The Templars were accused of all manner of heresy when the order was officially disbanded in 1307, its members arrested and property seized.
In recent years the have been various fringe books suggesting that the Templars were genuinely involved in all manner of heresy, including worshipping heads.
But what evidence do we have for these claims?
The Templars were formed around 1119 but formally set up under the authority of the Pope in 1129 and were answerable only to him. This authority was granted at the council of Troyes.
In order to imply an ulterior motive to their creation, it has been suggested that the knights were too few to carry our their express task; to escort pilgrims to Jerusalem. This may or may not be true, but it should be bourne in mind that the nine founding knights had sergeants and men at arms in their support, each knight fielding a large retinue.
The only evidence put forward against the Templars was obtained from confessions, tortured from them, one unfortunate commenting he would have confessed to murdering God under the torture he was subjected to. Such evidence would hardly stand up in a civilized court of law today.
It seems certain that the true motive for the charges against the Templars was financial and political; they had gained too much wealth and influence, charges of heresy were a simple way of removing them from the political forum and seizing their considerable assets.
One amusing later conundrum is Chev. Ramsay who, whilst born into a Protestant family in Ayr, joined the Jacobite cause, converted to Catholicism and became the tutor to bonnie prince Charlie in France. Ramsay founded various Masonic groups in France and became famous for his oration making tenuous links concerning Masonic history. He is also associated with connecting the Templars to Freemasonry.
Being a Freemason in those days meant an association with the Jacobite cause and Catholicism.
Also for those who may wish to associate Rosslyn Chapel with the heritical Templars, there is a further problem to consider: The St Clair family were staunch Catholics even during the reformation, this led to the closure of the chapel and the breaking of its altars. Even today the chapel is Episcopalian, which is a 'high' church, very different to the normal 'low' Protestant churches favoured in Scotland.
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