Posted by Chris at 10/15/2007 3:46 PM ...
The Vatican confirmed what most of us probably already believed - that the Templars, whatever their faults, weren't heretics deserving of torture and a firey demise. The surprising thing is that the document confirming the Templar's orthodoxy comes from Pope Clement V himself in the Chinon Parchment, which was "misfiled" at the Vatican until 2001.
Philip le Bel, the King of France who wanted to rid the world of the Templars so he could take their treasures and be free of his debts to them didn't get the message, because the Knights were still set alight for heresy, many of them after having confessed it under torture. Enough pain will get you to say anything, especially if the torturers keep promising that the pain will stop if you just agree with them. Of course, when you later come to your senses and deny that you were a heretic to begin with, you get a date with a stake, some green kindling, and a torch.
So why bring this up now?
Because the Vatican is publishing the minutes of the Templar trials in book form for the first time. For $8,333 gets you one of the 799 numbered, leather-bound books, which has reproductions of the documents, commentaries on the documents and trials, and copies of some inquisitors' seals.
Now if we can get them to publish a less fancy, less expensive scholarly version for the rest of us. I don't need copies of seals, or leather bindings, just the documents bound in cloth or in a DVD set