regular Freemaons including Templars were liquidated in the Death Camps of Europe.

    E) Written records of the Allied forces, preceptories were transported to Poland (refuses to return records) and Russia.
    E) i) These records were stored in Berlin and the question is while the Nuremburg War trials were taking place why was the emphasis not placed directly upon securing these records first to protect the Allied forces.
    E) ii) My father was one of those Commandos and and our lives have been placed at risk.

    Buddhist Masters have immigrated world wide to save many Sentient Beings. I am one of those Sentinent Beings.

    Tibet is a peaceful nation; their Holy Monks are wrongfully persecuted in the same manner as these Knights Templars were over 700 years ago apparently. Saint Issa, with the original writings from Tibetan Scrolls of Saint Issa made arrangements for the preservation of all human beings. What would you think?

    REPORTED BY OFFICERS OF THE COURT AND COMMUNITY AT LARGE. Charles S. B. Hunt, Canadian Military Officer, Knights Templar; Knight of the Holy Grail; the Queens Knight is reported by Officers of the Court as being murdered via the Intimidation Harassment Laws of Alberta/Canada
    A) Their is clear involvement of a daughter of a former SS Nazi Officer (Getapo) imbeded in Ontario; her Mother is one of Hitlers Women
    B) This daughter over 90 was raised in the same manner and it would seem to appear infiltrated the Anglican Church and trained as an Assistant Rector. Cited are the Nuremburg War Trials

    Dan Brown ‘s efforts are allegoric and serve to warn those serving descendants to stay away from the system. Multiculturalism is a hoax created by Jesuits to discover how many were “left” . How many good people were and are left.

    Quote: The fact that we were the first to be invited to take a look at the document was never used to legitimate or not our position.
    A) This document is a clear peace of hard written evidence that does legitimize the the position of the Knights Templars; the Scottish Highlanders who defended their position in the Declaration of Arbroath and is the corner stone of democracy today

    REPORT: A serious historian knows that in all matters concerning God/Jesus Christ rectifications are made to occur in God’s good time and not in the time accorded to the temporal world; this historian is merely and instrument verifying God truly does still exist; always has always will be Supreme of the Beings, Creator of us All. Greatest of the Spirits, Mother of Mothers; Goddess of Goddesses; Queen of Queens; Father of Fathers; God of Gods; King of Kings Lord of us all and who is what we visualize desire God to be
    All Glory be to God in the Highest and I reject all that is evil and unholy on behalf of those who do they will, on behalf of those yet to come and on behalf of those struggling to do thy will; cause them to always be preserved in Gods Grace ; his Holiness the Pope who struggles as a mere human mortal to do what is right in God’s eyes which is not always what is right in the eyes of mortals and their personal interpretation of God.
    These statements are made without prejudice to any all parties what soever; are true to the best available information imposed upon innocent people. As always. A diary

    Mas afinal onde estão os Templários? « said:
    September 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    […] a esturro” não se dissipa. E nós, OSMTHU, fomos os primeiros (senão os únicos) a ser convidados por Barbara Frale e o Padre Pagano a visitar os Arquivos Secretos do Vaticano e ver o doc…. Contudo sabemos que documentos históricos devem ser enquadrados no seu contexto e tempo […]

    […] a esturro” não se dissipa. E nós, OSMTHU, fomos os primeiros (senão os únicos) a ser convidados por Barbara Frale e o Padre Pagano a visitar os Arquivos Secretos do Vaticano e ver o doc…. Contudo sabemos que documentos históricos devem ser enquadrados no seu contexto e tempo […]

Comments are closed.