Knights Templar heirs sue Vatican





The heirs of Knights Templar have initiated a legal battle in an attempt to force the Vatican to restore the reputation of the disgraced order that was accused of heresy and dissolved seven centuries ago.

In a lawsuit, the Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descendants of Knights Templar, has called on Pope Benedict to recognise the seizure of assets worth £79 billion. According to the association based in Spain, when the order was dissolved by Benedict's predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties, countless pastures, mills and commercial ventures belonging to knights were appropriated by the Roman Catholic Church.

But they claim that their aim is not only to reclaim damages but also to restore the "good name" of the Order of the Temple, the Daily Telegraph reported. The Knights Templar, which existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages, was founded in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096. Its main purpose was to ensure the safety of Christians who made the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.



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