The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château and the Bishopric of Carcassonne

Translation of a letter to author Geoffrey Morgan, on behalf of Monseigneur Jacques Despierre, the Bishop of Carcassonne 1982-2004, dated 30 November 1996:

My Lord Bishop has requested me to reply to your letter, not out of disrespect to you and your request but because he thinks that I am best placed to advise you in your “premonition or inspiration”, regarding the search for the Treasure of Rennes-le-Château. Indeed as well as being Secretary to the Bishopric, I am at the same time a member of the clergy of the Upper Aude Valley responsible for the parish of Rennes-le-Château.

I have to confess to you that we do not believe in the existence of the “Treasure” and that we side absolutely with the conclusions of two authoritative works, which I attach to you. These are by the Abbé Bruno de Monts and Mr René Descadeillas. In fact on the one hand the little story of this priest doesn’t fit in with the discovery of an immense historic treasure. On the other hand the material damage, especially the moral damage is not worth the trouble of pursuing this wild figment of the imagination. The population and the Christian community of our pastoral areas have had more than enough of being the object of curiosity and tall story telling of the whole World. Therefore if you wish to continue to be interested in our department of the Aude and in the history of the Diocese of Carcassonne, both of which have authentic “archaeological Treasure” we shall remain perfectly good friends. I will also say that our sole and true richness is our Languedoc culture, our activities of yesterday and today.

With friendly greetings,

Yours sincerely,

Abbé Dominique Verge.

Authoritative Notes on the search for the “Treasure” of Rennes-le-Château:

1/– Bérenger Saunière – vicar at Rennes-le-Château 1885-1909… Abbé Bruno de Monts – Edition Bélisane Nice 1989.

Conclusion: L’Abbé Saunière et le Trésor de Rennes-le-Château

If there was a “Treasure” at Rennes-le-Château: where and when.

In 1887 and in 1897 large bills were paid, how much did they come to and if it was gold coins he paid with, where and when did he convert them into cash.

Finally, why would he have left any in the hiding place, which he is supposed to have discovered and how come his servant Marie, who was supposed to be in the know, did not go to get more gold after the death of the Abbé, so as not to live in discomfort until the Corbu family arrived.

There was no treasure at Rennes-le-Château and the Abbé Saunière neither had to look for it or find it.

2/– Mythology of the Treasure of Rennes.

True story of the Abbé Saunière vicar at Rennes-le-Château

A/ Assertion of the author

Rennes-le-Château has had twenty years of publications [ie, as of 1974] of stories about a “Treasure”.

– It is part of a Classic Mythology about the “Treasure”

(Treasure of Blanche of Castille, of the Cathars, of the Temple, of Dagobert)

– Rennes-le-Château is a legend.

B/ in conclusion, p.129:

– The legend of the “Treasure” of Rennes-le-Château comes about because one day a priest who came did not have the right spirit of his profession.
– There have been lots of “searchers”….hordes of reporters, people fond of hidden symbols, wise men, alchemists… soliciting shams and multiple depravities at the church and cemetery…. People have gone on about it and made up absurd stories.

All that and why…. For nothing at all.


Taken from Geoffrey Morgan, ‘The Secret Church: The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château’, page 58 (2006).