The castle of Chinon was first fortified around 954. In the 12th Century it was greatly expanded and later became the residence of Henry II of England.
When the Templar Order was suppressed in 1307, knights were imprisoned in the castles dungeons and their graffiti is still visible.
The Chinon Parchment, discovered in the Vatican archives in 2002, is a record of the knight's interrogations and gives information about the alleged and perhaps actual crimes of the order. Five interrogations dated between 17-20 August 1308 are recorded in detail, namely those of:
Raymbaud de Caronon,
Geoffroy de Charney,
Hugo de Pérraud,
Geoffroy de Gonneville and
Jacques de Molay - Grand Master of the order.
The allegations made included: sodomy, denouncing God, spitting on the cross, worshiping an idol and 'illicit kissing'.
All admitted to spitting on the cross at their initiation and that kisses were given as a sign of respect. All denied sodomy. Hugo de Pérraud admitted to seeing the head of an idol in the possession of Brother Peter Alemandin, Preceptor of Montpellier.
All admitted transgressing against the Catholic Church and were granted absolution. An excerpt of absolution given to Molay reaads thus:
"After this, we concluded to extend the mercy of absolution for these acts to Brother Jacques de Molay, the Grandmaster of the said Order, who in the form and manner described above had denounced in our presence the described and any other heresy, and swore in person on the Lord’s Holy Gospel, and humbly asked for the mercy of absolution, restoring him to unity with the Church and reinstating him to communion of the faithful and sacraments of the Church."
It would appear that the Pope, Clement V, wanted to preserve the order, or at least protect it's members from the wrath of the king of France, Phillippe le Belle. The king it must be assumed wanted to destroy the order and seize what property he could.
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