Today in Catholic History – Pope Clement V and the Knights Templar

On 2 May 1312, Pope Clement V issued the bull Ad Providum which gave all the land and wealth which formerly belonged to the Knights Templar to the Knights of Malta so that it could continue to be used for the aid of pilgrims. Clement wanted to ensure that the wealth of the Templars did not fall into the hands of French king Philip IV who had been the driving force in the movement to suppress the Templars and very much desired their property. However, in many parts of Europe the property of the Templars was simply confiscated by the secular authority and not given to the Knight of Malta/Hospitallers.

It is generally believed that the primary reason for the attack against the Templars was the economic situation of Philip IV who owed the Knights Templar a large sum of money. Philip also need additional funds for his war against England. He therefore accused the Knights of heresy and pressured Clement V to dissolve the order on 22 March 1312 in the hopes of not only no longer having to pay back his loan but of also being able to confiscate Templar property.

Knights Templar


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