Templar Baloney Revisited (Updated)

Here we go again.

Well, someone from the Telegraph has at least finally read the Chinon Parchment instead of just repeating what the sensationalists continue to spout.

The occasion is the release of a new book by Michael Haag, which is reviewed by Christopher Howse:

Michael Haag, in his well-knit narrative, gets through an enormous spread of history, helpfully telling readers what the Bible has to say about the Jewish Temple before running through the Roman, Muslim and Crusader centuries. The after-history of the Templars is dominated by the imaginings of Freemasons and the conspiracy fancies of scarcely distinct alternative historians and novelists. If anything, the author is too tolerant of this froth. Historical truth does matter.

Why is that among authors who dedicate themselves to unraveling the “Templar mysteries” one after another are “too tolerant of this froth”? Perhaps, because frothy books sell better than honest and realistic ones? I am a perpetual stick in the mud.

Howse is refreshingly unsympathetic to Templar baloney, but unfortunately is also unsympathetic to the Church Militant:

Perhaps the Templars themselves were off-beam from their first dawn, since it seems to have escaped the notice of these poor, chaste and obedient monk-knights that Christ was not a soldier. They joined St Bernard in promoting the rather disastrous Second Crusade, but found little success in freeing Christian territories in the Holy Land from surrounding warring Islamic factions. They had better luck in Spain, where the frontier of reconquered territory pushed steadily southwards.

Hmm,  “Christ was not a soldier.”  Oh, really?  Seems Christ was more a soldier than St. George for Our Lord’s dragon threatened not just one virgin, but the whole human race.  Mr. Howse should read Genesis 3:15, John 19, Ephesians 5 and Revelations 12.

Furthermore, the word of Christ to soldiers was not a condemnation of soldering, but of the sins common to soldiers:  Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely–be content with your pay (Lk. 3:14).

Perhaps both the sensationalists and pacifists would do well to read some reliable history on the Crusades instead of relying on Ridley Scott.  (See this video at 3:16-3:27 for a nice taste of the slop that too many moviegoers are only too eager to lap up).

A sword salute and click of the heals to Frank Wilson.


Michael Haag, has commented below Mr Haag is the author of the book The Templars:  History and Myth, the review of which is the subject of this post.  His comment is a fair defense of his book, which I admittedly have not read.  See also my response to him following his comment.


18 thoughts on “Templar Baloney Revisited (Updated)

  1. You are no STICK IN THE MUD dear Fr. Angelo!

    You recognize half truths when you see them. We will have to nick name you “Fr. Geiger counter… ” because you faithfully go off “click click click” when you detect poisonous “froth” radiating from the so called ‘literary elite”.

    We recorded the shrine dedication and will watch it between chores this weekend.

    Ave Maria from the Island of Long (Bob & Greg)!

  2. Father, as stated above, thank you for telling things as they really are. There are few
    voices out here that are not afraid to speak these things.

    I tried to warn someone about the movie in the clip above, but he would not listen. I am hoping your post coming from a chivalrous Priest who loves Mary will pierce his heart with grace. Please accompany that arrow with your prayers.

    Ave Maria

    and yes, the dedication was beautiful. Will there be a Third Order there?

  3. While I appreciate any mention of my book The Templars: History and Myth, I prefer mentions to accurately reflect its contents. The Telegraph reviewer chose to indulge his imaginings rather than properly read my book, and now you have indulged the Telegraph reviewer without reading my book. I think if you do read The Templars: History and Myth, you will find a well drawn historical account of the Templars themselves and their mythical aftermath. Certainly no froth, nor any indulgence of froth.


    Michael Haag

  4. Mr. Haag,

    I apologize that your work got caught in the fray.

    I was just surprised to find someone from the Telegraph had actually read the Chinon Parchment; however, I was not so surprised to find that the same person also seems to subcribe to the usual sentimental ideas about crusading.

    I am neither close minded to the innocence of the Templars nor to criticisms of the Crusades. I just also would like to see some reading done without the indulgence of “imaginings.”

    While the Templars may be innocent of the charges levelled against them and while the Chinon Parcment may be evidence of that, no one in the popular press to my knowledged has shown that the innocence of the Templars and the Chinon Parchment are in any way related.

    As you know the proceedings documented in the Chinon Parcment did not clear the Templars of the all the charges against them, but absolved them of charges to which they admitted. Subsequently, the Templars were surpressed for what appears to be political reasons. This is not what was reported in the press.

    My reason for blogging on this subject is that I want to call attention to the fact that those who sympathize with the modern Templar pretenders seem to make take any thread they find and make a rope out of it with which to hang the facts. I also want to point out that in the process of doing this they create an apologetic for a very bizarre version of chivalry.

  5. For one to avoid “froth”, one would have to adequately cover the many papal documents which condemn Freemasonry, even up to the present age.

    What I find puzzling, and troubling in much of the so called contemporary “literature” and “history” on this subject of the Templars is the glorification of Freemasonry as though it were something more than the unethical socio-political engineering that it is and always has been.

    No one (outside of a few serious students of the Catholic Faith) seems to be interested in discussing the reasons why so many papal documents condemn Freemasonry.

    Perhaps this lack of study is just laziness of research… or is it symptomatic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” syndrome? I know not which.

    Having not read the work in question, I will reserve judgment. When I do obtain a second hand copy… If it adequately covers the various strong papal condemnations of Freemasonry then I might consider taking it more seriously… and tell my friends to do the same. If not, then I would not.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam!

  6. I find that a lot of people tend to use the Templars as a means to condemn the Crusade, and Religion, for that matter. The classic “Look what happens when you take your Faith too seriously.” Just as that little clip from 3:16-3:27, “To Kill an Infidel is Not Murder, it is the path to Heaven!” Gotta love that statement! 😉 If anything, I feel Ridley was put up to bashing the Crusades, to go along with the late Catholic bashing found in the Da Vinci Code and other works.

    When do the heads start rolling Father? When is the next Crusade? If we put up with this any longer, we mind as well quit. With the rate people are being ‘brainwashed’ with these Anti-Catholic Sentiments, I doubt we’ll even have a solid number of strong Catholics with which to reclaim the world. Just inform me when the Crusade starts, I’ll be around when you need me. 🙂

  7. What I mean about the ‘brainwashed’ bit, is that Catholics themselves, (ignorant as they may be) are questioning the actions of the Church and Catholics before them. As in the Crusades, Inquisition, and the like. History is so distorted. Which reminds me of the opening scene of Braveheart, “History is written by those who’ve hanged heroes.” The Church has been persecuted since her founding, and in this modern age, we see it all the more. The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church, history is written by those who’ve persecuted the Church. A look at how anti-catholic the world is today can explain that.

  8. Much of history recorded before this country (USA) was founded was written by the British. This is why a guy like Hilaire Belloc is such an important (and amusing) historian for Catholics. He sees history with sensus fidei (sense of the faithful). Master Paul, have you ever read any Belloc? Some of it is a real eye-opener!

    Ad Jesum!

  9. I’ve read Belloc’s work on the Crusades (the 1st through the fall of Jerusalem in 1187.) It is for this reason which I dislike reading American history, it is saturated in the glorification of Protestantism, and endorsement of Anti-Catholicism. Makes me sick to the stomach.

  10. Master Pul:

    As Chesterton said: “He who is immersed in history ceases to be protestant”. A really GREAT book is Belloc’s “How the Reformation Happened”. I also recommend “The Great Heresies”.

    Ave Maria!

  11. “…I doubt we’ll even have a solid number of strong Catholics with which to reclaim the world. Just inform me when the Crusade starts, I’ll be around when you need me.”

    St. Maximilian Kolbe started young, alone and with nothing. Except, of course, a total trust and complete dependency on the Immaculate, which is everything. Many thought he was a crazy dreamer, but he built the Niepokalanow in Poland, Mungenzai No Sono in Japan, and created several periodicals that were distributed to thousands of people in several languages every month. Had he the time, his plan was to go into India, the middle east, Russia and beyond. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. His plan and his true goal was to transform cultures and the world, in order to save all souls living – and all that will live until the end of time. He was a fit instrument of Our Lady, and brought conversion and vocations to religious life wherever he went. He believed it. He lived it. He died for Her. He was a true crusader.

    Point being – don’t wait for the crusade to start. Take a page from the Saint and start it yourself.

    All for the Immaculate! Ave Maria!

  12. Steve! You have made an excellent point in this conversation. Far more important than the writings of Belloc is the connection of Bl. Duns Scotus work with Fr. Maximillian Kolbe. In fact, when I’m done reading ‘A Primer on the Absolute PRIMACY OF CHRIST’, I plan to delve more deply into what is available on this blog and AirMaria relating to the saint of Auswitz.

    Master Paul… Steve is right when he tells us that the Crusade has already begun. I plan to reform my own self under a new banner. As one who returned to the faith in my early 20’s (I’m 51 now) I have always loved Our Lady for what she DID. But that has been very limiting in my allegiance to her because I saw her for what her “YES” did for me.

    It is a very different thing for me to fight now for my Queen. I fight now, not because of what she did, but because of WHO she IS.

    Thus, my only option is to become a saint like Fr. Kolbe (although a much littler saint for sure).

    THIS is the battle. It reminds me of a song I learned when I returned to the faith of my youth. The lyrics went like this: “Rise up O men of God, have done with lesser things. Give heart and soul and mind and strength to serve the King of Kings”.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam

  13. I should add as a PS that the hardest part for me in those lyrics (in my previous post) are the words “have done with lesser things”. As Mother Mary Angelica (of EWTN fame) used to say “It’s easy for good Catholics to tell the difference between most good and evil. The hard part is discerning WHICH of two goods is His Most Perfect and Holy Will, in big things and small”. I’m paraphrasing here… but I’m sure you get the gist.

    Ave Maria

  14. Thom Girard said that we are now on the Last Crusade–no reference to Indiana Jones; however, I think we could say that this Crusade is a quest for the Holy Grail, namely, the Most Holy Mother of God.

  15. Which can be found through the Marian Vow. This is the ultimate weapon, Our Lady SHALL crush the head of Satan, with her heel. We must allow ourselves to be formed and used by Our Lady as her personal instruments. Instruments for the Salvation of Souls.

  16. Pingback: Obligatory Templars Knew How to Pray Post « Mary Victrix

  17. You’re all a bunch of Goddess worshippers. Under another name, of course. The TRUE Goddess showss mercy to all Her children…

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