This is patent nonsense.
The Templar Knights were the moneylenders of the Church. They charged interest on some loans and simply recouped their costs on others. On yet other occasions, they charged no fees.
By the 13th century moneylending was a signioficant part of the Templars financial activities.
Let me quote to you a passage from a book called The Templars in the Corona de Aragon, page 349,by A.J Forey, Oxford University press 1973 -
"…early in 1307 the Templars set up an attorney to recover from a certain inhabitant of Peñíscola not only the sum of 2,000s. which they had deposited with him but also the
“share due to us of the profit which he made with the aforesaid money on the journeys which he made by sea and elsewhere with his ships.” "
From The Templars: The Dramatic History Of The Knights Templar, The Most Powerful Military Order Of The Crusades, page 183, by Piers Read, 1999, -
The Templars also lent money to individuals and institutions, including the Jews, but their principal clients were Kings and their loans frequently staved off the collapse of royal finances…On some loans they charged interest of ten percent which was the maximum allowed to Christian moneylenders in Aragon and half of the Jewish rate…"
For the first 1500 years of the church usury was viewed as theft and dishonesty, and was condemned by church fathers, popes, and church councils in the east and west. Usury was denounced in the councils of Arles (314), Nicea (325), Carthage (348) and the first council of Aix (789).
You must first define what Usury actually is!
What constitutes usury is still debated today. In Roman times it was interest without risk and was illegal. They called it Foenus , which they got from Aristotle, which stemmed from foetus and meant “to bring forth”. Foenus Nauticum referred to charging interest on large projects, particularly sea voyages, where the risk was high. Interest actually referred to “an interest” and was legal when recovering a share of profits, or making good losses eventuating from such a financed venture. Usam, on the otherhand, was used interchangeably with Foenus and referred to excessive profits, as in charging interest, or declaring “an interest” where there was no risk, or demanding interest up front, from which practice Foenus derived. Julius Ceaser set the maximum interest chargeable at 12%, in line with a Senate ruling of 88BC. This was the Centisima Usura and referred to charging a maximum of one hundredth of the principal per month for one hundred months.
The Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who codified musch of ancient and Christian Roman Law into a system that was handed down through the western European nation states, set interest rates according to a sliding scale, with the highest rate being 12% and apllying only to Foenus Naticum and rates of 8%, 6% and 4% for other classes of people (borrowers).
Usury was viewed as a mortal sin, and not removed by penance. If you believed in usury you would be condemned as a heretic, excommunicated and not given a Christian burial.
From the earliest Biblical references, Christianity has viewed Usury, that is, making money from money, as in the old Roman form of Foenus as an evil. After all, Christ said as quoted in Luke 6:35 “Lend, hoping for nothing in return.” However, making good the losses from money lent, from ventures financed and for late repayments of borrowed monies could be claimed under canon Law as interesse
The only exception was for Jews, who were permitted to lend to Gentiles at interest, but to each other interest free. In the Middle Ages this was the main reason (probably) for anti-semitism, as banking was viewed as making profit for doing no work.
Common sense should tell us that the Jews were outside Canon Law. They were free to do as they pleased! Strangely, Jewish law condemns usery also.
Obviously they had plenty of customers, or borrowers, because they thrived as financiers. However, it was deemed that the loaning of money to poor people and charging interest was usurias.The catholic encyclopedia tells us that Mons Pietatus, or charitable institutions, were set up to give relief to the “industrious poor” and to counter the excessive interest rates charged by Jews, sometimes up to 60%, and frowned upon by Christians. However, the money lending Jews were seen as a necessary evil because money was usually in short supply and in those situations where Christians lent money for no interest, the money supply was tied up.