The Albigenses have received much sympathy, as being a kind of pre-Reformation Protestants; but it is now recognized that their tenets were an extreme form of Manichaeism.
Called on the Christian princes to suppress the Albigensian heresy by force of arms, and for seven years the south of France was devastated by one of the most bloodthirsty wars in history, the Albigenses being slaughtered by thousands and their property confiscated wholesale.
On the one hand there were during the middle ages sects, like the Catharists and Albigenses, whose "opposition as a rule developed itself from dualistic or pantheistic premises (surviving effects of old Gnostic or Manichaean views)" and who "stood outside of ordinary Christendom, and while no doubt affecting many individual members within it, had no influence on church doctrine."
On the other hand, sanctity of life on the part of the minister is not necessary in order to the validity of the sacraments which he confers, although this was held to be the case by the Donatists in the 4th century, and following them by the Waldensians and Albigenses in the 12th, and by the followers of Hus and Wycliffe in the 14th.
Albi (Albiga) was, in the Gallo-Roman period, capital of the Albigenses, and later of the viscounty of Albigeois, which was a fief of the counts of Toulouse.
Peter accompanied his cousin, King Philip Augustus, on the crusade of 1190, fought against the Albigenses, and was present at the battle of Bouvines in 1214.
And if it has not been quite proved that so early as the 4th century the Priscillianists of Spain were influenced by Manichaeism, it is at least undoubted that the Paulicians and Bogomiles, as well as the Catharists and the Albigenses, are to be traced back to Manichaeism (and Marcionitism).
In 1223 the Albigenses are declared to be the local Bougres, and at the same period mention is made of the "Pope of the Albigenses who resided within the confines of Bulgaria."
The popes in Rome whilst leading the Crusade against the Albigenses did not forget their counterpart in the Balkans and recommended the annihilation of the heretics.
The heretic peril, which increased during his pontificate, forced him to take decisive measures against the Albigenses in the south of France, but before proscribing them he spent ten years (1198-1208) in endeavouring to convert the misbelievers, and history should not forget the pacific character of these early efforts.
In the year after the battle of the Navas de Tolosa he took up arms against the crusaders of Simon of Montfort, moved not by sympathy with the Albigenses, but by the natural political hostility of the southern princes to the conquering intervention of the north under pretence of religious zeal.
The king was a severe persecutor of the Albigenses, and his formal canonization was due as much to his orthodoxy as to his crusading by Pope Clement X.
Peter, whose possessions in Provence entangled him in the wars between the Albigenses and Simon of Montfort, endeavoured to placate the northern crusaders by arranging a marriage between his son James and Simon's daughter.
The efficacy of prayers for the dead, and indirectly the doctrine of purgatory, were denied by early Gnostic sects, by Aerius in the 4th century, and by the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses and Lollards in the middle ages.
It continued among the Albigenses and other dissident sects of the middle ages, among whom it served a double purpose; for their elders were thus not only able to prove their own chastity, but to elude the inquisitors, who were less inclined to suspect a man of the catharism which regarded marriage as the "greater adultery" (maius adulterium) if they found him cohabiting (in appearance at least) with a woman.
There was this in common among the Cathari, Waldenses, Albigenses and other heretical bodies that overran so many parts of Western Europe in the second half of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th, that they all inveighed against the wealth of the clergy, and preached the practice of austere poverty and a return to the simple life of Christ and the Apostles.
As punish-, ment for its support of the Albigenses, and in 1251 was forced to submit to the counts of Toulouse and Provence.
Of England of Poitou as far as the Garonne; (1~3 and the crusade against the Albigenses, which with 1226).
Yet his interests as a prince of southern France compelled him to draw the sword in defence of the Albigenses, and, orthodox as he was in creed, he fell fighting for them at Muret ~fl 1213.
His son Humbert took part in the wars against the Albigenses and became constable of France.
ALBIGENSES, the usual designation of the heretics - and more especially the Catharist heretics - of the south of France in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The name of Bulgarians (Bougres) was often applied to the Albigenses, and they always kept up intercourse with the Bogomil sectaries of Thrace.
Hunted down by the Inquisition and quickly abandoned by the nobles of the district, the Albigenses became more and more scattered, hiding in the forests and mountains, and only meeting surreptitiously.