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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2822 times)
Trena Alloway
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Posts: 2386

« Reply #135 on: February 01, 2009, 11:10:59 pm »

[paragraph continues] Master treated as a heretic who was still unreconciled.

The following day (Nov. 27), Ponsard de Gisi, prior of Payens, appeared before the commission, On being asked if he would defend the order, he replied, "Yes; the imputations cast on us of denying Christ, of spitting on the cross, of authorising infamous crimes, and all such accusations, are false. If I, myself, or other knights, have made confessions before the bishop of Paris, or elsewhere, we have betrayed the truth--we have yielded to fear, to danger, to violence. We were tortured by Flexien de Beziers, prior of Montfaucon, and the monk William Robert, our enemies. Several of the prisoners had agreed among themselves to make these confessions, in order to escape death, and because thirty-six knights had died at Paris, and a great number in other places, under the torture. As for me, I am ready to defend the order in my own name, and in the names of those who will make common cause with me, if I am assigned out of the goods of the order as much as will defray the needful expense, I require to be granted the counsel of Raynaud of Orleans and of Peter of Bologna, priests of the order." He was asked if he had been tortured. He replied that he had, three months before he made his confession.

Next day the Master was brought up again. He demanded to be brought before the pope, appealed to the valour and charity of the Templars, and their zeal in adorning churches, in proof of their piety, and made an orthodox confession of his own faith. Nogaret, who was present, then observed, that it was related in the chronicles of St. Denis that the Master of the order had done homage to Saladin; and that the sultan had ascribed their ill fortune to their secret vices and impiety. Molay declared that he

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had never heard of such calumnies; and gave an instance of the prudence and good faith of a former Master, when himself and some other young men wanted him to break a truce. Molay concluded by praying the chancellor and the commissioners to procure him the favour of hearing mass, and being attended by his chaplains.

Orders having been given that all the Templars who were desirous to undertake the defence of the order should be conveyed to Paris, they were brought thither strongly guarded. The commission then renewed its sittings. As the prisoners were successively brought before it, they, with few exceptions, declared their readiness to defend their order--till death, cried some; till the end, cried others; because I wish to save my soul, added one. Bertrand de St. Paul declared that he never did, and never would, confess the guilt of the order, because it was not true; and that he believed that God would work a miracle if the body of Christ was administered to those who confessed and those who denied. Seven of those who had been examined before the pope, and had confessed, now declared that they had lied, and revoked what they then said. John de Valgellé maintained that he had made no confession on that occasion. "I was tortured so much, and held so long before a burning fire," said Bernard de Vado, "that the flesh of my heels was burnt, and these two bones (which he showed) came off"

In the course of these examinations, a Templar, named Laurent de Beaune, showed a letter with the seals of Philip de Voet and John Jainville, the persons set by the pope and king over the prisoners, addressed to the Templars confined at Sens, inviting them to confess what was required, and declaring that the pope had given orders that those who did not persevere in their confessions should be committed to

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