Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem

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The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, (Latin: Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, OSMTH), is a self-styled order founded in 1945 by Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes (1878-1960),[1][2][3] claiming to be a continuation of the self-styled l'Ordre du Temple founded in France, 1705, officially reconstituted in 1804 by Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat,[4] and recognized as an Order of Chivalry by its patron Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805;[5] Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes succeeded his father as the head of the order in 1960.

The claims laid out by this pseudo organisation now apparently headed by a so called international Grandmaster called Patrick Rea and which pretends to have broken away schismatically from the present incumbent of the post called Fernando de Sousa Fontes, are total ad hoc fabrications compiled mainly by ex Freemasons who allege to be the heirs of the Order and resent its continued presence. The late Hon. James Tennant and ex Mason was Prior of the Order under Fontes as was Sir Roy Redgrave and I, as Magisterial Legate to the UK was faced with the impossible task of keeping the Order on a straight course without additions and changes of a Masonic nature. Sir Roy and Sir Peter Drew who were present at the installations at Compostela, organised a walk out demonstration during my speech at Santiago in an attempt to create discord, but were instead, intantly removed from all their duties and eventually dismissed as a result of personal abuse of the Regent´s dignity during an aggressive visit to Oporto.

The Supreme Military Order of the Temple is the only legitimate heir of the public resurfacing of the Order at the Palace of Versailles and described in the Statutes of 1705 (called The 1705 Statutes available on the web). The Knights, for the sake of Vatican sensitivity at the new public presentation of tje Order and Jesuit support, had decided to call themselves The Knights of the Orient, but the full title of Sovereign Military Order of the Temple was kept in the texts. Enemies of the Order for vested reasons, denied the validity of documents which were published under the noses of the powerful noble families of France including its habitual Cistercian guardians and Jesuits without any condemnation. The full texts were published in 1805 exactly one hundred years later by the most important publishing house of France and again, no condemnation but the greater rallying round of the noble and royal families of the day who lent their support. Napoleon acknowledged its presence and the modern Order is widely seen by the vast amount of documents in the archives in Oporto be the only one which can rightfully claim not just descent from Versailles but from the very original Order itself. The national archives of France also hold ancient and modern documents which attest to the validity of this Order. In the late eighties, the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela invited the Regent, Fernando de Sousa Fontes to sit at the high altar during the celebration of the Mass and the installation of Knights at the very Altar. The Order changed its name to Supremus because of debate as to whether it was Sovereign after the ambiguous condemnation by the Church (now refuted by the document found by Dr. Frale who is a full member of the modern Order)and the loss of Sovereignty at the trial of the Templars. The Order holds that Sovereignty is a historical right but continued to utilized the substituted "Supremus" which I myself accepted as a member of the executive council of the Order on the day. The mayority of false Orders like the one with all the claims on this page and which makes these sweeping, unhistorical claims, are not just patently false, but pretentious and delincuent because they make invalid claims for the purpose of selling souvenirs and leading people into embarrassing public exposures. The web pages not only of this the substitute organisations claiming to have replaced the present Regent Fernando de Sous Fontes, speak for themselves.

OSMTH-KTI does not officially recognize the claims laid out in the Larmenius Charter as historically valid,[6] but makes a moral and ethical claim to follow in the same spiritual path as the original Order.[7]

OSMTH-KTI, which is open to Christians of any denomination, operates as a charity,[8] and engages in diplomatic and humanitarian works.[9]

History[edit]

Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes in 1945 claimed that the OSMTH was the continuation of the neo-Templar order founded by Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat in 1804, using the Larmenius Charter as evidence of its pedigree.

OSMTH broke away from the organization led by Mr de Sousa Fontes in 1997. While OSMTH-KTI's rituals and traditions are currently based upon those of the historical Knights Templar, according to its website[6] and their present leader, Grand Master Patrick Rea,[10] there is no direct historical lineage claimed by OSMTH between OSMTH and the 12th century Templars.

In 2001, the Order was accredited by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organisation, in special consultative status, one of over 2,000 organizations to hold this status.[11] The Order is an associate member of the International Peace Bureau and an affiliate of the International Center for Religion & Diplomacy,[9] which was founded by one of OSMTH's members.[8]

In 2014, OSMTH was elected as a board member of CoNGO (Conference of NGOs in consultative status with the United Nations.[citation needed]

Organisation[edit]

The order exists in each country under different jurisdictions. In America, the order is known as the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, Inc (this being the English rendering of the Latin name).[12] They should not be confused with a multitude of other self-styled "Knights Templar", or the Masonic Knights Templar.

OSMTH-KTI is registered in Geneva, Swiss Reg No: CH-660.1.972777-4 and is in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations has over 5000 active members in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Serbia and in the United States.[13][14] OSMTH-KTI operates in a number of countries providing humanitarian aid [15] such as the River Jordan Project that is supported by HM King Abdullah of Jordan.[16]

Christian men who join the organisation are self-styled as "Knights" with the title of Chevalier and females are termed "Dames" with the title of Chevaleresse (or Chevalière).[17] The modern Order claims over 5000 members, allegedly including leaders in the military, business, government and ecclesiastical communities.[18]

The royal patron of the OSMTH is HH Princess Elizabeth of Ysenburg-Büdingen-Wachtersbach (b. 1945). She is the widow of HSH Prince Ferdinand Heinrich of Ysenburg-Büdingen-Wachtersbach and the eldest daughter of Prince Friedrich Ferdinand of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1913-1989). [19]

Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem[edit]

In 1970, a split occurred within the OSMTH and Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira created the The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (SMOTJ), having previously succeeded his father as the head of the OSMTH in 1960.[2] This was caused when General Antoine (originally Antoni) Zdrojewski was unexpectedly elected as the new Grand Master of the OSMTH at the Convent of Paris in September, 1970.[20] Zdrojewski became the head of the Order, which he referred to by the French translation: "Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem" (OSMTJ), until his death in 1989. Zdrojewski was succeeded by George Lamirand as the new head of the OSMTJ until his death in 1994.[21] George Lamirand was succeeded by Dr. Nicolas Haimovici Hastier who is the current OSMTJ Grand Master today.[22]

The SMOTJ has an American autonomous[23] branch of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani.[24][25] The ecumenical organization operates as a modern-day network of educated professionals.[9][23] As of August 2007, the organization had approximately 5,200 members.[26]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem at Wikimedia Commons

Further reading[edit]