https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffroi_ … urning.jpg
The purpose of the Templars was to protect pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem. But, when the crusades ended in the late 13th century, it ended their primary purpose and turned entirely into an economic business. It then became a prime target because of their wealth.
Above all, the Templars held all of their deliberations and votes in secrecy. When they were fighting the infidel and protecting pilgrims, this was not an issue. But when the Crusades ran their course and Muslims systematically took back Holy Land territory and negotiated treaties for safe passage for Christian pilgrims, the Templars began to lose their reason for being there. When Muslims took Acre in 1291, Holy Land crusading effectively ended—leading to the next and final chapter for the Templars.
With no need to fight in the Holy Land, the Templars largely turned from military affairs to the worlds of finance, estate management, trade, banking, and overseeing investments along their network of tax-exempt properties in Europe. They were likely the richest operation in the Middle Ages, essentially making them Europe’s ATM.
They were not without enemies, and their worst one was Philip IV, king of France. He is also known to history as Philip the Fair (le Bel), who reigned from 1285 to 1314. He had been trying to control the papacy and Church in France for some time by taxing the clergy without papal permission.
Effectively, he was trying to separate Catholic France from papal authority (later known as Gallicanism). Philiphad particularly tangled with a stubborn pope named Boniface VIII (1294-1303). The king had even sent armed men to intimidate Boniface because the pope planned to excommunicate him. Boniface died shortly after this verbal assault and physical threat, perhaps as a result of the shock of the ugly episode.
Philip continued to pressure the papacy, this time in the person of the weak Pope Clement V (1305-1314), the first of the line of 14th-century popes who resided in Avignon and not Rome. This royalty-versus-papacy fightimp acted the Templars because Philip was in a towering pile of debt to the military order. Trying to get out of repaying, the French king accused the Templars of losing the Holy Land and not living up to their own high standards. Now he had the pope as a powerful tool to attack the Templars.
To take them down, Philip exploited the mystery behind the Templar practice of secrecy. He accused them of black magic, sodomy, and desecration of the cross and Eucharist. The French king engineered an overnight mass arrest of Templars in October 1307. Over the next four years, nearly all Templars were exonerated at trials held across Europe with the notable exception of France. There, after being tortured, some Templars confessed to doing things like spitting on the cross or denying Jesus during secret initiation rites. Many later took those confessions back, saying they had admitted such things only under pain and fear of death.
The final act took place at the general Church council held at Vienne from 1311 to 1312. Philip was in charge and made sure only bishops supporting him and not Pope Clement were present, to the point of knocking the names of anti-royal bishops off the list of those invited. Even under pressure from the French king, the bishops still voted in a large majority against abolishing the Templars and said the charges against them were not proven.
Philip played his hand by threatening violence against a pope once again. He pressured Clement to condemn his papal predecessor Boniface as a heretic. What the French king really wanted was to get out of debt to the Templars and seize their assets. Pope Clement allowed the Templars to be railroaded by trading off that threat against Boniface, which would endanger his own position as a papal successor. Clement went against his bishops and suppressed the Knights of the Temple on his own papal authority. Quite simply, the pope had been bullied by the king and he gave in. Clement praised “our dear son in Christ, Philip, the illustrious king of France, ” adding remarkably, “He was not moved by greed. He had no intention of claiming or appropriating for himself anything from the Templars’ property. “
But instead of handing their money and property over to Philip, as the king wanted, the pope showed some courage and assigned the Templar assets over to the Knights of the Hospital (the Hospitallers). Philip got his cut, of course, and was out of debt to an order that no longer existed, but he didn’t win entirely. Pope Clement never said whether or not the Templars were guilty of heresy or other crimes.
In 1307, King Philip IV ordered the Templars to be arrested and tried for heresy.
The initial charge against the Templars was heresy; more specifically “when professing, the brothers were required to deny Christ, to spit on the Cross, and to place three ‘obscene kisses’ on the lower spine, the navel and the mouth; they were obliged to indulge in carnal relations with other members of the order, if requested; and finally they wore a small belt which had been consecrated by touching a strange idol, which looked like a human head with a long beard.” On August 12, 1308, the charges would be increased stating that the Templars worshipped idols, specifically made of a cat and a head, the latter having three faces. The lists of articles 86 to 127 would add many other charges. None of these “idols” were ever produced.
Coincidentally, the TS resurfaces with another Geoffroi de Charny, who was born in 1306. He was the one who was responsible for building the church in Lirey where the shroud was displayed at after his death in 1356.
I haven’t seen any documentation linking these two men, but the similarity of the two are uncanny. Both have similar names and were French knights with an impressive resume.