Key to the Sacred Pattern

04 August 2008

Modern Templar Group Files Lawsuit Against the Vatican

Yesterday, the Telegraph reported that a modern day Templar group in Spain has filed a unique lawsuit against the Vatican. The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ claims to be ultimately seeking an apology from the Vatican for the arrests and dissolution of the Order in the 1300’s. However, it’s the way in which the lawsuit has been filed that could bring about some interesting results.

The lawsuit claims that the Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ is a direct descendant of the medieval order. As such, they are claiming damages to the tune of 100 billion Euros for the seizure of Templar monies and properties in the 1300’s.

The tactic is an original approach to getting the Vatican to apologize for past sins. One cannot file a lawsuit seeking a simple, “Gee guys, we’re sorry for what we did.” A lawsuit generally has to have some type of monetary damages attached to the claim. The lawsuit is tantamount to extorting an apology from the Pope. I can hear the lawyers now, “We’ll drop our suit if the Holy See admits their actions were wrong.”

Whatever you think of the tactic, it does raise an interesting question. In order to succeed in any lawsuit, one must prove some type of standing. This means that not only do you have to prove that damages were caused, but you have to prove that the damages directly affected you. If this lawsuit were ever to go to trial, The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ would have to prove that they were harmed by the actions of the Vatican 700 years ago. Simply put, they would have to prove to a judge that they are legitimate Templars.

Lawsuits against the Vatican seeking historical damages do have some precedent Alperin v. Vatican Bank was filed in a Federal Court in San Francisco in November 1999. The plaintiffs believe Croatian Nazis concealed concentration camp victim’s assets in Vatican run financial institutions. This is not to mention lawsuits filed against the Vatican for sexual abuse by priests and even for “acts of God” such as Hurricane Katrina.

If Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ has their ducks in a row, this could turn out to be a legal mess for the Vatican. A well funded legal team could be an annoying bee in the Papacy’s bonnet. I can imagine motions and subpoenas for access to the Secret Archives and requests for depositions from the Pope would be a start for a lawsuit of this nature.

I’m not sure if any of this could work, but it will be interesting to sit back and watch…

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