Pope was investigating Knights Templar before his election at The Insider details how just before his election, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was requesting information from Herefordshire, UK historians and government offices on the history of the Templars in the area. A local historian refused to divulge who had requested information, saying only that it was a 'former cardinal'.
The inquiries follow the Templars’ demand last December for a papal apology by 2007 for their persecution by the Vatican almost 700 years ago.
The article goes on to describe Benedict XVI's role in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the Holy Office and before that the Inquisition) and how it was that organization that set out along with the King of France to suppress the Templars back in the fourteenth century.
This last part was entertaining:
Mr Acheson observes an ironic historical connection between the Templars and the name of the new Pope.
He added, cryptically: “The pontiff chose Benedict as his papal title, a name with special significance for the Knights Templar. The Rule of the Templars, which is like a code of conduct for the Order, was originally known as the Rule of Benedict.”
The Templars followed the Rule of St. Benedict along with... let's see... The Benedictines, the Cistercians, and a whole slew of other religious communities over the centuries. That's really fodder for historial ironies, isn't it? ;)
If this article is actually true, it would be interesting to see if this goes forward. After 700 years of deeming the Templars a cult of Satanists and warlocks along with its offshoots in Freemasonry, I seriously doubt the Vatican can seriously be pursuing this. Or maybe it is in the name of ecumenism?
Anyone have any comments?