Vatican Clears Knights Templar of Heresy

Doc comes to light 700 years after knights were executed
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2007 4:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Correcting a 700-year-old filing error, the Vatican will soon publish papers that clear the Knights Templar of heresy—a crime for which they burned at the stake in the 1300s. Scholars at the Vatican's Secret Archives plan to print the docs in a hefty leather-bound book that costs more than $8,000, but Reuters reports that Templar buffs are ready to pay: "This was the document that a lot of historians were looking for," one says.

The parchments recount the knights' 14th-century trial for heresy and other crimes. Pope Clement V found them guilty of violence and sodomy, but cleared them of denying Christ; King Philip IV of France executed many after confessions that may have been forced. "The most incredible thing is that 700 years have passed and people are still fascinated by all of this," says one scholar.