Friday, October 17, 2008

American Lodge of Research in October

The French Ionic Room at the Grand Lodge of New York is the place to be on the evening of October 29, where American Lodge of Research will hold meet for its election of officers.

The Senior Warden needs no introduction, but I have to write something! RW Bill Thomas is one of the friendly faces encountered wherever something educational is afoot in New York Masonry. Magpie readers know all about "Our Dinner with Trevor" (see below) and he is involved in the upcoming second annual dinner-lecture of the Livingston Library.

In addition to the election, this meeting will feature the display of the rare Vatican Secret Archive publication titled "Processus Contra Templarios." This limited edition (799 copies published at $8,000 each) contains hyperquality reproductions of medieval manuscripts recording the Vatican's trial of the Knights Templar, including the Chinon Parchment, unearthed seven years ago by a researching scholar. This documents Pope Clement V's absolution of the Order on the heresy charges brought against it.

I have it on good authority that there are notable typos in the book but, to be fair, they didn't let me edit it.

While there is zero evidence connecting the medieval Knights Templar to Freemasonry, the popular legend of Masonry descending from the monastic military order persists and even seems to gain momentum with every goofy exploitative book and television program that appears, recycling the same opinions and myths.

Nevertheless, I am glad there is room in Freemasonry for lavish oddities like this. The other Masonic research library that owns a copy is the House of the Temple in Washington. Otherwise, aside from private collections, there are only three universities (Cornell, Stanford and Lambuth in Tennessee) where this historical treasure can be found in the United States.

Have a look at Bro. Brian Kannard's blog, "Grail Seekers," to view the display of Lambuth's copy.

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