The article raises a point often distorted by the Victorian rewrite of history in a Romantic mould. Clement V was not French, and was constantly in dispute with Phillip: he was actually from English-controlled Aquitaine, and the only reason he moved the Papacy to Avignon was because it was the safest Papal territory, Rome having become positively dangerous because of the local infighting. Phillip's interests were clear, pure power politics of a nature currently appearing in the UK: banking is not in and of itself the source of wealth. By taking his bankers down, he restored his own power and authority, and weakened that of the Church. The real question is why did the papacy go along with it in the first place? True, once the razzia had occurred there was no going back, but why did the Pope tolerate it in the first place? I think the answer lies in a commonality of opinion with Phillip, that the Templars had become too powerful within the Church as well, and that the Papacy's opinion had been changed by an event the previous year in 1306, the arrival of an Embassy from Ethiopia at Avignon.
European knowledge of Ethiopia was at best sketchy, it being one of the possible lands of the mythological Prester John, a Christian Empire beyond the Caliphate generally considered as being somewhere south-east of Arabia (yup, that makes it in the middle of the Indian Ocean, folks, but then again they didn't know much about that neck of the woods) with whom Europe would have dearly loved to form an alliance to put a stop to the ever-growing Muslim empire - one must remember a treaty was even formed with the Mongols to this end. What was known seems to have stemmed from the unannounced arrival in Jerusalem of the Ethiopian Crown Prince Lalibela, forced into exile by a coup in the late 1160s. He would have made it clear that the Ethiopians were African and a sect of the Egyptian Coptic Church. More intriguing to the Templars would have been the knowledge he imparted of the Tabot tradition, with the result that they asked leave to investigate, which was refused. None the less, we see after the defeat of the Horns of Hattin a very Egyptian-based approach to attacking Jerusalem, reflecting a change in mentality in this direction: my question is, given the relative weakness of Templar forces at Hattin, had they at least in part disobeyed and gone in search of the Ethiopians? The presence of Templar crosses in the churches at Axum suggest this is possible, and if so, then the first news of it would have been from the 1306 Embassy: the thought that the Holy Land had been lost because the Templars had gone glory-hounding would have cost them all remaining political support from the Papacy.
The resulting loss of ecclesiastical power inverted the power structure for the next hundred years, and in many respects it was only the happenstance of the Black Death which kept us from an ever-increasing feudalism to this day. That weakened the Feudal lords, and a social reorganisation by craft skills saw the rise of the Guilds and the decline of the Second Estate. The final nail was the Papal Schism of the end of the 15th century, put an end to by Pierre d'Ailly in 1400-1414 with a subtext worked out from Eugenius IV onwards restoring papal dominion over the monarchy.
Although the Freemasons claim Templar authority, Frances Yates long since disproved the ascent claimed, and that is a non-starter. The Portuguese claim, however, is more substantiated, as Eugenius commissioned the Order of Christ to go the long way round Africa in search of the Ethiopian claim, which he had learned about in the negociations for the surrender of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the 1430s: the result was the rediscovery of the East. As an irrelevant side note, the flags planted on San Salvador by Columbus in 1492 included those of the Guinea Company, a subsidiary arm of the Order of Christ. This is quite important because it substantiates the legend that he never reached Northern Europe in the Genoese expedition of 1746, instead being sunk 12 miles off Cape St Vincent in a French attack. The only landing spot for many miles in either direction was the Order's School of Navigation at Sagres, and they would have had a duty to succour a shipwrecked mariner. By admission to the Order he would have acquired the social standing necessary to marry so far above his temporal station, Filipa Moniz Perestrelo being a Royal Ward. It also explains how he learned of d'Ailly's cosmology, which was the major influence in his west-about planning. This remains a hot potato in Portuguese circles, however.