The alleged heirs of the Knights Templar have launched a legal battle in Spain to force the Pope to restore the reputation of the disgraced order which was accused of heresy and dissolved seven centuries ago, says the UK Telegraph.
The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Pope Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion).
They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church.
The Knights at the time were accused of denying Jesus, worshipping icons of the devil in secret initiation ceremonies, and practising sodomy.
And that wasn’t even on the weekend! Now it seems that some of the “confessions” at the time may have been a little…uhm…coerced. Let’s face it they made Gitmo look like Disneyland.
But these new Knights claim their motive is not to reclaim damages only to restore the “good name” of the Knights Templar. Well that’s good news because Pope Clement V actually already seems to have absolved the Templars of all heresies in 1308. So we’re all good here, right? Oh yeah they want that and the 100 billion Euros.
The Knights were founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, its original purpose to ensure the safety of the many Christians who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem after its conquest. And over the centuries, various groups have claimed to be descended from the Templars and legend abounds over hidden treasures, secret rituals, and their rumoured guardianship of the Holy Grail.
Now while it does seem that the original Knights centuries ago may have been treated with excessive cruelty, I’m not sure it follows that a bunch of European guys who live in their Mom’s basement and dress up on Saturday nights to perform “secret rituals” and watch “The DaVinci Code” are owed 100 billion Euros.
The dudes in the costumes said in newspaper reports, “We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church.” Whew. Good because Cardinal Mahony has dibs on trying to do that, I think.
But the group says they intend to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order” and have the “good name” of the Templar’s restored. Oh yeah. And 100 billion Euros.