Vatican Releases Dodgey Knights Templar Dossier

This story about the Vatican releasing formerly suppressed documents about the Knights Templar reminded me of one of my favorite Monty Python movie moments. I do hope someone like Terry Gilliam will do a realistic movie about the Crusades. Not one of those Hollywood epics where modern people are dressed in squeaky clean period costume and the women all look like Victoria's Secret models but something down and dirty that shows medieval life in all it's vile and smelly "Jabberwocky" glory!

From the BBC:

"The Knights Templar, a military order of the Roman Catholic Church, are back in the news again, almost 700 years after they were suppressed by papal edict. They were originally formed to protect Christians in the Holy Land during the early Crusades... The Knights, who wore a distinctive white mantle decorated with a red cross, became very wealthy, owned property all over Europe and the Middle East, and started up a primitive international banking system. They caused deep controversy, even in their own time. They helped to finance wars waged by several European monarchs.

...Now the Vatican has decided to shed some new light on this often obscure period of late medieval history.

To the delight not only of scholars but also of Templar buffs around the world, who have been captivated by Dan Brown's stories, they are publishing facsimile reproductions of the original account in Latin of the investigation and trial into the alleged misdeeds of the Knights Templar. It took place in Rome between 1307 and 1312.

The document, known as the Chinon parchment, shows that Pope Clement V found the Templars not guilty of heresy, but guilty of other lesser infractions of Church law. Nonetheless he ordered the disbandment of the order. The Vatican's Secret Archives, one of the world's great repositories of historical documents, is selling a limited edition of 800 numbered copies of the Chinon parchment.

It is printed on synthetic parchment, comes complete with a reproduction of the original papal wax seal, and is packaged in a soft leather case together with a scholarly commentary. Each copy will cost just over 5,900 euros ($8,000; £3,925)....The document is half a metre (20 inches) wide by two metres long - the size of a small dining table.

According to Ms Frale, one of the accusations against the Templars was that they practised blasphemous initiation rites such as spitting upon the cross. They justified this, according to the document, by claiming this was part of a ritual of obedience in preparation for possible capture by Muslim armies."

Was there anything in there about killer bunnies?

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