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-   -   Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective? (http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=23391)

Madaglan Nov 21, '04 5:06 pm

Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
I have been reading a little on the Albigensian Crusade and how the Cathars (related with the Albigensians) were wiped out by papal forces. Many Protestants and other non-Catholics point to this incident as a demonstration of the evil of the Catholic Church.

In doing some further reading, I came across some fascinating information which demonstrated how the Cathars were more than a threat to Catholic doctrine, but that they were a threat to society as well. At the time, society was heavily influenced by orthodox Christianity and by the Church which upheld that Christianity. The Cathars believed that saying oaths, marrying, procreation, etc. were all to be looked down upon; whereas these were necessary for a safe society during those times.

Therefore, my question is: Was the Albigensian Crusade more about maintaining sound and safe societies than it was about crushing heretical thoughts?

DominvsVobiscvm Nov 21, '04 5:18 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
The Albigensian Ceusade was a just war, albeit one that was poorly executed.

Even had it been a mere matter of history, France had every right to preserve the Catholic character of its nation against those who would publicly undermine the true religion.

RobedWithLight Nov 21, '04 6:28 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Albigensianism is not a mere Christian heresy but a non-Christian religion with elements of Christianity and Manichaeanism thrown into the mix.

Among the things they believed are:

1. Jesus was only "apparently" born of Mary.

2. They believed that Christ never had a real human body, and He never really suffered, and His apparent sacrifice was merely instructive, nothing more.

3. There is no resurrection of the body, because all flesh is evil.

4. They considered suicide as commendable since they considered the human body as evil and hence liberation from "matter" is the aim.

5. Matrimonial intercourse is evil, since it propagates the imprisonment of souls in new material bodies. Abandonment of the wife by the husband is good, and so is the reverse. Concubinage is thus preferrable to marriage. In relation, even animal generation is unacceptable.

Can you imagine what it would be like if they would become the majority in any society, especially their last two beliefs mentioned ?

The disruption it would cause is simply too serious to ignore.

It would have been interesting how the Reformers like John Calvin and Martin Luther would have dealt with them had such groups appeared within Protestantism.

Gerry :)


RNRobert Nov 21, '04 7:43 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RobedWithLight
3. There is no resurrection of the body, because all flesh is evil.

4. They considered suicide as commendable since they considered the human body as evil and hence liberation from "matter" is the aim.

5. Matrimonial intercourse is evil, since it propagates the imprisonment of souls in new material bodies. Abandonment of the wife by the husband is good, and so is the reverse. Concubinage is thus preferrable to marriage. In relation, even animal generation is unacceptable.

Can you imagine what it would be like if they would become the majority in any society, especially their last two beliefs mentioned ?



Sounds alot like todays Culture of Death.:nope:
Quote:

Originally Posted by RobedWithLight

The disruption it would cause is simply too serious to ignore.

It would have been interesting how the Reformers like John Calvin and Martin Luther would have dealt with them had such groups appeared within Protestantism.

Gerry :)

What I find ironic is that many Protestants (mostly fundamentalists) treat them as some sort of proto-Evangelical group that stood up to the big, bad, Catholic Church.:rolleyes:

RobedWithLight Nov 21, '04 7:55 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by RNRobert
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Sounds alot like todays Culture of Death.:nope:

What I find ironic is that many Protestants (mostly fundamentalists) treat them as some sort of proto-Evangelical group that stood up to the big, bad, Catholic Church.:rolleyes:

Such Protestants, sadly do not understand the true nature of Albigensianism, or its consequences to society.

Gerry :)

Madaglan Nov 21, '04 7:56 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Originally Quoted by RNRobert:

What I find ironic is that many Protestants (mostly fundamentalists) treat them as some sort of proto-Evangelical group that stood up to the big, bad, Catholic Church.:rolleyes:

Yeah, they're wrong in that. To be fair though, not all the Catholic bishops of the time lived what we would consider holy lives. ;)

DominvsVobiscvm Nov 21, '04 8:43 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

To be fair though, not all the Catholic bishops of the time lived what we would consider holy lives.
Name me one period of time when all Catholic bishop have lived holy lives . . . :rolleyes:

RobedWithLight Nov 22, '04 3:33 am

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Madaglan
Yeah, they're wrong in that. To be fair though, not all the Catholic bishops of the time lived what we would consider holy lives. ;)

If they had lived holy lives, there is no doubt Albigensianism, and later on, the Lollards and the Hussites, would not have made such inroads back then. Corruption and laxity among the clergy has always been a constant problem that irritates the soul of the Church.

Gerry :)

ROBAUTEN May 22, '07 10:21 am

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Some Protestants will claim the Albigensies as their spiritual ancestors out of sheer desperation to try to find some kind of a historical line of supposed true believers stretching back to the Apostles. They suppose that if the Catholic Church fought a war against them...they must not be all bad! And once they make that kind of a mental leap of faith, they are willing to believe that all that we now know about the Albigensies has been tainted and misrepresented for the evil Catholic Church's own twisted purposes. It all makes good sense to a conspiracy theorist who is convinced the Church is the Whore of Babylon! Pray for them, because there is no invisible church or invisible line of these supposed true believers down through history. Imagine how sad things would be if the true believers were so powerless that they even failed to leave a trace of themselves or their real beliefs for 1500 years! Their power source (Jesus) wouldn't be someone I would want to committ my life to. I'll take the Catholic Jesus and his one true Church instead!

Genesis315 May 22, '07 10:33 am

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
1 Attachment(s)
Was it necessary to use violence against the Cathars and Albigensians? Yes it was, in order to protect civil peace. Just ask St. Peter Martyr why he has swords in his head and chest :eek:

Vaclav May 22, '07 10:48 am

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Therefore, my question is: Was the Albigensian Crusade more about maintaining sound and safe societies than it was about crushing heretical thoughts?
There was of course some political and economic reasons for some French landholders to support the suppression of the Cathars.

Yet, from an overall perspective the Albigensian Crusade was necessary and the Cathar movement had established a peculiarly strong foothold in the Languedoc area of France. This was an oddity for the Church, who had really not seen a succesful heretical movement in quite a long time. They achieved success thanks to the protection of the nobility of Southern France and also a surprisingly large number of Catholic Priests who either adopted Cathar beliefs or at least defended their rights to those beliefs (the details of this are sketchy, but either way it was bizarre behavior for the times).

They were notalways peaceful either, as some try to claim today. One of their "street preachers" Peter of Bruys tried to incite his followers to forcibly marry monks and burn down monasteries.

Cathar beliefs are very interesting (in an academic sense), but certainly very odd as well. They tended to mix the dualism of Manichaeism with gnosticism, but also had an essence of eastern beliefs (probably Persian) as they believed in reincarnation of sorts. To a Cathar, the Earth is hell and ruled by the demiurge (Lucifer) to which one is punished for succcessive rebirths until God releases you after you've realised that the demiurge is a false god and not the true God of heaven.

Cathars of course believed that Catholics were paying homage to the demiurge with the sacraments and not to the true God of the Gospel of John, because as Catholics we did not reject the material world.

Whew...that's about as deep into that as I care to venture.

And yes, they believed that suicide was moral, even a good thing (remember the material world was considered evil) and that copulation and reproduction were horrible. In fact, bringing a child into the world was thought of as bringing another human into the enslavement of the demiurge. They would not eat meat and some other things. I'm not really sure how they got around reproduction, but also believed in having sex more casually.

'Twas an odd lot.

rwoehmke May 22, '07 4:20 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
What most folks miss in these dramas of the Church and Governments putting down heresies is that most of them did not give their fellow citizens a choice. You joined the Albigensian Heresy or you were in physical danger, you became a Calvanist or a Lutheran or else. These people were not at all tolerant of anyone professing a different set of beliefs. Catholic Churchs were trashed. Statues broken, Paintings whited out or burned, altars destroyed. Anyone living in the area joined up with them or else. It was not only the Catholic Kingdoms who burned heretics.

billinjackson May 22, '07 5:41 pm

Re: Albigensian Crusade: the Catholic Perspective?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Madaglan (Post 315516)
I have been reading a little on the Albigensian Crusade and how the Cathars (related with the Albigensians) were wiped out by papal forces. Many Protestants and other non-Catholics point to this incident as a demonstration of the evil of the Catholic Church.

In doing some further reading, I came across some fascinating information which demonstrated how the Cathars were more than a threat to Catholic doctrine, but that they were a threat to society as well. At the time, society was heavily influenced by orthodox Christianity and by the Church which upheld that Christianity. The Cathars believed that saying oaths, marrying, procreation, etc. were all to be looked down upon; whereas these were necessary for a safe society during those times.

Therefore, my question is: Was the Albigensian Crusade more about maintaining sound and safe societies than it was about crushing heretical thoughts?


The Albigensians were performing ritualistic suicide as well as other wacky deeds that was clearly causing chaos with its growth in Southern France. So much so that the secular authorities went nuts sheeding a lot of blood.

The Churches official reaction was clearly to re-evagilize them and the newly formed Dominican order stepped up to this challenge.

Most protestants are really uneducated about what the Cathars believed and associate them as Bible Christians because they had their own translation so they associate their "pursicution" to another evil act by the whore of Babylon. If they actually new what they believed they would back off from this argument. Sadly, this is true of most "Fundamentalist history."

In Christ

Bill


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