College Notes
Church History
Lecture 13

Church in the Wilderness

A.  Names attached to anti-Catholic groups.


B.  Events during this time:
1.  Period of the Dark ages.
2.  Catholic supremacy. Great power, very corrupt.
3.  Time of crusades - great persecution on these groups.

A.  Not part of the true church in general...
1.  Called Bogomils, Patarines, Albigenses, etc.

From Heresy, Crusade, and Inquisition in Southern France, by Walter L. Wakefield, we read:

"Between 1140 and 1160 a new dualist heresy spread from northern Europe where it appeared in cities such as Koln and Liege southward. It probably penetrated Languedoc about 1150.  The name Cathars was first applied to the heretics in the north about 1160. As they spread they acquired others: Publicans was often used in the north; in Italy they were called Patarines. The connection with Balkan   sects gave rise to the name Bulgars (Bouges in French). Opponents also revived ancient sect- names -- Arians, Manichaeans, Marcionites - to apply to them. All Europe soon knew those who congregated in southern France as the Albigenses." p. 25-189

B.  Beliefs:
1.  Dualistic concept like Bogomils.

From The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, we read:

"Cathari affirmed that the two principles were engaged in perpetual warfare, that the earth was their battleground, and that man’s primary concern must be to free himself from servitude to matter. Because matter as evil, Christ could not have had a true human body, have died, or have risen from the dead; because human procreation resulted in the union of spirit with matter, marriage was essentially evil; and because sacred suicide, called ENDURA, liberated man's spirit from matter, it was the highest act of virtue. "The dualism of the Cathari was derived from the Eastern Bogomils and Paulicians, and was probably introduced into Western Europe by merchants, pilgrims, and returning crusaders. By the beginning of the 13th century, numerous Cathar sects were established in S France, N Italy, NE Spain, and the Rhineland.  Each was headed by a bishop and included two classes of adherents -- Perfecti and believers, or hearers. Initiation of the Perfecti was a ceremony called CONSOLAMENTUM, consisting of imposition of hands and the book of the Gospels on the head of the recipient. Thereafter, one so initiated was obliged to a life of poverty, continence, asceticism, and preaching. Believers’ only obligations were to tender reverence (the MELIORAMENTUM) to the Perfecti, to support them, to attend their sermons, to refrain from oaths and military service, and to receive the CONSOLAMENTUM before death.  Beyond this, they were held to no fixed moral code and usually lived accordingly. Suppression of the Cathari proved extremely difficult.  Their final extirpation was accomplished by vigorous activity of the Inquisition and the Albigensian Crusade. By the opening of the 15th century, all traces of Catharism had almost completely disappeared."

    2. Believed the Old Testament and much of the New Testament inspired by Satan.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, says:

"Their tenets were as follows:  - The evil god, Satan, who inspired the malevolent parts of the Old Testament, is god and lord of this world, of the things that are seen and are temporal, and especially of the outward man which is decaying, of the earthen vessel, of the body of death, of the flesh which takes us captive under the law of sin and desire. This world is the only true purgatory and hell, being the antithesis of the world eternal, of the inward man renewed day by day, of Christ's peace and kingdom, which are not of this world. Men are the result of a primal war in heaven, when hosts of angels incited by Satan or Lucifer to revolt were driven out, and were imprisoned in terrestrial bodies, bodies spiritual and not natural.  These the angels souls left behind in heaven, and they are buildings from God, houses not made with hands, tunics eternal." p.  504 

From the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, edited by Hastings, we read:

"Catharists rejected the Roman doctrine, maintaining that the soul, after death, entered forthwith into a state either of perfect happiness or of eternal suffering. Their abstention from all animal food included even milk and eggs, all matter being regarded as the creation of the Spirit of Evil, but especially that, which was the outcome of sexual propagation. Labour was justifiable so far as it served to sustain life....” p. 281

From Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France, by Walter L. Wakefield, we read:

"The personal life of the perfected Cathar was marked by constant prayer and rigid asceticism. The Lord’s Prayer, normally repeated sixteen times in one sequence, was said at stipulated times except in illness. Three days of every week were devoted to fasting on bread and water and there were three forty-day periods of restricted diet, during one week of which only bread and water were taken. Contact of the sexes was kept to the minimum...women touched men only on the shoulder or elbow. The 'Good Christian' thereafter wore the black robe, which showed his status.  When persecution eventually made this distinctive grab dangerous, it was sometimes replaced by a black thread worn next to the body.  Public religious ceremonies other than the consolamentum were simple but often repeated.  At meals food was consecrated by blessing, requests for forgiveness of sin, and repetition of the Lord’s Prayer."  p. 25-189

    3.  They believed that Baptism was by spirit, not by water.
    4.  Did not recognize Catholic Church as originating from apostolic church.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, says:

"In the East they were called Bogomils and Paulicians; in the West, Patarenes, Tixerands, Bulgars, Concorricii, Albanenses, Albigeois, and in both, Cathars and Manicheans."  p. 504

III. ALBIGENSES - 1100-1200 A.D.
A.  Very Anti-Catholic, however not God's people. 

From McClintock and Strong's Biblical Encyclopedia, we read:

"What these bodies held in common, and what made them equally the prey of the inquisitor, was their unwavering belief in the corruption of the medieval Church, especially as governed by the Roman pontiffs. By some writers their origin is traced to the Paulicians or Bogomils, who, having withdrawn from Bulgaria and Thrace, either to escape persecution or, more probably, from motives of zeal to extend their doctrines, settled in various parts of Europe.  They acquired different names in different countries; as in Italy, whither they originally migrated, they were called Paterini and Cathari; and in France Albigenses...." p. 133

B.  Beliefs:

From the Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, we read:

"The heresy which had penetrated into these regions probably by trade routes, came originally from eastern Europe. The name of Bulgarians was often applied to the Albigenses, and they always kept up intercourse with the Bogomil sectaries of Thrace.... What is certain is that, above all, they formed an anti-sacerdotal party in permanent opposition to the Roman church, and raised a continued protest against the corruption of the clergy of their time.... Their dualist doctrines, as described by controversialists, present numerous resemblances to those of the Bogomils, and still more to those of the Paulicians, with whom they are sometimes connected. It is exceedingly difficult, however, to form any very precise idea of the Albigensian doctrines, as our knowledge of them is derived from their opponents, and the very rare texts emanating from the Albigenses, which have come down to us, contain very inadequate information concerning their metaphysical principles and moral practice.  What is certain is that, above all, they formed an anti- sacerdotal party in permanent opposition to the Roman church, and raised a continued protest against the corruption of the clergy of their time." p. 505 

Albigenses continued

    1.  Dualistic doctrine.
    2.  Looking for state of perfection.
    3.  Denied marriage and fleshly pleasures to ministry.
    4.  Expected all to eventually become part of the "Perfecti".
    5.  Fasted to the death. 

From The Pilgrim Church, by Broadbent, we read:

“The name Albigenses does not appear until after the Council held at Lombers near Albi about the middle of the twelfth century....  Among the people the brethren were most frequently called 'Good Men', and there is general testimony to the fact that their manner of life was a pattern to all, and especially that their simplicity and piety were a contrast to the self-indulgence of the clergy.... Some among the brethren devoted themselves entirely to traveling and ministering the Word, and were called  ‘the Perfect,’ and, in accordance with the Lord's words in Matthew 19:21, 'If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have reassure in heaven: and come and follow Me', they possessed nothing, had no home, and literally acted upon this command.... The congregations of believers who met apart from the Catholic Church were numerous and increasing. They are often called Albigenses, a name taken from Albi, a district where there were many of them, but this name was never used by them, nor of them until a later period.  They had intimate connections with the brethren -- whether called Waldenses, Poor Men of Lyons, Bogomils, or otherwise  -- in the surrounding countries, where churches spread among the various peoples." p. 87-88

    6.  Trace themselves to Paulician movement.

From the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, we read:

"Gibbon argued ... that 'the persons called Albigenses, in the south of France, were Paulician emigrants.'  'In all essentials,' says Lea,  'the doctrine of the Paulicians was identical with that of the Albigenses.' p.  278

C.  Crusades:
1.  1098 A.D. - First Crusade by Catholic Church.
2.  Priests sent to various towns to bring out heretics.
3.  Horrible persecutions against anti-Catholics.
D.  Innocent III - 1198-1216 A.D.
1.  Brought about The Inquisition.
2.  Used any means possible to convert those not in the Catholic Church.

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion says;

"By the beginning of the 13th century, the Albigenses had become a threat to the very existence of the Church in S France. Innocent III at first attempted to convert the heretics by sending Cistercian and later Dominican preachers into the infected area, but sermons and disputations proved generally ineffective. When the Papal Legate Peter of Castelnau was murdered in 1208, the Pope decided that the use of force was justified and launched a crusade against the recalcitrant Albigenses. During the next 10 years the army led by Simon de Montfort forced the surrender of the most important heretical strongholds, employing in the process methods that were cruel even by medieval standards. Fighting continued until 1229, but its purpose became political, the incorporation of Languedoc into France. Once deprived of baronial protection, the Albigenses found it necessary to flee or go underground. Their final extirpation was accomplished by the Inquisition established by Gregory IX in 1233.  By the end of the 14th century their power was completely broken." p. 96 

    3.  God's people flee into the wilderness - here we pick up the Waldensians.

From the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, we read:

"In 1214, Innocent rescinded the prohibition to preach the Crusade, and in the course of the year a hundred thousand ‘pilgrims’ poured into Languedoc. Their first military achievement was the capture of Maurillac, on which occasion we find a reference to the Waldenses, seven of whom were burnt ‘with great joy’ as incorrigible in the attestation of their errors...." p. 285

McClintock and Strong's Biblical Encyclopedia, says:

"With the exception of the charge of rejecting marriage, no allegation is made against their morals by the better class of Roman writers. Their constancy in suffering excited the wonder of their opponents. 'Tell me, Holy Father,’ says Evervinus to St. Bernard, relating the martyrdom of three of these heretics, 'how is this?' They entered to the stake and bore the torment of the fire, not only with patience, but also with joy and gladness. I wish your explanation how these members of the devil could persist in their heresy with a courage and constancy scarcely to be found in the most religious of the faith of Christ?"

A.  Mixture of Judaism and Christianity.
1.  Rejected Law of Moses.
2. Upheld obligation of Old Testament with exception of sacrifices.

B.  Condemned in 1184 as heretics.

We learn from the Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, by Brown, article Pasaginians," that:

"A denomination which arose in the twelfth century, called the circumcised. Mosheim says, 'the meaning of the term Pasaginian is unknown, but they seem to have been a remnant of the Nazarenes.' They seem to have been a remnant of the Nazarenes, and have distinguishing tenants: 1) that the observance of the Law of Moses in everything except the offering of sacrifices was obligatory upon Christians. 2) That Christ was no more than the first and purest creature of God which was the doctrine of the semi-Arians."

A.  Located in area of Milan.
B.  Beliefs:
1.  Against Simony.
2.  Refused sacraments.
C.  What happened to them..?
1.  Suffered some martyrdom.
2.  Ceased to exist at the end of the century - later absorbed into the Catholic Church.

The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion says that the Patarines were:

"...members of a movement at Milan (c.1050) Against simony and concubinage of the clergy. The quarter of the city where they met, Pataria, is probably the origin of the name. Most of the members were simple laymen, and in their zeal against abuses of the clergy they had the support of Popes Stephen IX and Alexander II. Patarines refused to receive the sacraments from simoniacal bishops or priests; sometimes they used physical force to remove unworthy clergy.  In their struggles against the archbishop of Milan appointed by the Emperor Henry IV they became opponents of lay investiture. Their leaders SS Arialdus and Erlembaldus were martyred by agents of the archbishops. The spirit of the movement spread to other parts of Italy and contributed to the Gregorian Reform. By the end of the 11th century the Patarines ceased to be active. For uncertain reasons the same name was applied in the 12th century to the Bogomils; Lateran Council IV used it as practically synonymous with Cathari; and in the 13th and 14th centuries it often designated any sort of heretic." p. 269 

From Blunt's Dictionary of Sects and Heresies, we read:

"They observed the Law of Moses (except as to sacrifices) circumcision, the Sabbath, distinction of clean and unclean foods all forming part of their system and hence, they were also called, 'Circumcisi, circumcissi, or circumsisi. The Pasagians appealed to the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in support of their doctrine... They gave the chief authority for their history as Bonacursus, in the 1400's. From the same book, Paterini, an Italian name for the Paulicians, migrated from Bulgaria to Italy in the eleventh century."

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