Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin for 100 years

This story from The Times is of interest to both the kooky and the well-balanced alike!

My emphases and comments.

From The Times
April 6, 2009
Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican

Richard Owen in Rome

Medieval knights hid and secretly venerated The Holy Shroud of Turin for more than 100 years after the Crusades, the Vatican said yesterday in an announcement that appeared to solve the mystery of the relic’s missing years.

The Knights Templar, an order which was suppressed and disbanded for alleged heresy, took care of the linen cloth, which bears the image of a man with a beard, long hair and the wounds of crucifixion, according to Vatican researchers.

The Shroud, which is kept in the royal chapel of Turin Cathedral, has long been revered as the shroud in which Jesus was buried, although the image only appeared clearly in 1898 when a photographer developed a negative.

Barbara Frale, a researcher in the Vatican Secret Archives, said the Shroud had disappeared in the sack of Constantinople in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and did not surface again until the middle of the fourteenth century. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Dr Frale said its fate in those years had always puzzled historians.

However her study of the trial of the Knights Templar had brought to light a document in which Arnaut Sabbatier, a young Frenchman who entered the order in 1287, testified that as part of his initiation he was taken to “a secret place to which only the brothers of the Temple had access”. There he was shown “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man” and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times[
Can you imagine discovering that sort of document?]

Dr Frale said that among other alleged offences such as sodomy, the Knights Templar had been accused of worshipping idols, in particular a “bearded figure”. In reality however the object they had secretly venerated was the Shroud.

They had rescued it to ensure that it did not fall into the hands of heretical groups such as the Cathars, who claimed that Christ did not have a true human body, only the appearance of a man, and could therefore not have died on the Cross and been resurrected. She said her discovery vindicated a theory first put forward by the British historian Ian Wilson in 1978.

The Knights Templar were founded at the time of the First Crusade in the eleventh century to protect Christians making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Order was endorsed by the Pope, but when Acre fell in 1291 and the Crusaders lost their hold on the Holy Land their support faded, amid growing envy of their fortune in property and banking.

Rumours about the order’s corrupt and arcane secret ceremonies claimed that novices had to deny Christ three times, spit on the cross, strip naked and kiss their superior on the buttocks, navel, and lips and submit to sodomy. King Philip IV of France, who coveted the order’s wealth and owed it money, arrested its leaders and put pressure on Pope Clement V to dissolve it.

Several knights, including the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, were burned at the stake. Legends of the Templars’ secret rituals and lost treasures have long fascinated conspiracy theorists, and figure in The Da Vinci Code, [idiots] which repeated the theory that the knights were entrusted with the Holy Grail. 

In 2003 Dr Frale, the Vatican’s medieval specialist, unearthed the record of the trial of the Templars, also known as the Chinon Parchment, after realising that it had been wrongly catalogued. [!  opps .... no google to help there... not yet... ] The parchment showed that Pope Clement V had accepted the Templars were guilty of “grave sins”, such as corruption and sexual immorality, but not of heresy.

Their initiation ceremony involved spitting on the Cross, but this was to brace them for having to do so if captured by Muslim forces, Dr Frale said. Last year she published for the first time the prayer the Knights Templar composed when “unjustly imprisoned”, in which they appealed to the Virgin Mary to persuade "our enemies” to abandon calumnies and lies and revert to truth and charity.

Radiocarbon dating tests on the Turin Shroud in 1988 indicated that it was a medieval fake. However this had been challenged on the grounds that the dated sample was taken from an area of the shroud mended after a fire in the Middle Ages and not a part of the original cloth.

After the sack of Constantinople it was next seen at Lirey in France in 1353, when it was displayed in a local church by descendants of Geoffroy de Charney, a Templar Knight burned at the stake with Jacques de Molay.

It was moved to various European cities until it was acquired by the Savoy dynasty in Turin in the sixteenth century. Holy See property since 1983, the Shroud was last publicly exhibited in 2000, and is due to go on show again next year.  [It is a great experience to see the Shroud.  I went on day when there were very few people and was able to stay a long while and really get a good look.  Otherwise, because of the numbers, they hurry you along.]

The Vatican has not declared whether it is genuine or a forgery, leaving it to believers to decide. The late John Paul II said it was “an icon of the suffering of the innocent in every age.” The self proclaimed heirs of the Knights Templar have asked the Vatican to “restore the reputation” of the disgraced order and acknowledge that assets worth some £80 million were confiscated.

The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, based in Spain, said that when the order was dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties, farms and commercial ventures belonging to knights were seized by the Church. A British branch also claiming descent from the Knights Templar and based in Hertfordshire has called for a papal apology for the persecution of the order. 

One wonders about the great stuff which awaits discovery.

Who knows what might be in the Archive!  What mysteries can be solved!

 

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44 Responses to Knights Templar hid the Shroud of Turin for 100 years

  1. Garrett says:

    Spitting on the Holy Cross?! What the heck? To brace them for having to do so under Muslim forces? Perhaps instead they should have been prepared to become martyrs for Christ before committing such sacrilege.

  2. Mike says:

    “Who knows what might be in the Archive! What mysteries can be solved!”

    Perhaps one day we will discover what Paul VI was on when he approved the 1969 Novus Ordo…

  3. LCB says:

    If there is a formula to turn lead into gold, it is likely in the Holy See Archives, misfiled under “Uses for lead pipes.”

  4. Kimberly says:

    her study of the trial of the Knights Templar had brought to light a document in which Arnaut Sabbatier, a young Frenchman who entered the order in 1287, testified that as part of his initiation he was taken to “a secret place to which only the brothers of the Temple had access”. There he was shown “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man” and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times. [

    If this was a testimony by one of the Knights Templar about the initiation process, then where is all the alleged offences the novices were acused of doing?

  5. Emilio III says:

    Ian Wilson’s theory always seemed to be the most sensible, so I’m delighted to see some confirmation.

    As for those idiots in Spain, I made a comment on an earlier post which I believe still stands: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2008/08/lossrom-knights-templar-were-innocent/#comment-80726

  6. Jordanes says:

    Garrett said” Spitting on the Holy Cross?! What the heck?

    Was that really part of their initiation, or was that testimony obtained under torture and therefore untrustworthy?

    In 2003 Dr Frale, the Vatican’s medieval specialist, unearthed the record of the trial of the Templars, also known as the Chinon Parchment, after realising that it had been wrongly catalogued. [! opps …. no google to help there… not yet… ]

    Of course it must again be pointed out that the Chinon parchment was not a new discovery and had already been catalogued by the Vatican archives in the early 20th century — not “wrongly catalogued.” It has always been known, and complete and accurate transcriptions of it had been published in printed collections of medieval documents. The existence of the Vatican’s copy of the parchment (there are other copies in existence) was already known, but it had been lost sight of for a few decades since there was no need to examine or study the original at the Vatican. Dr. Frale merely found where it had been left in the archives — a nice “rediscovery,” but nowhere near as sensational a story as one might think from media reports.

  7. John Enright says:

    There’s a great amount of stuff in your post, Father. I’d like to investigate some of it more.

  8. Joe says:

    Thus, it seems necessary to avoid assuming that we know anything about what has NOT HAPPENED during the history of the world. Who knows what HAS happened of which we are ignorant because an account has either been mis-placed or deliberately hidden from the rest of us? Anything, conceivably.

  9. Arise, sir knight.

    :)

  10. ssoldie says:

    Fr.Z I was in Turin in 2000 on a trip to Italy and Oberammago, Germany with Fr.Paul Fruth of Brainerd, Mn. and knew we were going to view the Shroud. I was so happy as I had been interested in the Shroud since I was given a prayer card with a piece of cloth that had been touched to the Shroud. I had just purchased Ian Wilson’s “The Blood and the Shroud” to read on our trip, after getting on the airplane there was a magazine and the article that was featured in it was on the Shroud. What a wonderful and holy time for me. Yes, I saved the magazine article.

  11. Tomas says:

    “The self proclaimed heirs of the Knights Templar have asked the Vatican to “restore the reputation” of the disgraced order and acknowledge that assets worth some £80 million were confiscated.”

    Uh, those heirs would be the Freemasons, as they themselves claim (e.g., think about why they have set up “burn institutes,” and why their youth chapters are called the Order of De Molay”).

    Here is the Chinon Parchment: http://asv.vatican.va/en/doc/1308.htm

  12. “There he was shown “a long linen cloth on which was impressed the figure of a man” and instructed to venerate the image by kissing its feet three times.”

    In the Byzantine East we have a very prominent Shroud tradition in our Holy Week practices, especially for Great Friday and Holy Saturday. It is common practice for us to venerate the “Shroud” which has the image of Christ prepared for burial upon it. We venerate the 5 wounds by kissing the icon on the cloth. We do not, however, venerate the Holy Face, because Judas kissed the face of Christ in his act of betrayal.

    I wonder what connections, if any, can be made to these Shroud traditions.

  13. Ken says:

    “I wonder what connections, if any, can be made to these Shroud traditions.”

    It’s an interesting question, and the most likely candidate for transition would be the earlier Crusades, given the interactions between Outremer and the Byzantine Empire. While not politically friendly, I imagine many religious practices in Byzantine practice made their way into usage among the Crusaders, many of whom would have traveled to Jerusalem, Antioch, Triploi, &c. by way of Constantinopolis.

  14. Tantumergo says:

    I (and many, I’m sure) would like to know if there is any substance to the accusations of the revolting “initiation rituals.” They seem to be at odds with the kissing of the feet on the shroud. I’m sure the media will latch on to anything which appears to slam the Church.

  15. Roland de Chanson says:

    Spitting on the Holy Cross….

    Entirely credible. After all, JP2 did the same to the coran. Wait … wasn’t that interpreted as kissing it? Oblitus rei sum.

    Is the shroud genuine? Whether it is or is not has nothing to do with Faith. Were the splinters of the Holy Cross to be reassembled, a veritable suburb of timber-framed houses could be profitably erected even in the post-housing bubble. Myself, I’m praying for St. Victor Mature to return The Robe, so it can be tailored into a myriad of Gammarelli maniples.

    If the shroud of Turin sustains the faith of any poor gullible soul, then let us revive the Eleusinian Mysteries as a more efficacious means of communing with all the immortals, including the “cosmic Christ”. All religions are equal to the oecumenicists.

    Why indeed resurrect this silly canard during Holy Week? How better to mock the ancient Faith? Can the Vatican ever forbear to pontificate? Silentium aureum est, nisi a vociportatoribus officialibus Observatoris Romani oblatum.

    BTW, I’m off to Medjugorje in a week. I’ve also put my life savings into the Irish sweepstakes. Ah do believe, Load.

  16. Mike Morrow says:

    Fr. Z wrote: “Who knows what might be in the Archive! What mysteries can be solved!”

    Mike wrote: “Perhaps one day we will discover what Paul VI was on when he approved the 1969 Novus Ordo…”

    To Fr. Z: One mystery could be solved simply with another Carbon 14 analysis (which shroud custodians will not allow). It is very likely that it would confirm the first analysis, the reliability of which is questioned only by considerable invention and supposition posed by shroud apologists. There’s very good reason that authenticity of the shroud has never been endorsed by the Church. None of which is denial of the shroud’s interesting history.

    To Mike: The radical post-Vatican II liturgical changes began to show in late 1965. The official promulgation of the novus ordo in 1969 was a non-event. The major insult and injury had taken place years earlier.

  17. Tantumergo says:

    Why indeed resurrect this silly canard during Holy Week?

    The shroud a “silly canard”? Methinks a better discription is “a love letter to the doubting Thomases of the 21st century.”

  18. SinSevern says:

    Reverend Father, I did a pilgrimage to Turin by way of Chambéry France where the Shroud had been venerated for over hundred years before being taken to Turin, back in 1998.

    “It is a great experience to see the Shroud. I went on day when there were very few people and was able to stay a long while and really get a good look. Otherwise, because of the numbers, they hurry you along.”

    I had a similar experience. I was one of the few “pilgrims” that early in the morning (8am) and I went to my knees before it. I do believe that this relic of Our Savior was intended for “all of us” in this modern age.

    The image was not clearly visible until the development of photography. Scientific tests cannot conclude with absolute certainty “that it is not” what it appears to be…

    Another object of veneration is a tunic, a garment, “woven without a seam” that has been scientifically dated to the first part of the first century AD that was presented to St. Helena, and in turn presented to the Church that is the treasure of the Diocese of Trier Germany. For anyone residing in Europe, this year’s pilgrimage is April 24th thru 26th and again on May 2. Details are on the Diocesan website (bistum-trier.de/heilig-rock-tage).

  19. SinSevern says:

    I forgot to add that the “annual” pilgrimage usually does not have the relic on public display. The original garment is in fragments from all the previous centuries of display and handling.

    It was on public display in 1996. There was a special pilgrimage before the Cologne World Youth Day in 2005 and there will another public display again in 2012.

  20. Patrick Finley says:

    I have always had two thoughts about th shroud..

    If it REALLY is the burial shroud of our Lord, would it age normally? That is the ULTIMATE second class relic (maybe bits of it are first class if you can find blood, skin, etc).

    Saint are often “incorruptible”. Why wouldnt something that was touched to the Word Incarnate be as such? Maybe the Carbon dating is also purposely off (perhaps He doesnt want to use science to inhibit freewill, that of faith) via divine intervention? Perhaps it is a reminder it is ours to believe, not disect.

    Second, and this is more about the templars. Many of the great cathedrals and such, were built by these men. I find it hard to believe that they were haters of that which they fought so valiantly for. That doesnt rule out corruption though. However, I also find doubt in the claim that FreeMasons, are the direct link to the templars. For one Templars wore a BIG RED CROSS. That denotes Christianity (BY this sign conquer, yes I know its the Chi Rho, but there is power in the Cross).

    The Masons are almost.. agnostic , in that they believe that you should simply have faith in A GOD, not necessarily the God that we believe humbled himself to live among us. In other words they dont make a claim to one particular set of thinking.

    Remember also, the old phrase “History is written by the victors”. Even if there was evidene to truly prove the Templar innocense, I guarantee it would be hard to find. Back to the archives?

  21. There was a special on (I think) the History Channel last night talking about what may have happened to skew the carbon dating. It seems the section of cloth they took the sample from has a change in the herringbone pattern, and it was from a damaged section that appears to have been repaired using a technique called “French reweaving” – whoever fixed it used cotton cloth, wove the pieces together, and dyed it to match. The shroud was carbon dated from 1290-1360 A.D. – but if you average when they figure the reweaving happened with the year of Christ’s death, the math works out. It was really interesting, and if they’re ever allowed to try to date the shroud again, they may very well have much different results.

  22. danh says:

    Comment by Roland de Chanson

    … Were the splinters of the Holy Cross to be reassembled, a veritable suburb of timber-framed houses could be profitably erected even in the post-housing bubble. Myself, I’m praying for St….

    Roland, I am afraid that you have fallen for an anti-Catholic myth here. Somebody HAS added up the volume of all the known splinters of the Cross and it works out to about 2/3 of it.

  23. brendon says:

    Were the splinters of the Holy Cross to be reassembled, a veritable suburb of timber-framed houses could be profitably erected even in the post-housing bubble.

    This is one of those bits of common knowledge that is actually completely false.

    “In a truly obsessive piece of scholarship, Charles Rohault de Fleury’s Memoire sur les instruments de la passion de N.-S. J.-C. (Paris, 1870) counted all the alleged fragments and showed they only added up to considerably less than one cross.”

    Source

    It’s not necessarily a good idea to accept the word of heresiarch John Calvin. Especially not when it is from a work where he takes potshots at the true Church’s ancient tradition of venerating relics.

  24. Matt Q says:

    I read about the Knights Templar long ago and I do believe they got a raw deal. Whether there was any initiation ritual which included spitting on a crucifix, one has no facts on that, and at this point are no different than the silly and false notions people have of Catholics and what we believe, so we need to cut down on the knee-jerk bigotry.

    The Knights were suppressed for political reasons and the way they were grossly mistreated as a result is no less heinous than what happened to us at the Reformation–just as vicious, just as savage, being mean just for the sake of being mean…

    There are descendants of the Templars, and until anyone has the facts, no one has the right to question their lineage any more than one has the right to question the lineage of any commenter here. IMO.

  25. jacques says:

    Stephanie,
    The unearthing of the Arnaut Sabbatier’s testimony document makes the radiocarbon dating to take water a bit more

  26. Fabrizio says:

    The facts of history concerning the Knight Templars are of the utmost interest for us today as these brave warriors of the faith were the victims of one of the ideological ancenstors of the XX century’s tyrants and nowadays’ wordly messiahs. The King of France that destroyed the Templars was establishing “change” in the way of an absolute monarchy of an ante-litteram nationalist kind, infringing on the rights of the Church, of local autonomies and intermediate bodies of society, and aristocracy. And, he needed money for his wars and fiscal policies – which the Templars had by virtue of their services to the pilgrims and merchants across the Mediterranean – while the Church was too weak during the years when the trials of the order came to pass. He was an advocate of what some would call today – dishonestly – the “separation of Church and State”, meaning that the state get to do what it wants and no one can presume to stand in the way of government’s absolute control of society.

    The Templars were a bastion of orthodoxy and evangelization, this is very clear from the documents now being divulged (of course there were sinners among them too, big shock huh? “Man is a sinner”, stop the presses, change all headlines!!)) The Knights were the victims that had to be sacrificed to avoid a schism in the given situation but Rome never accepted to declare them heretics. This is evident from the Acts of the trials and the papal pronouncements of the time. Their executions were illegal and their executioners often excommunicated by Rome.

    Unfortunately most of what we presume to know about the Knight Templars (and much of medieval knighthood both secular and monastic) today came to us filtered through 1700-1800 masonic anti-Catholic literature. Funny that the ideological heirs of King Phillip claim to be the guardians of the Templar standard.

    These warrior-monks were not only extremely orthodox and loyal to the Pope, but also one of the Christian military units the Islamic powers feared the most. The record of their battles shows that they achieved incredible victories over overwhelmingly larger Muslim armies.

    Among other things (hospitals, postal services) the templars are also at the roots of the creation on the western banking system and the market economy, together with (oh yes) the Franciscans, the merchant towns of medieval Italy and later on the neo-thomistic thought of the school of Salamanca and other Catholic insitutions of late Christendom.

    If your knowledge of the Knight Templars is limited to some bad movies and some wikipedia page, do not presume to judge these true heroes of Christendom. Barbara Frale’s studies on them are a must for anyone interested in this subject.

    The ideal of warrior-monks is only understandable in a fully Catholic context as was XXII century, while their end should serve as a lesson on amoral government expansion and the threat it poses to the best a society has to offer. Much of what Pope Benedict XVI said in his Regensburg Address and Spe salvi had a role in what happened to the Templars. The dictatorship of relativism – largely rooted in a gnostic-voluntaristic drift of thought that was then beginning to undo Christendom.

  27. Fr. A says:

    I have Barbara Frale’s book _The Templars_. Very interesting read; highly recommend it.

  28. Jim of Bowie says:

    Stephanie,
    Subsequent to the carbon dating, a cleaning fluid was used on the shroud which precludes further carbon dating.

  29. So questionable were the methods and the conclusions of the carbon dating on the Shroud, the scientific findings were not even published in a peer reviewed science journal!

  30. I am not Spartacus says:

    : One mystery could be solved simply with another Carbon 14 analysis (which shroud custodians will not allow). It is very likely that it would confirm the first analysis, the reliability of which is questioned only by considerable invention and supposition posed by shroud apologists. There’s very good reason that authenticity of the shroud has never been endorsed by the Church. None of which is denial of the shroud’s interesting history.

    I think the investigations initiated by The Abbe de Nantes have proven that Dr. Michael Tite substituted samples from the Cope of St.Louis for the Turin samples and that was what was tested, not the samples from the Shroud.

    I have never doubted The Shroud is authentic.

    This week I will, once again, read Dr. Philipe Barbet’s, “Dr. at Calvary,” based upon The Shroud.

    While I am in no way a supporter of the Abbe and his ideas vis a vis The Church, he and his followers performed admirable work when it comes to The Shroud.

    http://www.crc-internet.org/shroud.htm

  31. Joe says:

    Could it perhaps be revealing of the attitude of the devil toward the Knights that they were portrayed in the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” essentially as medieval rednecks?

  32. Jack says:

    Someone tell us more about the Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ. I have a portentous feeling that the Church soon once again will need a serious military order, and not just to protect pilgrims.

  33. Jim of Bowie –

    They mentioned that on the show, but they also said that if they took a sample from one of the charred sections, which are already pure carbon, they might be able to bypass the problem of that cleaning solution they cleaned the reliquary with.

  34. Dr. Eric says:

    Dr. Frederick Zugibe’s site:

    http://www.e-forensicmedicine.net/Barbet.htm

    Dr. Zugibe was the chief medical examiner of Rockland County New York. He posits the theory (which I happen to endorse) that the nails went through the hands of Our Lord and exited in the wrist area. If you are not too squeamish check out his site.

  35. Jordanes says:

    Mike Morrow said: It is very likely that it would confirm the first analysis, the reliability of which is questioned only by considerable invention and supposition posed by shroud apologists.

    One thing I’ve learned about C-14 dating is that it is not at all rare for a second analysis not to confirm the first one. There are just so many variables to account for in trying to make sure the atom count is correct and then interpreted correctly. What you call “considerable invention and supposition posed by shroud apologists” are in fact strong and reasonable grounds for doubting the C-14 result, since it is now known that the part of the Shroud tested would not be likely to yield a reliable result. It’s also remarkable that the Shroud’s weave style is apparently unlike the European linen weaves of the 1300s when it was supposedly forged, but has a kind of hatching that is just like the weaves of 1st century A.D. linen fragments found at Masada. The jury is still out, and probably will always be out, on the authenticity of the Shroud, but based on what we know at this time there’s no good reason to doubt its authenticity – and those who allege it to be a fake still cannot explain how the image was created on the Shroud.

  36. Jim of Bowie says:

    Stephanie,
    You are correct. I had forgotten about
    charred sections. And you are correct that they cleaned the reliquary, not the shroud.

  37. Matt Q says:

    Stephanie wrote:

    “There was a special on (I think) the History Channel last night talking about what may have happened to skew the carbon dating. It seems the section of cloth they took the sample from has a change in the herringbone pattern, and it was from a damaged section that appears to have been repaired using a technique called “French reweaving” – whoever fixed it used cotton cloth, wove the pieces together, and dyed it to match. The shroud was carbon dated from 1290-1360 A.D. – but if you average when they figure the reweaving happened with the year of Christ’s death, the math works out. It was really interesting, and if they’re ever allowed to try to date the shroud again, they may very well have much different results.”

    )(

    Stephanie, in reality, what happened was that the reweaving done to patch the Shroud was done in such a remarkable way that the filaments were intertwined in a nearly seamless weave ( an art somewhat lost today ). It was from there the original team took their samples to carbon-date and thus wound up with the Middle-Ages time frame. That’s true. The patch fabric was from that time. What they should have done was take fibers from closer to the center edge of the Shroud which would be the actual material.

    True Sindonologists–those who scientifically study the Shroud for what it is–have been pouring over the data over the past decades and using the scientific knowledge and equipment we have today–which didn’t exist thirty years ago–is proving the original experiments are greatly flawed and another testing–scientifically–is warranted. Many great things have come from the first testing also but whether the Church wants to allow another round of testing on the Shroud, She’s a little out of the mood already. :)

  38. Joe G says:

    Please enlighten: Are the Knights of the Sepulchre related to this group in any way ?

  39. Guy Power says:

    Regarding the disbanded Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple (aka Knights Templar) and their modern “descendants,” yes, there are bona fide descendants. These authentic descendants are the “The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta” (aka Knights of Malta/SMOM) and the other members of the Alliance of the Orders of St. John (SMOM; the Johanniterorden; and the Venerable Order of St. John). When the Templar charter was revoked and the Order disolved by the Pope on 22 March 1312, the property and treasury (outwith France!) was turned over to the Hospitalers. Those Templars who did not quit the Order or who did not retire (yes, they were pensioned) — they were incorporated into the Order of St. John. The Portuguese and Aragon members established the Order of Christ, which effectively died out in 1832 (athough the King of Portugal is the Grand Master and does award membership periodically). More at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03698b.htm

    The soi-dissant modern “Orders” of the Temple (including the Freemasons) are fraternities as their charters of incorporation are not signed and issued by a sovereign. The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, based in Spain (mentioned in the last paragraph of the original article) is a confraternity of Catholic laity. They are probably a charitable club, but not a Chivalric Order … (yes, there is a difference).

    Regards,
    –Guy Power

  40. Michael says:

    All I know is, they have something to do with this black bird in my office.

    Sam Spade

  41. Ricky Vines says:

    This opens up the possibility that the shroud is authentic.
    Though Tantumergo aptly described it as a love letter to the doubters,
    it seems that for those who don’t believe, no proof will ever
    be enough. Didn’t the Lord say that even if someone rose from
    the dead, those people would still not believe? Consider the hardness
    of heart of the pro-abortion supporters in the face of a late-term case.
    How can a Harvard graduate with the highest pay-grade in the government
    deny that personhood of that baby?

  42. Guy Power says:

    Sam Spade: All I know is, they have something to do with this black bird in my office.

    Yours, sir, is a fake! I should like you to know the authentic Dingus is in my office:
    http://img139.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dingus25.jpg

    –The Fat Man

  43. Michael says:

    Fat Man –

    Now THAT’S the stuff dreams are made of!

  44. Gary says:

    One would think that the original sacred shroud would prove itself authentic much like the True Cross by numerous miracles of healing.
    Have any been documented? I would think this would be the definitive test which would clench it authenticity and most sacred nature.