I am obliged to follow up on my previous Templar posts (category), regarding the events surrounding the release of the Chinon Parchment. As it turns out, the reports released by the secular press, which included interviews with Templar pretenders, gave the impression that the absolution of the Templars, recorded in the Chinon document, was an effective rehabilitation, that is, an acknowledgment that the Templars were unjustly accused. This is in no way the case. The rough translation of the Chinon Parchment, which until now, remains unchallenged, makes it clear that the Templars were guilty of grave sin, confessed their sin and were mercifully absolved by the Church.
To briefly review, in my first post on the subject of October 8, 2007, I noted that something sounded fishy when the press claimed that the Chinon Parchment cleared the Templars of the charges of blasphemy, because the Church concluded that denouncing Christ and spitting on the Cross was not truly sinful (?!). Here is what the Telegraph had to say:
The Templars explained to Pope Clement that the initiation mimicked the humiliation that knights could suffer if they fell into the hands of the Saracens, while the kissing ceremony was a sign of their total obedience.
The Pope concluded that the entrance ritual was not truly blasphemous, as alleged by King Philip when he had the knights arrested. However, he was forced to dissolve the Order to keep peace with France and prevent a schism in the church.
A certain Professor Barbara Frale was the one who found the misfiled parchment in the Vatican Archives, and is the author of the book on the subject, published recently by the Vatican archives. She is quoted in the the Telegraph article:
“This is proof that the Templars were not heretics,” said Prof Frale. “The Pope was obliged to ask pardon from the knights.
“For 700 years we have believed that the Templars died as cursed men, and this absolves them.”
In the light of the rough translation, which, by the way, is commented on in a wikepedia entry, and remains unchallenged, Professor Frale’s conclusions are incomprehensible to me. The Chinon Parchment, in fact, finds the accused to be guilty of heresy and repentant of their sin. Furthermore, there is no apology of the Pope to the Templars expressed in the document.
I am willing to eat crow if I have gone down the wrong path, but I have to conclude that my original hunch was correct. This story is a baloney sandwich! A lot of garbage between two thin slices of facts.
The Times Online took the misinformation a step further by giving the preposterous story of the Acheson brothers a totally unwarranted level of credibility. Ben Acheson claims to be both a real Templar and as such the recipient of a letter from Pope Benedict XVI, promising a public apology for the unjust suppression of the Knights Templar.
As it turns out not only has the anticipated apology never been released (big surprise), but, again, the rough translation reveals that, in fact, the Templars confessed to heresy and were absolved. They were never found to be innocent of the charges leveled against them.
Futhermore, according to the Chinon Parchment, even the legendary hero of the Freemasons and all Templar pretenders, the Grandmaster himself, Jaques de Molay confessed to heresy and repented:
Concerning the way of his initiation into the Order, he said that having given him the cloak the receptor showed to him <the cross> and told him that he should denounce the God whose image was depicted on that cross, and that he should spit on the cross. Which he did, although he did not spit on the cross, by near it, according to his words. He also said that performed this denunciation in words, not in spirit. Regarding the sin of sodomy, the worshiped head and the practice of illicit kisses, he, diligently questioned, said that he knew nothing of that.
When he was asked whether he had confessed to these things due to a request, reward, gratitude, favor, fear, hatred or persuasion by someone else, or the use of force, or fear of impending torture, he replied that he did not. When he was asked whether he, after being apprehended, was submitted to any questioning or torture, he replied that he did not.
After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to brother Jaques de Molay, the grandmaster of the said order, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him to communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church.
It also seems that the charges of sodomy against the Order were not entirely unfounded. Though most of the brothers in question denied knowledge of any such activity within the Order, Brother Hugo de Pérraud admitted having counseled initiates to abstain from relations with women, but in the event that they were unable to restrain their lusts, they were to “join themselves with the brothers of the Order.” He further claimed that he never engaged in sodomy, nor did he know of anyone else who did so, save three brothers who had been incarcerated for that behavior. Yet the document makes it clear that the Church did not just make up the charges out of thin air.
Of course, none of this answers the question as to what happened in 1314, whether Jaques de Molay and his brothers relapsed, or whether it was more political chicanery of Clement V. I am not a Templar hater. I am just sick of the anti-Catholic pseudo history, which Freemasons and other opportunists continually foist on the unsuspecting public.