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Monday, August 18

From Our "Stupid Lawsuit" Desk

A group in Spain calling itself the descendants of the Order of the Temple of Christ (or Knights Templar) are suing Pope Benedict XVI to recover $150 billion in assets they say were seized wrongly by the Vatican way back in the Middle Ages.


One: Since the Knights Templar were sworn to chastity, they shouldn't have descendants - making all of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit a bunch of bastards.

Two: The lawsuit further alleges that Pope Clement V charged the Order with heresy and dissolved it. That's quite so, although Clement afterward retracted it. But here's why he dissolved the Order in the first place: The Pope was, at that time, the virtual prisoner of the French King Phillip IV. Phillip needed money and lots of it so he could fight the English, so he secured the acquiescence of the Pope to despoil the Templars. Torture was used to persuade them to disgorge their treasuries throughout France (the Templars were the biggest - Christian - mortgage holders in Europe at the time) and of course everyone else wanted a piece of the pie.

Three: So, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit need to direct their suit against the heirs and assigns of King Phillip IV, to wit, the Bourbon Pretender to the throne of France. Lots of luck doing that, guys.

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