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Title: The Albigensian Heresy
Author: Warner, Henry James
Language: English
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Studies in Church History




Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge
New York & Toronto: the Macmillan Co.

A Dissertation approved for the
B.D. Degree, Cantab.

Printed in Great Britain at
The Mayflower Press, Plymouth. William Brendon & Son Ltd.


The interest and importance of the so-called Albigensian Heresy[1] lie in
the fact that while it bears "a local habitation and a name," its actual
habitation was not local, and its name is misleading. Its origin must be
traced back to pre-Christian Ages, and its fruits will remain for ages to
come. Its current title is inexact and incomplete; _inexact_, because
Albi was not the _fons et origo_ of a movement which, although it took
deepest root in Southern France, was sporadic throughout Central and
Western Europe; _incomplete_, because the movement was not one heresy, but
many, defying rigid classification, heterogeneous, self-contradictory,
yet united in opposition to the Church of Rome. It is a mere accident of
history that the name is derived from Albi, for Albi was but one, and
that by no means the most important town infected. The storm-centre was
the great city of Toulouse, which Peter de Vaux-Sarnai describes as
"Tolosa, tota dolosa," being, as he adds, seldom or never from its
foundation free from heresy, fathers handing it on to their sons. The
impact came at a time when the Church of Rome was putting forth all its
power to extend its spiritual supremacy northward, and the Kingdom of
France its territorial domains southward, and it suited their respective
interests to unite their forces in a home-crusade against Southern
France. Between the upper and nether millstones the body was crushed, but
"its soul goes marching on." Its enemies declared it to be rank paganism
(Manicheism)[2]: its adherents the purest form of Christianity
(Catharism). An impartial investigation will, we think, show that neither
claim can be substantiated. Impartiality, however, is not easily
preserved. Most of the documentary evidence which has come down to us is
biassed. The Church considered it its sacred duty to destroy all
heretical literature as pestiferous: the heretics, equally, the archives
of the early inquisitions, whenever they fell into their hands in their
few military successes, on the ground that they were dangerous to their
members and distortive of their doctrines. "No person," observes Francis
Palgrave in his "History of the Anglo-Saxons," "ever can attempt any
historical inquiry who does not bring some favourite dogma of his own to
the task--some principle which he wishes to support--some position which
he is anxious to illustrate or defend, and it is quite useless to lament
these tendencies to partiality, since they are the very incitements to
labour." It is because this is true of many who, with political and
ecclesiastical predilections, have sought to confirm them by this
controversy, that a fresh endeavour should be made to get at the facts of
the case. On the one hand we must avoid reading into Homer what Homer
never knew. On the other hand we must carefully precipitate the prose
which is in solution in the poetry, and separate historical fact from
fanatical fiction.

[1] The word "heresy" (αἵρεσις) originally carried with it no censure,
but rather approval. In classical Greek it means (1) "free choice"
(abstract), (2) "that which is chosen," (3) "those who make the choice, a
sect or school." In ecclesiastical Greek (LXX) it is used to render
נְדָבָה, "a free-will offering" (Lev. xxii. passim); in the N.T. it
means "an opinion," whether true, false or neutral, or "those who hold
such opinions." The Pharisees (orthodox), the Sadducees (rationalist),
the Christians (schismatic) are alike described as "heresy," where
perhaps "school" or "party" would be the more modern rendering (Acts
v. 17, xv. 5, xxiv. 5, 14, xxvi. 5, xxviii. 22). St. Paul's use wavers
between an opinion which is the outcome of legitimate freedom of thought,
and positive schism. (Cf. 1 Cor. xi. 19 with Gal. v. 20, where αἵρεσις is
classed with διχοστασία.)

[2] Ricchini, editor of Moneta's great work, begins his Dissertation:
"Manichaeorum haereseos quae tertio Ecclesiae Seculo ex impuris Ethniorum
ac Gnosticorum lacunis Manete Persa antesignato emergens, diu lateque
pervagata est, sobolem et propaginem fuisse Catharos seu novos xii et
xiii seculi Manichaeos nemo dubitat, qui utriusque Sectae dogmata, mores
et disciplinam diligenter contulerit."


 INTRODUCTION                                    5

 THE SOURCE                                      9

 THE SOIL                                       19

 THE SEED                                       30

 THE SYSTEM                                     65

 CHAPTER IV (_continued_)
 RITES AND CEREMONIES                           80

 A SUMMARY                                      88




The origin of the Albigensian heresies was not indigenous, but imported,
although the raw imports were quickly combined with the home products.
Their vigorous growth and wide popularity were due to the peculiarly
favourable conditions of the country at the time of their introduction.


The Church commonly labelled the heresy "Manichean," but the label was a
libel. The word suited well the purpose of the Church, because the name
"Manichean" had had for centuries sinister associations, aroused the
utter detestation of the orthodox and brought down upon those accused of
it the severest penalties of Church and State. It recalled the conflicts
of the early Church with Gnosticism. It exercised a subtle fascination
over Augustine, and although he afterwards combated it, yet even as
Bishop, according to Julian of Eclanum--no mean critic--"he was not
entirely free from its infection." The aggressiveness of Manicheism,
albeit characteristically insidious and secretive, had, at the appearance
of Catharism, become a spent force. The contrary opinion is based on
inference, not historical data. The Dualism of the Manichees was not the
Dualism of the Catharists, and there were other differences even more
separative. No Manichean writer or leader or emissary has left the
slightest trace of his name or influence upon Catharist propaganda. The
eagerness with which this weapon was forged by the Church and the success
with which it was wielded make us suspicious of its justice. Even Bernard
of Clairvaux denies that the Catharists originated from Mani.[3]


Much the same may be said of the view, less widely held, that Catharism
was a resurgence of Priscillianism, of the survival of which we have
evidence as late as the beginning of the seventh century. It passed the
Pyrenees into France. There was undoubtedly a close connection between
Aragon and Toulouse. In their Dualism and Asceticism, in their study and
canon[4] of the Scriptures the two movements had points of resemblance,
but this is the utmost that can be said in favour of the theory. The
Catharists neither claimed to have had their origin in Spain nor
attempted to find there a favourable soil for planting their tenets. The
slight support that they received was given for political or family
reasons only. They used its nearer valleys and mountains as places of
refuge, not spheres of propaganda.


The resemblance between the Donatists and Albigenses, in their attitude
on the unworthiness of ministers affecting the validity of sacraments and
even of the Church itself, affords no historical ground for the theory
that that Schism left any seeds in France to germinate only after several
centuries. That Schism was confined to North Africa. Apart from the
presence of five Gallic Bishops, or assessors with the Bishop of Rome in
the trial, Caecilian _v._ Donatus, ordered by the Emperor in A.D. 313,
and the Council held at Arles in the following year, France had no
interest in the Donatist controversy. The opposite was the case, for the
Gallic Bishops were directed to intervene, and the Council was held in
Gaul, because Gaul was immune from it, and its doctrinal isolation
presumed an impartial platform for the disputants. Another point of
resemblance between Donatists and Albigenses was that both alike objected
to the coercive interference of the State in Church affairs.[5] But this
and the unworthiness of ministers are "marks" of a Church which have been
discussed in all ages, and are no evidence of historical connection.


We reach firmer ground in seeking a connection between the Catharists and
the Paulicians. We cannot go so far as to say with Reinéri, himself once
a Catharist, that the movement sprang from Bulgaria and Dalmatia, but
there is evidence to show that the Catharists themselves did not dispute
_some_ affinity. Paulician (corrupted into poplican, publican, etc.)[6]
was an early appellation of the Catharist; and a comparison of their
tenets and organization proves that there was too much in common to be
ascribed to mere accident. In the ninth century the Paulicians of Armenia
saw that circumstances were favourable for the dissemination of their
creed among the Slavonic people. For in the early part of that century
the Greek monks, Methodius and Cyril, had converted Bulgaria to
Christianity, and its King, Boris, who wished to be on friendly terms
with both the Frankish Kingdom and the Byzantine Empire, was baptized,
and took the name of Michael after his godfather Michael III, the
Byzantine Emperor. A special feature to be remembered in this work of
conversion is that these two monks translated the New Testament from the
Greek into the Bulgar language, and drew up a liturgy. They relied not
only upon the spoken word, but also upon the written word "in a tongue
understanded of the people"--a method of evangelization common to the
Paulicians, Albigenses and Waldenses. Not only so, but the version
current amongst the Western heretics can be shewn to be based upon the
Greek and not upon the Vulgate. The Doxology of the Lord's Prayer is
found in the New Testament of the Slavs and of the Catharists, derived
from the later Greek MSS., but does not occur in the earliest codices or
in the Vulgate. In Prov. viii. 22 the Catharists read ἔκτισε ("created")
with the LXX, but the Vulgate (possedit) ἐκτήσατο ("possessed"). The
Hebrew קָנָה may be rendered by either, but the former, frequently quoted
by the Arians, to the alarm and perplexity of Hilary, against Athanasius,
furnished the Church with grounds upon which to base a charge of Arianism
against the Catharists. In the archives of the Inquisition of Carcassonne
is a Latin version of the Apocryphal Narrative of the Questions of St.
John and the Answers of Jesus Christ, at the end of which is a note:
"This is a secret document of the heretics of Corcorezio, brought from
_Bulgaria_ by Nazarius their Bishop, full of errors."

The insistence upon the right of every nation to have the word of God in
its own language was a principle common to Paulicians and Catharists,
while the Papacy, holding that such a practice contributed to schism as
well as heresy, endeavoured to thrust one version, the Latin, upon the
whole Church, and refused permission to any but the clergy to read the
Scriptures. The Oriental Church was scarcely more compliant. Sergius, of
Tavia in Asia Minor, one of the ablest of the apostles of Paulicianism,
was won over to the sect by a personal study of the Scriptures which, he
had been taught, were to be read only by the clergy.[7] The story which
comes from the Paulicians of Galatia of Asia Minor might be transferred
almost word for word to describe similar conversions to Catharism in
Gallia of France.

Reverting to Bulgaria, Boris had desired to give Christianity an
authoritative and organized position in his dominions, and for this
purpose applied to Constantinople for a Bishop. Being refused, he
appealed to Rome. But from the Pope he received an even sterner rebuff.
However, jealousy gave what justice denied; for the Patriarch of
Constantinople, on hearing of Rome's refusal, altered his tone and gave
the King more than he asked, viz. one Archbishop and ten Bishops. We may
be certain that these Greek prelates would do nothing to mitigate the
antipathy which the Slavo-Greeks would feel towards Rome, and this
antipathy deepened into a settled hatred when Rome, later, denied them
the right to have the Scriptures in any language but Latin. These
troublous times the Paulicians of Armenia, ever zealous propagandists,
seized upon for spreading their doctrines. Their asceticism appealed
strongly to monks in Bulgaria, Thrace, etc., and in many a monastery
Paulicians were welcomed. Persecution also drove them westward, and when
in A.D. 969 the Emperor Tzimisces established them in Philippopolis, it
was a comparatively easy matter for them to transmit their doctrines
along the great trade routes through Bosnia and Dalmatia across and
around the Adriatic to Lombardy and France.

At Philippopolis the Paulicians would find a sect called the Euchites
already in possession, and, as the latter professed both an absolute and
a mitigated Dualism, the two bodies would readily fraternize. The
Euchites derived their name from εὐχή, because they regarded prayer as
superior to all other Christian duties. But their Slavonic name was
Bogomile, which, according to Euthymius, means "God, have pity,"[8] owing
to their frequent use of this phrase in worship. Now "Bogomile" was a
name frequently applied to the Catharists, nor did the Catharists
repudiate it. Moreover, as will be shewn later, there is a close
correspondence between the doctrines and practices of the Paulicians and
Bogomiles and those of the Albigenses. These prevailed everywhere
throughout the Byzantine Empire, and Crusaders and pilgrims could not
fail to come across them. What more probable, then, than that Crusaders
straggling and struggling homeward from defeat and disaster in Palestine,
to which they had gone at the summons and with the blessing of Holy
Church, should lend a sympathetic ear to those whose doctrines were
commended by personal asceticism and communal philanthropy? The blessing
had turned to a curse. They returned with the loss not only of health and
wealth, but of reverence for and faith in Rome. The Pagan had beaten the
Christian. Is it surprising that Catholicity should succumb to
suggestions for a new version of Christianity which gave them a plausible
and picturesque solution of the conflict between good and evil? Is it
surprising that the soldiers of the conquered Cross should be the
channels by which this concept flowed over those very countries from
which these disgruntled warriors had set forth? Nor must we overlook the
pilgrims and the Western mercenaries in the employ of the Eastern
Emperors bringing back with them at least information of these sects,
even though they did not agree with them.

Again, there is some evidence that the Cathari were prepared to show
deference, if not actual subordination, to the Paulicians. At the Synod
held A.D. 1167 in St. Felix de Caraman[9] near Toulouse, at which were
present Catharists from Lombardy and Italy, as well as France, Nicetas,
the Paulician "Bishop" of Constantinople, attended by request and
presided. His ruling that an absolute and not a relative Dualism was the
true Creed of Catharism was accepted. The consecration which certain
"Bishops" had received from Bulgaria he declared to be invalid, and he
reconsecrated them by the imposition of his hands. The "Perfects,"
fearing lest the Consolamentum[10] which they had received from such
"Bishops" might also be invalid, received the rite again from this
"Bishop" of the strict Paulicians. He instituted to the Sees of Toulouse,
Carcassonne and the Valley of the Aran three "Bishops" whom these
Dioceses had respectively elected. Lastly, he was consulted as to the
delimitation of the Dioceses of Toulouse and Carcassonne, and his
arbitration was accepted by all parties. His decision was avowedly based
upon Eastern and primitive precedent, viz. of the Seven Churches of
Asia--not by following the existing municipal and political boundaries of
the State, but by considering solely the spiritual interests of the
Church. The courtesy of inviting an eminent co-religionist to preside
over the Synod's deliberations, and the impartiality to be expected from
a disinterested stranger, fail to satisfy the terms of the equation. The
authority which Nicetas exercised, acceptance of his consecration and
consolamentum in place of the previous ones acknowledged as invalid
through a doctrine, erroneous because out of harmony with that of the
East, can only be explained on the ground that this Paulician Bishop of
the East came to the West as the duly accredited representative of a
foster-mother to her daughter Churches.

The title by which the heretics were most widely known was that of
Cathari. Unquestionably[11] derived from καθαρός, "pure," it points to
Eastern associations. First met with in the second half of the twelfth
century, it is the only appellation used of the heretics by Reinéri and

That a Gnostic element, undefined and indefinable, underlay and mingled
with the Catholicism of the working classes cannot be denied, and if we
can identify the sources of one or two strong streams feeding the
Albigensian heresy, these do not necessarily exclude others whose sources
evade us. In A.D. 890 Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons, discovered Gnostic
elements in his antiphonary. The Declaration of Belief which a century
later (A.D. 991) Gerbert published on his appointment to the
Archbishopric of Rheims was obviously called forth by the prevalence of
Docetic and Dualistic teaching in his Province: "I believe that Christ
was the Son of God, that He took a human form from His mother, and in
that body suffered, died and rose again. I believe that one and the same
God was the originator of both the Old and New Testaments, that Satan was
not originally evil, but had fallen into evil; that our present body and
no other would rise again; that marriage and eating meat were both

In A.D. 1016 an _Armenian_ anchorite was detected in Rome and denounced
as a heretic, and scarcely escaped with his life. As "Armenian" became
synonymous with heretic, we may assume that Armenians were frequent
visitors to other places in the West, and that their heresy was Paulician.


It is not therefore to Spain or Africa that we must look for the origin
of the Albigensian heresy, but rather to the East, for in that direction
the names Manichean, Bogomile, Bulgar, Paulician, Poplican[12] and
Catharist point, but we can only speak in generalities. We cannot say of
this heresy: "In the year ---- a band of missioners under ---- came to
France to convert it to Catharism," as we can say of the English Church:
"In the year 597 a band of missioners under Augustine came to England to
convert it to Christianity." When we have stretched our historical data
to their utmost capacity, when we have made full allowance for the
devastation wrought by friend and foe--by friend in the destruction of
the records against themselves of the Inquisition, by foe in the
destruction of heretical literature--we are convinced that the imports
from the East fail in quantity and quality to account for the Albigensian
heresies as we find them in full vigour and variety. Their germs might
have been found almost anywhere in Western Christendom in the Middle
Ages, but the stimulus to growth came not from without, but from within.
It was a spontaneous outburst of a profound discontent with a Church
which by its Ultramontanism opposed all national independence, and by its
unspirituality forfeited all respect for its creed. Just as the Church
turned back to Aristotelian and Platonic philosophy to illuminate the
mystical element--the relationship between the outward and the inward--in
its own entity and in its Sacraments--a philosophy which had long lain
dormant in her midst--so the Catharists turned back to Dualistic
Gnosticism to illuminate the origin of good and evil, and its bearing
upon ecclesiastical organization. But whereas the students of the North
were attracted to dialectics, the light-hearted of the South of France
were drawn to picturesque myths. It was an age when men everywhere, and
especially in France, were devoting themselves to a reconsideration of
the Church, in its essence, its doctrines and its activities; but while
the Church forced facts to suit philosophic theories, the Catharists
adopted and devised Dualistic theories to suit the facts. The Church
claimed that its doctrines, such as that of the Holy Roman Empire or of
Transubstantiation, were not new, but inherent in and developed from the
authority and teaching of its Divine Head. The Catharists maintained that
they were corruptions and profanities, weeds not fruit, and only when
they were swept away would the Christian Church be pure and therefore
powerful. How far circumstances favoured them falls now to be considered.

[3] Sermones in Cant. LXVI.

[4] Priscillianists rejected the Pentateuch but highly esteemed the
Apocryphal "Ascension of Isaiah," and the "Memoirs of the Apostles."

[5] Quid est imperatori cum ecclesia? ('Optatus,' III, _c._ 3.)

[6] _v. infra_, p. 17, note.

[7] Neander, "Ch. Hist." Vol. V pp. 346 _seq._ (Bohn).

[8] This has been questioned. The word probably means "The friend of God"
(Theophilus). So Gieseler, who says that the complete sentence in
Slavonic for "Lord, have mercy" (Kyrie eleison) would be "Gospodine
pomilui" (Schmidt Vol. II, pp. 284 _seq._).

[9] A significant connection with Asia Minor.

[10] _v. infra_, p. 83.

[11] In Lombardy called Gazari. Mosheim thought Gazari to be the original
form (and Cathari a corruption) from Gazar, the ancient Chersonese of the
Taurus. But there is nothing to show there were Dualists there. Neander,
while deriving Gazzari from the same place, distinguishes them from
Cathari. Ketzer is the common German word for "heretic."

[12] To the several solutions proposed of this word (_v._ Du Cange
_s.v._), I would add the suggestion that it is a popular abbreviation of
Philippopolicani, Philippopolis being the most active and most western
centre of Paulician propagandism. Such popular abbreviations of
cumbersome words are found in all languages.




In order to understand the situation, political and ecclesiastical, in
Southern France we must bear in mind that the Gauls of the West and the
Galatae of the East were of the same stock, and that each branch, though
several nations intervened, retained unimpaired its racial
characteristics. Galli, Galatae, Keltae are but different forms of the
same word. Livy would speak of Gauls in the East; Polybius of Galatians
in the West. The Gauls were a warm-hearted people, but unstable in their
friendships, impetuous and courageous in war, but unable to wear down a
foe by stubborn endurance. As Cæsar noticed: "sunt in consiliis capiendis
mobiles, et novis plerumque rebus student;" an opinion endorsed in modern
times by one of their own nation--Thierry: "Une bravoure personnelle que
rien n'égale chez les peuples anciens--un esprit franc, impétueux, ouvert
à toutes les impressions, éminemment intelligent--mais, à côté de cela,
une mobilité extrême, point de constance, une répugnance marquée aux
idées de discipline et d'ordre." To these traits may be added vivid
imagination, a fondness for song and poetry, a love of nature so intimate
that allegory became reality.

Gaul had become one of the perpetual conquests of Rome and had submitted
to its governmental system, but nothing could eradicate its racial
peculiarities. The Gaul was an individualist, the Roman an imperialist,
and hence the Gaul might be conquered, but never destroyed. Now this
imperialism which the Church took over from the State was developed
vigorously and rapidly under Pope Gregory VII and his successors, and the
insistence of it aroused a corresponding reaction in Gaulish nationalism.
The Church had condemned Nominalism as inimical to Catholic unity, and
had adopted the opposite scholastic theory of Realism as most agreeable
to the theory of the Holy Roman Empire. This theory, however, now
declared to be a dogma of the Catholic faith, struck at the root of
national and individual independence. Such an independence France had
constantly shewn, and it may be traced not only to the racial antipathy
between Gaul and Pelagian, but to the fact that Western Gaul had never
lost touch with its Eastern kin. Its Christianity from the earliest times
was on Eastern rather than Western lines. Its monasticism was of the
Oriental type. The letter which the Christians of Gaul in A.D. 177,
describing the sufferings and deaths of the martyrs in the persecution,
sent to "the brethren in Asia and Phrygia, having the same faith and hope
of redemption with us," can only be explained on the assumption that they
were of the same kith and kin. In fact, one of the martyrs, Alexander,
was a Phrygian.[13] The Gallican Liturgy was Eastern (Ephesian), not


The spirit of independence which pervaded Southern France would be
strengthened by its constant communication with Slavonia, for the Slavs,
according to Procopius, had the same national characteristics. "They are
not ruled by one man, but from the most ancient times have been under a
democracy. In favourable and unfavourable situations all their affairs
are placed before a common council." The "'Times' History of the World"
says: "The Slavs are characterised by a vivacity, a warmth, a mobility, a
petulance, an exuberance not always found in the same degree among even
the people of the South. Among the Slavs of purer blood these
characteristics have marked their political life with a mobile,
inconstant and anarchical spirit.... The distinguishing faculty of the
race is a certain flexibility and elasticity of temperament and character
which render it adaptable to the reception and the reproduction of all
sorts of diverse ideas." This likeness of temperament would naturally
draw two nations together and account for the readiness with which the
Gallican mind absorbed Slavonic propaganda.


The country had been early converted to Christianity, and the dominant
form of Christianity was now Roman. But when we speak of a country being
"converted" in the Middle Ages, we must regard the statement with
considerable qualifications. Conversions were often political
conveniences, rather than personal convictions. The people followed their
chiefs, accepted the Church's ministrations and attended her services,
but knew next to nothing of Christian truth. In France two things
contributed to this ignorance: (_a_) the official language of the Church
being different from that of the people; (_b_) the slackness and refusal
of the Church in providing services and sermons in a language which the
people understood.

Between the middle of the eighth and ninth centuries Latin was the
language only of the learned and officials; the mass of the people ceased
to understand it. Latin was sacrosanct, and to address God in any other
language was profane. Hence the Church lost its spiritual hold upon the
masses. "The hungry sheep looked up and were not fed." So serious was the
situation that Charlemagne summoned five Councils at five different
places, the most Southern being Arles, and ordered the Bishops to use the
vulgar tongue in the instruction of their flocks. From this it is clear
that the Bishops and Clergy were bilingual, but deliberately abstained
from adopting in their pastoral work a language which their people could
understand; even the Bible was a closed book. The heretics, on the
contrary, were most zealous in supplying this want, particularly the
Waldenses. Not only did they translate the whole of the New Testament and
parts of the Old, but added notes embodying Sententiae or opinions of the
Fathers. They contended that prayers in an unknown tongue did not profit.
They knew by heart large portions of Holy Scripture[14] and readily
quoted it in their discussions with the Church. The Catharists also had
composed a little work called "Perpendiculum Scientiarum," or "Plummet of
Knowledge" (cf. Is. xxviii. 17), consisting of passages of Scripture
whereby Catholicism might be easily and readily tested. Not until the
eleventh century do we come across in the West any translation into the
vulgar tongue by the Church, and then only of Legends of Saints in the
dialect of Rouen. In Southern France the vernacular which ultimately
emerged was known as Langue D'Oc, and sometimes Provençal. "In its rise
Provençal literature stands completely by itself, and in its development
it long continued to be absolutely original. This literature took a
poetic form, and this poetry, unlike classical poetry, is rhymed." No
class of literature is more easily remembered than rhymed verse in common
speech. The results of it, therefore, need not cause us surprise. It
produced a sense of unity, of comradeship. Latin might be the language of
the Church, but this was the language of the people. Its growth created a
cleavage between Church and people, which the former sought to bridge by
giving the latter accounts of miracles and legends in verse and prose in
the Romance language, and by permitting them to sing songs of their own
composition--and not necessarily sacred or even modest songs--in the
Churches.[15] But the experiment or concession only served to secularize
religion, and turned the services into amusements. Nor was it in accord
with the real policy of Catholicism which was to prevent the people
generally from forming their own opinions of Christianity by an
independent study of the Scriptures--a policy which to the Gallican
temperament would be particularly odious and exasperating.[16]


Secular causes also account for the growing unpopularity of the Church.
On the one hand the seigneurs resented the increasing wealth and land
encroachments of Bishops and Abbots. "In the eleventh century the fear of
the approaching final judgment and the belief in the speedy dissolution
of the world spread throughout all Europe. Some bestowed the whole of
their possessions on the Church."[17] But when the donors recovered from
their alarm, they regretted their sacrifice, and their descendants would
be provoked every day at the sight of others in enjoyment of their
ancestral lands. Moreover, the break-up of Charlemagne's vast kingdom
threw great power into the hands of the Dukes and Counts. In their own
domains they were practically autocrats. The only check upon their
sovereignty came from the Church, whose Bishops and Abbots were often
able to protect themselves by their own routiers or by ecclesiastical
penalties, such as excommunication. But the lords countered this by
thrusting their own nominees, often their own relations, into the most
powerful and lucrative offices of the Church, or by keeping them vacant
and appropriating their revenues. A semblance of legality was thrown over
this practice by the fact that "the Bishoprics being secular fiefs, their
occupants were bound to the performance of feudal service," and the
investiture into the temporalities of the office belonged to the
sovereign. Thus the freedom of the Church in the election and appointment
of her officers was curtailed.


On the other hand, the increase of commercial prosperity broke down the
feudal system. The merchants took advantage of the poverty of the Counts
through constant wars by obtaining in exchange for loans certain
privileges which, by charter, settled into the inalienable rights of the
ville franche. They built for themselves fortified houses in the towns,
and from them laughed to scorn the threats of the seigneurs. Their
enterprise was constantly bringing money into the country: the
non-productive Church was constantly sending it out. Trade with foreign
countries created in commercial and industrial circles a sense of
independence, and their enlarged outlook gave birth to a religious
tolerance favourable to doctrines other than, or in addition to, those of
Catholicism. Thus Peter Waldo, the merchant of Lyons, was moved to devote
his wealth to disseminate the Word of God as freely as he disposed of his
merchandise. These goods had to be made, and the actual manufacturers,
especially the weavers, shared in the general prosperity and imbibed this
freedom of thought. Erasmus' great wish, that the weaver might warble the
Scriptures at his loom,[18] was anticipated by three centuries by the
Albigenses, and especially by the Waldenses. So widely did heresy spread
among these textile workers that heretic and tesserand became synonymous.
At Cordes a nominal factory was set up, but in reality a theological
school for instruction in Catharism.[19]


Although it suited the purpose of the Church to regard them as "unlearned
and ignorant men," it was from the people that the Provençal literature
emanated. The bourgeoisie encouraged poetry and art. The industrial
classes turned in contempt from the stupid and impossible stories of
saints to a personal study of the Scriptures and their patristic
explanations. The Poor Men of Lyons were poor in spirit, not in pocket.
Business ability and training enabled them to organize their movement on
lines that were both flexible and compact, and their wealth supported
their officers. Clerks could copy out their pamphlets, and their
colporteurs or travellers could distribute them. At the beginning of the
thirteenth century the Marquis of Montferrand, in Auvergne, just before
his death, burnt a great quantity of books, especially those of
Albigensian propaganda, which he had been collecting for forty years.
(Stephen de Belleville, 85.) The Provençal, Arnauld, was a most prolific
writer, and sold or gave to the Catholics little books deriding the
saints of the Church. Moneta de Cremona, in his great work against the
Albigenses, declares that he drew his information of their doctrines from
their own writings, and quotes largely from a teacher called Tetricus, a
dialectician and interpreter of the Bible. Tetricus was probably that
William who was Canon of Nevers, returned to Toulouse in 1201, under the
name of Theodoric, and was held in great esteem by the Albigenses for his


But of all the causes of the unpopularity of the Church the unworthy
lives of the clergy was the most potent, the evidence for which comes
less from the accusations of the heretics than from the confessions of
the Church itself. To allow immodest songs, composed by the people, to be
sung in Church is sufficiently significant of the low standard of the
clerical mind; but instances are given of the clergy themselves composing
these songs. Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, found there a service-book
compiled by an assistant Bishop (_chorepiscopus_) so indecent that he
could not read it without a blush. The decrees of Councils throw a strong
light upon the luxurious and worldly lives of Bishops and Clergy--their
costly clothes, painted saddles and gold-mounted reins, joining in games
of chance, their habit of swearing, and allowing others to swear at them
without reproof, welcoming to their tables strolling players, hearing
Mattins in bed, being frivolous when saying the Offices, excommunicating
persons wrongfully, simony, tolerating clerical concubinage, dispensing
with banns, celebrating secret marriages, quashing wills. These are not
the slanders of heretics, but the testimony of the Church in formal
assembly. The Pope, Innocent III, is equally scandalized. Writing of the
Archbishop of Narbonne and its clergy, he exclaims: "Blind! dumb dogs
that cannot bark! Simoniacs who sell justice, absolve the rich and
condemn the poor! They do not keep even the laws of the Church. They
accumulate benefices and entrust the priesthood and ecclesiastical
dignities to unworthy priests and illiterate children. Hence the
insolence of the heretics; hence the contempt of nobles and people for
God and His Church. In this region prelates are the laughing stock of the
laity. And the cause of all the evil is the Archbishop of Narbonne. He
knows no other god than money. His heart is a bank. During the ten years
he has been in office he has never once visited his Province, not even
his own Diocese. He took five hundred golden pennies for consecrating the
Bishop of Maguelonne, and when we asked him to raise subsidies for the
Christians in the East he refused. When a Church falls vacant, he
refrains from nominating an incumbent, and appropriates the income. For
the same reason he has reduced by half the number of canons (eighteen)
and kept the archdeaconries vacant. In his Diocese monks and canons
regular have renounced their Order and married wives; they have become
money-lenders, lawyers, jugglers and doctors." Even Papal Legates, sent
to combat heresy, conformed to the same luxurious mode of life, and
called down upon themselves the severe reproofs of Bishop Diego and Prior
Dominic. Gaucelin Faidit wrote a play, called "The Heresy of the
Priests," in which he flung back upon the Clergy the charges which they
brought against the Cathari. It was acted with much applause before
Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat, the friend of Raymond VI, Count of
Toulouse (A.D. 1193-1202). Nor, indeed, could it be expected that those
who shewed themselves so indifferent to the sacredness of their calling
would do other than encourage violations of their prerogatives by the
powers of this world. The Counts, therefore, according to Godfrey's
Chronicle, handed over Churches to stupid persons or to their own
relations, and that simoniacally. Such people shew themselves to be
hirelings, shearing the sheep and not attending to their infirmities,
and--what is worse--encouraging in sin those whom they ought to correct.
The Bishops went about their dioceses exacting illegal taxes and
exchanging procurations for indulgences.

In contrast to all this was the life and character of the Catharists--for
we may dismiss as incapable of proof the charges of extinguished lights,
promiscuous intercourse, etc., which were but a réchauffé of the charges
made against the early Christians. Catharism, which means Puritanism, was
a constant and conspicuous protest to an age and people characterized by
a _joie de vivre_. The asceticism of the "Perfect" in particular went
beyond that of the severest monasticism, for they eschewed meat always,
and not merely at certain times of the year, as well as all food produced
by generation. Their relationship of the sexes was ultra-strict. Their
word was their bond, and their religion forbade them to mar it with an
oath. They possessed no money, and were supported by the community. Their
simplicity and modesty in dress, their frugality, their industry, their
honesty, kindled the respect, even the reverence, of the masses.[21] No
hardships or dangers daunted their missionary ardour. When the Church
attacked the heretics by means other than by fire and sword, she failed
until the Dominicans copied their methods and the Franciscans their

[13] Οἱ ἐν Βιέννῃ καὶ Λουγδούνῳ τῆς Γαλλίας παροικοῦντες δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ,
τοῖς κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν καὶ Φρυγίαν τὴν αὐτὴν τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως ἡμῖν πίστιν
καὶ ἐλπίδα ἔχουσιν ἀδελφοῖς. (Euseb., H.E., v. 1.)

[14] Reinéri Saccho says he knew an ignorant rustic who could recite the
book of Job word for word.

[15] In sanctorum vigiliis in ecclesiis historicae (= histrionicae)
saltationes, obsceni motus seu choreae fiunt ... dicuntur amatoria
carmina vel cantilenae ibidem (Council of Avignon, Canon xvii, A.D. 1209).

[16] Prohibemus--ne libros Veteris Testamenti aut Novi laici permittantur
habere: nisi forte psalterium vel breviarium pro divinis officiis, aut
horas beatae Mariae aliquis ex devotione habere velit. Sed ne praemissos
libros habeant in vulgari translatos arctissime inhibemus (Council of
Toulouse, Canon XIV, A.D. 1229).

[17] Hegel's "Philosophy of History," Pt. IV, Sect. II.

[18] Paracelsus, "Works," Vol. IV, p. 141.

[19] Prob. in A.D. 1212, when the inhabitants fled to Cordes (then a mere
hunting-box of the Counts of Toulouse) from St. Marcel, which was
destroyed by Simon de Montfort. The date usually assigned to the founding
of Cordes, viz. 1222, is wrong. _See_ "Records of the Académie imperiale
des Sciences, Toulouse," Series 6, Vol. V. For this reference I am
indebted to my friend, Col. de Cordes.

[20] Nearly a century before this (_v. infra_) Henry, the successor of
Peter de Bruis, wrote a book which Peter Venerabilis had seen himself,
setting forth the several heads of the heresy.

[21] Reinéri Saccho, a former Catharist (but not, as he is careful to
point out, a Waldensian) and afterward an Inquisitor, says the heretics
were distinguished by their conduct and conversation: they were sedate,
modest, had no pride in clothes, did not carry on business dishonestly,
did not multiply riches, did not go to taverns, dances, etc.; were
chaste, especially the Leonists, temperate in meat and drink, not given
to anger, always at work, teaching and learning, and therefore prayed
little, went to Church, but only to catch the preacher in his discourse;
precise and moderate in language. A man swam the River Ibis every night
in winter to make one convert.



We are now in a position to study more closely the documents from which
an estimate may be formed of the beliefs and practices of those whom the
Church exerted its full strength to destroy. Our task is not a simple
one, because, as already stated, there was not one heresy, but many, and
we are dependent for our knowledge of their tenets almost entirely upon
their enemies whose _odium theologicum_ discounts their trustworthiness.


It may simplify our task if we set down the fourteen heads under which
the Inquisitor Eymeric in his "Directorium Inquisitorum"[22] classifies
what he calls "_recentiorum_ Manicheorum errores."

(1) They assert and confess that there are two Gods or two Lords, viz. a
good God, and an evil Creator of all things visible and material;
declaring that these things were not made by God our heavenly Father ...
but by a wicked devil, even Satan ... and so they assume two Creators,
viz. God and the Devil; and two Creations, viz. one of immaterial and
invisible things, the other of visible and material.

(2) They imagine that there are two Churches, one good, which they say is
their own sect, and declare to be the Church of Jesus Christ; the other,
however, they call an evil Church, which they say is the Church of Rome.

(3) All grades, orders, ordinances and statutes of the Church they
despise and ignore, and all who hold the Faith they call heretics and
deluded, and positively assert (_dogmatizant_) that nobody can be saved
by the faith (_in fide_) of the Roman Church.

(4) All the Sacraments of the Roman Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, viz.
the Eucharist, and Baptism performed with material water, also
Confirmation and Orders and Extreme Unction and Penance (_poenitentia_)
and Matrimony, all and singular, they assert to be vain and useless.

(5) They invent, instead of holy Baptism in water, another _spiritual_
Baptism, which they call the Consolation (_consolamentum_)[23] of the
Holy Spirit.

(6) They invent, instead of the consecrated bread of the Eucharist of the
Body of Christ, a certain bread, which they call "blessed bread," or
"bread of holy prayer," which, holding in their hands, they bless
according to their rite, and break and distribute to their
fellow-believers seated.

(7) Instead of the Sacrament of Penance they say that their sect receives
and holds a true Penance (_poenitentia_), and to those holding the said
sect and order, whether they be in health or sickness, all sins are
forgiven (_dimissa_), and that such persons are absolved from all their
sins without any other satisfaction, asserting that they themselves have
over these the same and as great power as had Peter and Paul and the
other Apostles ... saying that the confession of sins which is made to
the priests of the Roman Church is of no avail whatever for salvation,
and that neither the Pope nor any other person of the Roman Church has
power to absolve anyone from his sins.

(8) Instead of the Sacrament of carnal Matrimony between man and woman,
they invent a spiritual Matrimony between the soul and God, viz. when the
heretics themselves, the perfect or consoled (_perfecti seu consolati_),
receive anyone into their sect and order.

(9) They deny the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ from Mary ever
virgin, asserting that He had not a true human body, etc., but that all
things were done figuratively (_in similitudinem_).

(10) They deny that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the true mother of our
Lord Jesus Christ; they deny also that she was a woman of flesh
(_carnalem_). But they say their sect and order is the Virgin Mary, and
that true penance (_poenitentia_) is a chaste virgin who bears sons of
God when they are received into their sect and order.

(11) They deny the future resurrection of human bodies, imagining,
instead, certain spiritual bodies.

(12) They say that a man ought to eat or touch neither meat nor cheese
nor eggs, nor anything which is born of the flesh by way of generation or

(13) They say and believe that in brutes and even in birds there are
those spirits which go forth from the bodies of men when they have not
been received into their sect and order by imposition of hands, according
to their rite, and that they pass from one body into another; wherefore
they themselves do not eat or kill any animal or anything that flies.

(14) They say that a man ought never to touch a woman.


The earliest mention of the heterodox as _Manichees_ is found in Ademar,
a noble of Aquitaine, who says: "Shortly afterwards (A.D. 1018) there
arose throughout _Aquitaine_ Manichees, seducing the people. They denied
Baptism and the Cross, and whatever is of sound doctrine. Abstaining from
food, they appeared like monks and feigned chastity, but amongst
themselves they indulged in every luxury and were the messengers of
Anti-Christ, and have caused many to err from the faith."[24]


These "Manichees" may have fled from the theological school at Orleans
where heresy had been detected and punished only the year before,
although neither Glaber Radulf[25] nor Agono, of the monastery of St.
Peter's, Chartres,[26] both contemporaries, denominates them Manichees.
The proceedings of the Council of Orleans, though beyond our area, is of
interest to us, because of the eminence and influence of its theological
school, and also because the Queen, Constance, was daughter of Raymond of
Toulouse, she having married Robert after he had been compelled to
divorce his first wife, Bertha. The heresy, by whatever name it reached
or left Orleans, probably affected Southern France, for it is stated that
the heresy was brought into Gaul by an _Italian_ woman "by whom many in
_many_ parts were corrupted." The "depravity" of the heretics was spread
secretly, and was only disclosed to the King by a nobleman of Normandy,
named Arefast, who became acquainted with the existence of the heresy
through a young ecclesiastic, Heribert. At the Council (_A.D._ 1022)
which the King summoned, and which consisted of many Bishops, Abbots and
_laymen_,[27] the three ringleaders, Stephen, the Queen's Confessor,
Heribert, who had filled the post of ambassador to the King of France,
and Lisois, all famous for their learning, holiness and generosity,
declared that everything in the Old and New Testaments about the Blessed
Trinity, although authority supported it by signs and wonders and ancient
witnesses, was nonsense; that heaven and earth never had an author, and
are eternal; that Jesus Christ was not born of the Virgin Mary, did not
suffer for men, was not placed in the sepulchre, and did not rise again
from the dead; that there is no washing away of sins in Baptism; that
there is no sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration
by a priest; intercessions of saints, martyrs and confessors are
valueless. Arefast, the informer, said he asked wherein then he could
rest his hope of salvation; he was invited to submit to their imposition
of hands, then he would be pure from all sin, and be filled with the Holy
Spirit Who would teach him the depths and true meaning (_profunditatem et
veram dignitatem_) of all the Scriptures without any reserve. He would
see visions of Angels who would always help him, and God his Friend
(_comes_) would never let him want for anything.[28] They were like the
Epicureans, and did not believe that flagitious pleasures would be
punished, or that piety and righteousness--the wealth of
Christians--would receive everlasting reward. Arefast also brings against
them the odious charges of extinguished lights and promiscuous
intercourse; the children thus begotten were solemnly burnt the day after
their birth, their ashes preserved and given to the dying as a Viaticum.
Threatened with death by fire, they boasted that they would escape from
the flames. Sentenced to death, the King feared lest they should be
killed in the Church and commanded Queen Constance to stand on guard at
the door. But the Queen herself got out of hand, for as the condemned
heretics came forth she gouged out (_eruit_) with a staff the eye of
Stephen, her late confessor. As soon as they felt the fire, they cried
out that they had been deceived by the Devil, and that the God and Lord
of the universe, Whom they had blasphemed, was punishing them with
torture temporal and eternal. Some of the bystanders were deeply moved
and endeavoured to rescue them, but in vain. The number who perished
varies between fourteen and ten. "A like fate met others who held a like
faith," says Glaber, "and thus the Catholic faith was vindicated and
everywhere shone more brightly."

The Council's investigations also brought to light the fact that a Canon
of Orleans, and Precentor, called Theodotus (_Dieudonné_), had three
years before died in heresy, although he pretended to live and die in the
communion of the Church. On this deception being discovered, his body was
exhumed by order of Bishop Odalric and thrown away. It will be noted that
the Council does not call them Manichees or any other name. In fact, with
the exception of Ademar, no one for nearly a century identifies the
heretics with Manicheism. They are not labelled at the Council of
Charroux in A.D. 1028 (or 1031). At the Council of Rheims in A.D. 1049
they are vaguely spoken of as "new heretics who have arisen in France."
The Council of Toulouse in A.D. 1056 condemned in its thirteenth Canon
certain heretics, but does not specify their errors. In A.D. 1110 in the
Diocese of Albi, Bishop Sicard and Godfrey of Muret, Abbot of Castres,
attempted to seize some heretics already excommunicated, but were
prevented by nobles and people; but they are only colourlessly described

  Astricti Satanae qui sunt anathemate diro,
    Noluntque absolvi restituique Deo.[29]


Another Council held at Toulouse in A.D. 1119, presided over by the Pope,
Callistus III, is more precise, but does not denominate them. By its
third Canon it enacted: "Moreover, those who, pretending to a sort of
religion, condemn the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the
Baptism of children, the priesthood and other ecclesiastical orders and
the compacts of lawful marriage, we expel from the Church of God as
heretics and condemn them, and enjoin upon the secular powers (_exteras
potestates_) to restrain them. In the bonds of this same sentence we
include their defenders until they recant."


A new heresiarch now comes upon the scene in the person of Peter de
Bruis, of whom nothing previous is known, except that according to
Alfonso à Castro he was a Gaul of Narbonne. We first hear of him from
Maurice de Montboissier, better known as Petrus Venerabilis, Abbot of
Cluny, who addressed an open letter "to the lords, fathers and masters of
the Church of God, the Archbishops of Arles and Embrun" and certain
Bishops. As the Abbot died in A.D. 1126(7), and the heresiarch laboured
for twenty years in promulgating his teaching, he was contemporary with
the Council of Toulouse of A.D. 1119,[30] and its condemnation may have
been directed in part against his followers, who were called
Petrobrusians. The letter of the Abbot has a preface which is not his,
but which was written after his death. This preface sums up the tenets of
the Petrobrusians under five heads:

(1) They deny that little children under years of discretion
(_intelligibilem aetatem_) can be saved by the baptism of Christ, and
another's faith cannot benefit those who cannot use their own ... for the
Lord said, "Whosoever _believed_ and was baptized was saved."

(2) Temples and Churches ought not to be built, and those already built
ought to be pulled down, and sacred places for praying were not necessary
to Christians, since equally in tavern or church, in market or temple,
before altar or stall, God, when called upon, hears and hearkens to those
who deserve.

(3) All holy crosses should be broken up and burnt, since that instrument
by which Christ was so fearfully tortured and so cruelly put to death was
not worthy of adoration, veneration or any other worship, but in revenge
for His torments and death should be dishonoured with every kind of
infamy, struck with swords and burnt.

(4) Not only do they deny the truth of the Body and Blood of the Lord in
the Sacrament daily and continually offered up in the Church, but declare
that it is absolutely nothing and ought not to be offered to God.

(5) They deride sacrifices, prayers, alms and other good things done by
the faithful living for the faithful departed, and affirm that these
things cannot help any of the dead in the smallest degree.[31] Also "they
say God is mocked by Church hymns, because He delights in pious desires,
and cannot be summoned by loud voices or appeased by musical notes."[32]

In the letter itself Peter Venerabilis points out to the prelates that in
their parts the people were re-baptized, churches profaned, altars thrown
down, crosses burnt. Meat was publicly eaten on the very day of the
Lord's Passion, priests were scourged, monks imprisoned and compelled by
terrors and tortures to marry. "The heads, indeed, of these pests by
God's help as well as by the aid of Catholic princes you have driven out
of your territories. But the slippery serpent, gliding out of your
territories, or rather driven out by your prosecution, has betaken itself
to the Province of Narbonne, and whereas with you it used to whisper in
deserts and hamlets in fear, it now preaches boldly in great meetings and
crowded cities. But let the most distant shores of the swift Rhone and
the champaign adjacent to Toulouse, and the city itself, more populous
than its neighbours, drive out this opinion; for the better informed the
city is, the more cautious it ought to be against false dogma." Peter de
Bruis was burnt by the faithful in revenge for the crosses which he had


But "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church," whether that
Church be true or false, and the mantle of Peter de Bruis fell strangely
upon Henry, a fellow monk at Cluny of Peter Venerabilis. Henry, "haeres
nequitiae ejus," with many others "doctrinam diabolicam non quidem
emendavit sed immutavit," and wrote it down in a volume which Peter
himself had seen, and that not under five heads, but several. "Haeres,"
however, must be loosely interpreted with regard to both time and
teaching. For Henry had already been wonderfully successful as a
revivalist elsewhere, and his teaching did not entirely coincide with
that of Peter de Bruis. For instance, whereas the latter burnt the cross,
Henry had one carried before him and his followers when he entered towns
and villages, and made it the emblem and inspiration of a life of
self-denial, to which his own monastic training would predispose him. So
far from calling for the destruction of sacred buildings, he used them,
when he obtained permission--as he did from Bishop Hildebert--for his
mission preaching. He insisted upon the celibacy of the clergy, but
regulated in minute detail the marriage of the laity. In fact, it is not
easy to see how his teaching could be called heretical, unless it were
his opposition to saint-worship, and doubtless he would have been allowed
to move about freely had he not denounced the luxurious lives of the
clergy and exposed them to the contempt and insults of the people.
Arrested in A.D. 1134 he was condemned for heresy at the Council of Pisa,
and imprisoned there; but he was released and returned to France, where
he laboured in and around Toulouse and Albi, and met with remarkable
success, not only amongst the laity, but even amongst the clergy; so much
so, indeed, that the Churches were emptied of both, in order that priest
and people might join the sect, which, after its leader, was called
Henricians. Not until A.D. 1148 was he finally suppressed. Brought before
a Council at Rheims he was sentenced to imprisonment for life, a
punishment which goes to shew that he was not regarded as a heretic, but
as a firebrand whose inflammatory activity must, for the peace of the
Church, be extinguished. Reform of life rather than reform of doctrine
was the aim of Henry's mission.


But although that mission was successful, it did not absorb all the
anti-church movements. The Dualistic creed still obtained in many parts
of Southern France, as Radulf Ardens[33] ("Sermons," p. 325) declared:
"Such to-day, my brethren, are the Manichean heretics, for they have
defiled our fatherland of Agen. They falsely assert that they keep to the
Apostolic life, saying that they do not lie or swear at all; on the
pretence of abstinence and continence they condemn flesh-food and
marriage. They say that it is as great a sin to approach a wife as it is
a mother or daughter. They condemn the Old Testament, and receive only
some parts of the New. But what is more serious is they preach that there
are two authors of Nature (_rerum_), God the author of things invisible,
and the Devil the author of things visible. Hence, they secretly worship
the Devil, because they believe him to be the creator of their body. They
say that the Sacrament of the Altar is plain (_purum_) bread. They deny
Baptism. They preach that no one can be saved except by their hands. They
deny also the resurrection of the body."


Bernard of Clairvaux (b. A.D. 1091), however, refuses to connect the
heretics with any human founder, Mani, Peter de Bruis, or Henry. "These"
(heretics), he exclaims,[34] "are sheep in appearance (_habitu_), foxes
in cunning, wolves in cruelty. They are rustics, ignorant and utterly
despicable, but you must not deal with them carelessly.... They prohibit
marriage, they abstain from food. The Manicheans had Mani for chief and
instructor, the Arians Arius, etc. By what name or title do you think you
can call these? By none, for their heresy is not of man, and they did not
receive it through man. It is by the deceit of devils.... Still some
differ from the rest, and profess that marriage should be contracted only
between bachelors and virgins (_inter solos virgines_). They deny that
the fire of purgatory remains after death."


But something more official, more imposing than separate and isolated
denunciations and condemnations of individuals was demanded by reason of
the rapid and extensive growth of these heresies. Accordingly a Council
met at Tours in A.D. 1163, the title of the fourth Canon of which is:
"That all should avoid the company (_consortium_) of the Albigensian
heretics." Here, for the first time, I believe, we meet with the name
Albigenses as a distinct religious sect. The heresy is, if the title is
authentic, directly and officially connected with these people, although
Toulouse, and not Albi, is specifically mentioned in the Canon itself.
The fourth Canon says: "In the parts of Toulouse a damnable heresy has
lately arisen, and like a canker is slowly diffusing itself into the
neighbouring localities, and has already infected Gascony[35] and many
other provinces. The Bishops and Priests of the Lord in those parts we
enjoin to be on their guard and under threat of anathema forbid anyone to
receive any known to be followers of that heresy." They were to boycott
them. Catholic princes were to arrest them and confiscate their goods.
Their conventicles were to be carefully sought for, and, when discovered,
forbidden. But it is remarkable that what this "damnable heresy"
consisted of is not defined, and, however damnable, the penalties are
comparatively mild--neither prison nor death.


Whether the Tolosan authorities resented being dictated to by a Council
of Tours, or whether they connived at the heresy they were directed to
suppress, we cannot say. But, at any rate, the Canon proved ineffective,
and it was found necessary to call another Council, and that in the
infected area itself. But it was deemed inadvisable to summon it to meet
in any of the large towns, either, because in the quietness of a small
town the business could be transacted with greater thoroughness (cf.
Nicea in preference to Byzantium) or because the feeling against the
Church in the large centres of population made it unsafe. Accordingly
Lombers, a small town in the Diocese of Albi, was decided upon, and here
the most important Council which had so far met, to deal with this
"damnable heresy," assembled, either in A.D. 1165 or A.D. 1176,[36] but
the earlier date is probably correct. Amongst those who were present were
the Archbishop of Narbonne, the Bishops of Nimes, Agde, Toulouse and
Lodève, eight Abbots, four of whom were of the Diocese of Albi, as well
as Trenveçal, Viscount of Albi, Béziers and Carcassonne. Other princes
were conspicuous by their absence. Binius honours it with the title of
"the Gallican Council against the Albigenses," as if all Southern France
were represented; while the official account says that its sentence was
directed against those who called themselves "Boni homines."[37] Now, for
the first time apparently, an official _inquiry_ was held. The matter was
not left to hearsay, but the heretics were given an opportunity to speak
for themselves. Certain of their leaders, of whom Olivier was the chief,
were cited to appear before the Council, and the examination was
conducted by Gaucelin, Bishop of Lodève, at the instance of Gerald,
Bishop of Albi. (1) They answered that they rejected the whole of the Old
Testament, but accepted "the Gospels, the Epistles of Paul, the seven
canonical (Catholic?) Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles and the
Apocalypse." (2) They would say nothing about their Creed unless they
were forced. (3) As for the Baptism of little children, and whether they
were saved, they would say nothing, but would quote from the Gospels and
Epistles. (4) Questioned on the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the
Lord as to where it was consecrated, through whom they received it, and
who received it, and whether the consecration was affected by the good or
evil character of him who consecrated, they replied that those who
received it worthily were saved, and those who received it unworthily
acquired to themselves damnation, and added that it was consecrated by
every good man, whether clerical or lay. Further than this they would not
answer, maintaining that they ought not to be compelled to answer
concerning their Creed. (5) About Matrimony they answered evasively,
sheltering themselves behind a quotation from St. Paul's Epistle. (6)
With regard to Penance, whether it is efficacious for salvation at the
end of life, whether soldiers, mortally wounded, would be saved if they
repented at the end, whether each one ought to confess his sins to the
priests and ministers of the Church, or to any layman whatever, or of
whom St. James spake: "Confess ye your sins one to another," they said it
sufficed for the weak to confess to whomsoever they would; and as for
soldiers they would say nothing, because St. James says nothing, but only
about the sick. Gaucelin inquired whether, in their opinion, contrition
of heart and oral confession were alone sufficient, or whether it was
necessary that reparation be made after penance by fasts, scourgings,
alms and lamentation for their sins, if opportunity for such presented
itself. Their reply was that James said only this--that they should
confess and be saved, and they did not wish to be better than the
Apostle. Many things they volunteered, as that we should swear not at
all, as Jesus said in the Gospel and James in his Epistle; that Paul said
in his Epistle what sort of men were to be ordained Bishops and
Presbyters, and if men of other character were ordained, they were not
Bishops and Presbyters, but ravening wolves and hypocrites and seducers
... wearing white robes and gemmed rings of gold; and therefore obedience
should not be given them, since they were bad men, not good teachers, but
mercenaries. The Council pronounced them guilty, and drew up a Refutation
of their errors taken from the New Testament only. They retorted that the
Bishop who pronounced the Sentence was himself a heretic, and turning to
the people they said: "We believe"--and here they rehearsed the Articles
of the Apostles' Creed, but omitting "the Holy Catholic Church." "We
believe in confession of heart and mouth. We believe that he who does not
eat the Body of Christ is not saved, and that it is not consecrated
except in the Church, and by a priest, good or evil, and that it is not
better done by a good priest than by an evil. We believe that no one is
saved except by baptism, and that little children are saved by baptism.
We believe that married people are saved." They further declared that
they would believe anything that could be proved from the Gospels and
Epistles, but that they would swear to nothing.

The result, or rather lack of results, of this Council is perplexing.
Either Gaucelin was a poor examiner, or was afraid to press his
examination too far. Had he been a better or a bolder examiner, he must
have quickly discovered that the differentiation between the Old and the
New Testaments was due to strong Dualistic tendencies. Also, this Council
was the most formidable array of the powers that be which the heretics
had had to face. Yet no penalties are imposed, much less inflicted upon
the guilty. The Council contents itself with a mere Refutation. The most
probable explanation is that the people were not overawed by the move of
the Church authorities from Tours to Lombers, and the latter were not
ready for an explosion. The heretics candidly avowed that their answers
were _ad captandum vulgus_, "propter dilectionem et gratiam vestri," and
the Council did not venture further than the mild objection: "Vos non
dicitis, quod propter gratiam Domini dicatis."


No help was to be expected at this time from the Pope in the suppression
of heresy either in the South of France or the North of Italy, for he had
more than he could manage in his struggle with Barbarossa and his
Anti-pope. The Council had done little more than advertise its own
weakness and the strength of the heretics. The Church therefore
determined upon new methods, meeting preaching by preaching. Persuasion
is better than force, but persuasion is more effective when coupled with
force--or hints of severe penalties for contumacy. The Kings of France
and England sent out the Cistercian monk, Peter Chrysogonus, Cardinal and
Legate, with certain Archbishops and Bishops "ut _praedicatione sua_
haereticos illos ad fidem Christianam converterent," Raymond, Count of
Toulouse and Raymond, Count of Castranuovo, and others lending them
secular support. This move proved more successful than the Council, and
many yielded. Sometimes the Commission would summon or invite the
heretics to be more explicit as to their creed, granting them a safe
conduct _eundi et redeundi_. Under these conditions two heresiarchs came
forward, called Raymond and Bernard, and produced a certain paper in
which they had drawn up the articles of their faith. But they could
scarcely speak a word of Latin, and the Court "condescended" to hold the
discussion in the vulgar tongue. They answered, "sane et circumspecte, ac
si Christiani essent;" so much so indeed, that they were charged with
deliberate lying, and accused of holding the usual erroneous opinions
with which previous investigations have made us familiar. This they
strenuously denied. They even asserted their belief that "panis et vinum
in corpus et sanguinem Christi vere transubstantiabantur." But to this
creed they would not swear, deeming oaths unlawful. The Court regarded
this avowal as a mere cloke of duplicity and condemned and excommunicated
them. This sentence Peter Chrysogonus justified in an open letter, and
Henry of Clairvaux, who accompanied him, in a similar letter declared
that if they had deferred their visit for three years scarcely anyone
would have remained orthodox.


Alexander III, having composed his differences with Frederick Barbarossa
and the Anti-pope, summoned, in _A.D._ 1179, the third Lateran Council.
It was described as "A magnificent Diet of the Christian world." Over one
thousand Bishops and Abbots (amongst them English[38], Irish[39] and
Scotch), were present, besides many of the inferior clergy and
representatives of Emperor and Kings. By its twenty-seventh Canon it
condemned the heretics of Gascony, Albi and the parts about Toulouse,
going under several names. If they died in sin no masses were to be said
for their souls, nor were they to receive Christian burial.[40] One
incident, however, at this Council, which received but scant notice at
the time, has an important bearing upon our subject. This was a
deputation of two Waldenses who begged official recognition of their
movement from the Pope. We are concerned here only with their doctrines,
which they professed to draw entirely from the Bible and the
authoritative utterances of the Saints (_auctoritates sanctorum_). Had
Alexander III been a Pope of statesmanlike prescience, the Preaching
Orders which eventually saved the Church might have been anticipated by
some thirty years. These Waldenses had no certain dwelling-place,
travelled barefoot, wore woollen clothes only, had no private property,
but "had all things in common," they followed naked the naked Christ. The
Pope, to whom they gave a book containing the text of the Psalter with
notes and several other books of "either Law," approved of their vow of
voluntary poverty, but refused them permission to preach, unless the
clergy (_sacerdotes_) asked them. Walter Mapes, an Englishman, afterwards
a Franciscan, tells us ("De Nugis" i. 31) that he met the Waldenses in
Rome. He calls them ignorant and unlearned, and by command of the Pope
entered into conversation with them, asking them at first the easiest
questions, e.g. "Did they believe in God the Father? and in the Son? and
in the Holy Ghost?" To each they answered, "We believe." "And in the
Mother of Christ?" But when they answered again, "We believe," they were
greeted with a general shout of laughter, and retired in confusion, "et
merito, quia a nullo regebantur et rectores appetebant fieri, Phaetonis
instar, qui nec nomina novit equorum." The Abbot of Urspegensis, in his
Chronicle (A.D. 1212), also mentions this petition of the Waldenses for
Papal recognition, adding that they wore capes, like the "religious," and
had long hair, unless they were "laymen." Men and women travelled
together, which caused considerable scandal. Yet they asserted all these
things came down from the Apostles.


Two years later Lucius III, on becoming Pope, issued a decree against the
heretics under various names, including "Cathari, Patarini et ii qui se
Humiliati vel Pauperes de Lugduno falso nomine mentiuntur." They were
banned with a perpetual anathema, and were to be destroyed by the secular
arm; but no errors are specified.


At the third Lateran Council was present Alan, Bishop of
Antissiodorensis, otherwise known as Alan de Insulis, Alan the Great,
Alan the Universal Doctor. He was born A.D. 1114 at Lille in Flanders,
although others, e.g. Demster, identify De Insulis with Mona (Man or
Anglesea). As a boy he entered Clairvaux under Bernard, and in _A.D._
1151 was made a Bishop. In _A.D._ 1183, by command, he wrote a work in
four books, dedicated to "his most beloved lord, William, by the grace of
God Count of Montpelier." The title of the work is, "De Fide Catholica
contra haereticos sui temporis _praesertim Albigenses_." The Albigenses,
however, are not mentioned by name throughout the work. The second book
is entitled, "Contra Waldenses," in which he says: "The Waldenses are so
called from their heresiarch, Waldus, who, of his own will (_suo spiritu
ductus_), not sent by God, started a _new_ sect, presuming forsooth to
preach without the authority of a Bishop, without the inspiration of God,
without learning. They assert that no one should be obeyed but God only
(which is explained by what he states later--that it was their opinion
that obedience should be given to good prelates only and to the imitators
of the Apostles). Neither office nor Order avails anything for
consecrating or blessing, for binding or loosing. Where a priest is not
available, confession may be made to a layman. On no account must one
take an oath. On no account must a man be killed." Alan charged them with
holding Docetic views of our Lord, and with declaring that the Virgin
Mary was created in heaven and had no father or mother.

Bernard, the Praemonstratensian, Abbot of Fontcaud, wrote in A.D. 1190 a
book "against the sect of the Waldenses," but adds nothing to our
knowledge. Nor does Bonacursus, writing later in the same year, except
some gross and preposterous distortion of their belief on the monthly
motions of the moon, and the statement that they held that Christ was not
equal to the Father.

Ten years later Ermengard wrote a tract,[41] also entitled "Against the
sect of the Waldenses," but they are not named in it, and those whom he
attacks are not the original or genuine Waldenses, for he charges them
with (1) Dualistic opinions; (2) teaching that the law of Moses was given
by the Prince of evil spirits; (3) Docetic views; (4) stating that in
"Hoc est corpus meum," "_hoc_ does not refer to the bread which He (our
Lord) held in His hands and blessed and brake and distributed to His
disciples, but to His Body which was performing all these things.... And
there are some heretics who believe that by hearing the word of God they
eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood." He gives an
interesting account of the Consolamentum, but this will be described


In the "Historia Albigensium" of the Cistercian Peter de Vaux-Sarnai we
pass from scattered references to a work devoted specifically to their
doctrines and doings. It is dedicated to Innocent III, the Pope who
passed from words to deeds, working out a definite policy for their
absolute extinction. The monk claims to set down "the simple truth in a
simple way," and we may add "for simple readers," if the following
description of Raymond, Count of Toulouse, is a sample of his claim: "A
limb of the devil, a son of perdition, the first-born of Satan, an enemy
of the Cross and persecutor of the Church, defender of heretics,
suppressor of Catholics, servant of perdition, abjurer of the Faith, full
of crime, a store-house of all sins." Several of his statements about
their doctrines and practices lack confirmation from any other source,
especially some too blasphemous to be repeated here. After the usual
charge of the two Gods, good and evil,[42] he says that they accepted
only those parts of the Old Testament which are quoted in the New. John
the Baptist was one of the greater demons. There were two Christs--the
bad one was born in Bethlehem and crucified in Jerusalem. The good Christ
never assumed real (_veram_) flesh, and never was in this world, except
spiritually in the body of Paul. The heretics imagined a new and
invisible earth, and there, according to some, the good Christ was born
and crucified. The good God had two wives, Colla and Coliba, and had sons
and daughters. _Others_ say there is one Creator who had as sons Christ
and the Devil. They say, too, that all the Creators were good, but that
all things were corrupted by the daughters spoken of in the Apocalypse.
Almost the whole of the Roman Church is a den of thieves, and is "illa
meretrix" mentioned in the Apocalypse. On the Sacraments they held views
already ascribed by Eymeric to the Manichees, and mentioned by others,
"instilling into the ears of the simple this blasphemy, that, had the
body of Christ been as large as the Alps, it would long ago have been
consumed by the partakers thereof."[43] "Some, denying the resurrection
of the flesh, said that our souls were those angelic spirits which, after
being thrust out of heaven through the pride of apostasy, left their
glorified bodies in the air, and after a seven-times succession in
certain terrestrial bodies as a sort of penance returned to their own
bodies that had been left." Some are called "perfecti" or "boni homines,"
others "credentes." The "perfecti" wear black and profess (though they
lie) chastity. The "credentes" live a secular life and do not attain to
the life of the "perfecti," though one with them in faith and unfaith
(_fide et infidelitate_). However wickedly they have lived, yet they
believe that if, "in supremo mortis articulo," they say a Pater noster
and receive imposition of hands from their "masters," they will be saved;
no credent about to die can be saved without this imposition of hands.
They call their masters deacons and bishops. If any "perfect" sin a
mortal sin, e.g. by eating the very smallest portion of meat, egg or
cheese, all who have been "consoled" by him _lose_ the Holy Spirit and
ought to be "consoled" again. The Waldenses also are evil, but much less
so than the other heretics. "In many things they agree with us: in some
disagree." They omit many of the others' infidelities. They carry
sandals, and say that so long as a man carries these, if need arise, he
can without episcopal ordination make (_conficere_) the Body of Christ.


Peculiar interest attaches to the statements of Reinéri Saccho[44]
because he had once been a Catharist (but not a Waldensian), and wrote as
an Inquisitor (A.D. 1254). He distinguishes between Catharist and
Waldensian, but his remarks refer primarily to the heretics of Lombardy,
although he is careful to point out that their opinions differ little
from Catharists in Provençe and other places. He charges the
_Waldensians_ with thirty-three errors, amongst which are:

(2) Belief in Traducianism. "The soul of the first man was made
materially from the Holy Spirit, and the rest through it by traduction."

(6) Any good man may be a son of God in the same way as Christ was,
having a soul instead of a Godhead.

(8) To adore or worship the body of Christ, or any created thing, or
images or crosses, is idolatry.

(9) Final penance (_poenitentia_) avails nothing.

(11) The souls of good men enter and leave their bodies without sin.

(12) The punishment of Purgatory is nothing else than present trouble.

(14) Prayers for the dead avail nothing.

(15) Tenths and other benefactions should be given to the poor, not to
the priests.

(18) They derided Church music and the Canonical Hours.

(19) Prayers in Latin profit nothing, because they are not understood.

(23) The Roman Church is not the head of the Church. It is a Church of

(31) Any man may divorce his wife and follow them, even if his wife is
unwilling to be divorced, and e converso.

(33) No one can be saved outside their sect.

In addition to these he mentions other of their errors: Infant Baptism
profits nothing--priests in mortal sin cannot consecrate--
transubstantiation takes place in the hand, not of him who consecrates,
but of him who worthily receives: consecration may be made at an ordinary
table (quoting Mal. i. 11)--Mass is nothing, because the Apostles had it
not--no one can be absolved by a bad priest--a good layman has power to
absolve: he can also remit sins by the imposition of hands, and give the
Holy Spirit--Public Penance is to be reprobated, especially in the case
of women--married persons sin mortally, if they come together without
hope of offspring--Holy Orders, Extreme Unction and the tonsure were
derided--every one without distinction of sex may preach--Holy Scripture
has the same effect in the vulgar tongue as in Latin--the Waldenses knew
by heart the text of the New Testament, and a great part of the Old--they
despised decretals, excommunications, absolutions, indulgences, all
saints but the Apostles, canonizations, relics, crosses, times and
seasons--they said in general that the doctrines of Christ and His
Apostles were sufficient for salvation without the statutes of the Church.

With regard to the Catharists he observed that they were divided into
three divisions--Albanenses, Concorezenses and Bognolenses. There were
others in Tuscany, the Marquisate of Treves and in _Provençe_ who
differed very little, if at all, from those previously mentioned. The
opinions _common_ to them all were:

(1) The Devil made the world and all things in it.

(2) All the Sacraments of the Church are of the Devil, and the Church
itself is a Church of malignants.

(3) Carnal marriage is always a mortal sin.

(4) There is no resurrection of the flesh.

(5) It is mortal sin to eat eggs, flesh and such-like.

(6) It is mortal sin for the secular power to punish heretics or

(7) There is no such thing as Purgatory.

(8) Whoever kills an animal commits a great sin.

(9) They had four Sacraments: (_a_) Imposition of hands, called
Consolamentum, but by that imposition of hands and the saying of the
Lord's Prayer there is no remission of sins if the person officiating be
in mortal sin; (_b_) Benediction of the Bread; (_c_) Penance; (_d_)

To the Catharists of Toulouse he ascribes the following doctrines (which
they held in common with the Albanenses):

(10) There are two principles, Good and Evil.

(11) There is no Trinity in the Catholic sense, for the Father is greater
than the Son and the Holy Ghost.

(12) The world and all that is in it were created by the evil God.

(13) They held some Valentinian ideas.

(14) The Son of Man was not really incarnate in the Virgin Mary, and did
not eat--in short, Docetism.

(15) The patriarchs were the servants of the Devil.

(16) The Devil was the author of the Old Testament, except Job, Psalms,
Proverbs, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus and the Major and Minor Prophets.

(17) The world will never end.

(18) The Judgement is past.

(19) Hell is in this world.

This detailed examination of the heresy is of great importance, not only
on account of the peculiar advantages which Reinéri Saccho possessed as
both heretic and inquisitor, but because it shews that even at this late
stage, Catharist and Waldensian had not been welded into one under the
blows of a persecution directed equally against both. At one in their
hatred of the Roman Church and all its works, there is a marked
difference in their deism. The Waldensian, according to Saccho's
classification, knows nothing of Dualism, is sound on the doctrine of the
Trinity, and believes both Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God.
The Catharist, on the other hand, believes in a good and an evil God, the
latter being the Creator of the world of matter, which therefore is
itself evil. Hence, whatever perpetuates matter, e.g. marriage, is also
evil; but the world being the work of a God must also, like its maker, be
endless. That part of the Old Testament which describes its beginning and
its development into kingdoms and hierarchies, together with all their
chief representatives, be they patriarchs, princes or priests, has the
evil God for its author. Only the poets and the prophets who took a more
spiritual view of things earthly, are inspired by the good God.


By the middle of the thirteenth century the coercive measures which Rome
took for the suppression of heresy had proved successful. No longer was
there any need for Councils to examine and pass judgment upon it, nor
defenders of the faith to write against it. It had become _une chose
jugée_. Henceforth the Church dealt with individuals, and by means of
ecclesiastical Courts, called the Inquisition, arrested, questioned and
decided whether a person, charged with heresy, was guilty or not.
Unfortunately for the cause of history the earlier records, or Acta, of
these Inquisitions were, in their brief spells of resurgence, destroyed
by the Catharists and Waldenses, as containing dangerous evidence against
them. Only the later ones have survived. Limborch, who made the
Inquisition his special study, published the "Book of the Sentences"
which the Inquisition of Toulouse (A.D. 1300) pronounced against the
Waldenses and Albigenses, and he came to the conclusion that while they
had some dogmas in common, they had different opinions and were separate
sects. According to him the Waldenses and Albigenses had only three
opinions in common: (1) All oaths are unlawful; (2) any good man can
receive a Confession, but only God can absolve from sin; (3) no obedience
is due to the Roman Church. The following opinions he ascribes to the
Albigenses, and not to the Waldenses: (1) There are two Gods, good and
evil; (2) the Sacraments of the Church of Rome are vain and
unprofitable--the Eucharist is merely bread--a man is saved by the
imposition of their hands--sins are remitted without Confession and
satisfaction--Baptism avails nothing; Baptism by water is of no benefit
to children, since they are so far from consenting to it that they
weep--the Order of St. James, or Extreme Unction, made by material oil,
signifies nothing; they prefer imposition of hands--repudiate the
constitution of the whole Roman Church, and deny to all the Prelates of
it the power of binding and loosing, on the ground that they are greater
sinners than those whom they claim to bind and loose; but they (the
Albigenses) can give the Holy Spirit--matrimony is always sinful, except
spiritual matrimony; (3) Christ did not take a real human body, but only
the likeness of one--the Virgin Mary is not and was not a real woman; the
Virgin Mary is true penitence whereby people are born into their Church;
(4) there is a kind of spiritual body or inner man whereby persons rise
from the dead; (5) the Cross is the sign of the Devil, and should not be
adored, since no man adores the gallows on which his father was hanged;
(6) souls are spirits banished from heaven on account of their sins; (7)
they deny purgatory altogether.

Opinions ascribed to the Waldenses, but not to the Albigenses: (1) all
judgement is forbidden of God, and therefore it is a sin for any judge to
condemn a man to any punishment (St. Matt, vii.); (2) indulgences are
worthless; (3) purgatory exists only in this life, and therefore prayers
cannot profit the dead; (4) the Church has only three Orders--Bishops,
Priests and Deacons; (5) laymen can preach; (6) matrimony is sinful only
when people marry without hope of offspring.

The Records of the several Inquisitions are helpful in the particulars
which they furnish of the government, organization and services of the
Albigenses and Waldenses. Unfortunately in many cases their dates and
places are missing, and hence they fail us in an attempt to trace any
change or development in their doctrines. The general date of these Acta
is the beginning of the fourteenth century, and from these and certain
scraps of other Inquisitions which have been preserved, we are able to
amplify somewhat Limborch's conclusions. Thus the Report of the
Inquisition of Carcassonne treats separately "De Manichaeis moderni
temporis" and "De Waldensibus moderni temporis," whose origin they trace
to a certain citizen of Lyons, Valdesius or Valdens, in A.D. 1170, and
who spread to Lombardy, "et praecisi ab ecclesia, cum aliis haereticis se
miscentes et eorum errores imbibentes, suis adinventionibus antiquorum
haereticorum errores et haereses miscuerunt." As the Report adds "quia
olim plures alios habuerunt," we cannot say whether in the opinion of the
Court the balance was or was not in favour of the Waldenses, but it does
mark a change, by subtraction and addition, in the total. The Inquisitors
complained that the Waldenses were very slippery and evasive under
examination. When driven into a corner, they would plead that they were
unlearned, simple folk and did not understand the question. Then they
contended that to take an oath was a clear violation of Christ's words in
St. Matthew v., and therefore a grievous sin; yet according to the Report
of the Inquisition of Carcassonne they pleaded that they might swear if
by so doing they could escape death themselves or screen others from
death by not betraying their friends or revealing the secrets of their
sect. Their defence was that they were filled with the Holy Ghost and
were doing His work; to injure or cut short that work was to sin the sin
against the Holy Ghost, which hath never forgiveness. Thus in a lawsuit a
heretic might take the oath, because refusal meant revelation; he would
be absolved on confession. But when they were ordered to take the oath,
"juro per ista sancta evangelia quod nunquam didici vel credidi aliquid
quod sit contra fidem veram quam sancta Romana ecclesia credit et tenet,"
with uplifted hand and touching the Gospels, i.e. ex animo, they
prevaricated. Another instance of this evasiveness was their outward
conformity to the established religion. They would attend Church and
behave with the utmost decorum; in conversation with a known Catholic
their speech was most orthodox and prudent. Although they would not touch
a woman, or even sit on the same bench with her, however great the
distance between them, they travelled with them, because it would be then
supposed that they were their wives, and hence that they themselves were
not heretics. They denied that prayers _of_ saints or _to_ saints were of
any avail, yet they abstained from work on Saints' Days, unless they
could work unobserved. A "Perfect" must not be married, but if he burn,
he could satisfy the lust of the _flesh_ so long as he remained pure in
_heart_. This concession they, however, kept secret from the Credents,
lest they should fall in their esteem. In another Inquisition at
Carcassonne, held in A.D. 1308 and 1309, "contra Albigenses," Peter and
James Autéri, who with other members of their family, were the last
leaders of the Albigenses, declared that true Matrimony is not between
male and female, for that is two kinds of flesh, not one, whereas God
said, "They two shall become _one_ flesh." The true Matrimony is between
the soul and the Spirit. "For in Paradise there was never a corruption of
the flesh nor anything which was not simply (_merum_) and purely
spiritual, and God made Matrimony itself for this end--that souls which
had fallen from Heaven through pride in ignorance and were in this world
should return to life by (_cum_) the Matrimony of the Holy Spirit, viz.
by good works and abstinence from sins, and 'they two would become one
flesh' (_in carne una_)."[45]

The testimony of Raymond de Costa given before the Inquisition of
Languedoc is so divergent from all other evidence and so subversive of
the fundamental principles and practices of the Waldenses that, although
he was a Waldensian Deacon, his statements may be received with
suspicion. According to him the Credents were instructed to obey the
Curés of the Roman Church and to attend Mass because there they could see
the Body of Jesus Christ and adore it (or Him), and pray for a good end
and forgiveness of sins. Their Sacraments and those of the Roman Church
were equally valid. Peter was the head of the Church after Christ, and
the Roman Pontiffs after Peter, and their own "Majors" were under the
Pope; if the Roman Church disappeared, they would all become pagans. The
chief points on which their "Majors" differed from the Roman Church were
Purgatory and Oaths, and the Church would grievously sin if it
excommunicated him for not swearing, or for not believing that Purgatory
was in the other world. Under further examination, and with time for
reflection, he revoked some of his former opinions, from which we may
perhaps conclude they were his own rather than Waldensian. Thus, at the
first examination he maintained that, in face of St. John iii., not even
a martyr was saved if he had not been baptized with water, but this he
afterwards withdrew, as also the statement that no one who was married
could be ordained in their sect; but he would swear to neither.[46]

We have seen that the heretics believed in the absolute sanctity of human
life, and declared that not even a judge had power to condemn any man to
death. If the positions were reversed, and they were the stronger party,
they would not put to death even the most obstinate Catholic. Yet this
was only theory, and often yielded under a necessity which knows no law.
Thus Raymond Valsiera of Ax, a "Manichee," declared that he had been
taught by William Autéri that it was wrong to kill either man or animal;
nevertheless, he ought to kill a Catholic who persecuted them; and as a
matter of fact, Raymond Issaura acknowledged to the Inquisition of
Carcassonne "against the Albigenses," A.D. 1308, that his brother,
William, with three others, had waylaid a Beguin who confessed that he
had been plotting the capture of Peter and William Autéri, and that they
had killed him and thrown his body into a crevasse. And on the question
of revenge generally, the theory of its sinfulness was argued differently
by Catharists and Waldenses, according to the Book called "Supra
Stella."[47] The Waldenses maintained that revenge was allowed by God in
Old Testament times, but the Catharists maintained that that God was the
evil God. Both parties appealed to Christ's words in St. Matt. v. 38, "Ye
have heard that it was said by them of old time ... but I say unto you,"
the Waldenses arguing that Jesus accepted revenge as permissible under
the Old Covenant, and the Catharists that Jesus knew that that law
originated from the evil God and therefore substituted another. The same
arguments were used by each with regard to oaths.

When once the persecutions had got the heretics "on the run," they found
it difficult not only to maintain their interdenominational union, but
also denominational unity of doctrine. Differences manifest themselves
amongst the scattered groups of the Waldenses themselves. Thus those who
are described as "the heresiarchs of Lombardy," probably to be identified
with those Waldenses who had mixed themselves with other heretics
there,[48] sent a Rescript to the Leonists (i.e. Poor Men of Lyons) in
Germany, informing them of the points of controversy between themselves
and those whom they called "Ultramontanos dictos Valdesii socios," i.e.
those who had remained in Southern France. It states that the chief point
of difference is on the Sacraments. The Ultramontane Waldenses did not
believe anyone could be saved unless he were baptized with water.
Marriage could not be dissolved, except by consent of both parties, or on
some ground which commended itself to the community. They held that Peter
Waldo was in the Paradise of God, and they could have no communion with
any who denied it. With regard to the Holy Communion they maintained that
"the substance of the bread and wine is changed into the Body and Blood
of Christ by the sole utterance (_prolatio_) of the Lord's words,"[49]
adding: "We attribute the virtue not to man, but to the words of God;" to
which those of Lombardy objected: "Anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, by
uttering these words may make (_conficiat_) the Body and Blood of
Christ." They carried their objection further, because the Ultramontane
associates of Waldesius "held that no one could baptize who could not
make (_valet conficere_) the Body of Christ;" and as it was agreed that
_anyone_ might baptize, it would follow that anyone could consecrate,
whether layman or laywoman, however wicked. But the Ultramontanes guarded
themselves against this inference by laying it down that the Breaking of
the Bread could only be done by a presbyter; and further that the actual
change (_transubstantiatur_) of the substance of the visible bread and
wine is made by neither a good man nor a bad man, but only by Him who is
God and Man, i.e. by Christ. In that view the Lombards agreed, but
disagreed in the opinion that the prayer of an adulterer or any other
evildoer was heard by God in that Sacrament. The fact of
transubstantiation depended upon valid ordination of the minister and
upon God hearing his prayer. When these two essentials are present, then
after benediction transubstantiation takes place. If the minister himself
is reprobate, his prayer affects adversely himself only, and not the
worthy communicant.

A religion which claims the faith and obedience of man is bound to offer
to man some explanation of his nature, or in other words, of that dualism
of good and evil of which every man is conscious. The early Christian
Fathers, as against the Dualistic theology of the Gnostics--a good and
evil god--and consequently a Dualistic anthropology--the good soul and
the evil flesh--drew a distinction between the צֶלֶם and the דְּמוּת, or
the εἰκών and the ὁμοίωσις of the one God in which that one God created
man--the "image" being that which man essentially is, and the "likeness"
that to which he arrives by a right use of his original capacities. The
heretics, while presenting a creed fundamentally Dualistic, either
absolute or mitigated, did not at first address themselves to this
question of the origin of evil in man, but merely assumed it; but it was
not a point that could be shelved. With some variations the solution was
at length propounded that the good God had created only a limited number
of good spirits,[50] but that the evil god (or _Satanael_,[51] a fallen
angel) introduced to these good spirits a beautiful woman by whom they
were seduced from their allegiance to the good God. These fallen spirits
the evil god provided with tunics, i.e. bodies of flesh, so that they
might forget their first estate. Death was the passing of the spirit from
tunic to tunic, i.e. from one body to another, until it came into that
tunic in which it would be saved, viz. as a believer in their (the
heretics') faith, and so return in that tunic to heaven. This was the
testimony of James Autéri, one of that famous family who did so much to
fan into flame the dying embers of Catharism at the beginning of the
fourteenth century. Another (unnamed) witness declared that when the Son
of God came down from heaven, 144,000 angels came with Him, and they
remained in the world to receive the souls of those who obeyed God, i.e.
heretics, and carry them back to heaven.

[22] Part II, pp. 273, 274, Venice.

[23] _v. infra_, p. 83.

[24] Chronicle, Migne's "Patrol," Tom. 141, p. 63.

[25] "History," Book III, Chap. 8.

[26] D'Achery "Spicilegium," Vol. I, p. 604.

[27] Incidentally we may note the fact of a Council called to decide a
matter of faith presided over by a layman, with laymen as co-judges with

[28] Agono.

[29] "Chron. epis. Albig. et Abbot. Cast.," D'Achery, III, 572. Radulf
Ardens, however, preacher of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine (d. 1137),
speaks of the heretics as Manichees ("Sermons," p. 325), _v. infra_,
p. 39.

[30] Peter himself was dead by A.D. 1121. _v._ Abelard, opp. p. 1066.

[31] Migne, "Patrol," Tom. 189, p. 719.

[32] _Ibid._, p. 1079.

[33] Preacher of William IX, Duke of Aquitaine. This was _c._ A.D. 1101.
Thirteen years later (A.D. 1114) Robert of Arbrisselles, summoned by the
Bp. Amelius to Toulouse, by his eloquence and reasoning brought back many
into the fold of the Church (Percin, II, 3).

[34] "Sermones in Cantica," LXVI (Song of Solomon, ii, 15).

[35] This heresy cannot be identified with that of the Publicani, if
William of Newbury can be trusted in his account of the Council of
Oxford, A.D. 1160. (L. ii. cap. xiii.) "At the same time there came into
England certain wayfarers (_erronei_), believed to be of that body
commonly called Publicani. These, doubtless, had their origin _in
Gascony_ from an author unknown, and had poured the poison of their
perfidy into many regions. They were, however, ignorant rustics and dull
of understanding.... From this and other plagues of heresy England has
certainly been free (_immunis_), although in other parts of the world so
many heresies have sprouted up. There were thirty of them, both men and
women, under the leadership of one Gerard, who alone was educated. In
nation and language they were Teutons, but they had contrived to bewitch
with their sorceries a little woman of England." Examined by the Council
of Bishops summoned by the King, Gerard said they were Christians and
venerated Apostolic doctrine, but rejected Holy Baptism, the Eucharist,
marriage and Catholic unity. Refusing to recant, they were handed over to
the secular arm, branded on the forehead, beaten, expelled out of the
city and made outlaws. Only "the little woman" recanted; the remainder
perished miserably by cold and exposure.

[36] For 1165 Labbe and Fleury; also, the Archives of the Inquisition of
Carcassonne. Trenveçal, Viscount of Albi, who was present, died in 1167.
For 1176 Roger de Hoveden.

[37] Neander, without authority, calls them Catharists.

[38] Hugo, Bp. of Durham; John, Bp. of Norwich; Robert, Bp. of Hereford;
and Reginald, Bp. of Bath--the maximum number invited.

[39] Laurence, Archbp. of Dublin, and Catholicus, Archbp. of Tuam, and
five or six bishops (Binius).

[40] Binius mentions some of their opinions, which he assigns,
erroneously, to the Waldenses. (1) No obedience to the Roman Pontiff; his
decrees are nullius momenti. (2) Judgement by blood forbidden. (3)
Righteous laymen can consecrate: unrighteous laymen lose their power. (4)
Consecration of the elements once in the year, without "hoc est corpus
meum," but by saying Pater noster seven times. (5) Derided indulgences,
purgatory, invocation of saints, miracles, feasts and fasts of the
Church, Angel's salutation and Apostles' creed. (6) Urenti carnis
libidine omnem carnalem commixtionem licitam esse. (7) The "Perfect"
ought not to do manual labour.

[41] "Gretzer," Vol. XII.

[42] The first creator was (i) a liar, because he said man should surely
die if he ate of the tree, and he did not; and (ii) a murderer because he
sent the Flood.

[43] Paschasius Radbert used the same argument.

[44] "Gretzer," Vol. XII.

[45] This view of carnal Matrimony being a sin is also given in a book
called "Supra Stella," by Salve Burce, a citizen of Piacenza, A.D. 1235,
in which all heretics are charged with agreeing that "Matrimony makes us
debtors to the flesh," which saints must not be (Rom. viii). Frederick
William Garsias declared before the Inquisition of Carcassonne that there
was no Matrimony except between the soul and God.

[46] It is worth while noticing that this withdrawal was made when it was
pointed out to him that the _Eastern Church_ did not enforce celibacy on
its clergy. Does this show a lingering preference for the East as against
the West?

[47] _v._ p. 60, note.

[48] _v._ p. 58. Had they been Cathari, the points of controversy would
have been more pronounced and fundamental.

[49] _v._ p. 63.

[50] This was also the opinion of Origen.

[51] Or the Satan-God.





A movement which claimed to be a revival, and even a survival, of
primitive Christianity would not be likely to frame its constitution and
orders upon the lines of a Church which it regarded as hopelessly
corrupt, and which subjected it to pitiless persecution; any likeness
between the two would be due merely to the claim or fact that they were
derived from a common source. The Roman Church had three Orders--Priests,
Deacons, and Sub-deacons; the Catharists also had three Orders--Majors,
Presbyters and Deacons; but the difference was fundamental, for whereas
the Roman Orders were sacramental, the Catharist were merely executive.
Apostolic Succession was not confined to commissioned officers, but
included the rank and file. It was proved not by ecclesiastical
pedigrees, but by personal experience and responsive conduct. For it was
the direct gift of the Holy Spirit to the individual, and was not
mediated through man. These Spirit-filled persons composed the true
Church. It is less true to say that the heretics were "praecisi ab
ecclesia"[52] than that they deliberately repudiated and left the Church
because it had forfeited its status by quenching the Holy Spirit, as was
shewn by its corruptions and persecutions. The loss of the Holy Spirit
involved the loss of its power to excommunicate. Only those were
successors of the Apostles who copied their life.

As life is in the whole body and in every member of the body, so the Holy
Spirit was in their Church and in every member of the same. Hence, too,
every local Church possessed the authority of the whole to elect its
officers, whose authority, again, was not limited to such local Church,
but could be exercised anywhere. Nor, when once conferred, was this
authority regarded as a personal charisma. They did not say: "Ego te
absolvo," but "Deus tua peccata tibi dimittat."[53]

The Waldenses, however, were less uncompromising in their attitude
towards Roman Orders. Thus Raymond, the Waldensian Deacon, in his
inquisition at Languedoc, declared that their Majors did _not_ have the
keys of the kingdom of heaven, but did have the _same_ powers of
Absolution as Bishops of the Roman Church, and that their Presbyters had
equal powers with the priests of the Roman Church, "quia idem sunt in
fide et in credulitate." On the other hand, Raymond Valsiera of Ax,
described as a Manichee, and a pupil of the intransigeant William Autéri,
in his confession, denied to the prelates and priests of the Roman Church
any power to absolve, because they were the enemies of the Holy Faith.


Adherents were divided into Credents and Perfects, the latter being the
more advanced. A movement exposed to constant persecution and espionage
would exercise the greatest care in admission to its membership, and only
after the most searching examination and most solemn promises were its
doors thrown open to applicants. Initiation into membership was called by
enemies "heretication," and was of a more elaborate character with the
Catharists than with the Waldenses. According to Peter de Vaux-Sarnai in
his "Historia Albigensium," the Waldenses, of whom he held a higher
opinion than of other heretics,[54] had an initiatory rite which involved
a total renunciation of their Roman baptism and Creed. "When any one
joins the heretics, he who receives him says, 'Friend, if you wish to be
of us, you ought to renounce the whole Faith which the Roman Church
holds,' He answers, 'I do renounce it.' 'Therefore receive the Holy
Spirit from good men,' and then he breathes seven times on his face. Then
he says to him, 'Do you renounce that cross which the priest made on you
in your baptism on breast and shoulders and head with oil and chrism?' He
answers, 'I do renounce it.' 'Do you believe that water works salvation
for you?' He answers, 'I do not believe it.' 'Do you renounce that veil
which the priest placed on your head for you when you were baptized?' He
answers, 'I do renounce it.' Then he receives the baptism of the
heretics. All then place their hands upon his head and kiss him and
clothe him in a black robe, and from that hour he is one of them." This
catechism confirms the statement of Ermengard, who wrote a tract against
the Waldenses (although he does not mention them by name) that the
sacrament of Baptism was unprofitable, unless a person answered with his
own mouth and from his heart. Imposition of hands was substituted for
affusion of water, the kiss of peace for the oil of chrism, so that the
charge of _Ana_baptism cannot be maintained.

We are better served in our information of Catharist ritual since the
publication by L. Cledat in 1887 of the New Testament,[55] which was
translated in the thirteenth century into Provençal, and to which is
appended the Catharist ritual preserved in folio 235 of MS. 36 of the
MSS. in the Library of St. Peter's Palace at Lyons.

The Credents had first of all to make their confession in these words:
"We confess our sins before God and you, and before the ordinances of
Holy Church, that we may receive pardon and penance for all sins in
thought and word and deed, and for all offences in the sight of the
Father, the Son and the honoured Holy Spirit and of the honoured holy
Apostles, by prayer and faith and by the salvation of all the loyal
glorious Christians and blessed ancestors asleep and the brethren here
present, and before you, holy Lord, that you may pardon all that in which
we have sinned. Benedicite, parcite nobis. And whereas the holy word of
God instructs us, as also the holy Apostles, and our spiritual brethren
tell us that we should renounce all the lusts of the flesh and all
impurity, we confess that we have not done so. Benedicite, parcite
nobis." (Other sins are also confessed, and each confession ends with
"Benedicite, parcite nobis").

"The Credent must then fast, and when the Christians agree to deliver to
him the orison (Lord's Prayer) they shall wash their hands, and the
Credent shall do likewise. Then one of the Good Men, who is next unto the
Elder, shall make three bows (_révérances_) to the Elder, and then
prepare a table, and having made three more bows, shall place a cloth
upon it, and having made three more bows, shall place the book upon the
cloth, and shall say, 'Benedicite, parcite nobis.' Then the Credent shall
make his melioramentum,[56] and take the book from the hand of the Elder,
who shall then admonish him and preach to him with suitable proofs
(_témoignages_). And if the Credent is called Peter, he shall say:
'Peter, you must understand that you are before the Church of God, you
are before the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. For the Church means
union, and where are true Christians, there are the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit (St. Matt. xviii. 20; St. John xiv. 23; 2 Cor. vi. 16, 18;
xiii. 2; 1 Tim. iii. 14, 15; Heb. iii. 6). The Spirit of God is with the
faithful of Jesus Christ, and Christ dwells in them [as stated] in St.
John xiv. 15-18; St. Matt. xxviii. 20; 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17; St. Matt.
x. 20; 1 St. John iv. 13; Gal. iv. 6. For God's people separated
themselves of old from their Lord God. And they separated themselves from
the counsel and will of their Holy Father by the deceit of evil spirits
and by yielding to their will. And for these and many other reasons they
were made to understand that the Holy Father wishes to have mercy upon
His people, and to receive them into peace and concord by the advent of
His Son, Jesus Christ, and this is your opportunity. For you are here
before the disciples of Jesus Christ in the place where spiritually dwell
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as we have shewn above, to
receive the holy orison which Jesus Christ has given to His disciples in
order that your orisons and prayers may be granted by our Holy Father.
This is why you ought to understand, if you wish to receive this holy
orison, that you must repent of all your sins and forgive all people.
(St. Matt. vi. 15).... It follows that you purpose to keep this holy
orison all your life, if God give you grace to receive it, according to
the custom of the Church of God, with chastity and truth and all other
virtues which God shall please to give you. This is why we pray to the
good Lord Who has given to the disciples of Jesus Christ the virtue to
receive this holy orison with stedfastness, that He may give you also the
grace to receive it with stedfastness, both to His honour and your
salvation. P.N.'

"Then the Elder says the orison, and the Credent repeats it. Then the
Elder says: 'We deliver this holy orison in order that you may receive it
of God and of us and of the Church, and have power to say it all your
life, day and night, alone and in company, and that you never eat or
drink without first saying this orison.' And he shall say, 'I receive it
of God and of you and of the Church.' He shall then make his
melioramentum and give thanks, and then the Christians shall make a
'double avec veniae' (? 'Benedicite, parcite nobis,' twice), and the
Credent shall say it after them.

And if he ought to be 'consoled'[57] on the spot, the Credent must make
his melioramentum, and take the book from the hand of the Elder. And the
Elder shall admonish him and preach to him with suitable proofs and such
words as are appropriate to his consolamentum,[57] and say thus: 'Peter,
you wish to receive spiritual baptism whereby is given the Holy Spirit
unto the Church of God, with the holy orison, with the imposition of the
hands of the Good Men. Of this baptism our Lord speaks (St. Matt.
xxviii. 19, 20; St. Mark xvi. 15; St. John iii. 5; i. 16, 17; St. Mark
iii. 11; Acts i. 5). This baptism by the imposition of hands has been
instituted by Jesus Christ (St. Mark xvi. 18; Acts ix. 17, 18), and
afterwards Paul and Barnabas practised it in several places. This holy
baptism by which the Holy Spirit is given the Church has kept since the
Apostles until now, and it has come from the Good Men to the Good Men
until now, and will be unto the end of the world. And you must understand
that power is given to the Church of God to bind and loose, to forgive
and retain sin, as Christ said (St. John xx. 21; St. Matt. xvi. 18, 19;
xviii. 19, 20 [18, 19]; x. 8; St. John xiv. 12; St. Mark xii. 17; St.
Luke x. 19). And if you wish to receive this power, you must keep all the
commandments of Christ and the New Testament according to your power. And
know that He has commanded that man shall not commit adultery, or murder,
or lie; that he shall not swear any oath; that he shall not seize or rob;
he must pardon and love his enemies; pray for his calumniators; if one
strike him on one cheek, turn to him the other also; must hate the world
and the things that are in the world (1 St. John ii. 16, 17; St. John
vii. 7; Book of Solomon [Eccles.] i. 14; St. Jude, brother of St. James,
23).' And he shall say: 'I have this will: pray to God for me that He
will give me His power.' And then one of the Good Men shall make his
melioramentum with the Credent to the Elder and say, 'Parcite nobis. Good
Christians! we pray you by the love of God that you grant this blessing,
which God has given you, to our friend here present.' And the Credent
shall make his melioramentum and say, 'Parcite nobis. For all sins I ask
the pardon of God and the Church and you all.' And the Christians shall
say, 'By God and us and the Church they have been forgiven you. And we
pray God that He will forgive you.' And then they shall console him. And
the Elder shall take the book and place it upon his head and the other
Good Men shall each take his right hand, and say the 'parcias' and
'adoremus' three times, and then: 'Holy Father, receive Thy servant into
Thy righteousness and put Thy grace and holy spirit upon him,' And then
they shall pray to God with the orison, and he who directs the service
ought to say in a low voice the 'sixaine,' and then the 'adoremus' three
times and the orison once in a loud voice, and then the Gospel. And when
the Gospel is said, they ought to say 'Adoremus' three times and the
Gratia and the Parcias.

Before a Credent was admitted to membership he had solemnly to promise to
submit to the "Abstinence" or discipline of the Church which comprised
certain rules of conduct, and the Church had to satisfy itself that the
applicant was of sufficient moral strength to discharge his obligations.
Thus, if a Christian comes into a place of danger he shall pray the
Gratia. If anyone mounts a horse he shall observe the double (i.e. says
the orison twice). If he goes on board ship, or enters a town, or passes
over a plank or a dangerous bridge, he shall say the orison. If he finds
anything on the road, he must not touch it, if he knows the owner. If he
knows the owner, but cannot overtake him, he must leave the article on
the road. If he wishes to drink or eat he must say the orison twice
before and twice after doing so. Christians must visit sick Christians,
and inquire into their life. Christians must pay their debts, and shall
not be received into membership until they have done so, but if they
cannot pay, they are not to be repelled on that account. They must
promise to hold their heart and their goods, both present and future, at
the disposal of God and the Church. If an applicant for membership agrees
to all this, the Good Men answer: "We impose on you this Abstinence that
you may receive it of God and of us and of the Church, and may you keep
it all your life. For if you observe it well, with the other things which
you have to do, we have hope that your soul will have life." And he shall
answer: "I receive it of God and of you and of the Church."

The rite of initiation was called Consolamentum, but further
consideration of this word must be deferred owing to certain obscurities
in its use. It is sufficient here to remark that the ceremonies
accompanying it varied according to the physical condition and
ecclesiastical position of the recipient. From the chief act in the
ceremony it received the alternate title of the imposition of hands,
whereby was conveyed the gift of the Holy Spirit the Consolator (hence
its name), but the gift could not be conveyed if the officiating minister
were in sin as interpreted by their own laws.


Next to the Credents came the Perfecti,[58] who undoubtedly formed the
core of the whole movement. Between the Credents and the Perfect, Peter
de Vaux-Sarnai draws the distinction as follows: "Credents are those who
love a secular life, and do not aim at imitating the life of the Perfect,
although they hope to be saved by the same Faith. They are different in
their manner of living, but are one in faith and unfaith (_fide et
infidelitate_)." Only after a long probation and distinguished service
were they chosen to the honourable position of the Perfect. Although, as
such, the position carried with it no special office, yet they were
required to devote their whole time to discreet propaganda and the
interests of their co-religionists. They professed absolute poverty and
were forbidden to work or to engage in any trade, as that would expose
them to lying, fraud or taking an oath. They were supported in money,
food and hospitality by the Credents. Only to avoid detection and arrest
were they allowed to work; or when safe, as a protest against Catholicism
on the fast days of the Church. Since from them alone were elected the
officers--Majors, Elders, Deacons--it was of the utmost importance that
they should observe all dietary rules as described already, since a
violation of them would invalidate any ceremonial function in which they
took part, e.g. the Consolamentum.[59] Their relation to women is not
quite clear, and qualifications for "Perfection" varied. While strict
celibacy was aimed at, facts modified the ideal. Some insisted that no
Perfect could be married, and if married, he must dismiss his wife.
Raymond de Costa, a Waldensian Deacon, affirmed that according to the New
Testament, no one who had a wife could be ordained a Bishop or an Elder,
and any ordination of the married was null and void, 1 Timothy iii. and
Titus i. he referred to the one Church. A Perfect would not sit on the
same bench with a woman, however long it might be. On the other hand,
women travelled about with them to attend to their personal wants, a
practice which provoked much unfavourable comment. Some excluded even
widowers from the rank of Perfect. There were two grades among the
Perfect--the Novellani, or novices, and the Sandaliati. These latter were
promoted to the higher grade only after long and faithful and
distinguished service, and for their proved knowledge of the Scriptures
and ability to teach others. They dressed in black and wore sandals which
protected only the soles, leaving the rest of the foot bare.[60] They
went from place to place, encouraging the "faithful," and instructing
them in the Scriptures, so far as they accepted them, and taking with
them interpreters when necessary.

From the Perfect were taken the three Orders--Deacons, Presbyters (or
Elders) and Majors (or Bishops[61]), whose authority was derived not from
the Roman Church, but from the Holy Spirit in their own Church.


The qualifications for the office of Deacon were membership of at least
six years, a knowledge of the Scriptures, ability to say the Pater noster
and Ave Maria (!),[62] a blameless life and unimpeachable loyalty, not
under twenty years of age and unmarried; if married, he was not allowed
to dismiss his wife in order to be ordained. He had to take the threefold
vow of chastity, poverty and obedience to Majors or Bishops. His duties
were to attend upon the Majors or Bishops, as Mark upon Barnabas and
Paul, when itinerating. He might be sent from one Church to another to
widen his knowledge. Thus Raymond the Waldensian said, under examination,
that he had been a Deacon for twenty-seven years, having been ordained by
John Lotaringa, who after two years' instruction sent him to other
members of the community, and he did not return for seven years. A Deacon
was ordained by the prayer and imposition of the hands of a Major only,
and was subject to his authority. He was not allowed to hear
Confessions[63] or to carry the reserved Sacrament or to preach, but he
could read the Gospel in Church, although he seldom did so, and take a
minor part with Presbyters and Majors in the election and ordination of a


Although it is correct to speak of three orders, it does not appear that
the Diaconate was that from which alone the Presbyterate was supplied. A
Deacon might be "perpetual," and a Presbyter was elected direct from the
ranks of the Perfect. The consent of the local Church must be unanimous.
The ordination took place once or twice a year at the Conferences[64] at
which all the business was transacted. He took the three vows of poverty,
chastity and obedience. The congregation said the Lord's Prayer and
confessed their sins, after which the Major and Presbyters laid their
hands upon him. The only difference between the ordination of a Deacon
and that of a Presbyter appears to have been that at the former the
people also laid their hands upon him. A Presbyter was now qualified to
hear Confessions, and impose but not remit penalties, the latter office
of remission being reserved for the Major. In the absence of the Major he
could "make the Body of Christ." If there was danger of the Succession
failing, a Presbyter could appoint and ordain a Major, since by virtue of
his forsaking all and following Christ he was like the Apostles and had
Apostolic authority. As a rule, however, he only took part with other
Presbyters and Deacons in the ordination of Majors. With the Waldenses
the Clergy of the Roman Church were not "re-ordained," but ordered to
take the above threefold vow and reminded of the persecutions to which
they were exposed, before being allowed to officiate.


This was the highest of the three Orders, although we find traces of a
superior Major, called the Pontifical, whose relation to a Major would
correspond roughly to that of an Archbishop to a Bishop. Reinéri Saccho
states that the Cathari had four Orders: (1) Episcopus; (2) Filius Major;
(3) Filius Minor; (4) Diaconus, and that on the death of a Bishop, a
Filius Minor ordained a Filius Major to be the new Bishop, and that he in
turn ordained the Filius Minor to be a Filius Major. But some objected to
this procedure on the ground that it was like a son appointing a father.
Hence, authority was given to a Bishop to appoint an elder son as Bishop
to succeed him on his decease. But this was not general. As a rule, as
already stated, the threefold order obtained, although possibly the title
of _Major_ was taken from that of the Filius _Major_ and made equivalent
to that of Episcopus. When a vacancy in the Majoralty occurred, the
Presbyters and Deacons met together, and the oldest in orders, "like
Peter at the election of Matthias," explained the purpose of their
assembly, and nominated a Presbyter for the vacant office. His nominee
then left the room, and the president enumerated the qualifications of a
Major--learning, loyalty, length of service, personal sanctity and
capacity to rule the household, the Church, and declared that in his
opinion the Presbyter nominated possessed all these qualifications. If
the meeting agreed,[65] the Presbyter was called in, and on being
questioned promised to keep the laws of the Society and to exact the
obedience of all under his authority. A Major took no part in the
_election_ of a Major, but except in an emergency, his presence was
essential to a Major's ordination. After the promise (not oath) of
obedience had been given, the congregation knelt and said the Lord's
Prayer; and on rising from their knees, the Major-elect made his private
confession to the Major, and a general confession to the congregation,
and prayed to God to give him His Holy Spirit. Then came the most
important ceremony of all, the imposition of hands, first by the Major,
having obtained the assent of the congregation, and then by the
Presbyters and Deacons. If, however, there was no Major present, the
eldest Presbyter, with the consent of the other Presbyters and Deacons
could act for him.

Neither Deacon, Presbyter nor Major wore any dress distinctive of their
order. Of the Majors it was said: "He is clothed in good work, fastings
and prayers; his mitre is spiritual, i.e. his authority to rule is from
God and man; his pastoral staff also is spiritual, viz. the threatenings
of Holy Scripture against sinners, and his encouragements of the weaker
brethren by word and deed; his episcopal ring was his integrity in the

The first Pontifical Major was ordained in the same way as a Major, but
afterwards only a Pontifical could ordain a Pontifical. If, however,
there was no Pontifical available, either by death or absence, the
authority to ordain reverted to the Presbyters and Deacons.

Full disciplinary powers were vested in a Major, and therefore there
could not be two Majors in one local Church. In the discipline of
Deacons, he was not bound to consult the Church; for the Deacon vowed
direct obedience to the Major, and therefore the Major could inflict and
remove penalties for offences. He could expel a Deacon from the Church
and re-admit him. The rite for reconciliation of a Deacon was imposition
of hands, but this did not imply re-ordination. In the Major alone was
vested the power to impose penance upon and to receive lapsed brethren,
but the addition of treachery _ipso facto_ precluded any re-admission,
for treachery was the unpardonable sin. Penance was imposed in a
prescribed form.[66] The Order of Major also carried with it the duty of
preaching and making (_conficere_) the Body and Blood of Christ, and
authority to commission Presbyters to do the same, except that at Easter
only Majors could consecrate at Holy Communion.[67]

The heretics regarded their Orders as in no whit inferior to those of the
Roman Church. To their own and Roman Bishops alike they denied the powers
of the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, as then understood, but their
powers of absolution were the same, seeing that both had the Apostolic
Succession through the Holy Spirit. But this recognition of Roman Orders
was only ideal and theoretical, because the heretics maintained that the
Roman Church had practically forfeited its authority through its
corruptions and persecutions. The Catharists regarded this forfeiture as
irremediable and final: the Waldenses as recoverable by repentance and
reformation along the lines of their own tenets. In this way we may
reconcile the conflict of evidence as to the relationship between
Catholic and heretical Orders.

[52] Inquis. of Carcassonne "De Manichaeis moderni temporis" (p. 58).

[53] Inquis. of Languedoc, beginning of fourteenth century (Cod.
Vat. 4070).

[54] "Quidem mali erant, sed comparatione aliorum haereticorum _longe
minus perversi_."

[55] M. Chabaneau ("Revue des langues romanes," XXXIII, 462) remarks that
several of the passages quoted in the ritual from the N.T. as well as the
ritual itself present features characteristic of the dialect in Vaudois
books, a fact which, he points out, should not be overlooked in
considering the problem, "qu'on croit peut-être à tort pleinement
résolu," of the origin of the ritual of Lyons.

[56] _vide infra_, p. 84.

[57] _vide infra_, pp. 73, 83.

[58] A title based on St. Matt. xix. 21. Outside Scripture the title
meets us as early as the Council of Ancyra (A.D. 314), which is
noteworthy in view of the association of Catharism with Galatia, of which
Ancyra was the capital; several of its Canons also deal with matters
closely resembling the doctrines and practices of the Catharists.

[59] Si quis de perfectis peccaret mortaliter comedendo, videlicet
modicissimum carnium, etc., omnes consolati ab illo amittebant Spiritum
Sanctum, et oportebat eum iterum reconsolari (Peter de Vaux-Sarnai,
Ermengard, etc.). But, on the other hand, as eating flesh was distasteful
to them, they might eat it on Fast Days to afflict the soul, thus
reversing Catholic usage (Inquis. of Carcassonne).

[60] De Paup. de Lugdano (Cod. Vatic. lat. 2648, no date or author).

[61] Reinéri Saccho, a Catharist, not a Waldensian, gives _four_ Orders.
(1) Episcopus; (2) Filius Major; (3) Filius Minor; (4) Diaconus (Gretzer,
Vol. XII).

[62] Others deny this on the ground that it was the custom of the Roman
Church. If used at all, its use was probably understood as referring to
their own pure (Catharist) Church. The Waldenses did not use either the
Ave Maria or the Creed.

[63] Inquis. of Languedoc, fourteenth century. But Reinéri Saccho, the
ex-Catharist, says that the Deacons could hear confessions of venial sins
once a month.

[64] At these Conferences no Credent, _young_ Perfect or woman attended.

[65] Their opinions were ascertained individually, beginning with the

[66] _v. infra_, p. 86.

[67] _v. infra_, p. 81.





The Records of the Inquisition of Languedoc[68] (beginning of the
fourteenth century) preserve a description of the Lord's Supper on Good
Friday which is uncorroborated. "The Major on the Day of the Supper after
the ninth hour, when the Supper has been prepared, washes the feet of the
company (_sociorum_). He then places himself with them at the table, and
blesses the bread, wine and fish, not as a sacrifice or offering
(_holocaustum_), but in memory of the Lord's Supper, and prays as
follows: 'O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God of our fathers, and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who by the hands of the Bishops and
Presbyters, Thy servants, hast commanded sacrifices and offerings and
various oblations to be offered: O Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst bless the
five loaves and two fishes in the wilderness, and blessing water didst
turn it into wine: bless in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
this bread, fish and wine, not as a sacrifice or offering, but in simple
commemoration of the most holy Supper of Jesus Christ and His disciples,
since, O Lord, I do not dare to offer to Thee by impure hands and defiled
mouth the sacrifice of our Lord Bishop, Jesus Christ Thy Son, but this
bread and the substance of this fish and wine we beseech Thee to bless in
the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and may the communion
(_communicatio_) of this bread as a simple Host please Thee, Eternal
Father, and so direct my soul and my body, even all my senses, and so
guide my footsteps that I may be worthy to offer Thee that most sacred
Body which is worshipped by angels in heaven.'" The Major eats and drinks
first, and then distributes to others.

This, however, did not take the place of the celebration on Easter Day,
which was the most important of the whole year, and devolved upon a Major
only. For this highest service of the year the Major was the better
prepared (_melius dispositus_) by the Lenten Fast, and particularly by
the more severe fast upon bread and water only for three days previously.
When the congregation, of both sexes, is assembled, a table or bench is
spread with a clean cloth, and a cup of good pure wine and a cake or
loaf, unleavened, placed upon it. Then the president says: "Let us ask
God to forgive us our sins for His mercy's sake, and to fill us with
those things which we ask worthily, for His mercy's sake, and let us say
seven times the Pater noster to the honour of God and the Holy Trinity."
This the congregation does on bended knee. Then the president takes a
napkin (_tersorium_) and, hanging it over his left shoulder, with his
bare right hand he wraps the loaf (_panis_) or cake (_placenta_) wholly
in the napkin and holds it thus to his breast. Standing thus he repeats
(some said "inaudibly") the exact words our Lord used at the
Institution.[69] He then makes the sign over (_signat_) the bread and the
wine, breaking (or cutting with a small knife lengthwise) the bread.
During these ceremonies the congregation stand, but at this point they
and he seat themselves at the table according to (Church) rank. As each
receives the bread and wine from him, he (the recipient) says:
"Benedicité, Senher," and he replies, "Deus vos benedicat." Thus "their
sacrifice is finished, and they believe that this is the Body and Blood
of Jesus Christ." The remains, if any, are reserved (_conservari_) until
after Easter, when they are consumed by the faithful.


First of all they stand in silent prayer, long enough to say thirty or
forty Pater nosters. Before sitting down they all bless the table by
saying, "Benedicite, Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison." Then
the eldest says in the vulgar tongue, "God, Who blessed the five loaves
and two fishes in the wilderness for His disciples, bless this table and
the things that are on it and shall be placed upon it," and he makes the
sign of the cross saying: "In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit." After the meal the Elder gives thanks, saying in the vulgar
tongue Revelation vii. 12, adding: "May God give good reward and food to
all who benefit and bless us: may God Who gives us temporal food give us
spiritual food: may God be with us and we with Him always," and the rest
answer, Amen. In blessing the table and in returning thanks they lift
their hands clasped and faces to heaven. Then, if time and place were
opportune, would follow a sermon or instruction, but this was usually
deferred until after supper when the day's work was done, and they could
speak with less danger, and, if prudence suggested, in the dark. Teaching
was positive rather than negative, for they began not by denouncing the
errors and vices of others, but by pointing out what being a disciple of
Christ involved according to the Scriptures. These they had in the vulgar
tongue, as well as in Latin. They would "read round," and those who could
not read would repeat from memory. They further supported their tenets by
"saint and doctor."


This rite was, according to Reinéri Saccho, peculiar to the Catharists,
who gave it the alternative title of Imposition of hands, but Catholics,
Heretication.[70] By it Catharists believed that a person received the
gift of the Holy Ghost the Consolator, or Comforter--hence its name, and
those who submitted to the rites were called Consolati. Hence, as only
those were admitted who had proved themselves staunch and true to
Catharism, they were called indifferently Consolati or Perfecti, although
more strictly, the former was applicable only to the Catharists, and the
latter to the Waldenses. Many who shrank from the austere life which the
Consolamentum demanded postponed it until what they supposed to be their
last illness, so that the ceremonies had to be altered to suit the
circumstances, provided always that the imposition of hands was retained.
The person to be "consoled" must, if in health, prepare himself by a
three days' rigorous fast. At the service of initiation, a table or bench
covered with white towels and a book, called the Text, upon it, were
placed in the midst of the congregation arranged according to Church
rank. Within their midst, but at some distance from the table, stood the
candidate. The minister at the head of the table reminded him of the
ascetic life he would have to lead, the dangers and persecutions he would
have to endure, and that lapse meant eternal damnation, for there was no
salvation in the Roman Church. He was then asked if, with all this before
him, he would surrender himself wholly to God and the Gospel. On his
answering, Yes, he was further asked whether he would promise never to
eat meat, eggs, cheese, venison, oil or fish, never to lie or swear,
never to indulge any lust, never to touch a woman, never to kill, never
to eat without a companion or without saying the Lord's Prayer, never to
sleep unclothed, never to betray the Faith. Having made these promises,
the candidate advanced towards the minister by certain, usually three,
stages (_intervalla_), making at each stage his "melioramentum," i.e. he
bent the knee, touching the ground with his hands and saying,
"Benedicite," thus shewing that the minister was better (_melior_) than
himself.[71] At each stage the minister replied, "Deus vos benedicat." On
reaching the table he said: "Good Christians, I beg for God's blessing
and yours. Pray to God that He may keep me from a bad death, and bring me
to a good end and to the hands of good Christians." Then the minister
gave him the book to kiss, and placed it upon his head. Then all placed
their hands upon his head or shoulders, saying: "We worship Thee, Father,
Son and Holy Ghost," and the minister prayed that the Holy Ghost the
Consolator might descend upon him. When all had said the Lord's Prayer,
the minister read St. John i. 1-17. He then gave the candidate the kiss
of peace, and the candidate to the one next to him, and so on until all
the congregation had exchanged the salutation. If the "consoled" were a
woman, the minister, instead, touched her shoulder with the book, and her
elbow with his elbow, and she did the same, if the one next to her were a
man. He (or she) was given a small cord, "quo pro haeresi cingeretur," to
be worn round the body, next to the skin. The congregation then
separated, after congratulating the new member.

In the case of the sick, treatment varied. Some would not "console"
anyone not in full possession of his faculties and able to make the
answers. Others admitted such, provided that in some way other than by
speech he signified his assent. Others went further and "consoled" even
the unconscious at the urgent request of his friends anxious for his
eternal welfare. Thus sometimes even children were "consoled." In these
cases certain modifications were allowed in the ritual. Thus if the sick
man could not make his melioramentum, the minister took his hands within
his own, and the sick man would say "Benedicite," bending his head each
time. If he could not say the Lord's Prayer, others would say it for him.
If it were discovered that the officiating minister was in mortal sin
(according to Catharist law), the Consolamentum was invalid.


Every inducement was now made to the sick man to end his life by any
means other than by direct violence. He was urged to undergo the
_Endura_, which took various forms. We read of this as early as A.D. 1028
in connection with a community at Montfort, near Turin, which taught that
death by illness or senile decay only shewed that Satan was still master
of the situation and could send the soul into another body. Here probably
we have the clue to the reasons for encouraging the practice of the
Endura. The "consoled" had solemnly promised not to kill, and therefore
could not directly commit suicide. But he could consummate the purpose of
God, Who had sent him the illness, by indirect means, and thwart the
world, the flesh and the devil by a speedy death. Several expedients were
adopted. Thus the "consoled" sick was asked whether he would be a martyr
or a confessor. If he said the former, a cushion or pillow was held over
his mouth for some time. Whether he recovered or succumbed, he was
henceforth held to be a martyr. If he said, a confessor, he had to remain
three days without food and drink, and whether the fast proved fatal or
not, he was called a confessor. At Ax, Peter Autéri, after some
hesitation, "consoled" an unconscious woman, and ordered that nothing
should be given her but pure water. She recovered and asked for food,
which, however, her daughter refused on religious grounds, but the mother
indignantly declined to be bound by promises made for her by others.
Mengard, a woman examined at Carcassonne in A.D. 1308, said her little
boy was hereticated when at the point of death, and she was ordered to
give him nothing but bread and water, for when he died he would be an
angel. But she refused not to give him the breast, and so he was not
fully hereticated. At the same Inquisition Raymond Issaun said that his
brother, William, after heretication had placed himself completely in the
Endura for about seven weeks, and stayed in a certain hut where he died,
and he was buried in the house of their father. Another method was
opening a vein and slowly bleeding to death in a bath; another, drinking
the juice of wild cucumbers mixed with powdered glass so that the
intestines were torn to pieces.


This was administered by the Major, or by a Presbyter by delegation in
minor offences. After the penitent had confessed, the Major (or
Presbyter) pointed out how and to what extent he had offended against the
Holy Scriptures, and imposed a penance accordingly, saying: "I, being
entrusted with the authority of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, bid
thee on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ Who instituted this holy
sacrament of penance in His Church, perform such penance as I impose upon
thee."[72] No indulgences were granted. Absolution was from the fault,
not from its punishment.

§ 6. FASTS

"The Manichees of modern times," as they are called in the Acts of the
Inquisition at Carcassonne, had three Fasts of forty days during the
year, (_a_) From St. Britius (Nov. 13th) to Christmas. (_b_) Lent. (_c_)
From Whitsun to SS. Peter and Paul (June 29th), which, therefore, could
not always have been forty days. The first and last week of each Fast
they called "strict," for then they fasted on bread and water, but in the
other weeks of the Fast on only three days--Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Others observed these three days as Fasts throughout the year, unless
they were travelling or were ill. Others, again, because flesh was
repulsive to them, and to mark their difference from the Roman Church,
would eat flesh on Roman Fast days, but not when their own and Roman
Fasts coincided.

[68] Cod. Vat. 4030.

[69] _v._ pp. 47, note, 62.

[70] Also, more rarely, la Convenenza or the Agreement.

[71] This obeisance was made to him not personally but officially, as
merely the instrument or agent of the Holy Spirit.

[72] _v. supra_, p. 66.



In attempting to summarize the foregoing testimonies of friend and foe we
must again guard ourselves against the inference that doctrinal
similarity with previous heresies involves organic succession. Historical
links fail us when we attempt to construct the genealogical table. The
general fact to be recognized is that while the Catholic Church had
expelled those ancient heresies from her doors, their odour remained,
and, remaining, reminded her members of problems about God and man,
spirit and flesh, time and eternity to which only revelation, and not
speculation, could supply the answer.

_The Nature of God._ The resemblance between the Dualism of Gnosticism
and Catharism is obvious. Each taught both an absolute and a modified
Dualism; but a closer study shews us that whereas with Gnosticism (and
particularly Manicheism) this dogma was fundamental, with Catharism it
became more and more subordinate to discipline and conduct. It was
offered as a solution to the mystery of evil, but in the catechizing of
their candidates for membership, no question touching Dualism was put to
them. Thus discipline of life was presented to them not as a struggle
with an evil God, but as a following of Apostolic Christianity and a
practical protest against a corrupt hierarchy. The Lord's Prayer was used
as much as a Creed as a Prayer, yet there is not the slightest evidence
that they understood "ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ" to be "from the evil _one_."

_The Nature of Christ._ The Albigenses were constantly charged with
holding Docetic views of Christ. Yet they believed in an Incarnation,
though not that of the Nicene Creed. They were prepared to say that
Christ was born "in virgine," but not "ex virgine," or as the Paulicians
put it, "δι' αὐτῆς ὡς διὰ σωλῆνος διεληλυθέναι" The basic belief in the
utter sinfulness of flesh was an insuperable obstacle to belief in the
sinlessness of the Incarnate Christ, an obstacle which late in
Christianity the theory of the Immaculate Conception attempts to
surmount. The Manichees, under Parsic influence, taught that as "the
light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness overcame it not," so the
Christ could not enter a human body, except in appearance; and the
Priscillianists denied a human body to Him, and said He was innascibilis,
because the human body was the seat of sin. The Albigensian solution was
that Christ was created sinless man in heaven, and in His perfect nature
of body, soul and spirit was born in the Virgin Mary. The one passage of
Scripture which was read at their distinctive service--the
Consolamentum--was St. John i. 1-17, where the order is "the Word was
made flesh and (then) dwelt among us." The two clauses in the Creed,
therefore, should be reversed and run: "He was made man, and came down
from heaven." It followed from this real humanity of Christ that His
suffering was real and not Docetic. Hence the Albigenses regarded the
Cross as an instrument and symbol of the actual shame and suffering of
Christ, and, as such, should not be honoured.

_The Nature of the Holy Ghost._ Although the Albigenses in their services
paid worship to the Holy Trinity by their frequent "Adoremus," they did
not accept the position of the Council of Chalcedon. Both the Son and the
Holy Spirit were, according to them, created by God the Father, and there
was a difference of essence (_substantia_) between the three Persons. The
Father was greater than the Son (St. John xiv. 28) and the Holy Ghost,
and the Son greater than the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost did not function
in the world until after the Ascension of Christ. He does not Himself
enter into man at the imposition of hands. The perfect man as made in the
image of God has a tripartite nature of body, soul (_anima_) and spirit.
Owing to sin man's spirit went back to heaven, and hence the present
imperfect man consists of corpus and anima. But the spiritus of each man
is guardian and guide (_custos_, _rector_) of the anima, and is restored
to him by the Paraclete or Principal (i.e. _the_ Holy) Spirit by the
imposition of hands.[73]

_The Nature of their Church._ The basis of Gnosticism was knowledge
(γνῶσις), but that of Catharism faith (_fides_). The Gnostics or
γνωστικοί repelled the πιστικοί, whereas the πιστικοί or Credents formed
the great majority of the Catharists. Gnosticism was esoteric, Catharism
exoteric. Gnosticism was intellectual, Catharism spiritual. Catharism
taught that none could be saved outside its fold, but none were
predestined from entering that fold. If this is Gnosticism it is the
Gnosticism of Marcion, the mildest of all Gnostics. (The only exception
to this "Catholicism" was due to the emphasis which the Catharists laid
upon Faith itself, whereby they were led to exclude infants from
membership, because they could not be certain of a member's faith until
he avowed it.) Hence, where Gnostics founded schools, admission to which
was grudgingly granted, Catharism founded churches with an ever-open door
for all.

The movement failed--failed in spite of all its zeal, self-sacrifice,
sincerity and Scripturalness. With the political and military forces
ultimately brought to bear against it we are not here concerned. Without
these, however, it was doomed to failure through its own weaknesses and
divisions. It was a bold bid for freedom of thought and speech in all
matters of religion. It was a revolt against the assumption that all must
believe alike, and that the laity must never question what the priesthood
taught. The Infallibility of the Church had become practically an Article
of the Faith. And because this indefeasible right of man was declared by
the Church to be indefensible, independence changed into intolerance, and
freedom into disruption. But any upheaval, social or religious, to be
successful must be united and progressive. It must be of one heart and
one mind in defence and attack. It must also convince the people that it
has recovered old truths or discovered new. The indispensable Foundation
of Belief is one God: a religion which starts with two, and yet protests
that it is Christian, whatever other merits it may possess, can never
attract and retain the adherence of that or any other age, whatever
relation it might seek to establish between the two. Catharism from the
very beginning was a house divided against itself as to the God of its
worship and obedience. The Albigensian Christ offered no Atonement,
all-sufficient and complete, for the sins of men, and so brought to men
no peace which passeth all understanding. Their "perfect" life was
impracticable and would have brought society to an end. All agree that
the Waldenses, who started _de novo_ from the Scriptures, and endeavoured
to live and teach according to their precepts, began solely as reformers
and not as schismatics. Yet even they could not keep themselves untainted
by the stronger and more numerous Catharists, and it was easy for their
enemies to convince an uncritical age that there was little difference
between them. The Albigenses have perished, the Waldenses remain, and
such seekers after truth ever will, who

  "Correct the portrait by the living face,
  Man's God by God's God, in the mind of man."

[73] This is Moneta's view. Moneta's great work is the chief, as it is
the only contemporary systematic investigation of Catharism. It was
published under the editorship of Augustine Riccheni, Professor at
Bologna, at Rome in A.D. 1743. Of Moneta himself we know little. He was
born at Cremona, and, fired by the eloquence of the Dominican Friar,
Reginald, entered that Order in A.D. 1220, an Order which arose specially
to combat Albigensianism. He was appointed Censor of the Faith at Milan,
and died some time after A.D. 1240.



Absolution, 53, 66, 71, 79

Abstinence, 72

Ademar, 32

Agobard, 26

Alan de Insulis, 48

Albi, 5, 41, 47

Angels, 34, 51, 64

Apocrypha, 10, 12

Apostolic Succession, 65

Ave Maria, 75


Baptism, 31, 36, 43, 45, 53, 57, 60, 62, 67, 70

Bernard, 40

Bible, 13, 16, 22, 34, 47, 54, 75, 83

Bishops, 15, 24, 28, 44, 52, 75

Bogomiles, 14

Bulgaria, 12


Celibacy, 32, 39, 74

Charlemagne, 22, 24

Christ, 51, 53, 55, 89

Confession, 31, 44, 49, 56, 57, 76

Consolamentum, 15, 32, 70, 83 _seq._

Conversion, 21

Councils, 15, 23, 33, 35, 36, 39, 41, 42, 47

Credents, 51, 52, 60, 66 _seq._

Creed, 44, 46

Cross, 37, 38, 53, 57

Crusaders, 14


Deacons, 52, 75 _seq._

Donatists, 10

Dualism, 10, 15, 30, 40, 51, 54, 56, 63


Easter, 81

Endura, 85

Ermengard, 50, 67

Euchites, 14

Eymeric, 30


Fasts, 81, 87


Galatia, Gaul, 13, 19, 20

Gascony, 47

Gnosticism, 16, 18, 90

Good Friday, 37, 80

Good Men, 42, 51, 68, 71

Grace at Meals, 82


Henricians, 38

Heresy, 5

Heretication, 67

Holy Spirit, 34, 57, 58, 65, 84, 89


Imposition of hands, 34, 40, 52, 54, 67, 75, 78

Incarnation, 34

Indulgences, 57

Innocent III, 27, 50

Inquisitions, 12, 56, 59, 60, 61, 86


Kiss of peace, 67, 84


Laity, 57

Literature, 26, 28

Lombers, 42

Lord's Supper, 31, 34, 37, 40, 43, 44, 51, 53, 57, 62, 76, 79, 80 _seq._


Majors, 60, 66, 75, 77 _seq._

Manichees, 6, 9, 32, 39, 58

Matrimony, 27, 32, 36, 37, 40, 43, 45, 53, 54, 57, 59, 62

Melioramentum, 69, 70, 71, 84

Moneta, 6, 26, 90


New Testament, 12, 16, 22, 40, 43, 54, 71

Nicetas, 15

Novellani, 74


Oaths, 29, 40, 56, 58, 71

Old Testament, 10, 16, 40, 43, 51, 55, 60

Orders, 36, 54, 57, 76, 79


Pater noster, 12, 52, 68 _seq._, 75, 81, 84

Paulicians, 11 _seq._

Penance, 31, 43, 53, 54, 86 _seq._

Perfecti, 15, 28, 32, 51, 59, 73 _seq._

Peter Chrysogonus, 46

Peter de Vaux-Sarnai, 5, 50

Peter Waldo, 25, 49

Petrobrusians, 36

Philippopolis, 13, 14

Pontifical, 77, 78

Poplicani, 11, 17, 41

Prayer, 34, 37, 53, 59

Presbyters, 44, 63, 68 _seq._, 76 _seq._

Priscillianists, 10

Provençal, 22

Purgatory, 53, 54, 57


Reinéri Saccho, 52

Resurrection, 32, 34, 40, 51, 54

Revenge, 61

Rheims, 35, 39


Sacraments, 31

Sandaliati, 74

Septuagint, 12

Slavs, 20


Tithes, 53

Toulouse, 5, 28, 35, 36, 41, 46, 47, 50, 56

Tours, 41

Trinity, 34, 69


Unction, extreme, 57


Virgin Mary, 32, 34, 57

Vulgate, 12


Waldenses, 47, 49, 50, 52, 55-58, 61, 62, 66, 67, 76, 79



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Transcriber's note:

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected.

One unpaired double quotation mark remains in the text.

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