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Templar rebels not satisfied with Vatican U-turn on heresy allegations



*** Rebels within the secretive Knights Templar heirarchy have expressed private dissapointment with the Vatican's withdrawal of 700-year-old accusations of heresy against the Order. A modern-day Templar is quoted as saying: "The word 'sorry' is conspicuous by its absence." An official acknowledgement this month by the Holy See that allegations against the Templars were false (and known to be false at the time) is timed to coincide with the 7th centenery of the persecution of the Templars, fulfilling a formal written request by the Order revealed by a letter leaked to the press in 2004. The letter was part of a long-standing silent annual campaign by the Templars for truth and justice. The insiders responsible for today's leak made no attempt to conceal their identity. ***

British Templars call on Pope to apologise

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of The Times

A British order of Templars that claims direct descent from the original Knights Templar is calling on the Pope to apologise after a newly-discovered but ancient Vatican document shows that the knights were absolved of crimes laid against them seven centuries ago.

The charges led to the disbanding of the order and Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burnt at the stake. The Vatican will next week publish a collector's edition of documents on the Knights Templar, the fabulously-wealthy medieval crusading order mentioned in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novels and which to this day remains at the centre of numerous Holy Grail conspiracy theories and intrigues.

One of the documents, the Chinon Parchment, shows that in the early 14th century, Pope Clement V's investigation of the order absolved the knights of the heresy charges that led to many of them being tortured and burned.

Ben Acheson, a member of a Templar order based in Hertford which claims direct descent from the original Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon Grand Preceptory, said publication of the documents is a "turning point" but called for Pope Benedict XVI to apologise formally.

He said: "The word sorry is conspicuous by its absence. But basically, they have said we were absolved, which is an historic admission. For me, that makes it all the more astonishing that the tortures and executions were allowed to continue. For me, that is why the apology is still the missing piece of the puzzle.

Nevertheless, I would like to think that this could be a turning point. After this, I hope we will be able to be more outward facing, less introverted. There are signs of that happening. Others like me are doing what we can to make things move in that direction."

Three years ago the order, which operates out of a PO box address in Hertford, wrote to the Pope formally requesting an apology “for the torture and murder of our leadership”, instigated by Pope Clement V.

“We shall witness the 700th anniversary of the persecution of our order on 13th October 2007,” the letter said “It would be just and fitting for the Vatican to acknowledge our grievance in advance of this day of mourning.”

The Templars were hoping for an apology in the same vein as those made already by the Church for the persecution of Galileo and for the Crusades.

At the time, Ben Acheson's twin brother Tim Acheson, who is descended from the Scottish Acheson family that has established Templar links and whose family lived until recently in Bailey Hall, Hertford, told The Times: “This letter is a serious attempt by a Templar group which traces its roots back to the medieval Order to solicit an apology from the Papacy.”

He added: “The Papacy and the Kingdom of France conspired to destroy the Order for reasons which modern historians judge to be primarily political. Their methods and motives are now universally regarded as brutal, unfair and unjustified.

“The Knights Templar officially ceased to exist in the early 1300s, but the order continued underground. It was a huge organisation and the vast majority of Templars survived the persecution, including most of their leaders, along with much of their treasure and, most importantly, their original values and traditions.”

The Hertford Mercury newspaper has chronicled the crusade for an apology, along with newly-unearthed Templar links with Hertford, including a warren of tunnels beneath the town. At the heart of the maze of tunnels is Hertford Castle, where in 1309 four Templars from Temple Dinsley near Hitchin, were imprisoned after their arrest by Edward II, who believed that they were holding a lost treasure. The treasure was never found.

The Templars captured Jerusalem during the Crusades and were known as “keepers of the Holy Grail”, said to be the cup used at the Last Supper or as the receptacle used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch Christ’s blood as he bled on the Cross, or both.

The Knights Templar were founded by Hugh de Payens, a French knight from the Champagne area of Burgundy, and eight companions in 1118 during the reign of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, when they took a perpetual vow to defend the Christian kingdom. They were assigned quarters next to the Temple. In 1128, they took up the white habit of the Cistercians, adding a red cross. The order knights, sergeants, farmers and chaplains amassed enormous wealth.

Rome is understood to have given the request for an apology serious consideration. Ben Acheson said the Hertford Temple had received a secret letter from the Vatican, but this had not been seen by any except a select few at the top of the order.


SOURCE

The Times (Times Online), "British Templars call on Pope to apologise", 16 October 2007. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article2671684.ece


FURTHER READING

The Guardian, "Knights get an apology from the Vatican 700 years too late", 11 October 2007.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2188125,00.html
    ...
    Just after the 700th anniversary of the day their troubles began, the Templars will get their apology. "We pray that, at the end of seven centuries, the soul of Jacques de Molay may now rest in peace for ever," says Ben Acheson, who describes himself as a Templar. "The Temple now considers the matter closed."
    ...


The Times, "Templars absolved by Pope", 16 October 2007.
http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/10/templars-to-pop.html
    ...
    The Church wanted the Templars' fabulous wealth. The Templars weren't going to give it up, nor their secrets. Hertford-based Templar twin Ben Acheson, who with his brother Tim has been quietly leading the crusade for justice, went all mysterious when I questioned him about the current wealth and membership of the order. All he would say is that there are many members, all over the world. And that the Church never got the money, nor the secrets. So now the Church is getting its own back in a small but neat way, by cashing in, literally, on its own admission of guilt.
    ...
    The Chinon Parchment, pictured here, contains the absolution Pope Clement V granted to Jacques de Molay.
    Conservative Catholic blogger Chris Gillibrand has done an analysis for me of the parchment.
    ...
    Yet another case in history, when one could just imagine the Times headlines if the paper had been published in those days. One wonders would The Times have got to the truth of the matter on the allegations? The use of torture would have been condemned.
    But perhaps in our own day, we have an example, the whole of the international establishment believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq on the best of all possible evidence, but the claims were not examined in any detail and the war went ahead anyway. As the Blair government needed the external proof of the Iraq dossier, King Philip enlisted the support of the University of Paris to get a condemnation of the Templars. There was no shortage of academics willing to take the King’s shilling.
    It begged the question, “Could he put the Templars on trial without reference to the Pope?” Likewise, the question was asked, “Could we go to war without the second resolution?” so many centuries later. 
    ...


The Times, "Descendants of ‘Holy Grail’ knights demand an apology from the Pope", 17 October 2007.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article2673356.ece
    A British order of Templars that claims direct descent from the original Knights Templar is calling on the Pope to apologise after the recent discovery of an ancient Vatican document showing that the knights had been absolved of the charges laid against them seven centuries ago.
    ...
    He said: “The word ‘sorry’ is conspicuous by its absence. But basically, they have said we were absolved, which is an historic admission. For me, that makes it all the more astonishing that the tortures and executions were allowed to continue. For me, that is why the apology is still the missing piece of the puzzle.
    ...
    The Vatican is understood to have given serious consideration to the request for an apology. It has previously apologised formally for the persecution of Galileo and for the Crusades.


UPI, "British Templars want apology from pope", 17 October 2007.
http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2007/10/17/british_templars_want_apology_from_pope/9903/
    HERTFORD, England, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A group of British Templars, claiming ties to the medieval Knights Templar, wants the Vatican to apologize for its suppression of the order.
    Ben Acheson, a member of the modern group, told The Times of London Pope Benedict XVI should make a formal apology.
    A book to be released next week publishes documents discovered a few years ago in the Vatican archives. They revealed that Pope Clement V found that the Templars -- an order founded to protect Christians making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- were cleared of heresy.
    "The word 'sorry' is conspicuous by its absence," Acheson said. "But basically, they have said we were absolved, which is an historic admission. For me, that makes it all the more astonishing that the tortures and executions were allowed to continue. For me, that is why the apology is still the missing piece of the puzzle."
    Clement apparently allowed the king of France, who wanted to appropriate the Templars' wealth, to continue with the persecution. Jacques de Molay, the order's grand master, was burned at the stake in Paris.


News.com.au, "'Absolved' Knights Templar demand apology from Pope", 18 October 2007.
http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22606679-954,00.html
    A BRITISH order of Templars that claims direct descent from the original Knights Templar is calling on the Pope to apologise after the recent discovery of an ancient Vatican document showing the knights had been absolved of the charges laid against them seven centuries ago.


Hertfordshire Mercury, "Pope helps to absolve Templars", 12 October 2007.
http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/hertfordshiremercury-news/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=141763
    ...
    We can reveal that a letter from the Vatican was sent to the Templars earlier this month acknowledging the anniversary, which falls tomorrow.
    It is believed the letter was signed by the Pope and sent to the Templars in Hertford.
    It told of a new book due to be published by the Vatican's Secret Archives on October 25 that will restore the rep¬utation of the Templars.
    A Hertford member of the Templars told the Mercury: "We pray that at the end of seven cen¬turies, the soul of Jacques de Molay may now rest in peace forever. The Temple now considers the matter closed."
    The book comes after an archives official located a scrap of the Chinon parchment, a document misfiled in the archives since the 17th century.
    Our Templar source said: "Publicly, the Vatican says the release is in response to the document being found by Prof Barbara Frale - but she found it way back in 2001.
    ...


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Times, "The last crusade of the Templars", 29 November 2004.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article396786.ece
    The knights want a Papal apology nearly 700 years after they were disbanded and hounded into exile
    ...


The Independent, "Knights Templar seek papal apology for 700 years of persecution". 29 November 2004.
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article22425.ece


The Guardian, "Hertford, home of the Holy Grail", 4 January 2005.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,2763,1382899,00.html
    An ancient secret society; a demand for a papal apology; and a network of hidden tunnels. Strange things have been stirring in Hertfordshire recently. Oliver Burkeman goes in search of the Knights Templar and, perhaps, the cup of Christ
    ...


The Insider, "Pope was investigating Knights Templar before his election", 29 April 2005.
http://www.theinsider.org/news/article.asp?id=1149
    The new Pope, Benedict XVI, was actively investigating secret societies including the Knights Templar and the Illuminati, it was revealed yesterday. Details were exposed by a local newspaper in Hertfordshire, England.
    Cardinal Ratzinger was head of the Inquisition, the arm of the Church set up to investigate, persecute or eliminate heretics. But the curious thing is, we now know that he started his investigation shortly before he was elected as the new Pope. Did he know something? He certainly made no secret of his ambition for the Papacy.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 17 October 2007.

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Tags: Knights Templar, Vatican, heresy, apology, sorry, Templars, Pope, apologise, 700 years, absolved, innocent, vindicated, Catholic Church, Ruth Glenhill, The Times, secret society, cult, secret societies, , conspiracy theories.

 
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