The following article was reported in the Spring 2008 issue of The Plumbline, the quarterly publication of the Scottish Rite Research Society.
Pierre G. "Pete" Normand, Jr., 33į, Editor
The Supreme Council
1733 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009-3103
SUPREME COUNCIL LIBRARY ACQUIRES TEMPLAR TRANSCRIPTS:
The Library of the Supreme Council, S.J., ordered facsimile manuscripts relating to the trials of the medieval Knights Templar, and they arrived July 1. In October 2007, the 700th anniversary of the arrest of the Templars, the Vatican Secret Archive announced that it would publish a limited run of 800 copies of the previously unavailable source material on the Templar trials. Referred to by the Latin title, Processus Contra Templarios, the publication is a joint project of the Vatican Secret Archives and Italyís Scrinium cultural foundation.
The Supreme Councilís acquisition is through a generous gift by Ill. Hoyt O. Samples, 33į, SGIG in Tennessee, and his wife Mitzi. The only other Masonic library that has announced the acquisition of this scarce work is the Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York.
The most interesting document in the collection is the "Chinon Parchment." This long-lost parchment had been misplaced and incorrectly catalogued at some point in history but was found in 2001 when a historian stumbled across it. The Chinon Parchment was a key document that historians had long sought, as it contains Pope Clement Vís absolution of the Templars from charges of heresy. This charge had been the backbone of the French King Philip IVís attempts to eliminate the Order.
The announcement is of special interest to Scottish Rite Freemasons as the Scottish Rite includes several degrees based upon the Templar legend and symbolism.