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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What can you tell me about the heresy of Catharism?

A. 1. Catharism was a Christian dualist movement that was popular mostly in Italy and Southern France between the 12th and 14th centuries. Their belief varied from community to community because its teachers were ascetic priests who had few guidelines. The Cathars denounced the practices of the Catholic Church and referred to it as "the Church of Satan."

Its roots originated in the Paulician movement in Armenia and the Bogomils of Bulgaria, which took influences from the Paulicians. They viewed the physical world as evil, denying that God could incarnate and still be the Son of God.

Pope Lucius III condemned the Cathars in the papal bull "Ad abolendam" at Verona in November, 1184.

In that papal bull, all heretical sects and persons who preached without the authorisation of the Roman Church, whether publicly or privately, and placed them under excommunication.

The last known Cathar prefect in the Languedoc, Guillaume Bélibaste, was executed in 1321.

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