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The Cathars

Video, History of the Cathars-

In the year 1140 AD or so, a Christian belief system originated in France and around the Pyrenees mountains that historians now call Catharism, Cathar meaning the Pure or the Perfect. In the next centuries it would spread from this base throughout other areas of Europe. The Cathars called themselves the "Good men" or "Good Christians". Indeed by all accounts their beliefs were much closer to the original Christian teachings than the Catholic Church's are. They practiced laying on of hands, and had an especially deep understanding of the Gospel of John. They also possessed many Scriptures now lost and destroyed by the Catholic Church.

They had similar beliefs to and were influenced by the Christian Gnostics, Manicheans, Paulicians, Bogomils, and even Far Eastern religions that came before them. They had a Dualistic belief system, of Good and Evil, God and Satan. They believed the material World was born of Satan, and the Spiritual Heavenly world born of God. Human beings had inside them, a divine spark and soul, belonging to the Spiritual realm. However, Human beings were also trapped in physical bodies in the Physical world. Only through liberation from matter, through giving up attachments to materiality, material desires, and physical urges could liberation be achieved. The Cathars believed those who had not liberated themselves fully of the material world in their lifetime would in fact be Reincarnated.

Information on Cathar origins and beliefs-

Info on Cathar scriptures-



The Cathars believed there existed within mankind a spark of divine light. This light, or spirit, had fallen into captivity within a realm of corruption identified with the physical body and world. This was a distinct feature of classical Gnosticism, of Manichaeism and of the theology of the Bogomils. This concept of the human condition within Catharism was most probably due to direct and indirect historical influences from these older (and sometimes violently suppressed) Gnostic movements. According to the Cathars, the world had been created by a lesser deity, much like the figure known in classical Gnostic myth as the Demiurge. This creative force was identified with Satan; most forms of classical Gnosticism had not made this explicit link between the Demiurge and Satan. Spirit, the vital essence of humanity, was thus trapped in a polluted world created by a usurper God and ruled by his corrupt minions.

The goal of Cathar eschatology was liberation from the realm of limitation and corruption identified with material existence. The path to liberation first required an awakening to the intrinsic corruption of the medieval "consensus reality", including its ecclesiastical, dogmatic, and social structures. Once cognizant of the grim existential reality of human existence (the "prison" of matter), the path to spiritual liberation became obvious: matter's enslaving bonds must be broken. This was a step-by-step process, accomplished in different measures by each individual. The Cathars accepted the idea of reincarnation. Those who were unable to achieve liberation during their current mortal journey would return another time to continue the struggle for perfection. Thus, it should be understood that being reincarnated was neither inevitable nor desirable, and that it occurred because not all humans could break the enthralling chains of matter within a single lifetime.

Cathar society was divided into two general categories, the Perfecti (Perfects, Parfaits) and the Credentes (Believers). The Perfecti formed the core of the movement, though the actual number of Perfecti in Cathar society was always relatively small, numbering perhaps a few thousand at any one time. Regardless of their number, they represented the perpetuating heart of the Cathar tradition, the "true Christian Church", as they styled themselves. (When discussing the tenets of Cathar faith it must be understood that the demands of extreme asceticism fell only upon the Perfecti.)

An individual entered into the community of Perfecti through a ritual known as the consolamentum, a rite that was both sacramental and sacerdotal in nature: sacramental in that it granted redemption and liberation from this world; sacerdotal in that those who had received this rite functioned in some ways as the Cathar clergy—though the idea of priesthood was explicitly rejected. The consolamentum was the baptism of the Holy Spirit, baptismal regeneration, absolution, and ordination all in one. The ritual consisted of the laying on of hands (and the transfer of the spirit) in a manner believed to have been passed down in unbroken succession from Jesus Christ. Upon reception of the consolamentum, the new Perfectus surrendered his or her worldly goods to the community, vested himself in a simple black or blue robe with cord belt, and sought to undertake a life dedicated to following the example of Christ and his Apostles — an often peripatetic life devoted to purity, prayer, preaching and charitable work. Above all, the Perfecti were dedicated to enabling others to find the road that led from the dark land ruled by the dark lord, to the realm of light which they believed to be humankind's first source and ultimate end.

While the Perfecti pledged themselves to ascetic lives of simplicity, frugality and purity, Cathar credentes (believers) were not expected to adopt the same stringent lifestyle. They were, however, expected to refrain from eating meat and dairy products, from killing and from swearing oaths. Catharism was above all a populist religion and the numbers of those who considered themselves "believers" in the late 12th century included a sizeable portion of the population of Languedoc, counting among them many noble families and courts. These individuals often drank, ate meat, and led relatively normal lives within medieval society—in contrast to the Perfecti, whom they honoured as exemplars. Though unable to embrace the life of chastity, the credentes looked toward an eventual time when this would be their calling and path.

Many credentes would also eventually receive the consolamentum as death drew near—performing the ritual of liberation at a moment when the heavy obligations of purity required of Perfecti would be temporally short. Some of those who received the sacrament of the consolamentum upon their death-beds may thereafter have shunned further food or drink in order to speed death. This has been termed the endura.[8] It was claimed by Catharism's opponents that by such self-imposed starvation, the Cathars were committing suicide in order to escape this world. Other than at such moments of extremis, little evidence exists to suggest this was a common Cathar practice.[9]
[edit] Theology

The Catharist concept of Jesus resembled modalistic monarchianism (Sabellianism) in the West and adoptionism in the East.[10][11] Some Cathari adhered to a concept of Jesus that might be called docetistic, believing that Jesus had been a manifestation of spirit unbounded by the limitations of matter—a sort of divine spirit or feeling manifesting within human beings. Many embraced the Gospel of John as their most sacred text, and many rejected the traditional view of the Old Testament—proclaiming that the God of the Old Testament was really the devil, or creative demiurge. They proclaimed that there was a higher God—the True God—and Jesus was variously described as being that True God or his messenger. These are views similar to those of Marcion, though Marcion never identified the creative demiurge with Satan, nor said that he was (strictly speaking) evil, merely harsh and dictatorial.[citation needed]

The God found in the Old Testament had nothing to do with the God of Love known to Cathars. The Old Testament God had created the world as a prison, and demanded from the "prisoners" fearful obedience and worship. The Cathari claimed that this god was in fact a blind usurper who under the most false pretexts, tormented and murdered those whom he called, all too possessively, "his children". The false god was, by the Cathari, called Rex Mundi, or The King of the World. This exegesis upon the Old Testament was not unique to the Cathars: it echoes views found in earlier Gnostic movements and foreshadows later critical voices. The dogma of the Trinity and the sacrament of the Eucharist, among others, were rejected as abominations. Belief in metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls, resulted in the rejection of Hell and Purgatory, which were and are dogmas of the Catholic faith. For the Cathars, this world was the only hell—there was nothing to fear after death, save perhaps rebirth.

While this is the understanding of Cathar theology related by the Catholic Church, crucial to the study of the Cathars is their fundamental disagreement with the Christian interpretation of the Doctrine of "resurrection" (cryptically referred to in Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2) as a doctrine of the physical raising of a dead body from the grave. In the book "Massacre at Montségur" the Cathars are referred to as "Western Buddhists" because of their belief that the Doctrine of "resurrection" taught by Jesus was, in fact, similar to the Buddhist Doctrine of Rebirth (referred to as "reincarnation").[12] This challenge to the orthodox Christian interpretation of the "resurrection" reflected a conflict previously witnessed during the 2nd and 3rd centuries between Gnosticism and developing orthodox Christian theology.

From the theological underpinnings of the Cathar faith there came practical injunctions that were considered destabilising to the morals of medieval society. For instance, Cathars rejected the giving of oaths as wrongful; an oath served to place one under the domination of the Demiurge and the world. To reject oaths in this manner was seen as anarchic in a society where illiteracy was widespread and almost all business transactions and pledges of allegiance were based on the giving of oaths.

Sexual intercourse and reproduction propagated the slavery of spirit to flesh, hence procreation was considered undesirable. Informal relationships were considered preferable to marriage among Cathar credentes. Perfecti were supposed to have observed complete celibacy, and eventual separation from a partner would be necessary for those who would become Perfecti. For the credentes however, sexual activity was not prohibited, but procreation was strongly discouraged, resulting in the charge by their opponents of sexual perversion. The common English insult "bugger" is derived from "Bulgar", the notion that Cathars followed the "Bulgarian heresy" whose teaching included sexual activities which skirted procreation.

Killing was abhorrent to the Cathars. Consequently, abstention from all animal food (sometimes exempting fish) was enjoined of the Perfecti. The Perfecti apparently avoided eating anything considered to be a by-product of sexual reproduction[citation needed]—war and capital punishment were also condemned, an abnormality in the medieval age. As a consequence of their rejection of oaths, Cathars also rejected marriage vows. Such was the situation, that when called before the Inquisition, one accused of Catharism needed only to show that he was married for the case to be immediately dismissed.

Such teachings, both in theological intent and practical consequence, brought upon the Cathars condemnation from religious and secular authorities as being the enemies of Christian faith and of social order.


However, it was only a matter of time before Catharism became popular enough that the Catholic Church would accuse it of Heresy. A vicious persecution began which included many Massacres and much Torture.

Here is a letter written to the Church by a Catholic leader in 1209 AD-
"—"Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own."[15][16] The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly, 7,000 people died there. Elsewhere in the town many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice.[17] What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud wrote to Pope Innocent III, "Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex.""

Sadly, by the late 1200s Catharism was very secret, and had retreated to the Pyrenees. The Catholic Inquisition had grown very powerful. By 1330 all Cathar scriptures had been destroyed and Cathar leaders had been killed.





Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church?

Catharism was for many years the prevalent form of Christianity in large areas of France, Spain and Italy. The Cathars called themselves the friends of God and condemned the literalist Church as the Church of the Anti-Christ. They claimed to be the living inheritors of the true Christian heritage that had persisted in secret and which still had large numbers of adherents throughout the world.

Like the original Christians, the Cathars were vegetarians, believed in reincarnation and considered the Old Testament god Jehovah to be a tyrant...

The Cathars were respected for their goodness, even by their opponents. The Catholic Bernard of Clairveaux writes:

"If you interrogate them, no one could be more Christian. As to their conversation, nothing can be less reprehensible, and what they speak they prove by deeds. As for the morals of the heretics, they cheat no one, they oppress no one, they strike no one."

Despite this, the infamous Inquisition was set up by the Literalist Church specifically to eradicate the cathars, which it did with ferocious enthusiasm, burning alive men, women and children. From 1139 onwards the Roman Church began calling councils to condemn the heretics. Pope Innocent III declared that 'anyone who attempted to construe a personal view of God which conflicted with Church dogma must be burned without pity'. In 1208 he offered indulgences and eternal salvation, as well as the lands and property taken from the heretics, to anyone who would take up the crusade against the Cathars. This launched a brutal 30-year pogrom which decimated southern France. Twelve thousand people were killed at St Nazaire and ten thousand at Toulouse, to give just two examples.



Edited by Immortal4life
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Wow. Thanks for bringing this information.


It really shows how the selfish ego is the root of evil. Here you have a Pope who wishes for merciless slaughter of people who`s only transgression to be found was in their beliefs. What effect does someone's belief have on God? Nothing, though if anything it might negatively affect the person with the belief.


The only motivation could be the feeling of tyrannical might slipping away from these leaders, and they would even motivate random villagers to commit murder by offering land to them, just to keep this group from usurping Catholic influence, an influence that promoted the merciless slaughter of their neighbors. How could there be any influence other than selfish ego behind this? Nothing else can be behind such evil.

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I remember hearing about how one time when the Inquisition had a Cathar castle surrounded, the Cathars surrendered and came out of the castle. As they came out they were singing Cathar hymns, prayers, and psalms. So the Catholic priests decided to recite their own Catholic prayers to try to drown out the Cathar prayers, and it became a sort of battle of who could recite their prayers the loudest. Then they had the Cathars burned alive. They did this to ensure that they wouldn't have bodies so there was no way their bodies could be resurrected when Jesus returns lmao. They didn't deserve to be resurrected since they didn't believe in it, they believed in reincarnation, but they had to be burned just in case Jesus decided to forgive them for believing in reincarnation instead of resurrection, and to serve as an example to others.

Edited by Immortal4life

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