I am sorry if I misspelled it but, it has been a while scince I have seen the word and I don’t know where to look it up. Which is what brings me here, Who were these guys and what did they beleive? I want to say I heard that they do not believe in marriage, is this true?Any good links or books that I could look at to find something out about these people? And their proper spelling as well. Thanks and God bless.
They were crazy manichean or gnostic-like people of the city of Albi in southern France. They were put to death in the medieval crusades of the early 13th century. The more scholarly Jack Chick and Dave Hunt comic books says they were true evangelical Christians. Buzz, sorry wrong.
The Albigensian heresy was strong in the South of France in the 13th or 14th Century. I am fairly certain there is an article in the Catholic Encyclopedia (newadvent.com) on them. They were another group like the Manichees who believed that spirit was good and matter evil. This led to all sorts of abuse. Yes, they did discourage marriage. One of the DeMonforts led a “crusade” against them. The Franciscans and Dominicans preached to bring them back into the Church.
Montie, Do you subscribe to This Rock, Catholic Answers’ magazine? There is an article this month about the major heresies throughout church history. There is a short part that covers the Albigensians.
They were a sect of the Cathar heresy, whose main principles were that the world was created by an evil God, matter/flesh is evil. They taught against marriage, but not against fornication-- just against creating new “evil” bodies (i.e. babies) to trap “good” spirits.
The Albigensians were very radical, they were social anarchists which is why the civil governments of the time took harsh action against them-- to maintain order.
There are several good books on the major heresies, and articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
As the joke goes:
A Dominican and a Jesuit were discussing the merits or their orders. They both affirmed that they had a good tradition as they were both founded by Spaniards and they were both founded by Saints and they were both founded to fight a particular heresy, the Dominicans the Albigensians and the Jesuits the Protestants. The Dominican told the Jesuit that there was one large difference between their orders however. The Jesuit thought about it for a while and couldn’t see the major difference between the two great orders. To this the Dominican asked, “Met any Albigensians lately?”
I’m not sure I buy that “social anarchist” argument. I have not seen any solid evidence for it. There were political reasons for the Crusade against the Cathars, but those reasons had to do with the French monarchy wanting to gain control of southern France. So far from the Cathars being “anarchists,” they often had the patronage of the Provencal aristocracy.
I’m also not sure if the claim that they favored non-procreative fornication is quite fair. My understanding is that the “perfect” were expected to be celibate and had the reputation of being better at this than the Catholic clergy. (There’s one story about a Catholic cleric trying to seduce a young woman and deciding when she turned him down that she must be a heretic.) Sympathizers with the movement (who like I said included a lot of the aristocracy) were encouraged to avoid sexual activity that might result in children being born. So you’re right, but you gave a somewhat unfair impression. They were against sex in general–they just had a different idea from the Catholic Church as to what made sex more or less undesirable!
There were different Cathar groups with somewhat different theology, and much of what we know about them comes from their enemies. There’s an excellent collection of primary sources (not just having to do with the Cathars) called *Heresies of the High Middle Ages, *translated and edited by Walter Wakefield and Austin Evans (Columbia University Press, 1969, 1991). That’s the best place to go to see the primary sources that we do have and get a sense for just how complex the issues are.
One thing to keep clear–while ignorant people then and now confused the Cathars with the Waldenses, and while there was some mutual influence since they were both being persecuted by the Catholic Church, the Waldenses were basically orthodox by comparison and this was recognized by the Inquisition. Actually, the Waldenses didn’t start off to be heretical at all–they were basically unlicensed lay preachers who had no intention of breaking with Catholic doctrine. Over time they became more radical and questioned certain Catholic doctrines, but they always condemned the Cathars as heretics.
If you read Scripture, along with historical accounts these people are what Scripture warned you about - they forbade marriage and taught it was wrong to eat meat alltogether because it was flesh and flesh according to them was sinful. That does not mean the Catholic Church is wrong for asking people to abstain from meat on Friday or celibacy for priests and bishops. Those are two different things.
[quote=kleary]If you read Scripture, along with historical accounts these people are what Scripture warned you about - they forbade marriage and taught it was wrong to eat meat alltogether because it was flesh and flesh according to them was sinful. **That does not mean the Catholic Church is wrong for asking people to abstain from meat on Friday ** or celibacy for priests and bishops. Those are two different things.
Slight digression and nothing to do with the thread but the Church does NOT require us to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Fridays are days of penance and you can choose whatever penance you want. Abstaining from meat is a choice.
Unless I am mistaking them for another group of heretics, I believe the Albigensians also had the nasty habit of encouraging people to commit suicide right after baptism—thus ensuring access to heaven. (I suspect the suicides would come after the soon-to-be-deceased willed all of his possessions to the Albigensians.)
They were also known as The Cathars.
A good book is called “The Cathars: Dualist Heretics in Languedoc in the High Middle Ages by Malcolm Barber”
I don’t recall anything about suicides, but it was a “common” practice to put off one’s Rites until late in life, particularly on one’s death bead, as there wasn’t much by way of absolving sin after becoming a perfecti. Only the very few (equivalent of their religious cloistered) who took the full obligations as they converted; most “laity” (as we’d call them) merely believed, but did not go through the rites until later in life
try this site: languedoc-france.info/12_cathars.htm
for a “sympathetic” (to the cathars) veiw of them. Discusses their beliefs without “preaching” them. Obviously, their sympathy causes some measure of unsympathetic banter for the Chruch that suppressed them.
Singularly uninformative (or at least it was last time I looked), you could try the cathars.net site for a group of people who are trying to actually live the religion in modern times (rather than the simply “historical” perspective the other site gives).
[quote=thistle]Slight digression and nothing to do with the thread but the Church does NOT require us to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Fridays are days of penance and you can choose whatever penance you want. Abstaining from meat is a choice.
Only in particular jurisdictions in the world that have been granted this privilege. Your digression is not true for the Universal Church.