5 August 2008, JellyBean @ 4:25 am

It has been reported this week that the successors of the Knights Templar are launching a legal battle against the Vatican to restore their good name and to highlight the wrongs done to them by the church.

The Knights Templar were a powerful but secretive group of warrior monks during the Middle Ages. The order was founded in 1099 by Hugues de Payns, a French knight, to protect pilgrims on the road to the Holy Land. Their headquarters were in the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount – hence their name.

Following the fall of Jerusalem to the Muslims in 1244, rumours abounded that the Knights were heretics who worshipped idols and held secret, evil initiation rites. In 1307, King Philip IV “the Fair” of France, in desperate need of money, ordered the arrest and torture of all Templars. Their leader Jacques de Molay was tortured and burnt at the stake.

All lands and assets belonging to members of the order were confiscated by the Vatican and King Philip.

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Some months ago a secret document was found in the Vatican which proved that Pope Clement V did not declare them as being heretics and furthermore absolved them of any heresy. It seems that the the suppression of the order was more about the pope’s politics in order to pacify Philip.

Despite the order’s brutal apparent suppression, its legacy has been claimed by numerous successor organisations such as the ‘Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani’, which is recognized by UNESCO. These societies today are about humanitarian and charity work, although they do maintain some religious sites and buildings.

Now the Knights Templar are demanding that the Vatican give them back their good name and, possibly, billions in assets into the bargain. If the Vatican does not comply, the knights will fight it out in the Spanish courts.

It was reported in the Daily Telegraph that ‘The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ’ has launched a court case in Spain, demanding that Pope Benedict “recognise” the seizure of assets worth €100bn.

They claim that they do not wish to cause the economic collapse of the church, but to merely illustrate and highlight the magnitude of the plot against them.

It is unlikely that the court case will reveal the secrets of the Holy Grail or any of the other mysteries which have made the Templars so famous in modern culture. All the modern orders deny that any ‘hidden knowledge’ exists. Of course conspiracy theorists will tell you that this is exactly what they would say!

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