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Jacques De Molay:Last Grand Master of the Order of Knights Templar

Thus to obtain the sanction of the Church for his schemes, Philip used the pretext of the sacred purpose of a future Crusade. Besides, Philip was not content to secure control of the possessions of the Knights Templar in his own country; he attempted to engineer the prosecution of Templars in other Christian countries as well: "Philip the Fair's aims could not be satisfied by the condemnation for heresy of most of the individual French Templars: his policy required the condemnation and suppression of the Order as a whole" (Partner, 1990, p. 72).

Philip also feared the Templars' power. He believed that they aimed to establish a kingdom for themselves in Christendom. The Templars owned numerous strongholds and castles. (Philip himself had been compelled to take refuge behind the strong walls of the Temple in Paris for three days when fleeing a rebellious mob.) The Templars' famous Castle Pilgrim commanded a strategic position along the sea coast. The architectural operations and property of the Templars were on a grand scale: "the Templars administered their property well, they were themselves persons of capacity, and they were probably far more formidable as an organized society than either their numbers or wealth might imply" (Martin, 1978, p. 25). The Templars' castles were both monasteries and cavalry-barracks. The possible danger that such an efficient and highly organized society posed to the status quo was not lost on Philip.

Philip realized that his campaign against the Knights Templar had no chance of success without the full support of the papacy, but this was relatively easy to achieve. Pope Clement V was a French pope of weak character. Philip had been instrumental in securing the papal election of Clement, and the pope's indebtedness to the monarch played a role in his cooperation. Nevertheless, Clement was unwilling to risk the challenge to papal power that would occur if the prosecution of the Templars...

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Jacques De Molay:Last Grand Master of the Order of Knights Templar. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:46, August 21, 2017, from
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