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The Catholic Church saw Cathars as a heretical sect that went against the teachings of the Bible. Introduction. The Cathars rejected the Roman Catholic, the entire church structure. Catholics destroyed virtually every scrap the Cathars wrote, so we do not know their side of the story, but according to Catholic sources, Cathars believed the whole material world to be evil. The Cathari (also known as Cathars,Albigensians, or Catharism) were followers of a controversial religious sect that flourished in the Languedoc region of France between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries before they were eradicated by the Albigensian Crusade and the subsequent Roman Catholic Inquisition. At this point, … Why were the Cathars such a threat? By the 12th century, organized groups of dissidents, such as the Waldensians and Cathars, were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of newly urbanized areas. Not infrequently they were also branded or stigmatized with the names of much earlier heresies - Arian, Marcionite, and Manichaean. They said they were the only true Christians. The facts of the case were that the Dominicans were trying to disinherit Castel's heirs on the grounds that he had been a Cathar - unlikely since he had been buried in a convent. Cathars were open-minded when it came to women priests since they saw the spirit as being without gender. The fact that Cathars rejected the idea of salvation from sin by belief in Christ was seen as a threat to the Catholic belief. On other occasions, they were called Cathars or Cathares or Cathari. For this reason, or perhaps because Albi continued to be one of their centres, they were often called Albigensians. They believed that the Catholic Church was the tool of a … Cathars were also usually known as Albigensians because the city Albi in southern France was in beginning their largest community base. Cathars were also universalists, which means that they believed in the ultimate salvation of all human beings. They developed an alternative religion, an alternative hierarchy, an alter- native priesthood that attracted many adherents in that period, which is why the Cathar heresy above all occasioned the founding of the inquisition. The Waldensians were excommunicated in 1182 and anathematized along with other heresies by Pope Lucius III in 1184, thereby legitimating punishments such as burning (as recalled by 17th-century British Protestants, top right). Because they were successful in a bid for the hearts and minds of increasing numbers of people in southern France, and even more so northern Italy, in the early 13th c. To the Holy Mother Church in Rome you mean? Here is an account of how they saw themselves, recorded in 1143 or 1144 by Eberwin, Prior of the Premonstratensian Abbey of Steinfeld writing to Bernard of Clairvaux (St Bernard): They represented a community that seriously endangered the organization of Catholic Church in the 12th and 13th centuries. Q: Why were the Cathars such a threat? The Cathars were a threat because they rejected the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. The Franciscans had evidence that he had left his worldly goods to them - again suggesting that he had not been a Cathar at all. Since Catharism represented such a danger to Catholicism, the new Pope decided to take the situation in hand by using “ the force of the material glaive [double-edged sword], by means of the princes and the people” to prevail against the heretics and those who protected them, namely the Occitan lords. CATHARS, ALBIGENSIANS, and BOGOMILS (Focusing on the possible influence of Manichaean ideas among these sects.) 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