Knights Templar Letter a Fraud, Says Holy See

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See says that a letter -- allegedly written by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano -- recognizing a new order of Knights Templar, is false.



The false document, which has circulated in Germany in recent months, asserts that the Vatican has recognized the new "Templerorden." The Holy See has received numerous inquiries about the document.

The Holy See responded with a note published Sunday in the Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano stating that "this letter is false."

"As is known, the old Order of Templars was suppressed by Pope Clement V (1305-1314) and was never reinstated by any of his successors," explained the Holy See.

The Vatican note confirmed that "the Holy See, in addition to its own equestrian orders, recognizes and oversees only the Sovereign Military Order of Malta -- the Sovereign Hospitaller Military Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta -- and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem."