A pawn of the Assassins and Philip IV of France, Clement came to power after Benedict XI was poisoned by the Assassin Mentor Guillaume de Nogaret. Under influence of Nogaret and the Assassins, Philip and Clement collaborated to disband the Order of the Knights Templar after they had been falsely accused of heresy.
In 1308 however, Clement wrote a document which absolved Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay of all charges. In order to ensure that their plan to destroy the Templars continued, the Assassins stole the document, which would only be re-discovered in 2001.
In 1312, Clement officially disbanded the Knights Templar in his papal bull, Vox in excelso. All of the Order's assets were later given to the Knights Hospitalier. After a seven year trial, Clement was present during the burning of Jacques de Molay in 1314. Jacques while being burned cursed Clement, claiming he would die within the year.
Indeed, Clement died on April 20, 1314. According to one account, while his body was lying in state, a thunderstorm arose during the night and lightning struck the church where his body lay, setting it on fire. The fire was so intense that by the time it was extinguished, the Pope's body had been all but destroyed. He was buried at the collegiate church in Uzeste close to his birthplace in Villandraut as laid down in his will.