from ap: Ignored for centuries, documents about the heresy trial of the ancient Christian order discovered in the Vatican's secret archives are being published in a limited edition — with an $8,377 price tag.
They include a 14th-century parchment showing that Pope Clement V initially absolved the Templar leaders of heresy, though he did find them guilty of immorality and planned to reform the order, according to the Vatican archives Web site.
But pressured by King Philip IV of France, Clement later reversed his decision and suppressed the order in 1312.
Only 799 copies of the 300-page volume, "Processus Contra Templarios," — Latin for "Trial against the Templars" — are for sale, said Scrinium publishing house, which prints documents from the Vatican's secret archives. Each will cost $8,377, the publisher said Friday.
An 800th copy will go to Pope Benedict XVI, said Barbara Frale, the researcher who found the long-overlooked parchment tucked away in the archives in 2001.
The Knights Templar, which ultimately disappeared because of the heresy scandal, recently captivated the imagination of readers of the best-seller "The Da Vinci Code," which linked the order to the legend of the Holy Grail.
The new Vatican work reproduces the entire documentation of the papal hearings convened after Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders in 1307 on charges of heresy and immorality.