Omne datum optimum
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Poor Fellow-Soldiers of|
Christ and of the Temple of Solomon
Omne datum optimum (Latin for "Every perfect gift", a quotation from the Epistle of James) was a papal bull issued by Pope Innocent II in 1139 that initially endorsed the Order of the Poor Knights of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Knights Templar), in which the Templar Rule was officially approved, and papal protection given. Additionally, Omne datum optimum promised all spoils from Muslim conquest to the Order, and made the Order exempt from tithes and taxes:
As for the things that you will receive from the spoils, you can confidently put them to your own use, and we prohibit that you be coerced against your will to give anyone a portion of these.
Although Omne datum optimum was an unusual bull in and of itself, it was followed by Pope Celestine II's Milites Templi in 1144 and Pope Eugene III's Militia Dei in 1145, which together gave the Templars an extraordinary range of rights and privileges. Among other things, the Order was permitted to build its own churches, bury their dead on those church grounds and collect taxes on Templar properties once a year. The unique cemeteries constructed by the Templars proved to be extremely controversial.