On the Poor Knights of Christ's Standing in the Catholic Church
Are you in union with the Pope?
Yes, we are erected lawfully as a private association of the lay faithful under the canon law. Our Rule, and Constitutions have canonical approval, and Knights also receive certain plenary indulgences granted by the Pope at certain times in their lives and during the liturgical year. Proof of all of this is available in the Our Holy Rule and Documents section on this website.
Are you a third order?
No, we are not a third order. A third order is a group of individuals attached unto a principle institute and live out a spirituality with the assistance of the first order. Examples of this are 3rd Order Franciscans or 3rd Order Carmelites. Knights are self governing, and are the principle institute. We have a second order referred to as Dames and those individuals who wish to follow our spirituality but not live under obedience, or under the discipline of the Rule and constitutions are free to petition to become Oblates, which is like our 3rd order.
Are you considered Religious?
No, we are not.
What Canons are you instituted under?
We are erected under can. 299 and 321-326 C.I.C. and of nn. 26 and 27 of the Pastoral Note The Lay Associations in the Church, of the Episcopal Commission for the Laity of the C.E.I. dated the 23rd of April 1993.
Is this an order of Papal Knighthood?
No it is not, we have received certain blessings from the Holy See in therms of indulgences but we are not a papal order of Knighthood.
Are you the direct descendants of the Knights Templar?
No, we are not. The Ancient order of the temple was suppressed at the Council of Vienne in 1312. Any group that claims to be descendants of the ancient order are not telling the truth. The Poor Knights of Christ are the only group that follows a rule of life based off the ancient rule of the Knights Templar who have juridical standing within the Catholic Church.
When and where were you erected?
The Militia of the Temple was civilly recognized on September 21st, 1979 by Decree n. 613 of the President of the Regional Council of Tuscany. Later, it was canonically erected on September 8th, 1988 with Decree n. 24 of the Archbishop Metropolitan of Siena - Colle di Val d'Elsa - Montalcino.
On Admission to the Poor Knights of Christ as a Candidate for Knighthood
Do you have to be Catholic to join the Militia Templi?
Yes, you must be a Catholic who frequents the sacraments and is in good standing with the Church. Part of the admissions process involves receiving a letter from your pastor confirming that you regularly receive the sacraments.
What if I am coming into the Catholic Church?
First finish the process of coming into the Catholic Church, you can of course contact us and ask questions about membership.
Do you allow married men to join?
Yes, however we will ask for a letter from your wife confirming that she will support your vocation and assist you in living out your new life as a member. If you are in a serious romantic relationship that could lead to marriage we also ask for such a letter.
Do you allow Priests to join?
Yes, but only as chaplains and the process is different than becoming a Knight in the Militia.
Can I join if I am already a member of the Knights of Columbus?
Yes, the Knights of Columbus are a fraternal brotherhood distinct from your membership in the Militia Templi. However, you must place your vocation as a Poor Knight of Christ over and above your participation in events with the Knights of Columbus.
Can I join if I am a third order (Carmelite, Norbertine, Fransican, Dominican)
Not as a candidate for Knighthood. Seeing as these other associations of the faithful also take vows/promises of obedience to their superiors it would create a conflict.
I want to join the Poor Knights of Christ as a candidate for Investiture? How do I start the process?
If you reside in North or South America you would start the process by contacting the preceptory at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief introduction of yourself. Please include all the details we have requested on our homepage.
How long does the admission process take?
All postulants are required to spend 30 days meditating upon the rule before asking for formal admittance from the time they contact the Preceptor (and/or) Commander. After which they will need to put together a portfolio of paperwork to submit asking for admission. A formal interview will also need to be scheduled another member, ideally another Knight. After the portfolio is submitted and the interview completed the Preceptoral Council, or Commandery will assemble, review the portfolio, discuss the interview and vote on whether the postulant should be admitted. The entire process normally takes several months to complete.
What is contained in this portfolio?
What is the interview for?
Our Rule of Life makes certain demands on us admitting new candidates, please read Chapter 7 of the rule to come to a full understanding.
After taking my vows does the Church consider me a cleric?