Vatican Reveals, Knights Templar Hid Shroud of Turin

April 6, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Vatican officials announced yesterday, ending centuries of speculation, that the ancient monastic order of the Soldiers of Christ, the Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin for over one hundred years, during a time when historians often wondered what became of it. The revered Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth thought to show the image of Christ, of a bearded man with long hair and crucifixion wounds. The Shroud disappeared in 1204 after the sack of Constantinople and wasn’t found again until the 14th century.

Vatican historian Barbara Frale found an ancient parchment called the Chinon Parchment in 2003, misfiled in the Vatican’s secret archives. Frale discovered the ancient parchment held the secret to the whereabouts of the Shroud of Turin, when she found a passage detailing the infamous trials of the Knight Templar, which talked about initiation ceremonies involving kissing the feet of Christ’s figure on the cloth.

Frale said her find supported a similar theory advanced by British historian Ian Wilson in 1978, where he speculated the Shroud was in the hands of the knights Templar during those “missing” years. Frale published her groundbreaking findings in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

The ancient order of the Knights Templar have long been the subject of legend and mystery, mentioned in the popular book, The Da Vinci Code as also possessing the Holy Grail. The Knights Templar was originally founded as a Christian military order in 1129, supported by the Pope, to protect pilgrims making the trek to the holy land in Jerusalem during the first Crusades.

The Knights Templar with their distinctive white mantle and a large red cross rose to immense power and wealth over two centuries, before they were disbanded in 1307 by Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France. The Knights Templar was revered as a ferocious fighting force and acquired significant wealth given to the order as charitable gifts by wealthy families. The Templar order owned numerous farms, castles and even had its own fleet of ships.

Many wealthy nobles deposited their fortunes with the Knights Templar for safekeeping, before they traveled on long journeys, establishing an early banking system. The powerful Knights Templar order was eventually taken down by King Phillip, who owed a large debt to the order and was envious of their influence.

When a former Templar novice accused the order of heresy and sexual deviant initiation ceremonies, King Phillip pressured Pope Clement to put the members of the order on trial for heresy. Many of the knights were forced under torture to admit to salacious acts, such as stripping naked and kissing the buttocks of the masters of the order, as well as sodomy.

Many of the Knights were burned alive at the stake for their supposed crimes, and all of the order’s property and wealth was confiscated by the Pope.The Chinon document revealed the Pope cleared the knights of the crime of heresy but not of corruption or sexual deviancy.

Legend has it that when one of the Masters of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake, he cursed both Pope Clement and King Phillip saying they would soon meet him before God for judgment. The Pope died a month later and King Phillip died from a hunting accident soon after.

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