Although by June 1308 127 charges had been made against the Templars, the initial charges of the previous October fall into these nine basic categories:
1. That during the reception ceremony, new brothers were required to deny Christ, God, the Virgin or the Saints on the command of those receiving them.
2. That the brothers committed various sacrilegious acts – trampling, spitting, urinating – either on the Cross or on an image of Christ.
3. That the receptors practised obscene kisses on new entrants, on the mouth, navel, base of the spine or buttocks.
4. That Templar priests did not consecrate the host, and that the brothers did not believe in the sacraments.
5. That the brothers practised idol worship of a cat or a head, called Baphomet.
6. That the brothers practised institutional sodomy.
7. That the Grand Master, or other high-ranking officials, absolved fellow Templars of their sins.
8. That the Templars held their reception ceremonies and Chapter meetings in secret and at night.
9. That the Templars abused the duties of charity and hospitality and used illegal means to acquire property and increase their wealth.
For an exhaustive study of the trial, see Malcolm Barber, The Trial of the Templars (Cambridge University Press, 1978). Edward Burman’s Supremely Abominable Crimes (Allison & Busby, 1994) focuses on the Paris hearings of 1310.
Barbara Frale’s book on the Chinon Parchment, which should throw considerable new light on the trial, is forthcoming.