Vatican declares Knights Templar innocent
King Philip IV of France had accused the Knights Templar of heresy and used that excuse to put many of them to death. On October 25th, 2009, the Vatican released the Chinon parchment that acknowledged that the Knights Templar were innocent of heresy (Vatican Information Service, 4th Oct).
The persecution of the Templars began on Friday, 13 October 1307, when the medieval organisation was unjustly attacked and driven underground. A letter to the Pope from living descendents of the Templars appeared in the press in 2004. “We shall witness the 700th anniversary of the persecution of our order on 13th October 2007,” the letter said. “It would be just and fitting for the Vatican to acknowledge our grievance in advance of this day of mourning.” On 25 October 2007, exactly 13 days from the morning of the anniversary, an official document was released by the Vatican absolving the Knights Templar and confirming their innocence.