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Re: Knights Templar suppression
I know of an order suppressed on charges of heresy in the first century,
with its leaders tortured, crucified, eaten by wild beasts, etc., that
nonetheless survived for centuries before it was finally fully legalized.
But nevermind that.
The suppression of the Templars was of varying degrees in different countries.
England didn't exactly go out of its way to assist the Pope, for example;
if there was torture of Templars in England, it was only after considerable
pressure from the continent.
It was, after all, King Philip le Bel of France who provoked the whole mess.
He wasn't uniformly loved by his fellow monarchs elsewhere.
And I find it quite puzzling why people say the Templars were completely
suppressed, considering almagamation of much of the former Templar order into
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia in their entry on the Templars:
``Such was the tragic end of the Templars. If we consider that the Order
of Hospitallers finally inherited, although not without difficulties,
the property of the Templars and received many of its members, we may
say that the result of the trial was practically equivalent to the
long-proposed amalgamation of the two rival orders. For the Knights
(first of Rhodes, afterwards of Malta) took up and carried on elsewhere
the work of the Knights of the Temple.''
The Catholic Encyclopedia does often have its own axe to grind (usually
in matters concerning the Reformation), but in this case I don't know
why they would fudge this bit. Every other book on the subject I've
seen says much the same thing.
That plus that the Portuguese Knights of Christ was a direct, albeit
somewhat modified, form of the Templars.
``Order of the Knights of Christ
``A military order which sprang out of the famous Order of the Temple
(see Knights Templars). As Portugal was the first country in Europe
where the Templars settled (in 1128), so it has been the last to preserve
any remnant of that order. The Portuguese Templars had contributed to
the conquest of Algarve from the Moslems; they were still defending
that conquest when their order was suppressed (1312) by Pope Clement
V (q.v.). King Diniz, who then ruled Portugal, regretted the loss of
these useful auxiliaries all the more because, in the trial to which
the order had been submitted everywhere throughout Christendom, the
Templars of Portugal had been declared innocent by the ecclesiastical
court of the Bishop of Lisbon. To fill their place, the king instituted
a new order, under the name of Christi Militia (1317). He then obtained
for this order the approbation of Pope John XXII, who, by a Bull (1319),
gave these knights the rule of the Knights of Calatrava (see Calatrava,
Military Order of) and put them under the control of the Cistercian Abbot
of Alcobaca. Further, by another Bull (1323), the same pope authorized
King Diniz to turn over to the new Order of Christ the Portuguese estates
of the suppressed Templars, and, as many of the latter hastened to become
Knights of Christ, it may fairly be said that the foundation of Dom Diniz
was both in its personnel and in its territorial position a continuation
in Portugal of the Order of the Temple. Seated first at Castro Marino,
it was later (1357) definitively established in the monastery of Thomar,
The same source says that the Templars of Portugal were declared innocent,
that many of their personnel and much of their property was received by
the new Order, and that the pope explicitly approved all this.
The Order of Knights of Christ of Portugal was more than teaching,
tradition, and insight: it was a direct successor organization of the
Templars of Portugal, incorporating directly many of the same people
and property into a very similar organization.
Furthermore, the famous Prince Henry the Navigator was the Grand Master
of the Order of the Knights of Christ, and Vasco da Gama was a member,
so one can easily say that Templar influence was great even many years
after the formal suppression.
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