From the Dept. of Better Late Than Never

. . . Division of Oopsies! Our Bad, we have the news that, 700 or so years after it turned over their grand master to be burned at the stake, the Vatican is “partly” rehabilitating the Knights Templar.  Or maybe not.

Whether the supposedly blockbuster manuscript was or was not “perfectly described” in a 1912 catalogue, or whether or not scholars have simply been over-looking its existence for however, long, one thing is clear:  The charge that sent Jacques DeMolay to the stake — heresy — was not found to be meritorious by Pope Clement V himself.  His own preference was to reform the order (as happened many times to different orders and houses within orders), rather than suppress it and turn its members over to the civil arm for punishment.

Based on the evidence assembled, Vatican scholars say Pope Clement’s suppression of the Knights Templar was dictated by a combination of political events and ecclesial pressures.  Beginning in 1307, King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured many knights, extracting false confessions of heresy and ordering assets seized.  Pope Clement wanted to end abuses in the order and reorganize it, but eventually he bowed to the king’s pressure and formally dissolved the Knights Templar, because he feared a schism of the church in France.”

Another profile in courage, in other words.

I guess asset forfeiture and the concepts behind RICO aren’t all that new after, all, are they?

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