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2007年10月26日 20:55 発信地:バチカン市国
【10月26日 AFP】（一部修正）ローマ法王庁は25日、14世紀に行われたテンプル騎士団（Knights Templar）の異端性を問う宗教裁判の史料を公開した。
「Processus contro Templarios（Hearing Against the Knights Templar、テンプル騎士団の異端審問記録）」と題されたこの史料は、当時のフランス国王フィリップ4世（King Philip IV）の命により1308年に南東部ポワチエ（Poitiers）で開かれた宗教裁判の議事録をまとめたもの。公開された文書は300ページで、中世ラテン語で書かれている。ローマ法王庁は複製版を799部限定、1部5900ユーロ（約97万円）で販売する予定だ。
史料は、司教や枢機卿の会合用に使われているホールで報道陣や一般市民を対象に公開された。同庁の枢密文書館のSergio Pagano館長は、史料にはすべての裁判記録の複製が網羅されているが「特に目新しい情報はない」とする一方で、円筒形の巻物入れの「美術的価値」の高さを指摘した。史料には、法王クレメンス5世がテンプル騎士団の異端を「無罪」としたことで知られる文書「Chinon Parchment」も含まれる。
Heretics no more: Vatican finally reveals secrets of the trials of the Knights Templar
MARTYN MCLAUGHLIN (email@example.com)
WITH a price tag of £4,000, it will be seen by some as a costly sequel to a paperback novel routinely discarded in airport terminals and second-hand bookshops the world over. But within the leather binding of Processus Contra Templarios, lie answers and revelations which generations of conspiracy theorists and religious scholars alike have craved.
The 300-page document seeks to lay bare the mysteries of the Order of the Knights Templar, a powerful and secretive group whose legend has given birth to innumerable theories and a worldwide publishing phenomenon in the form of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.
Gathering dust in its secret archives for close to 700 years, Trial Against The Templars was published yesterday by the Vatican.
Detailing the heresy trials of members of the wealthy medieval order, its contents, which were written during the reign of Pope Clement V at the outset of the 14th century, make for remarkable reading.
For centuries, the received opinion stated that the Knights Templar, founded by Hugues de Payns, a French knight, in the wake of the First Crusade of 1099 to protect Christian pilgrims visiting Jerusalem during the Middle Ages, could never rid themselves of a cursed reputation.
The persecution of the order has its roots in 1244, the year Jerusalem fell to Muslim rule, and rumours swiftly spread that the knights were heretics who worshipped idols in a secret initiation ceremony.
Their role as a fighting order of knights came to an end, and the Order became little more than a collection of bankers with inordinate wealth.
In 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest and torture of all templars. Upon confessing various sins under duress, their leader, the grand master, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake. Pope Clement V then dissolved the order in 1314 and issued arrest warrants for all remaining members. Some survivors fled. Some were absorbed by other orders, and over the centuries various groups have claimed to be descended from the templars, many in Scotland.
Ever since, their number have been thought of as heretics.
Processus Contra Templarios, however, restores their reputation to an extent. The publication, presented at a press conference yesterday by Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives, is based on the remains of a document, known as the Chinon parchment, discovered in the Vatican's vast vaults six years ago by Professor Barbara Frale. It had been filed mistakenly - some will suggest, deliberately - in a 17th-century archive, ensuring few would know of its existence.
In essence, it is a record of the trial of the templars before the Pope. Its conclusion shatters all myths: the knights received a papal absolution from all heresies.
Explaining their initiation ceremony, during which members spat on the cross, "denied Jesus" and kissed the lower back, mouth and navel of the man proposing them, the text describes the 14th-century templars reasoning to Pope Clement that their service mimicked the humiliation they could suffer if they fell into the hands of the Saracens. The kissing, they added, symbolised their complete obedience.
It was enough for Pope Clement, who concluded that the ritual was not blasphemous, although he did see fit to find them guilty of lesser infractions of church law. The only reason he dissolved the order, it now appears, was to preserve amenable relations with the French and avert a schism in the Church.
The Catholic Church, however, despite being asked by supposed descendants of the templars, will not offer any forthright apology for the events of 700 years ago.
A stern Monsignor Pagano, in fact, supposed there was little new that could be gleaned from the parchment. But in the eyes of Prof Frale, who has written five books on the Knights Templar, the slate has been wiped clean. "The parchment clears them of heresy, but there is no doubt that they were guilty of minor misdemeanours," the Italian historian concluded yesterday.
Given that their history is a tapestry of religious, political and cultural threads, interest in the rich, confused legacy of the templars is not restricted to students of papal matters.
Since the publication of The Da Vinci Code, coupled with the likes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Ivanhoe, the order has become inextricably bound to wild and fanciful theories, foremost among them the notion that the templars guard the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper.
Furthermore, many of the embellished myths are linked to Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian.
Whatever the truth, the book will not end the speculation, nor can it be easily acquired by those inclined to further such ideas.
It is, after all, no ordinary book. Measuring half a metre wide by two metres long, its attention to detail includes reproductions of stains and imperfections seen on the original parchment.
The £4,000 price reflects the craft. Only 800 copies have been produced, the majority reserved by librarians and academics. Pope Benedict XVI has been gifted a copy.
If there ever truly was a treasure linked to the Knights Templar, then surely that is the most valuable of all.
• Additional reporting by Nick Pisa, in Rome
TREASURES HIDDEN IN SECRET ARCHIVE
WHETHER it was filed there mistakenly or as part of a nefarious ploy that will add fuel to the fires of conspiracy, the emergence of the Chinon parchment (reference number Archivum Arcis Armarium D 218) is testament to the extraordinary range of documentation held in the Vatican's secret archive.
Founded by Pope Paul V in the 17th century, it gathered together innumerable papal archives dating as far back as the 8th century.
Many of its treasures are filed in miles of anonymous racks beneath the Belvedere Courtyard, alongside mundane administrative records and papal account books. In all, there are believed to be upwards of 30 miles of shelving.
The more remarkable examples include records of the trial of Galileo; contracts and letters signed by Michelangelo; love letters from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, which were stolen by papal spies; the last letter of Mary, Queen of Scots, to the pope before her execution, in which she writes, "I have no more wish to live in this world"; a letter from King Charles I to Pope Innocent X; a document dated 1654 informing Innocent X of the abdication of Queen Christina, who had converted to Catholicism; and the peace treaty signed by the Emperor Napoleon and Pope Pius VII.
Generally, the archival documents remain under lock and key unless they are released by a papal administration. For instance, in 1985, the documents from the tenures of Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XV were made public.
Five years ago, Pope John Paul II began making available some of the documents from the Historical Archives of the Secretariat of State, which pertain to the Vatican's relations with Germany during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI, which ran from 1922 to 1939.
It is now the custom that documents in the archives are made available to the public after a period of 75 years.
Provided they give ample justification, and advance notice, scholars can also be permitted access to the files.
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