Month: May 2007

Sur le chemin des Templiers

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Du Perche au Larzac en passant par l’Angoumois, kraks, donjons, commanderies attestent la présence des moines-soldats. Qu’ils soient templiers ou hospitaliers. Visite guidée.

Nichée au bord d’une route du Perche, à 160 kilomètres de Paris, la commanderie d’Arville passe pour la commanderie templière par excellence. Sa porte fortifiée, aux briques disposées en losanges et aux lanternons habillés de châtaignier, figure dans tous les livres comme le symbole de ces communautés rurales dont les moines-soldats parsemèrent la chrétienté.

« Fondée par les Templiers au début du XIIe siècle, la commanderie d’Arville reste, par l’importance des bâtiments existants, un ensemble unique et la commanderie la mieux conservée de France » , s’est enthousiasmée Régine Pernoud. A vrai dire, la célèbre médiéviste jouait un peu sur les mots. Car si Arville fut incontestablement créée par les Templiers, les bâtiments qu’admirent ses 15 000 visiteurs annuels sont largement postérieurs à l’époque des croisades. La porte fortifiée ? elle date pour l’essentiel des XVe et XVIe siècles. La grange dîmière ? Du XVIe également. Le presbytère ? il remplace le logis du commandeur, disparu à la Révolution. Seule l’austérité tout orientale de l’église romane, précédée d’une tour de défense, remonte à l’époque des chevaliers du Temple.

C’est sans doute cela, le véritable secret des Templiers : là où le public croit toucher du doigt le Moyen Age austère et mystérieux qu’ils incarnent, il contemple le plus souvent l’oeuvre de leurs successeurs hospitaliers. Récupérant les dépouilles de leurs rivaux en 1312 après la dissolution de l’ordre du Temple, les Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean (devenus chevaliers de Malte au XVIe siècle) ont pendant cinq siècles remanié, reconstruit, modernisé. Tout en conservant, néanmoins, l’organisation héritée de leurs devanciers.

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Si bien qu’un ensemble architectural comme celui d’Arville, même modifié, donne encore l’idée du fonctionnement d’une commanderie templière. Dès lors, Hospitaliers ou Templiers, peu importe. A Arville, petits et grands passeront un agréable moment à visiter les jardins médiévaux, à cuire du pain dans un four à l’ancienne, ou à embarquer vers l’Orient sur les pas des croisés grâce à un ingénieux parcours pédagogique.

Pour avoir, toutefois, une vue à plus grande échelle de ce que fut la puissance de l’ordre du Temple, c’est plus au sud qu’il faut se rendre, dans les solitudes du Larzac. Car bien avant d’être squatté par José Bové et désenclavé par le viaduc de Millau, ce causse, le plus vaste et le plus méridional de France, fut presque tout entier la possession des Templiers.

A parcourir cette plaine lunaire, piquetée d’arbustes, où affleure le roc, on comprend que ces familiers de la Terre sainte se soient sentis ici chez eux. A coups de donations, d’achats et de ventes forcées, les Templiers évincèrent, au XIIe siècle, les seigneurs locaux, pour faire de ce plateau, moins aride qu’il n’y paraît, leur plus grande possession en Occident. Idéalement situé près des ports de la Méditerranée, le Larzac devint une base logistique d’où partaient hommes, chevaux, vivres et argent vers les châteaux de Palestine.

Aujourd’hui encore, de petits « kraks » fortifiés, posés comme des mirages sur le paysage, complètent l’illusion de se trouver non au fin fond de l’Aveyron, mais dans quelque Orient aux aspérités adoucies. En 1997, le département a eu la bonne idée de raccorder cinq sites fortifiés en un « circuit templier », avec points d’accueil, aires de pique-nique et visites guidées, histoire de surfer sur le succès du plus connu d’entre eux, La Couvertoirade.

Classé parmi « les plus beaux villages de France », La Couvertoirade voit chaque été les touristes s’abattre, tels une nuée de criquets, sur son lacis de rues pierreuses, bordées de maisons caussenardes et d’échoppes d’artisanat. Seul, à vrai dire, le donjon est ici templier. L’enceinte, presque intacte, date en fait de la guerre de Cent Ans, quand les populations du Larzac cherchaient à se protéger des grandes compagnies. Mais à La Cobertoirada (nom du lieu en occitan), dès que l’on s’écarte des remparts, cela fleure toujours le mouton, comme au temps des Templiers : dans les inventaires, on trouve la trace de milliers de brebis, contre seulement deux ou trois tenues de combat. Et l’étendue alentour, cultivée de céréales, porte toujours, en 2005, le nom de « plaine du Temple ».

Si La Couvertoirade tire un peu la couverture à elle, c’est une localité voisine, Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon, qui était le vrai QG des Templiers dans le Larzac. Difficile à imaginer, tant ce délicieux village paraît assoupi au creux de son vallon. A la terrasse de Chez Mimile, près d’une fontaine cernée de platanes, il fait bon siroter un café à l’ombre d’une réplique miniature du palais des Papes construite au XIVe siècle par… les Hospitaliers, encore eux ! Les Templiers ? Ils dorment probablement sous vos pieds, car l’actuelle place de la Fontaine fut jadis leur cimetière. Ce qu’ignorent les zozos en manteau blanc qui, de temps à autre, tiennent des cérémonies nocturnes dans le cimetière du village, qui date du XVIIe siècle !

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A Sainte-Eulalie, les Templiers ont surtout laissé en héritage une église romane aux belles voûtes de tuf. Tout le reste est l’oeuvre des Hospitaliers, « qui ont, eux aussi, une histoire formidable : Malte, l’aspect caritatif, de grands personnages » , souligne la guide-interprète Laurence Fric. D’autres vestiges templiers subsistent dans les bourgades voisines, La Cavalerie et Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux. Une liste à laquelle le conseil général, pour ne pas faire de jaloux, a adjoint Saint-Jean-d’Alcas, une fondation purement cistercienne ! Chacun en effet commence à comprendre que ces énigmatiques moines-soldats constituent une image porteuse. De plus en plus, les « marchands du Temple » pavoisent leurs boutiques aux couleurs rouge et blanc. Au risque parfois du kitsch : on joue cet été à Sainte-Eulalie une comédie musicale à la sauce « Notre-Dame de Paris », qui fait l’amalgame entre Templiers et cathares, ces prétendus « frères du silence », dont le seul point commun est d’avoir fini sur le bûcher…

Bien difficile, décidément, de saisir le vrai visage des Templiers. Pour le contempler en face, il faut quitter le Larzac et obliquer plein ouest, vers les coteaux modérés de la Charente. Là, au sud d’Angoulême, dans la commune de Cressac-Saint-Genis, se dresse une chapelle en pierre grise, perdue dans les maïs.

L’édifice, sans clocher ni chevet, sert aujourd’hui d’oratoire protestant. Mais à l’intérieur, c’est l’éblouissement : à la fin du XIIe siècle, la chapelle a été ornée de fresques, sans doute pour commémorer la participation d’un contingent venu de l’Angoumois à la retentissante victoire remportée sur les sarrasins en 1163 à La Bocquée, devant le krak des Chevaliers.

Longtemps recouvertes d’un badigeon, les fresques, naïves et fortes, montrent les frères « armés de fer et de foi » au sommet de leur gloire. Ici, plus de bûchers, de délires ésotériques ni d’effet d’aubaine commerciale : surgissant d’une cité mystique crénelée, les chevaliers du Christ, casque à nasal sur le visage, gonfanon baucent au vent, partent fièrement au combat. Et, sans crainte du temps qui efface l’ocre des fresques, mettent pour l’éternité en déroute la cohorte des ennemis de Dieu.

Commanderie d’Arville

Route des Templiers, Arville (Loir-et-Cher). Rens. au 02.54.80.75.41, et commanderiearville.com. Larzac templier et hospitalier (Aveyron) : Cinq sites fortifiés : La Cavalerie, La Couvertoirade, Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon, Viala-du-Pas-de-Jaux, Saint-Jean-d’Alcas. Renseignements au conservatoire Larzac templier et hospitalier, à Millau. Rens. au 05.65.59.12.22 et http :// www.conservatoire-larzac.fr.

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La Commanderie 

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Cette structure, propre aux ordres militaires, est un centre de prière, avec une chapelle et un cimetière ; de commandement, avec un logis de maître et parfois une fortification ; d’exploitation, avec des bâtiments agricoles. Elle peut être constituée par une seule maison, cellule de base du réseau templier, ou en regrouper plusieurs. Y vivent quelques chevaliers, parfois un ou deux seulement, souvent retraités, davantage de sergents de métier, et du personnel rattaché. Faute de définition stricte, il est impossible de préciser le nombre de commanderies, sans doute pas plus de trois mille au total au début du XIVe siècle. On en a recensé dix-sept en Normandie, une trentaine en Provence. Leur taille est très variable : la commanderie de Voismer, près de Vire, possède un domaine de 245 hectares, celle de Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon est parvenue à s’approprier tout le causse du Larzac, où elle élève 1 725 moutons, 160 chèvres, 146 bovins et 35 chevaux. Les maisons templières urbaines sont assez nombreuses, en particulier dans les ports méditerranéens et les métropoles économiques et politiques. Vers 1140, le Temple s’établit dans un faubourg du nord de Paris, auquel il donna son nom, et forma un vaste enclos fortifié recouvrant une bonne partie du 3e arrondissement actuel. Son puissant donjon subsista jusqu’en 1796 L. T.

Crunia, la ciudad que medía dos leguas

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Como rezan los títulos de crédito de las películas del cine clásico: cualquier parecido con la realidad es pura coincidencia. El mercado medieval, que estos días tomó las calles del casco histórico, poco tiene en común con el auténtico rostro de la ciudad en la Edad Media. Entre otras razones, por la imposibilidad de trazar el retrato de una época que se prolonga durante nueve siglos, más tiempo del que nos separa a los coruñeses de hoy de los súbditos de Alfonso IX.
Poco sabemos de A Coruña en la Alta Edad Media, entre los siglos VI y XII, un enorme período de tiempo en el que desaparece de los documentos la urbe conocida como Brigantium y los papeles comienzan a hablar de Faro, un topónimo que abarcaba buena parte de la comarca coruñesa.

En junio de 1208, cuando el rey Alfonso IX ordena repoblar y reconstruir la villa y le concede sus fueros y privilegios reales, A Coruña se reducía a una porción de lo que hoy es la Ciudad Vieja y un pequeño arrabal junto al puerto. El Burgo del Faro, situado a ocho kilómetros de A Coruña en lo que ahora es O Burgo (Culleredo) crecía a costa de la antigua Crunia y amenazaba con dejar desierta la villa plantada al pie de la Torre.

Monjes y Templarios

En esa encrucijada histórica llega Alfonso IX y funda oficialmente una ciudad cuyo municipio extiende hasta dos leguas alrededor de la villa (lo que sería un círculo de unos once kilómetros de radio), para lo que tendrá que negociar compensaciones de los derechos que entonces ostentaban sobre Crunia el obispado de Santiago, el poderoso monasterio de Sobrado y los caballeros Templarios.

Una de las condiciones que estipula el fuero de Alfonso IX es que la ciudad depende directamente del Rey, por lo que se veta la presencia de clero y nobleza en su territorio: «Mando que no admitan por vecinos en la villa a militares ni a monjes, excepto a los monjes de Sobrado, quienes tendrán poder para alquilar las casas que tuviesen en la villa». Además, Alfonso IX amenaza en el documento con severas multas a quienes osen atacar a su mimada ciudad: «Y todo aquel que desde ahora cause mal o perjuicio al concejo, ya sea militar o civil, sufrirá mi cólera, será prendido y pagará una multa de mil maravedís».

Las fronteras de Crunia estaban en el siglo XIII delimitadas por las actuales calles de Santo Domingo, Zapatería, la travesía de Puerta de Aires, el callejón de Herrerías, la calle de la Maestranza y la división entre la Casa de la Moneda y el convento de Santo Domingo. Dentro del recinto amurallado se levantaban las parroquias de Santiago y Santa María (la Colegiata) y, en el interior, se alzaba una pequeña fortaleza alrededor de las calles Santa María, Sinagoga, Herrerías y la plazuela de Santa Bárbara.

La élite, en el casco histórico

Entre los siglos XIII y XV asistimos a la resurrección de A Coruña, que desborda sus antiguos límites de la Ciudad Vieja para crecer más allá de las murallas al ritmo que marca el pujante puerto. Nace así la Pescadería, el barrio donde residen los comerciantes y artesanos, mientras que la oligarquía que dirige A Coruña permanece en sus mansiones del casco histórico. A finales de la Edad Media, 200 coruñeses habitaban en la llamada ciudad Alta, mientras que la Pescadería ya contaba con 900 paisanos.

Al otro lado de los exclusivos muros de la Ciudad Vieja se encuentran las parroquias de San Jorge (situada en el emplazamiento del teatro Rosalía), San Nicolás (la actual es del siglo XVIII) y Santo Tomás (arrasada en el ataque de Drake en 1589). En el siglo XIII desembarcan en A Coruña las órdenes mendicantes, que levantan sus monasterios fuera de los límites de la ciudad Alta: Santo Domingo, en su actual solar, y San Francisco, que tras diversos sucesos se trasladó en 1964 a la zona de Santa Margarita. Estos dos edificios fueron destruidos en 1589, por lo que ya no conservan restos de la Edad Media, un privilegio que sí tiene el convento de Santa Bárbara, que ha resistido al paso del tiempo en su hermosa plazuela.

Fuera de las murallas estaban también los restos de la antigüedad: los vestigios romanos (en lo que hoy es el centro urbano), el yacimiento del castro de Elviña y la Torre de Hércules, que durante la Edad Media deja de funcionar como faro y se usa como fortificación costera. La Torre no había sido sometida a la cirugía plástica que le aplicó el arquitecto Eustaquio Giannini en el siglo XVIII y conservaba su primitiva construcción cilíndrica con una cúpula como remate. Un faro que ya asomaba, en un sello del concejo de 1448, como escudo de la ciudad.

by Luis Pousa in http://www.lavozdegalicia.es

The secret of the Holy Grail here in Royston

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“The secret of the Holy Grail can be found in Royston Cave,” said Mr Houldcroft.

It is a bold claim – but the 83-year-old has looked after the cave for 17 years, so is entitled to know its secrets.

“People often ask me about the whereabouts of the Holy Grail and have many different ideas about what the Holy Grail is – be it an artefact or a cup or a bowl,” he said.

“But the Holy Grail is the bloodline of Jesus Christ and carvings in Royston Cave show that the Knights Templar believed in this secret heresy and offered prayers to Jesus’s offspring.”

Carvings on the cave wall depict two adult figures and a child which, according to Mr Houldcroft, most visitors assume to be Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

“Five years ago, I began to have suspicions about a carving depicting the holy family and after my suspicions were confirmed by other experts, I have kept it quite quiet – until now,” he said.

“It is a most significant set of carvings, indicating that users of the cave believed in the bloodline of Jesus that, then as now, was regarded as heretical,” Mr Houldcroft said.

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“The notion that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child, Sarah, was a widely accepted legend in the Middle Ages and the Knights Templar were giving expression to a myth that they had heard about in Jerusalem about the bloodline of Jesus.

“The carving acknowledges and implies a prayer for the longevity of the bloodline of Jesus.”

The curator has written a manuscript detailing the exciting secret and is seeking a publisher.

“I have told a few people who have showed an interest in that area of the carvings about it, but I think it is about time people knew about the significance of the cave and the true meaning of this carving,” Mr Houldcroft said.

The curator said that the carving’s significance had been spotted by priests and scholars familiar with the heresy and the accompanying pagan symbols.

“Royston Cave features the only carving in the world to depict the bloodline of Jesus.

“It makes the cave even more important – it is unique in the world,” he said.

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About the Royston Cave

The Royston cave is a small artificial cave in Royston in Hertfordshire, England. It was almost certainly used by the Knights Templar, who are also thought to have founded nearby Baldock. It is open to the public in the summer months.

Royston Cave is a circular, bell-shaped chamber 8 metres (26 feet) high and 5 metres (17 feet) in diameter with a circumferential octagonal podium. The origin of this chamber is unknown. This cave is unique in Britain – if not the world – for its numerous medieval carvings on the walls. They are mostly of pagan origin, but some of the figures are thought to be those of St. Catherine, St. Lawrence and St. Christopher.

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It is speculated that it may have been used by the Knights Templar before their Proscription by Pope Clement V in the 1312. They held a weekly market at Royston between 1199 and 1254 and travelled there from their headquarters at Baldock, some 15 Kilometres to the southwest. They would have required a cool store for their produce and a chapel for their devotions, and a theory speculates that the cave was divided into two floors by a wooden floor. Two figures close together near the damaged section may be all that remains of a known Templar sign, two knights riding the same horse.

Although the origin of the cave is unknown, the story of the rediscovery is very well known. In August 1742 a workman dug a hole in the Butter Market in order to get decent footings for a new bench for the patrons and traders. He discovered a buried millstone and dug around the curious stone to get the object out of the way. So he found a shaft leading downwards into the chalk.

At the discovery the cavity was more than half-filled with earth. The rumour was, that there must be a treasure buried beneath the soil inside the cave. Several cartloads of soil were removed, until bedrock was reached. The soil was discarded as worthless, it did not contain anything more than a few old bones and fragments of pottery. This is rather unfortunate, as today’s archaeology could be able to solve some of the secrets of this place!

The location of the cave is also very interesting: Melbourn Street, once called Icknield Way or Via Icenia, was first used during the Iron Age, possibly 2000 years ago by an ancient tribe of Celts called the Iceni. The most famous Iceni was Queen Boudicca (died 60 AD). At a later date the Icknield way was Romanised by Caesar. It runs from near Falmouth towards East Anglia. – the modern day A505 between Royston and Baldock, follows the route of the Icknield way, until it meets the Royston Bypass.

Today the entrance is not by the original opening, but by a passage dug in 1790 and it is still possible to appreciate the sculptures which are almost as good today as when they were completed, possibly 800 years ago.

It is thought that the sculptures were originally coloured, but little trace of this is visible now. For the most part they represent scenes of religious significance, amongst them the Crucifixion and various saints. St Lawrence is depicted holding the grid iron on which he was martyred. A crowned figure holding a wheel is thought to be St Catherine and large figure with a staff and a child on his shoulder represents St Christopher. A figure with a drawn sword is thought to be St Michael or possibly St George. Another possibly religious symbol is the depiction of a naked woman known as a Sheela Na Gig. This figure is normally found on 11th-13th century churches so its inclusion with religious symbolism is not out of place.

The fact that these sculptures are of uncertain antiquity adds to their interest and offers visitors a chance to speculate on their origins. There are number holes, sometimes directly beneath the sculptures, which were thought to hold candles or lamps which would have illuminated the carvings.

Some theories suggest the cave may originally have been a Neolithic flint mine.

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Drawings from Joseph Beldam’s book “The Origins and Use of the Royston Cave”, 1884.

La chute du Temple

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Entretien Alain Demurger*

Le Point : Avec la perte des Etats latins d’Orient, le Temple a-t-il perdu du même coup l’essentiel de sa raison d’être, à la différence de l’Hôpital ?

Alain Demurger : Non. Son quartier général, comme celui de l’Hôpital, est resté à Chypre jusqu’au bout. Les mouvements de templiers entre l’Occident et Chypre sont nombreux et constants de 1291 à 1307. L’ordre du Temple et son dernier grand maître, Jacques de Molay, ont été les artisans de l’alliance avec les Mongols de Perse contre les Mamelouks en 1299-1303, afin de reprendre pied en Terre sainte. L’Hôpital est dans la même situation. Mais, en 1306-1310, il conquiert Rhodes, ce qui lui permettra de continuer son action et de se protéger.

La royauté française avait-elle des motifs profonds, ou seulement conjoncturels, de provoquer la ruine du Temple ?

Conjoncturels. La cause invoquée pour justifier une aversion ancienne et profonde du roi envers le Temple ne tient pas : la remise en question par la royauté de certains privilèges jadis accordés est un fait général dans tous les Etats et pour tous les ordres – Hôpital, Cîteaux, Mendiants… Le retrait du Trésor royal du Temple de Paris en 1295 est dû non pas à la méfiance de Philippe le Bel mais à un changement de politique financière : pour obtenir des prêts des compagnies italiennes, les fameux « Biche et Mouche » (les banquiers Albizzo et Mosciatto Guidi), le roi doit donner des garanties. C’est pourquoi il confie à ces financiers la gestion du Trésor royal. Le récit, dans une seule source, éloignée du terrain, de la colère de Jacques de Molay apprenant que le trésorier du Temple de Paris aurait prêté une somme énorme au roi sans en référer, en violation de la règle, à la direction de l’Ordre, ce qui aurait brouillé le grand maître et Philippe le Bel, est invraisemblable, le Temple, contrairement à sa légende, n’ayant pas l’encaisse suffisante pour réaliser un prêt de cette ampleur. Le seul désaccord avéré entre le roi et le Temple porte sur la fusion de ce dernier avec l’Hôpital, que Jacques de Molay refuse en 1306-1307. C’est l’occasion – la rumeur née en 1305 sur les prétendues turpitudes du Temple -, qui a fait le larron, en l’occurrence le roi et ses conseillers. Le roi s’est servi du Temple pour obtenir du pape Clément V le règlement à son avantage d’un autre problème : le procès en hérésie qu’il veut intenter à la mémoire du pape Boniface VIII, avec lequel il était entré dans un conflit violent ponctué par l’« attentat d’Agnani » en 1303.

Qui a cru réellement à la perversion supposée du Temple ?

Pas grand monde au début, pas même le roi sans doute. Peut-être ce dernier a-t-il fini par y croire, mais j’ai du mal à penser que, en dépit de leurs proclamations, ses conseillers Nogaret et Plaisians aient accordé foi à la manipulation qu’ils montaient. Le procès du Temple est fabriqué à partir de quelques éléments réels, mais déformés, et d’un « modèle » accusatoire bien rodé qui a servi à plusieurs reprises sous le règne de Philippe le Bel et de ses successeurs : contre Boniface VIII, contre l’évêque Guichard de Troyes en 1309, contre Enguerrand de Marigny en 1315, etc. Cela a pris au début, le roi ayant su se ménager des relais dans l’opinion. Mais, l’affaire traînant, le doute s’est installé, comme en témoigne l’attitude de la majorité des pères du concile de Vienne, chargé en dernière instance de statuer sur le sort de l’Ordre en 1312, qui veulent entendre la défense des Templiers. Si bien que le pape préféra prononcer lui-même, le 22 mars, la suppression de l’Ordre, qui ne fut donc jamais condamné en tant que tel.

Pourquoi l’Ordre a-t-il été incapable de trouver des soutiens et de se défendre ?

Les Templiers se croyaient innocents. Dès l’été 1307, le grand maître lui-même a demandé au pape une enquête. A bon droit, ils pouvaient compter à l’automne sur l’appui de Clément V. On les a dits victimes de la faiblesse de leur formation intellectuelle, de l’absence chez eux de bons juristes. Soyons attentifs à la chronologie : en 1300, les ordres militaires ne comptaient guère de grands intellectuels. C’est aux XIVe et XVe siècles que l’Hôpital a développé une politique de formation pour ses cadres. Mais n’est-ce pas parce qu’il a tiré les leçons de l’affaire du Temple ? Un ordre militaire est fait pour combattre, pas pour méditer et prier ou propager la foi et abattre l’hérésie. Le Temple s’est cependant défendu : en 1310, massivement, les Templiers ont voulu défendre leur ordre devant la commission pontificale chargée de le juger. Disons que leur défense fut maladroite et que leurs dirigeants, grand maître en tête, ont choisi une mauvaise tactique en se réfugiant dans le silence au moment où se développait la révolte de la base, celle des simples chevaliers. Les soutiens extérieurs manquent en effet. Je me demande cependant si la noblesse du royaume, qui a fourni à l’Ordre tant de chevaliers, a accueilli leur arrestation avec faveur. N’y aurait-il pas un lien entre l’affaire du Temple et la fronde connue sous le nom de « ligues nobiliaires » en 1314-1315 ?

Quel a été le sort réservé aux Templiers hors de France ?

Le pape, mis devant le fait accompli en octobre 1307, a repris la main en faisant de la fuite en avant : il a ordonné six semaines plus tard l’arrestation des Templiers dans toute la chrétienté. Mais, hors de France, seules les procédures pontificales lancées en 1308, qui visaient l’Ordre et non pas les personnes, ont été mises en oeuvre. Dans la plupart des pays, en Angleterre, dans la péninsule Ibérique, en Allemagne, à Ravenne, les Templiers ont été innocentés. En France, ceux qui ont reconnu leurs erreurs ont été absous et réconciliés. Les dignitaires devaient être jugés par le pape. Mais celui-ci les abandonna, d’où la révolte tardive, trop tardive de Jacques de Molay, qui revint sur ses aveux et fut envoyé par le roi au bûcher comme relaps. Beaucoup de Templiers sont morts de mauvais traitements, quelques dizaines ont péri sur le bûcher. Certains ont pu fuir et se cacher. La plupart ont fini dans des maisons de l’ordre de l’Hôpital, auquel les biens du Temple avaient été dévolus, et qui devait entretenir les anciens Templiers, puisqu’ils avaient prononcé des voeux perpétuels. Au total, Clément V s’est résolu à sacrifier le Temple en contrepartie de l’abandon par Philippe le Bel du procès intenté à la mémoire de Boniface VIII, dont le succès aurait ruiné l’institution pontificale. Bras de fer et compromis ont été à l’oeuvre du début à la fin entre le pape et le roi

* Maître de conférences honoraire à l’université Paris-I est l’auteur de « Chevaliers du Christ. Les ordres religieux militaires au Moyen Age » (Seuil, 2002), « Jacques de Molay. Le crépuscule des Templiers » (Payot, 2002) et, cette année, de « Les Templiers. Une chevalerie chrétienne au Moyen Age » (Seuil), synthèse complète, précise et vivante. Le présent dossier doit beaucoup à cet ouvrage, appelé à faire référence.

in Le Point

Le son des Templiers

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Il est là, le trésor perdu. Marcel Pérès, infatigable défricheur des musiques du Moyen Age, nous fait entendre comment les Templiers chantaient. Sur les Lieux saints pour y assurer la sécurité des pèlerins, ces moines, guerriers par nécessité, étaient tenus aux offices : mais ils ont entendu les intonations de l’Orient chrétien, grecques, arméniennes, coptes, qui dans leur antienne mettent leur goutte exotique. En chantant ils se balançaient, à l’exemple peut-être de la pratique juive dans la prière. Ils portaient leur centre de gravité d’une jambe sur l’autre, jamais immobiles, leur rythme collectif était soutenu par le mouvement de leurs corps mêmes, en rien dicté par la barre de mesure. Ce tripudium (comme ils disaient) a-t-il à voir avec le trépied de la Pythie, l’incantation avec la divination ? Tout ce qui est Orient communie dans le chant des Templiers, trop belle entente que l’Histoire hélas n’a guère suivie. A savourer comme un nectar poivré.

in Le Point

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CD Details
Ensemble Organum
“Le Chant Des Templiers”
By Anon
CD £12.99.
Buy it on the Templar Globe Store

Knights Templar secrets sought in Olympic dig

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 A massive archaeological dig has started today on the site of the 2012 Olympics.

And experts hope they may uncover two water mills believed to have been built on the site by the Knights Templar in the 12th century.

‘This is an opportunity to chart and record the unique history of an area back to the first Londoners,’ said David Higgins, the Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Teams of archaeologists will spend weeks examining the Lea Valley for its hidden past and any interesting remains will be recorded or removed to the Museum of London.

One of the possible finds could be the two 12th century mills believed to have been built by the Knights Templars, the sect which appeared in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, who were charged with protecting the Holy Grail.

They will also be examining Hennikers Ditch, a mediaeval waterway which follows the route of the ancient River Leyton and the Channelsea River, supposedly dug by King Alfred in the 9th century to divert Viking invaders.

‘This investigation will tell the story of the changing landscape and exactly how human intervention has constantly influenced the environment,’ said Kieron Tyler, senior archaeologist at the Museum at London.

‘It is a unique opportunity to do it on such a huge scale.’

Chaplains: The Calm in the Chaos

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They inspire, give comfort and pray for safety. Throughout America’s history, chaplains have ‘come nigh unto the battle.’

By Lisa Miller
Newsweek

During his tour in Vietnam, Angelo Charles Liteky, a Roman Catholic chaplain, often traveled with the forward line because he thought it was important to know what the boys out front were feeling. That way, when they broke down, he would be better able to persuade them to soldier on. On Dec. 6, 1967, Liteky was near the village of Phuoc Lac when his battalion came under heavy fire. Walking upright through raining bullets, Liteky singlehandedly dragged 20 wounded soldiers to a landing strip so they could be evacuated. “It was strictly compassion,” he tells NEWSWEEK. “We are supposed to grow in love, and when I saw these guys just getting killed all around me, there was nothing for me to do but go and help them.” The next year, President Lyndon Johnson gave Liteky the congressional Medal of Honor.

History’s battlefields have almost always held a place for men and women of God—someone to inspire and give comfort, give parents and fiancées the bad news, file forms, educate, pray for safety and, failing that, safe passage. Deuteronomy 20:2-4 says, “And it shall be when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people.” In America, the role of military chaplain has, in the past 250 years, grown from ad hoc—the village pastor who fought with the boys in his congregation—to bureaucratic. But from the start, the job has had inherent tensions: To whom does the chaplain ultimately report? To the troops who need guidance? The government that pays the bills? God? And in the hell of war, how does a chaplain hold on to faith?

George Washington thought chaplains belonged in the military and he wrote 50 letters saying so; in 1775, Congress approved funding. Almost immediately, though, the position raised ethical and constitutional questions. In his “Detached Memoranda,” James Madison worried that military chaplains might violate the Establishment Clause.

In the 1840s, a group of Protestants from Tennessee wrote a letter to the secretary of War, saying they didn’t want their tax dollars to pay for a Catholic chaplain—and as the diversity of the U.S. troops grew (black and Jewish chaplains joined the military in the Civil War), so did these tensions. Two years ago, the Air Force had to issue a statement saying it didn’t prefer one religion to another after staffers complained of proselytizing by evangelicals; in 2004, General William G. Boykin was reprimanded for making anti-Muslim remarks.

On a frigid night in 1943, the U.S. transport ship Dorchester was sailing near Greenland when it was hit by a torpedo from a German sub. Among the dead were four chaplains—two Protestants, a Catholic and a Jew—who gave their own life jackets to men on deck. They could be heard praying together as the massive ship slipped under water, and their sacrifice and compassion became the stuff of legend.

As for Liteky, his own struggle with faith continues. In 1975, he gave up the priesthood; 10 years later, he gave back his medal in protest over U.S. policies in Central America. Now, at 76, he’s a pacifist and he’s renounced his religion: “I couldn’t continue to worship a God that I thought was an angry God, or a punishing God. I haven’t found another one yet.” When he finds one that will help him “grow in love,” perhaps he will.

With Sarah Childress, Sarina Rosenberg and John Barry

© 2007 Newsweek

El Templario en la Actualidad

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Estaba yo hoy mirando mis libros cuando encontré un muy especial. Se trata de “Los Caballeros Templarios – Vida, Muerte y Resurrección”, del Hermano que llevamos en el corazón desde que Dios lo ha decidido llamar a Su eterna presencia, miembro del Consejo Magistral, Prior de Argentina, extremadamente sabio y de una rectitud como Templario tan elevada que difícil es seguir sus huellas, H+ Horácio Amadeo Della Torre.

El libro se ha publico el año 2000 en Buenos Aires, Argentina, con prefacio de Josep Juan de Buixeda, a esas fechas Prior de España de la Orden, que terminaría dimitindo meses más tarde, rechazando la autoridad del Consejo Magistral y declarando su autonomía y no obediencia sino a su lectura personal de las reglas Templarias. No habrá leído el libro! Desafortunadamente esto es un hecho cíclico en la vida de la Orden moderna. La mayor lealtad a proyectos de poder personal y a las ambiciones que a los principios de la Orden. En ese contexto el valor de las palabras del Hermano Della Torre es inestimable, ya que nos da la verdadera llave de como el Templário moderno debe conducir su persona en el seno de la Orden. Además, palabras que contienen verdad, inmutables por su naturaleza intrínseca, siguen verdaderas hoy, 7 años después de que hubieran sido escritas. Esto, lamentablemente no ocurre con la voluble voluntad humana, esclava de deseos y pasiones, que vive en dificultad para se sintonizar con el manantial inagotable y cristalino de la verdad y de los principios orientadores inmutables de la Caballería.

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foto (LM): Josep Juan de Buixeda y el Hermano Horacio Della Torre en Sigüenza, España

En tiempos de crisis de valores y personalidades en Sudamérica, en que el polvo levantado por el viento de la discordia no deja mirar con claridad el horizonte, seria bueno volver a las palabras sabias del Hermano Della Torre en su prólogo:
“Buena es la memoria de la Orden en el siglo actual. El espíritu reflejado en sus Reglas y en la vida cotidiana de los abnegados Caballeros contrasta radicalmente con el más difundido estilo de vida de hoy, donde predomina el “yoismo”, el egoísmo, la vanidad, el facilismo, el exitismo, la inescrupulosa conducta y falta de compromiso con uno mismo por no decir con el Ser Supremo.”

Yo no lo supiera escribir mejor, Maestro Horacio…

Así, en homenaje a una vida de estudio y a un Hermano que dejó una huella muy positiva en el Temple actual, que ha ayudado a construir y ha dejado una herencia espiritual inigualable en la Orden en Sudamérica, hoy que tantas voces se levantan a clamar quien tiene razón, dejemos que se callen todpos por unos momentos y escuchemos que bellas palabras han los ángeles susurrado al oído atento de Horacio:

EL TEMPLÁRIO EN LA ACTUALIDAD
Por Horácio Amadeo Della Torre, Prior de Argentina, miembro del Consejo Magistral de la OSMHU, in “Los Caballeros Templarios – Vida, Muerte y Resurrección”

“El templario actual es un individuo que con actitud decidida y viril decide poner su voluntad al servicio de Dios con los medios a su alcance por la lucha para el cumplimiento de la Justicia. En una editorial de Cuadernos Templarios decíamos: «aprended a hacer el bien; buscad el juicio, restituid al agraviado, haced justicia al huérfano, amparad la viuda» (Isaías, 1:17).

“No son esas palabras una prefiguración, le esencia y verdad de lo que fue y es la vieja y moderna caballería bien entendida?

“La caballería con formas diferentes tiene la misma sustancia: solo pretende lo de Isaías, la protección de los débiles y de los desamparados contra los poderosos. A veces – desgraciadamente – el ropaje exterior ha desvirtuado los verdaderos fines y se ha quedado solo en eso, en un ropaje, en un disfraz para permitir o posibilitar acciones en busca de poder y beneficio personal. La caballería requiere de una actitud viril, de lucha, cuyo innegable símbolo es la espada. «Y aquél que no tenga espada, venda su manto y cómprese una…» (Lucas, 22:36).

“Hay otras formas de lucha que no derraman sangre, precisamente intentan evitarla… aunque no siempre lo logran. Ahí están la palabra, la pluma, la denuncia publica del atropello, la solidariedad, la caridad y llegado el momento el látigo con el mismo Cristo ante los mercaderes en el Templo, ante la profanación de la casa del Padre. [Textual en el original]

“Ciertamente todas esas armas aparentemente pacificas pueden, en definitiva, resultar mucho más letales que la espada… Ese, el de la lucha para hacer el bien, es el espirito de la caballería. Las formas acompañan y, afirman el compromiso… Pero sin el fundamento no son nada. Son nada más que comparsas, lindas de ver en carnaval.

“Para ello el templario debe ser un hombre libre y este concepto abarca todo tipo de dependencia, no solo política y económica, sino fundamentalmente no debe estar dominado por ninguna pasión o dependencia interna. Por lo tanto libre en sus actos.

“El templario hace honor a la historia tanto del Temple como la de su Patria. Sabe que quien no conoce y ama el pasado no podrá comprender el presente. Joubert decía que «Nada hace a los espíritus tan imprudentes y tan vanos como la ignorancia del tiempo pasado y el desprecio de los libros antiguo». Menos aún puede proyectar el futuro, tanto para él como para toda comunidad.

“Cuando lucha por sus ideales, el templario no renuncia ante la adversidad, no se entrega, hoy como antaño no conoce la retirada si no la ordena el Maestre. Apelando a lo dicho por Lugones: «convierte el heroísmo en estado normal», transforma al valor en un acto cotidiano. Aprovecha los contratiempos, los obstáculos, las dificultades y estudia cuál es la bendición en que está envuelta, recordando a los Sufies. Y luego, como dijera Almufuerte: «Acomete con fiereza / aún rodando por el suelo / su cabeza»

“Cuando yerra sabe que junto a él están sus hermanos, sabe que en ellos ha de encontrar no sólo apoyo y consulta sino también la critica fraterna encauzadora que lo ayudará a crecer.

“Aunque se siente león, su imaginación vuela como el águila: para él nada es posible o imposible, solo espera el momento en que su Mestre diga: «Dios lo quiere» para atacar. Por contraposición, el templario solo descansa cuando escucha del mismo Maestre «Albergaos en nombre de Dios!»

“Respeta las canas pues sabe que a ellas acompaña la sabiduría pero también se emociona con el llanto de un niño o el dolor de madre. Siente el papel del hermano mayor en la Creación, por eso no solo cuida al Hombre, sino también animales y plantas. No caza por deporte y cuida el hábitat que lo contiene pues no le pertenece, solo es su administrador.

“Respeta también los ritos en tanto y en cuanto los mismos sirven para refirmar sus convicciones pero no encuentra satisfacción en el rito vacío que lo ve más propio de comparsas de carnaval que de templarios.

“Es fiel a su credo pero abierto a toda creencia a la que observa con respeto y sana curiosidad.

“De los tres votos tradicionales mantiene el de obediencia a sus superiores jerárquicos y ha reemplazado los otros dos por templanza. Honra a los padres y maestros, considera a los Caballeros camaradas como hermanos, desprecia la soberbia, petulancia, corrupción, opulencia, especulación y usura, la inmoralidad, y capitalismo salvaje que somete a los hombres a una nueva forma de esclavitud. Es fiel a la verdad y a la palabra empeñada. Ejerce vocación de servicio y lo hace con honor y alegría. Evita la murmuración y la maledicencia.

“Sin duda, con tantos enemigos ocultos incorporados por la civilización moderna, es más difícil ser templario en el Siglo XXI, que contemporáneo de Molay.”

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foto (LM) : F+ Horácio (penúltimo de la derecha) en Sigënza, España, 1998.

———————————————————————————–

Hoy, todos somos hijos de Maestre Horacio. Que pueda nuestro Caballero Interior callar el ruido de la edad de Kali y escuchar el silencio donde habla la voz que Es.

Los demás, son libres de seguir con su cacofonía en otro temple.

Luis de Matos
Canciller
OSMTHU

Putin’s Reunited Russian Church

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The Russian Orthodox Church was torn in two by revolution and regicide, by the enmity between communism and capitalism, nearly a century of fulmination and hatred. That all formally ended on Thursday in Moscow. Thousands of the Russian Orthodox faithful — including several hundred who flew in from New York — lined up under heavy rain to get into the Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. There, they witnessed the restoration of the “Canonical Communion and Reunification” of the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), which claims more than 70 million adherents, and the U.S.-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR), which is believed to be 1.5 million strong. Many among the clergy and laity wept at the end of the 86 year-old schism brought about by the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, and the ensuing murder of the dethroned Tsar and the forced emigration of hundred thousands Russians defeated in Civil war. While the sumptuous ritual was clearly an emotional and pious event, the reunification has political resonance as well because the Russian Orthodox Church is increasingly a symbol and projection of Russian nationalism.

Indeed, rather than first give thanks to God in his speech, the head of the ROC, Patriarch Alexy, paid homage to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Patriarch emphasized that the reunification could happen only because the ROCOR saw in Putin “a genuine Russian Orthodox human being.” Putin responded in his speech that the reunification was a major event for the entire nation.

Nationalism, based on the Orthodox faith, has been emerging as the Putin regime’s major ideological resource. Thursday’s rite sealed the four-year long effort by Putin, beginning in September 2003, to have the Moscow Patriarchate take over its rival American-based cousin and launch a new globalized Church as his state’s main ideological arm and a vital foreign policy instrument. In February press conference, Putin equated Russia’s “traditional confessions” to its nuclear shield, both, he said, being “components that strengthen Russian statehood and create necessary preconditions for internal and external security of the country.” Professor Sergei Filatov, a top authority on Russian religious affairs notes that “traditional confessions” is the state’s shorthand for the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Church’s assertiveness and presence is growing — with little separation from the State. The Moscow City Court and the Prosecutor General’s Office maintain Orthodox chapels on their premises. Only the Orthodox clergy are entitled to give ecclesiastic guidance to the military. Some provinces have included Russian Orthodox Culture classes in school curricula with students doing church chores. When Orthodox fundamentalists vandalized an art exhibition at the Moscow Andrei Sakharov Center as “an insult to the main religion of our country,” the Moscow Court found the Center managers guilty of insulting the faith, and fined them $3,500 each. The ROC had an opera, based on a famous fairy tale by the poet Alexander Pushkin, censored to the point of cutting out the priest, who is the tale’s main protagonist. “Of course, we have a separation of State and Church,” Putin said during a visit to a Russian Orthodox monastery in January 2004. “But in the people’s soul they’re together.” The resurgence of a Church in open disdain of the secular Constitution is only likely to exacerbate divisions in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Russia.

The ROCOR’s American clergy insist that they retain administrative independence over their churches even as they recognize the Moscow Patriarch as their Head. Filatov says that the ROCOR has “about as much [independence] as Eastern Europe’s ‘people’s democracies’ had in the Soviet bloc.” One of the first tests of the new union will be in the Holy Land, where the ROCOR maintains religious properties — and has had run-ins with representatives of the Moscow patriarchate in the past. In 1997, for example, Yasser Arafat forcibly turned over the only Christian church in Hebron, run by the ROCOR, to the ROC. (That church includes the site where the Bible says Abraham met three angels.) The American-based Church still controls St. Mary Magdalene, with its seven gilded onion domes and Muscovite facade, one of the most prominent churches in Jerusalem because of its commanding spot on the slopes of the Mount of Olives above the garden of Gethsemane. The ROCOR also has a convent on the summit of the Mount of Olives, a monastery in the Judaean desert founded by a hermit in the third century, and one chapel in Jericho and another on the Jordan river. The Reunification deal says that the administration of these properties will not change. But some observers remain skeptical.

With a reunited Russian Orthodox Church, Putin is pushing Russia’s dominance in the global Orthodox movement, the traditional Orthodox leadership is vested in the Patriarch of Constantinople, in a first among equals style rather than the dominant Papal regime of the Roman Catholic Church. The Orthodox communion includes churches in Greece, Cyprus, Ukraine, Belarus and various Balkan states as well as Georgia, Armenia and Moldova. Historically, the Russian Orthodox Church has always pressed its pre-eminence among these nations and is likely to do so again. Putin’s new unified Church will also further expand in the U.S. and Western Europe as it tries to use the ROCOR’s network and congregation to become as much an arm of Russian nationalist politics as well as Russian piety. With Reporting by Andrew Lee Butters/Jerusalem

By YURI ZARAKHOVICH/MOSCOW
In Time

A Portrait of Faith

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With ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ Pope Benedict XVI fights back against ‘the dictatorship of relativism’ by showing the world his vision of the definitive truth of Christ.

By Lisa Miller
Newsweek

Who was Jesus, really? It has become acceptable, even fashionable, lately to speak of the Christian Lord in casual terms, as though he were an acquaintance with a mysterious past. Pope Benedict’s trip to Brazil last week revived an old retelling of the Christian story in which Jesus is cast as a social revolutionary determined to overthrow the established order. The massive success of “The Da Vinci Code” reflected the hunger of millions to see Jesus as a regular person—a man with a wife and a child, a popular teacher whose true life story was subverted by the corporate self-interest of the early church. A look at any best-seller list reveals a thriving subcategory of readable scholarly and pseudo-scholarly books about the “real” Jesus: he was, they claim, a sage, a mystic, a rabbi, a boyfriend. He was a father, a pacifist, an ascetic, a prophet. In some parts of the Christian world, the aspects of Jesus’ story that most strain credibility—the virgin birth and the physical resurrection—have become optional to faith.

One can almost hear Pope Benedict XVI roaring with frustration at this multiplicity of interpretations. Benedict, a theologian by training with an expertise in dogma, has been fierce in his condemnation of the creep of Western secularism, and the promiscuity of recent Jesus scholarship must seem to him another symptom of the same disease, all ill-founded and subjective claims. “We are building a dictatorship of relativism,” he declared at the beginning of the 2005 enclave that elected him pope, “that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” Benedict’s answer to secularism is Christ, and this week the American publisher Doubleday releases “Jesus of Nazareth,” Benedict’s portrait of his Lord. It is an orthodox biography—one that acknowledges the role of analytical scholarship while in fact leaving little room for a critical interpretation of Scripture. This approach is not surprising, given Benedict’s job description, but in a world where Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and other proponents of secularism credit belief in Jesus as one of the sources of the world’s ills, Benedict offers an unvarnished opposing view: belief in Jesus, he says, is the only thing that will save the world.

And so, in a way, in the big bookstores and Amazon.com rankings, the ancient war between believers and nonbelievers begins anew. Liberal Catholics worry that, in spite of assurances to the contrary, Benedict is writing an “official” biography, and they have cause for concern. Benedict has been notoriously disapproving of unauthorized views of Jesus; he helped John Paul II crush the liberation theologists in Central America in the 1980s and more recently suspended an American priest for writing a book about Jesus that he said did not give sufficient credence to the resurrection. But for orthodox Christian believers, Benedict’s book is a gift—a series of homilies on the New Testament by a masterful Scriptural exegete. In NEWSWEEK’s exclusive excerpt, the pope explicates Jesus’ baptism by John—a story that appears in all four Gospel accounts and that modern historians believe is at least partially grounded in fact. Benedict starts by describing the social and historical backdrop of the time, and the common use of ritual ablutions among first-century Jews. His picture of John the Baptist reflects the scholarly consensus in most respects; the Baptist was an ascetic who likely spent time with the Essenes, a group of Jews who lived in the desert awaiting the imminent arrival of the Messiah.

(Benedict is notably silent, though, on the Baptist as an apocalyptic preacher and on the probability that Jesus also believed that the world was about to end in flames. In a discussion elsewhere in “Jesus of Nazareth,” Benedict goes to lengths to show that when Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” he didn’t mean the apocalypse. What he meant, the pope writes, is that “God is acting now—this is the hour when God is showing himself in history as its Lord.” This interpretation may be profound and in keeping with Benedict’s Christ-centered message; it is not, many scholars would say, historically accurate.)

In one of the excerpt’s most affecting scenes, Benedict describes the hordes of sinners he imagines standing on the banks of the Jordan River waiting for baptism. Jesus waits among them. Morphing from historian to pastor, Benedict asks the question that so many Sunday-school teachers have asked before him: as the Son of God, why would Jesus need to be purified? “The real novelty is the fact that he—Jesus—wants to be baptized, that he blends into the gray mass of sinners waiting on the banks of the Jordan,” writes Benedict. “Baptism itself was a confession of sins and the attempt to put off an old, failed life and to receive a new one. Is that something Jesus could do?”

With that, the senior theologian steps in, the man whose job for two decades was to defend Catholic doctrine to the world. Jesus’ descent into the water is a symbolic foreshadowing, Benedict explains, of his death and resurrection—and the resurrection he promises to all his followers. In the ancient Middle East, water represents death; it also represents life. With his baptism, “Jesus loaded the burden of all mankind’s guilt upon his shoulders; he bore it down into the depths of the Jordan,” Benedict writes. “He inaugurated his public activity by stepping into the place of sinners. His inaugural gesture is an anticipation of the Cross. He is, as it were, the true Jonah who said to the crew of the ship, ‘Take me and throw me into the sea’.”

What of the next part of the story? The part where Jesus rises from the water, the heavens part, the Spirit descends on his shoulders (in the shape of a dove) and God’s voice says, “This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” Does Benedict believe, as the fundamentalists do, that this literally happened? George Weigel, the theologian and papal biographer, imagines that something very important happened that day—what, exactly, he does not know. Benedict is asking readers to see Scripture as inspired but not dictated by God, Weigel explains, and to see the New Testament narrators as real people grappling with “the extreme limitations of the describable.” For Benedict, the starting point is faith.

“Jesus of Nazareth,” then, will not bring unbelievers into the fold, but courting skeptics has never been Benedict’s priority. Nor will his portrait join the lengthy list of Jesus biographies so eagerly consumed by the non-orthodox—the progressive Protestants and “cafeteria Catholics” who seek the truth about Jesus in noncanonical places like the Gnostic Gospels. Moderates may take “Jesus of Nazareth” as something of a corrective to fundamentalism because it sees the Bible as “true” without insisting on its being factual. Mostly, though, “Jesus of Nazareth” will please a small group of Christians who are able simultaneously to hold post-Enlightenment ideas about the value of rationality and scientific inquiry together with the conviction that the events described in the Gospels are real. “This is about things that happened,” explains N. T. Wright, the Anglican Bishop of Durham who is perhaps the world’s leading New Testament scholar. “It’s not just about ideas, or people’s imaginations. These are things that actually happened. If they didn’t happen, you might still have interesting ideas, but it wouldn’t be Christianity at the end of the day.”

Faith may actually be the most productive approach to finding truth in Scripture; the historical method has so far gleaned very little in the way of facts. Jesus left no diaries, and he had no contemporary Boswell. The best accounts of his life, the Gospel stories, were written at least 30 years after his death by men who believed he was God; other corroborating evidence of his life is scanty at best. For more than 1,500 years, no one even thought to seek the “truth” about Jesus. For Christians, Jesus was the truth.

The Enlightenment saw the revolutionary beginnings of the 300-year quest for the historical Jesus. For the first time, scholars began to look at the Bible critically, as a series of stories written by time-bound people with biases and agendas of their own. Thomas Jefferson announced that the “true” sayings of Jesus were as easily distinguishable “as diamonds in a dunghill,” and set to work in the evenings sorting them out. Nineteenth- and 20th-century scholars tried to unearth the facts of Jesus’ life by studying the first-century Roman-Jewish world. New Testament stories were true, they decided, if they “fit” into the first-century context. Stories were also true, the scholars said, if they didn’t fit at all—if they so strained credibility that no sane and pious narrator would include them unless he had to.

Using these and other more conventional methods of verification, scholars came up with a few spindly facts about the man so many people call Christ. Jesus of Nazareth, a Jew, ministered in Judea sometime between 28 and 33. He was baptized; a member of his own band betrayed him. He was charged with a political crime: the Romans put KING OF THE JEWS on his cross. He was buried and followers said he appeared to them after his death. No one saw him rise again, though there are reports his tomb was empty. “We learned from the search for the historical Jesus that the search for the historical Jesus is not going to take us very far,” says Alan Segal, professor of religion at Barnard College.

Nevertheless, in the last 30 years the speed and intensity of that search has escalated—starting with the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who, like Jefferson, tried to weed the authentic sayings of Jesus from the inauthentic and ending most recently with the largely discredited “discovery” of Jesus’ family tomb in a Jerusalem suburb. Archeology is the new frontier—untold dollars are being spent digging in Israel, looking for evidence of Jesus and his times. Not all these efforts can be said to be futile: while the search for the historical Jesus has given us very little about Jesus, it has given us a rich picture of the world in which he lived, a multicultural world of elites and peasants, of tyranny and impulses for freedom, a world where people struggled to balance their instincts for assimilation against their own religious roots—a world, in other words, very much like our own. Benedict’s portrait may contribute little to our historical understanding of Jesus, but what he does give is a window into his own, passionate and uncompromising faith, a faith that faces constant challenge in the world of ideas. Let the battles begin.

With Julie Scelfo

© 2007 Newsweek

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Book details
Jesus of Nazareth
By Pope Benedict XVI
400 pages; £8.98.
Buy it on the Templar Globe Store

World Watch V – Cult of Combat

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As Uganda’s peace talks stutter along, children forced to fight for a messianic militia are trying to rebuild their broken lives.

By Andrew Ehrenkranz
Newsweek

Some of the children have yet to reach puberty. But they are fluent in rattling off the acronyms of war (RPG, LMG, SAM, SMG) and explaining just how these weapons work. Ranging in age from 7 to 18, they acquired their grim expertise as a result of being kidnapped and forced to serve as soldiers and sex slaves for the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in northern Uganda. Still, says a social worker who identifies himself only as Tom, these are the lucky ones.

The children are among the few who have managed to escape captivity and seek a new start at rehabilitation clinics like this one, the Rachele Center, in the northern town of Lira. The war they were forced to fight in is complex, political, tribal and extraordinarily brutal even by African standards, led by a mystical rebel who inflicts grotesque carnage in the name of Jesus Christ and for the cause of the Ten Commandments. Over the last 20 years, the LRA has played a role in one of the continent’s longest and least-known conflicts. The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced as many as 1.7 million, about the same as in the more talked-about hostilities between a fundamentalist Muslim government and tribal rebels in the Sudanese region of Darfur. But the particular horror in Uganda’s war lies in the fact that children are both victims and perpetrators of atrocity.

Among them is Nancy, who was 9 when she and her sister were kidnapped by the LRA from their home in the Gulu district of northern Uganda in December 2002. She was beaten, tied and given a heavy load to carry on her head. In her 20 months in captivity, she was rubbed with shea-butter oil. Her captors told her two things about this supposedly magical concoction: it would stop bullets and it would prevent her from finding her way home if she tried to escape. Nancy was taught to shoot and dismantle a machine gun and forced to fight against the Ugandan Army (UDPF). Every order was a do-or-die ultimatum. She was made to loot, abduct other children and burn down houses in displacement camps. In an ambush by the Ugandan Army, Nancy was rescued, but her sister was left behind in the south Sudanese bush.

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It’s impossible to purge such a past, but to start the process of healing, scarred children need to open up and tell their stories. “If it makes them or us vomit, it’s all got to come out somehow,” said the Rachele Center’s Belgian founder, Els De Temmerman. Her book, “The Aboke Girls,” whose profits have helped fund the center, chronicles the abduction of 137 girls from a Ugandan boarding school and the daring rescue efforts of the school’s principal, Sister Rachele—the center’s namesake. For some of these kids, expressing their experiences through drawings comes more easily than talking. It’s a way to begin a dialogue with outsiders and also within their own minds. Their images scratch through the savage surface of this complex crisis.

The conflict they have fled is rooted in a colonial-era divide, when the British chose the bulk of their civil servants from Uganda’s south and most of its soldiers from the tribes of Uganda’s north. The Acholi and Langi, the dominant tribes in the north, comprised the country’s military elite. When current Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni came to power in 1986, the Acholi in the north feared retribution and a loss of influence without their traditional power base in the military. The Lord’s Resistance Army, led by an illiterate former altar boy and self-professed fundamentalist Christian “prophet” named Joseph Kony, soon became one of the many armed militias and rebels fighting in Uganda. Lieutenants from the regimes of the dictatorial Idi Amin and his successor, Milton Obote, provided the military experience and firepower to make Kony’s ragtag rebels a capable and cruel insurgent force.

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In waging its guerrilla war, the LRA found children useful as pliant slaves in camp and remorseless fighters in the field. More than 30,000 have been abducted since the late 1980s. In the Ugandan countryside, fear of LRA raids after sunset forced thousands of besieged children to make “night commutes” from rural villages and internal displacement camps to bigger towns in hopes of finding safe shelter. In recent months, however, the prospects for an end to what residents of Ugandan’s calm capital Kampala see as the war in the north have improved. The LRA once counted on the backing of the Sudanese government, which was fighting a war in southern Sudan, near the Ugandan border, against rebels of Sudan People’s Liberation Army. In the cynical calculus of unconventional warfare, Kampala would back Sudanese rebels while Khartoum supported Ugandan ones. But the long-running war in southern Sudan ended with a peace settlement in 2005, even as the war waged by other groups in the west of the country—Darfur—heated up.

At the same time, the Sudanese government, under increasing pressure on other fronts, started to find its alliance with the LRA in Uganda a liability. The group’s bizarre and horrifying zeal massacring the very people it claimed it was fighting to protect became known to the outside world. Sympathy for its cause among the northern tribes of Uganda dwindled, eventually leading to peace talks between the LRA and the Kampala government in the southern Sudanese city of Juba last year. Inevitably, the road to a lasting ceasefire has not been easy. The ongoing Juba discussions stalled and remained at an impasse until last month, when an agreement was reached to extend a truce forged last August and return to the negotiating table. However, sticking points remain, among them the LRA’s insistence that the International Criminal Court drop outstanding charges against Kony and his commanders.

While the negotiations stop and start, the children at the Rachele Center are enjoying their chance to act like kids again. Social workers try to remove some of the most tangible reminders by encouraging the children to turn their backs symbolically on the past by throwing their clothes into a bonfire. Their painfully innocent drawings were also on the way to the trash until case workers casually showed them to a visitor during an office clean out. Though critical to therapy, most are discarded after the child starts to function again. Yet some, like one 15-year-old who had his fingers chopped off for refusing an order to kill while captive, have begun to dream of more idyllic pictures. Heralded as Rachele’s most talented artist, the lanky boy stands proudly amongst a few of his colorful canvases outside of his dormitory, his smile revealing not a shred of self-pity. He’s safe, free and able to go to school—and he knows that this indeed makes him one of the lucky ones.

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© 2007 Newsweek

Nobleza medieval de Fisterra

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En DUIO, la legendaria Dugium, municipio de Fisterra, hay una casa (Casa de Adela) que ostenta un escudo nobiliario datado cerca del año 1600, que contiene distintos blasones de no menos legendario origen. Está precedido por un morrión protector que porta un estandarte con el Sol y la Luna, imagen de los principios masculino y femenino -uno como regidor del día y otro de la noche; Génesis, 1, 16-. El escudo está dividido en seis cuarteles que representan: el castillo de los Deza o Suárez de Deza; M y A coronadas de los Montenegro y Andrade; tres fajas de los Fernández; árbol con dos lobos de los Lobeira; flores de lis de los Aldao y banda engolada de dragantes de los Andrade; figuras muy erosionadas -¿Torrado?- y la bordura lleva los roeles de los Sarmiento.

Los Deza tendrían por origen al militar romano Decio JunioBruto, que vino a conquistar la región gallega en el 138 A.C. y no quiso marcharse de Fisterra sin antes contemplar como el sol se sumergía en el mar.

Los Montenegro procederían de un noble gallego que defendió a una doncella llamada María, descendiente de reyes, que era calumniada por su amante despechado; el caballero mata al calumniador, se casa con ella y forma este linaje antiquísimo. Los Andrade son de Pontedeume, donde sólo queda la torre del homenaje de la antigua fortaleza. Estos señores se apellidaban Freire y Andrade juntamente, descendían de los Condes de Traba, fundaron conventos e integraron órdenes de caballería, luchando incluso contra los Templarios como recuerdan unos versos del siglo XV que hablan del combate de los Andrade contra la Orden, no tanto por el rey como por sus propios intereses: «Vi los valientes Templarios/ batallar en claro día/ y a los Freires sus contrarios/ de sus bienes propietarios/ traer el Ave María./ Su seña verde dorada/ el rey con tres villas dio/ que en su victoria ganó/ Fernando Pérez de Andrada» .

Fernández es un patronímico muy extendido por España y en el norte de Galicia entroncan con los Bermúdez de Traba, siendo ayos de varios reyes y poseedores de inmensos bienes que a su extinción, una buena parte pasaron a la Casa de Andrade y a los arzobispos de Santiago después del siglo XIII. Los Lobeira generalmente van unidos a los Mariño, pues así eran las armas del conocido obispo Vasco Pérez Mariño, representadas por dos lobos cetrinos empinados al tronco de un árbol. El origen de los Mariño surge de una leyenda marina según la cual Roldán, sobrino de Carlomagno, llegó en el 770 a la isla de Sálvora, donde, atraído por el canto de una sirena, la poseyó y tuvo de ella generación. Los Mariño y después Mariño de Lobeira, heredaron el poder que en el noroeste gallego ejercieron por tanto tiempo los Bermúdez de Traba. Así es que vivió Tomás Bermúdez de Lobeira en San Xoán de Sardiñeiro.

Los Sarmiento tienen su origen en antiguas crónicas que recuerdan a Pedro Ruiz de la Bureva en la gran Batalla de las Navas de 1212, que gobernando con su pendón la gente de Rodrigo Gómez, señor del Condado de Trastámara, escogió 100 caballeros con haces de sarmientos a la grupa y con ellos puso fuego a los víveres y municiones del enemigo, alcanzando la victoria.

in http://www.lavozdegalicia.es

My Bedroom Window Over Jerusalem II – Jerusalem Day

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May 16, 2007 Israel celebrates the 40th anniversary of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day; the commemoration of the unification of Jerusalem after the 6-day war of 1967.

In 1947, the UN decided to create a Jewish and an Arab state out of the Land of Israel of which Jerusalem was to remain neutral, belonging to neither state. That couldn’t be realised exactly as planned.

When the British mandate ended on 15th May 1948, Seven Arab states waged war on Israel that ended in dividing Jerusalem. The East of Jerusalem, including the Old City, occupied by Arabs, belonged to Jordan while the West of Jerusalem was in the state of Israel. The borders were strict, no going and coming between these two peoples.

The matter nonetheless remained unsettled for Jerusalem was an organic, inseparable part of Israel in the Jewish conscience, belief and history. And Jews have always demonstrated against loss of Jerusalem in history.

Some refused to eat meat or drink wine when nothing of it could be sacrificed no longer nor poured on the altar as libation, after losing Jerusalem and the Temple. Even in times of joy a Jew would not forget the lost Jerusalem. In the house, he would leave a patch of wall unfinished, at the wedding a groom’s forehead would be dabbed with ashes, the jewellery of the bride removed, and a cup broken. Jews are enjoined, “If I forget you, Jerusalem,” Rabbi Yehudah Prero said, “let my right hand forget its skill.”

A Jew cannot make a home outside Israel, not matter his success in Diaspora he remains a slave; subject to immoral influences. The land of Israel is the holiest of all lands, and the city of Jerusalem the holiest in Israel. Only when in this holy land can a Jew be faithful to the Torah.

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Owing to this passion, such division of the City was unbearable and tension was already growing between Israel and Arabs states like Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, to mention some. War was in sight. Israel pre-emptied this situation and launched an attack on 5th June 1967; a war that lasted six days ending in Israel’s capture of the East of Jerusalem.

The Commander’s Speech of victory to the soldiers at the Temple Mount leaves no shadows of that Passion:

”…For 2,000 years, the Temple Mount was off limits to the Jews. Until you, the paratroopers, came and returned it to the bosom of its people. The Western Wall, towards which every Jewish heart beats, is again in our hands…. To you has fallen the great privilege to complete the circle, to give back to the people its eternal capital and its sacred centre….Jerusalem is yours – forever.”

The Israel government was quick to effect the unification. The municipal area extended and Israel law applied in the whole City. Jews acquired houses in the newly conquered land. The garbage that had accumulated at the Western Wall, including the house around, was quickly cleared.

The situation was quite delicate owing to different interests involved in the city.

Firstly, for Jews, Israel is a land given to them as chosen people with Jerusalem as the citadel of God; his presence assured by the Temple.

Then Arabs had lived here hundreds of years but all of a sudden became foreigners in the land they had known as theirs. The Arab Muslim world was also concerned about the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, which stands on the Temple Mount.

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Christians too needed assurance, would they continue to have free access to their Holy Places; respecting the existing rights?

Then, an international community. When Israeli Parliament declared Jerusalem, the undivided, eternal capital of the State of Israel in 1980 thirteen national embassies in Jerusalem closed as the declaration was against the UN resolution.

However, the Israeli Government pledged commitment to make Jerusalem open to all members of different religions. “In all these arrangements there is, of course, nothing that alters in the slightest degree any of the existing rights in the Holy Places, which the Government of Israel will respect in full”.

So Jerusalem Day, celebrated on Iyar 28, 8th month of the Jewish calendar, commemorates the re-possession of the entire city.

On this day “k’eir shechubra la yachdav” slogan is chanted that means “The city which was reunited”, based on Psalm122:3 “The built-up Jerusalem is like a city that was joined together within itself”. Even the festival Hallel, rarely used in Jewish liturgy, except at Passover and Independence day, is recited on this day because of the importance attached to Jerusalem, more than Israeli’s political power over the rest of the land of Israel.

Crowds march around the city singing, dancing, and waving flags walking through the Old City to the Western Wall where speeches and festive dancing continue.

This is a triumphal achievement for Jews. During the 19 years between the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the Six Day War in 1967, Jews could not dare set foot in the Old City, no access therefore to their shrine. Only one possibility was open for them.

They used to climb the Mount Zion or the cemetery on Mount of Olives in order to set their eyes on the Temple Mount.

Then, is it not just plain that Jerusalem Day is actually a Jewish feast?

Well, today a Jew or an Arab can walk on the streets of East or West of Jerusalem, though their relationship still leaves much to desire.

Besides, thousands of pilgrimages: Jews, Christians and Moslems pour into the city each day, free to worship and visit their Holy Places.

If all that is the fruit of the unification, then, Jerusalem Day should be a celebration for many other people than Jews alone; and therefore a reason enough to be interested in the well-being of this Holy City.

Therefore, if I do not pray for your peace Jerusalem, indeed, let my right hand forget its skill.

By Evans K. Chama (c) 2007
A Missionary of Africa, studying theology in Jerusalem

Knights Templar

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THE KNIGHTS Templar were a monastic military order formed during the 12th century European crusades to the Holy Land. The Knights Templar became mythologised as guardians of spiritual secrets, such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail. Eventually, the wealth the order accumulated put them on a collision course with royalty and Rome.

In 1118 Hugh de Payen and eight companions, under the protection of St Bernard of Clairvaux, visited Jerusalem with a letter of introduction to King Baudoin I of Jerusalem. They announced their intention to found an order of warrior monks whose aim was to protect pilgrims on the road to the Holy Land. The new order took vows of poverty and chastity, and the king granted them quarters within the Temple of Solomon – hence their name Knights of the Temple, or Templar.

Whilst in Jerusalem, in addition to fighting and protecting pilgrims, the knights also excavated under the Temple of Solomon. In the 19th century the Palestine Exploration Fund re-excavated these tunnels and found various Templar items.

Evidence of digging has led to many theories of what they found – the most populist version being that they located the Ark of the Covenant. Champions of this theory point to the pillar at the Templar Cathedral at Chartres, which depicts the Ark in transport. Less prosaic interpretations suggest they found scriptural scrolls, treatises on sacred geometry and details of ancient Judaic-Egyptian wisdom.

De Payen and the knights returned to France in 1127. A year later at the Council of Troyes, the Knights Templar gained legal autonomy, putting them beyond the reach of bishops, kings or emperors and making them responsible to the Pope alone.

They were gifted land by pious aristocrats to finance their rapidly growing order. Their wealth grew as they developed commercial interests in mines, quarries and vineyards. They had a fleet that outshone the largest state. But what the Knights Templar did most was build. The classic round Templar church, founded on octagonal geometry, is still regarded as the most obvious example of their building, but many observers see Templar influence in the vast gothic outpouring that occurred throughout the next hundred years.

They set the gold and silver standard for coin weight, and introduced the “note of hand” – a kind of 12th century credit card. Christians at the time were not allowed to charge interest on money, but the Templars got round this by charging “rent”. The order quickly became the richest bankers in Europe, lending to kings, princes and influential people across Europe.

King Philip IV of France (1268-1314) was one monarch among many who was heavily in debt to the Knights Templar. The death of the Pope gave the King an opportunity to bribe the incoming Catholic leader and initiate enquiries against the order. They were charged with heresy and on a Friday the 13th, in October 1307, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, and 60 of his senior knights were arrested in Paris. Across Europe thousands of Knights Templar were taken into custody. But when King Philip raided the Templar treasure house he found it empty and the fleet gone from Larochelle.

Anyone found sheltering a Templar was under threat of excommunication. At the time Scotland was already excommunicated for Robert the Bruce’s involvement in the murder of John “Red” Comyn. Since Robert the Bruce could not afford to turn away wealthy and powerful allies in his struggle against Edward I, it is not too fanciful to suppose that Scotland may have welcomed the homeless knights. French Masonic ritual seems to indicate that Scotland was designated as the place of refuge for the Templar treasures. It is certainly a matter of fact that their land in Scotland was never seized but was transferred to the Knights of St John for safekeeping.

Some accounts even hold that the Knights Templar may have fought at Bannockburn. After that they apparently disappeared. Some commentators think that they never truly vanished but went underground. Some think they were quickly assimilated into different orders, such as the freemasonry. They started to re-emerge in the 18th century and today the movement is pan-global.

An international body, Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymilitani, which has an enormous membership in Europe and America, monitors the increasing number of Templar organisations.

The international order tries to focus on the less fanciful of Templar interpretations. For many people, however, the appeal of the Knights Templar will always be the lure of Templar Gold, The Ark of the Covenant, pre-Columbus journeys to America and, of course, the Holy Grail.

Knights Templar in Scotland

1128 – Hugh de Payen, a relative by marriage to the St Clairs of Roslin, travels to Scotland where he stays with his relatives. The Templars are granted land – which becomes their headquarters in Scotland at Ballontrodoch – now Temple.
1203 – The sack of Constantinople. Important relics looted and fall into Templar hands. The Orkney Crusade saw Scottish Templar families, including the Sinclairs, join the crusade.
1307 – 11 October, two days before the arrest of many Templar Knights, it is recorded in French Masonic history that the Templar ships leave at midnight from La Rochelle, probably heading to Scotland.
1311 – Bishop Lamberton of St Andrews gives the Templars his protection.
1314 – Possibility that Knight Templars fought at Bannockburn.
1790 – Alexander Deuchar revives the order in Scotland in an attempt to re-start a new chivalry.

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by DIANE MACLEAN
This article: http://heritage.scotsman.com

La huella templaria de Lendo

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La única huella que ha dejado el tiempo -y tal vez también la realidad-, de la presencia de los caballeros templarios en la comarca de Bergantiños (en los que hoy es la provincia de A Coruña hubo cuatro) está en Lendo-A Laracha. Ni más ni menos. Lo descubrió, no hace mucho, el historiador y escritor Carlos Martínez Pereira, el mayor experto de Galicia en el tema, establecido en Culleredo (donde, por la época de gloria templaria de Lendo, estaba una de las principales sedes de la Orden de Castilla) y que hunde sus raíces maternas en varios puntos de la comarca bergantiñana.

En efecto, lo que hoy es parroquia de San Xulián de Lendo fue, entre principios del siglo XIII y principios del XIV (es imposible conocer fechas concretas) una encomienda templaria. Traducido: una sede, un lugar en el que los monjes-soldados establecieron su base, muy próxima a la matriz de la bailía de Faro, en los que hoy es O Burgo y O Temple, topónimo de evidente origen. La elección de Lendo pudo deberse a que, por este asentamiento, pasaba una importante vía medieval, antigua calzada romana.

¿Qué queda hoy en día de aquella época remota? Nada, apenas, según las investigaciones de Pereira, salvo algunos documentos y la iglesia de Lendo, mitad barroca (la fachada) mitad románica. La cara norte es la más llamativa: una puerta con arco de medio punto y decoración de estrellas y rosetas en las jambas y llamativos canecillos. Uno de ellos representa la cabeza de un elefante, elemento iconográfico insólito (anque no único en Galicia) de la arquitectura románica, además de otras inscripciones y restos esculturales curiosas.

Las propiedades de la encomienda de Lendo fueron muy numerosas, sobre todo a raíz de la cesión al temple, por parte del monasterio de Oseira, de bienes situados en la actual Bergantiños.

Así, y según la recopilación efectuada por el historiador Martínez Pereira, además de los terrenos y viviendas de Lendo, le pertenecían a los templarios tres casales en San Martiño de Cances la octava parte de la iglesia de esta parroquia carballesa, un casal en Baz (actual Bas, en la parroquia de Sísamo), otro en Vilar de Asalo (Mens-Malpica) y otro en San Salvador de Bembibre (Val do Dubra).

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Todo esto está documentado. Ya dentro del terreno de la especulación, pudo haber pertenecido a los templarios de Lendo el lugar de Freiría (Centiña, San Paio), además del monasterio de Seavia, ambos en Coristanco. También pudieron ser propietarios del monasterio de Mens, en Malpica, y hasta un molino de san Pedro de Barizo, en el mismo municipio, al que llamaban la «voz de los cabaleiros». El puerto de Laxe y el coto de Serantes, bienes con los que, con el tiempo, se harían las familias de los Mariño y los Moscoso, también pudieron pertenecerle.

El único nombre comendador (jefe) del que se tiene plena constancia de su existencia, por una concordia del año 1241, es frei Juan.

Hacia 1310, Lendo ya no figura como encomienda.

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Las investigaciones del historiador y escritor Carlos Martínez Pereira han permitido redescubrir el pasado templario de la iglesia de Lendo, la única que conserva la huella del paso de los seguidores de Hugo de Payens por la comarca de Bergantiños. La actual parroquia larachesa fue, hace ocho siglos, encomienda de la mítica orden religioso-militar, es decir, sede en la que establecieron su base los monjes-soldados. De aquella época sólo se han conservado algunos elementos arquitectónicos.

in www.lavozdegalicia.es