Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Templars Want Their Treasure Back

In 1307 the leaders of the Knights Templar were arrested by King Philip IV of France with the cooperation of Pope Clement V and the Roman Catholic Church. The leaders were accused of heresy, had their assets seized by the Church, and were eventually executed. Just prior to his execution in 1314, Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templars, is said to have placed a curse upon Clement and Philip that within a year and a day they would both be called before God to answer for their crimes. According to Templar historian Malcolm Barber:

A variation on this story was told by the contemporary chronicler Ferretto of Vicenza, who applied the idea to a Neopolitan Templar brought before Clement V, whom he denounced for his injustice. Some time later, as he was about to be executed, he appealed 'from this your heinous judgement to the living and true God, who is in Heaven', warning the pope that, within a year and a day, he and Philip IV would be obliged to answer for their crimes in God's presence. (Ferretto of Vicenza, 'Historia rerum in Italia gestarum ab anno 1250 as annum usque 1318', c. 1328).

In fact, within a year of de Molay's execution both Philip and Clement were dead.

Documents recently unearthed by the Roman Catholic Church show that there was never any real evidence of heresy on the part of the Templars and that they were simply eliminated for political reasons. In light of this new revelation they want their stuff back and their order's good name restored. They are demanding assets worth approximately 100 billion euros, which is a testament to how wealthy the order really was in the fourteenth century. In fact, it was their wealth and power that made them politically dangerous.

For all the stories of lost Templar treasure, it is most likely that the order's riches were confiscated by Philip and the Church. It's about time that these ill-gotten gains were returned and for history to know the truth about the Templar persecutions.

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