Catharism...11th - 13th Century?

Okay, I'm doing some research for a personal interist, and I was wondering if anybody could help me. Okay, I know that the Cathars were a religious sect during the 11-13th century, but I want REGULAR words, not fancy ones...sheesh, I went on Wikipedia, and I had to constantly go back and forth between that and Webster's online please, if you could help it would be appriciated...

~Itachi-sama Luuuuuver...!!~

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Cathars were also known as the Albigensians because they were centered around the town of Albi in Southwest France. Here the historian Will Durant writes about them in his 1950 book The Age of Faith

    For some time the Cathari [a variant of Albigensianism] received a broad toleration from the ecclesiastics and the secular powers of southern France. Apparently the people were allowed to choose freely between the old religion and the new. Public debates were held between Catholic and Catharist theologians; one such took place at Carcassonne in the presence of a papal legate and King Pedro II of Aragon (1204). In 1167 various branches of the Cathari held a council of their clergy, attended by representatives from several countries; it discussed and regulated Catharist doctrine, discipline, and administration, and adjourned without having been disturbed . . .

    . . . the nobles, relatively poor, began to seize Church property. In 1171 Roger II, Viscount of Béziers, sacked an abbey, threw the bishop of Albi into prison, and set a heretic to guard him. When the monks of Allet chose an abbot unsatisfactory to the Viscount, he burned the monastery and jailed the abbot; when the latter died the merry Viscount installed his corpse in the pulpit and persuaded the monks to choose a pleasing substitute. Raymond Roger, Count of Foix, drove abbot and monks from the abbey of Pamiers; his horses ate oats from the altar; his soldiers used the arms and legs of the crucifixes as pestles to grind grain, and practised their marksmanship upon the image of Christ. Count Raymond VI of Toulouse destroyed several churches, persecuted the monks of Moissac, and was excommunicated (1196) . . .

    Innocent III, coming to the papacy in 1198, saw in these developments a threat to both Church and state. He recognized some excuse for criticism of the Church, but he felt that he could hardly remain idle when the great ecclesiastical organization for which he had such lofty plans and hopes, and which seemed to him the chief bulwark against human violence, social chaos, and royal iniquity, was attacked in its very foundations, robbed of its possessions and dignity, and mocked with blasphemous travesties.

    (The Age of Faith, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1950, 772-773)

    And this

    From Kenneth Scott Latourette [Baptist]: A History of Christianity: vol. 1: Beginnings to 1500 (NY: Harper & Row, 1953, 454-455):

    The Cathari were dualists, believing that there are two eternal powers, the one good and the other evil, that the visible world is the creation of the evil power, and that the spiritual world is the work of the good power . . .

    Some put forth a variant of this dualism, saying that the good God had two sons, one of whom, Satanal, rebelled, and the other, Christ, became the redeemer . . .

    They held that since flesh is evil, Christ could not have had a real body or have died a real death . . .

    And this

    From The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church [Anglican] (ed. F.L. Cross, 2nd ed., ed. F.L. Cross & E.A. Livingstone, Oxford Univ. Press, 1983, "Albigenses," 31):

    . . . Their doctrine in its purest form was strongly dualist, akin to the Manichaean beliefs, and they rejected the flesh and material creation as evil . . . [they taught that] Christ was an angel with a phantom body who, consequently, did not suffer or rise again, and whose redemptive work consisted only in teaching man the true (i.e., Albigensian) doctrine.

    Rejecting the sacraments, the doctrines of hell, purgatory, and the resurrection of the body, and believing that all matter was bad, their moral doctrine was of extreme rigorism, condemning marriage, the use of meat, milk, eggs, and other animal produce . . .

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Right - first things first, I don't know a great deal about the inner workings of Catharism, but I am an ameteur historian of the Inquisition, which destroyed them. But I will tell you what I know and try to put it as simply as I can.

    The Cathar's core belief was that they were usually reincarnated when they died, and the only way to stop this was to attain a form of perfection. The people who tried to do this were called the "Perfecti". They were basically Cathar priests and regular Cathar followers would confess to them before they died. The Cathars were strongly persecuted by the Inquisition - who eventually destroyed them. Catharism was based prmarily in France.

    As a point of interest for you, I can remember one story which stuck in my mind, which was from the point of view of the Inquisition.

    The Inquisition in Orleans heard about an old woman on her death bed. One Inquisitor ordered some of the town guard to accompany him and he went to her house. He had the guards break down the door and entered the room in which the old woman was dying, ordering the guards to restrain her family members. As she was dying the old woman didn't recognise the Inquisitor, and thought he was a Perfecti - so she began to confess to him. This was enough evidence for him and the Inquisitor declared her a heretic. He then had the guards drag her into the street, still on the bed, and burned her to death.

    Pretty grim, huh? I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but I certainly hope you continue with your historical interest - it's a very interesting topic and it can be very rewarding! Good luck!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sorry I cannot add anything to the other entry but just to say that sometimes subjects are complex and you need technical words. This should not put you off, it is all part of your research. If you are interested in History you may find documents written in Latin or Old English! Hard work it may be: but worth it, education is never wasted and effort is sometimes the key! Not everything worth doing is easy and you should not expect it to be so.

    Source(s): I am an Historian.
    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.