Of the Cathari, and in Calabria the apocalyptic gospel of Joachim of Floris, all bearing witness to the commotion of the time.
Another resolution, of importance for the history of the treatment of heresy, was the canon which decreed that armed force should be employed against the Cathari in southern France, that their goods were liable to confiscation and their persons to enslavement by the princes, and that all who took up weapons against them should receive a two years' remission of their penance and be placed - like the crusaders - under the direct protection of the church.
The seventy decrees of the council begin with a confession of faith directed against the Cathari and Waldenses, which is significant if only for the mention of a transubstantiation of the elements in the Lord's Supper.
This account sufficiently shows the difference of the Waldenses from the Cathari: they were opposed to asceticism, and had no official priesthood; at the same time their objection to oaths and to capital punishment are closely related to the principles of the Cathari.
Election took the place of ordination, but even here the Lombards showed their difference from the Ultramontanes, and recognized only two orders, like the Cathari, while the northern body kept the old three orders of bishops, priests and deacons.
CATHARS (CATHARI or Catharists), a widespread heretical sect of the middle ages.
Yet their Christology and negative attitude towards the state rather indicate, as in the case of Wicklif, Hus and the Fraticelli, an affinity to the Cathari and other medieval sects.
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.
Though these extremists were presently branded as heretics for their eccentric ultraascetic tenets (Montanists, Cathari), yet as early as Tertullian's time (c. A.D.
But it was unquestionably from Marcionite impulses that the new sects of the Paulicians and Bogomils arose; and in so far as the western Cathari, and the antinomian and anticlerical sects ' Marcion was the earliest critical student of the New Testament canon and text.
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.
Priscillian perished for insisting that it was such; and seven centuries later the Church began to burn the Cathari by thousands because they took a similar view of the Christian life."
The Albigensian theologians and ascetics, the Cathari or perfecti, known in the south of France as bons hommes or bons chretiens, were few in number; the mass of believers (credentes) were perhaps not initiated into the Catharist doctrine; at all events, they were free from all moral prohibition and all religious obligation, on condition that they promised by an act called convenenza to become " hereticized " by receiving the consolamentum, the baptism of the Spirit, before their death or even in extremis.
In 12 4 5 the royal officers assisting the Inquisition seized the heretical citadel of Montsegur, and 200 Cathari were burned in one day.
It is the second of the two sects of Cologne (the first being composed very probably of Cathari) that is referred to in the letter addressed in 1146 by Everwin, provost of Steinfeld, to St Bernard (Mabillon, Vet.