Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Knights Templar

The History Channel reports that on this date in 1128, the Pope recognized the Knights Templar as a military order. The Catholic Encyclopedia traces their beginning back to 1118.

I once asked a history professor about the difference between the suppression of the Jesuits and the abolition of the Templars. I concluded that the difference must have been largely due to the wealth of the Templars. This is yet another case where it's hard to sort through what really happened.

My humble opinion is that there were probably some corrupt Templars. There was probably some envy of their holdings by, among others, the King of France and the Hospitalers. The secrecy surrounding their initiation rites was probably overstated and could have been reformed. The circumstances surrounding the end of the Templars is a blot on the history of the Church.

1 comment:

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

I consider their initiation rites were inciting the new Templars to:

* commit sacrilege out of obedience
* thereby put the new Templar into a state of mortal sin by "obeying men more than God"

I also consider the participation of older Templars in these rites prevented them from getting valid absolution.

I also consider the purpose was to prone a kind of obedience which Prussians may consider admirable, but which is loathsome to Catholics.

In other words, I hold with the council of 1313.