Common Questions & Answers

Provided by the Consul de l’Ordre du Temple (‘Consul of the Order of the Temple’)

The Grand Chancellery of the Order of the Temple is currently located in Charleroi in Belgium: Grand Chancellerie de l’Ordre du Temple, n°4 avenue de Tilleuls, 6001 Charleroi-Marcinelle, Belgique / Belgium

Appointment Office: 1 rue de l’Industrie-B- 6000 Charleroi

Nunciature of the Order: 254 rue du Tienne St. Gilles -B- 6010 Couillet

Legation for France: S.E. M. Le Prieur Benoît Berthe in Paris
Grand Priory of England & Wales: S.E. Fr. Mark Borrington in London
Grand Priory of Belgium:
Grand Priory of Scotland: S.E. Fr. George MacKenzie in Dundee
Grand Priory of Italy: S.E. Lear Augusto Straffi in Faïcchio

For other countries, I may let you know this information via the Nunciature

The Order of the Temple has known two existences:

  1. The one of the ancient Order, which everyone knows and that lasted 200 years during the time of the Latin Kingdoms of the East.
  2. The present Order of the Temple has celebrated its 200 years in 2004 in Benevento, Italy. The current Order dates from 4th of November 1804, legitimated by the arch-chancellor Cambacérès and legitimated by the 1st French Empire, the Restoration Regime, the second Empire.

Jean-Jacques Régis Cambacérès is quite a significant figure:

Arch-chancellor of Empire,
French Prince
Duke of Parma
Legal Advisor

Councillor of the Languedoc "Cour des Aides", a financial appeals court, Trustee and Attorney of the Montpellier area, President of the "Tribunal Criminel de l'Hérault", a criminal court.

Deputy of the Convention and President of this very same assembly, President of the Council of Five Hundred, President of the legislations Committee, President of the "Comité de Salut Public", a public safety committee, Minister of Justice, Second Consul, Arch-chancellor of the Empire, which ensured a replacement during the absence of Napoleon 1st, presiding over the Council of Ministers, The Council of State, The Senate, 1st Advisor at the Privy Council Office and at all Boards of directors, President of the Council for Seal of Titles, Member of the Institute in the Moral and Political Sciences section, Great Eagle of the French Legion of Honour, High Dignitary for the Orders of the Iron Crown of Italy, for the Orders of the black Eagle and the red Eagle of Prussia, Commander of the Royal Order of Westphalia, Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Etienne of Hungary, Prior at the Brotherhood of White Penitents in Montpellier, Assistant Grand Master at the Grand Orient de France, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Rite Council of Scotland Ancient and Accepted,Grand Master of the Scottish Philosophical Rite, Grand Master of the Scottish Boards of Directors for the Rectified Scottish Rite,Grand Master of the Primitive Rite of Narbonne, Grand Master of the Heredom of Kilwinning, Director of about twenty associations, companies, groups –including the MATERNAL SOCIETY OF the Empress Marie-Louise, the panel of tasters of Grimod de La Reynière.

Restorer of the Order of the Temple's legitimacy,

He was named “the federator” (or the ‘unifier’)

Is the Order recognised by the Republic?

The French templars are divided up into independent associations.

Each of these associations gets to elect their own Grand Prior.

The Grand Master maintains a fraternal connection with these Grand Priories.

Only a unified central government, as the Order of the Temple's has always been, makes the undertaking of negotiations with the State possible.

Unification is the ongoing commitment of the Magisterial Council.

At present, it is the Legate of the Order, the engineer Benoît Berthe, Grand Cross, Grand Prior of Touraine, who officially represents the Order of the Temple for the French Language –for the Consuls with which I have the honour to be.

May we get in touch with the Legate? Where is his location?

I can make an appointment should you wish me to.

S. Exc. The Legate is in Paris.

His work combines the Legation for the French Language with that of the Russian one.

Is there a Grand Master?

The current Grand Master has been elected on 13th November 2004.

It is S.E. van der stock, 51st Grand Master of the Order of the Temple.

Where is the Order established?

Within all nations.

Here is a list of the Priories and main Consulates:

Belgium, Italy, Touraine, Luxembourg, Germany, Nederland taalgebiet (Netherlands), Bulgaria, Latvia, Argentina, Larzac, Sanremo, Nice, Savoy, Brittany, Massif Central, Scotland, England & Wales.

What events are there?

Celebration holidays are Saint Jean (Saint John's day), one in the summer and one in the winter.

The memorial for martyrs of the Order will be in Paris in March.

Ever since the 51st Mastery, the General Assemblies take place in Benevento (Italy) and are exclusively for knights to attend.

Are there rules and regulations?

Rules are the ones published in 1840, in Brussels, by the Order's printing house.

What is the main goal, justification of the Order and activity?

3 words; Rescuing, Preserving & Teaching.

Rescuing whom?

There is no limitation! Within what is possible, obviously.

Preserving whom and what?

Life in all its forms (animals or plants), along with the dignity of men, wild and domesticated animals, and all sorts of heritage.

Teaching what? To Whom?

Teaching what has to be taught but which is not featured in study programmes.

To adults, and to children when their parents request it.

For instance?

History

Heraldic science

Study assistance for children and adults

Genealogy -research and methods-

Awareness of chivalric dignity

Knowledge of the Orders pertaining to knighthood

A more specific history of Crusades

Sciences related to workshops

For instance the research workshop on historical errors

For instance the reading workshop on the works from major historians (comparative and…

For instance language teaching for young people (in their own language)

For instance language teaching for foreigners, by qualified teachers

For children, the Order is in charge of them only when their parents clearly express their wish for this (give their consent).

Note: The Order of the Temple does not address questions on faith, religion or philosophy.

What are the conditions for admission?

Refer to enclosed document: form - oath - civil document or patronage -

Dowry ad vitam 500 €

Contribution may vary by law of the General Annual Chapter. At present, it is of 50 € per year (about £44). In fact it remains partially your property since all knights keep an eye on the Order's accounts. The General assembly which all knights are part of, decides on the use of the Order's funds.

And children?

They do not have to pay anything.

Are you a Consul represented at the “Corps Diplomatique de la République” (diplomatic service of the republic)?

No, I am a cross-order Consul of knighthood. To citizens of any nation, I am one who informs them.

My business is not dependent on my consular role.

It does not interfere with my duty to issue a certificate.

On the other hand, I am authorised to take note of your requests for information and membership application to the Order, of which I have the duty to transmit.

Are you a Knight of the Order of the Temple?

While performing their consular duties, every consul has the status of a knight.

And so yourself, precisely?

I am within the performance of my duties as Consul and committed to never answer this question because it has no influence on the role I fulfil within the Order of the Temple, or on my way to serve you in representing the Order.

These are considerations that every consul ought to observe among his colleagues.

Can we obtain a bibliography?

Yes, though this one isn't free (there is a fee on mailing - photocopying - shipment)

If you wish to leave me your address details, I will send it to you.

Is the Order Christian?

Chaplains of the Orders are men of the Church.

There are chaplains in every religion except Islam.

Every Brother is entirely entitled to free thought and has freedom of faith.

Nobody must attempt to encourage him into it or discourage him from it.

Are you a believer yourself?

I beg your pardon but this is, in my belief, a totally private matter.

Is the Grand Master a Christian?

I do not know.

And aren't you interested in knowing?

Not at all. The Grand Master is fully committed to his role and performs all of his duties equally in every area.

Is the Order of the Temple secret?

The order, just like every organisation, like every family, governs itself while keeping in consideration all elements that are likely to affect this governance, including the most private ones.

Nonetheless, secret is not a dogma for the Order.

Is the Order a sect?

Sects all organise themselves by claiming to be representatives of Faith, which is precisely what the Order of the Temple avoids doing.

Never the Order of the Temple should be confused with any sort of sect. Besides, the Order opposes sects. There are assemblies and meetings taking place for this purpose. It is not within my duty to talk about this, however.

Why have you only just launched a website?

Many organisations using the name Templar falsely have, for a long time, used the Internet to promote themselves. For this reason the Chapter chose not to follow the same pathway. The Supreme Council has now reached a decision in favour of Internet representation to enable enquirers the ability to find legitimate information and knowledge of the True Order.

Is there a connection between the Order of the Temple and Freemasonry?

In 1804, the Grand Master, Dr Fabre Palaprat of Spolète, was himself Freemason with Templar status from the Strict Templar Observance and Valuable Knights of the Holy City (which actually means Good Knight of Jerusalem). Half of the Templars had the same origins.

Later, Templars decided to declare their independence from Freemasonry, wanting to assert their own existence.

And today?

Nowadays, independence from Freemasonry is complete.

We have an obvious letter from the Supreme Council, that has been archived into the National Archives of France:

Although, a substantial proportion of the Templars are also Freemasonic.

There is no instance of difficulty originating from such a fact.

Is the Grand Master a Freemason?

I am authorised to reveal the Grand Master is not, but that he has many friends amongst Masons! Even among those who are not Templars.

Is the Order a Service Club?

The Grand Master said that, partly, members of service clubs are Templars without knowing they are.

He also has, amongst them, many friends, and he offers them lectures of historical, heraldic and genealogic themes.

What type of workforce does the Order have?

The organisation of the Order of the Temple is a military one. This is the only answer I may be allowed to provide.

Yes, but you could roughly let me know what it is!

It does not come within my remit to answer such a question.

Actually, I am not allowed to do so. I repeat that the Order of the Temple is organised militarily.

And then members of the Order are scattered all over the nations…!

Yes, but how many Templars are there in France?

To find out more on this, you should request information from the Temple's register at the Chancellery of the Order, if you have a legitimate reason besides simple curiosity though; I can give you the phone number. Even me, I cannot do it for such a reason because this would not present a valid one.

Personally, I never even asked myself such a question.

The Order is still organised militarily.

(The Consul will soon realise the fact that such a question will be asked to him often… We do not know why but it is true that only the templars' register is able to provide the answer, even though that answer is constantly changing…)

To point out those details for your curiosity:

In 1838: 78 Grand Priories, 154 Bailiwicks, 274 Commanderies, --all functioning and with tenure-- 1176 Knights for various assemblies and 281 others for the “Ville Magistrale” (Archives of Paris).

To sum up, what the Consul perceives as the most adequate answer is:

“The Order of the Temple has a military organisation. I am unable to say more except that you can become Knight of the Order, yourself, and thus you could become Guardian of the register.

I may still let you know that the Templar owns an Order number, and that this number remains ad vitam and post mortem.”

What is yours for instance?

33.333

How do you know it?

It's very simple. All Consuls bear the same number, along with additional information which I have completely forgotten.

(The Consul will often have to resist while avoiding getting angered or having an argument, and some have reported that this is sometimes difficult…)

The Chapter in response is a little long and showing a distinctive feature of the Consulate, so it is recommended that the Consul be prepared for such leading questions coming from either curiosity or sometimes even wrong intentions.

Are there any connections with the Order of Malta?

The name of the Order of Malta comes from the time when that Order used to be sovereign owner of Malta, though its original name is: “Ordre Souverain Militaire Hospitalier de St Jean de Jérusalem” (Hospitable Sovereign Military Order of St John of Jerusalem) stated later as “of Rhodes and of Malta.”

It is necessary to understand that the Order of Malta did not wish for the Temple to regain a sovereignty similar to that of Malta (which does not own the Malta island anymore; it became an independent state) but owns a theoretical territory of 3M2, conceded by the Sate of Vatican; which enables it to print stamps, issue coins, look after embassies, etc.

If the ancient Order of the Temple regained such sovereignty, maybe it could assert its rights upon ancient properties attributed to the Order of St jean.

In 1804, the Order legitimated by the arch-chancellor Cambacérès wanted to be a restoration of the ancient knighthood of 1118 founded by Hughes de Payen.

If that continuation was admitted as such under the Empire, the evidence that followed was met by detractors and supporters, such as the Abbot Gregory and the Commander Babut who recognised the archived pieces as indisputable, at the National Archives of France in 1921.

The question remains unsolved.

The current government of the Order of the Temple undoubtedly traces back its official status to the 4th of November, 1804.

There is no hostility between the Temple and Malta.

The current Grand master of the Temple, at the time when he was Ambassador of the Order in the Republic of Costa Rica, had friendly relations with S.E. Raphael Sotella, Ambassador of the Order of Malta in San José.

There are nineteen fake Orders of Malta that have been listed, which the Order of the Temple does not appreciate.

Likewise, there are over fifty fake Orders of the Temple in the world.