Vatican publishes Templar trial papers





The Vatican has published secret archive documents about the trial of the Knights Templar, including a long-lost parchment that shows that Pope Clement V initially absolved the medieval Christian order from accusations of heresy, officials said Friday.

The 300-page volume recently came out in a limited edition — 799 copies — each priced at $8,377, said Scrinium publishing house, which prints documents from the Vatican's secret archives.

The order of knights, which ultimately disappeared as a result of the heresy scandal, recently captivated the imagination of readers of the best-seller "The Da Vinci Code," in which the author Dan Brown linked the Templars to the story of the Holy Grail.

The work reproduces the entire documentation on the papal hearings convened after King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders in 1307 under charges of heresy and immorality.

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