Knights Templar To Sue Pope
I just spotted a report that isn't politics, just interesting to me as I've a long-standing interest in the various Templar conspiracy theories. They're such fun.
A self-proclaimed successor group to the famous Knights Templar are to sue the Pope for restoration of the original group's good name, citing seizure of around $160 billion in assets.
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 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.
But their motive is not to reclaim damages only to restore the "good name" of the Knights Templar.
"We are not trying to cause the economic collapse of the Roman Catholic Church, but to illustrate to the court the magnitude of the plot against our Order," said a statement issued by the self-proclaimed modern day knights.
...The legal move by the Spanish group comes follows the unprecedented step by the Vatican towards the rehabilitation of the group when last October it released copies of parchments recording the trials of the Knights between 1307 and 1312.
The papers lay hidden for more than three centuries having been "misfiled" within papal archives until they were discovered by an academic in 2001.
The Chinon parchment revealed that, contrary to historic belief, Clement V had declared the Templars were not heretics but disbanded the order anyway to maintain peace with their accuser, King Philip IV of France.
It's amazing what will get people excited. There isn't a single group or person, I'll wager, who could show conclusively to a court that they're the true heirs of the Templars, either ideologically or financially. I've met a couple of people who claimed to belong to such groups - nice folk, many of them, but I didn't believe a word of it. Even so, the Vatican might be worrying about this case establishing a worrying degree of precedent should some group or family step forward claiming to be such heirs and wanting their billions back. Or maybe even that a court will tell them to put all that money in trust against the eventuality of such a claim succeeding.