Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

the person of the Son, and that baptism is received alone by those predestined to glory. He was charged with these errors in the year 1145, and Pope Eugenius III., to whom the complaint was made, ordered his accusers to have the whole affair investigated in a Council in Paris. The Synod was accordingly held, and St. Bernard attended, and strenuously combated his errors; but nothing was decided till the following year, in which a Council was held in Rheims, at which the Pope himself attended, and condemned Gilbert's doctrine. He at once bowed to the decision of the Pontiff, abjured his errors, was reconciled to his accusers, who were two of his own archdeacons, and returned with honour to his diocese (21).

16. Other heretics disturbed the peace of the Church in this century. One of these was Folmar, Principal of the Church of Trieffenstein, in Franconia; he said that in the Eucharist the blood alone of Jesus Christ was received under the appearance of wine, and the flesh alone, not the bones or the members, under the appearance of bread, and that it was not the Son of Man that was received, but the flesh alone of the Son of Man. He, however, soon retracted, and abjured his errors in a letter he wrote to the bishops of Bavaria and Austria (22). Tanquelinus taught that the reception of the Holy Eucharist was of no avail for salvation, and that the ministry of priests and bishops was of no value, and was not instituted by Christ. He infected the city of Antwerp, but it was afterwards purged from this heresy by St. Norbert, founder of the Premonstratensians and Archbishop of Magdeburg (23). Joachim, an abbot in Calabria, lived also in this century; he fell into some errors regarding the Trinity, in a treatise he wrote against Peter Lombard; he denied that the three Divine Persons are one and the same as the Divine Nature, and he also said that in the mystery of the Trinity, essence generates essence, insinuating by that, that each Divine Person has a particular essence. This was a renewal of the Tritheism of John Philiponus, infected with the Eutychian heresy, who taught that there are three natures in the Trinity, confounding the three Persons with the three natures. This treatise was condemned in the Fourth Council of Lateran, celebrated by Innocent III., in 1215. Joachim, however, had previously died in 1201, and submitted all his writings to the judgment of the Church, so Honorius III., the successor of Innocent, would not have him considered as a heretic (24). The Apostolicals also infested the Church about this time; among other errors, they condemned marriage, and even bound themselves by a vow of chastity, though the licentiousness of their lives showed

(21) Nat. Alex. t. 14, s. 12, c. 4, a. 9; Graveson, His. Eccl. t. 3, sec. 12, coll. 3; Fleury, t. 10, l. 69, n. 23. (22) Nat. Alex. t. 14, s. 12, c. 4, ar. 12. (23) Nat. loc. cit. ar. 6. (24) Graves. 1. 3, s. 12, Coll. 3 ; Fleury, t. 11, 2. 77, 1. 46; Berti, s. 12, c. 3; Van Ranst, p. 214.

what little regard they had for that angelic virtue (25). We have already spoken of the Bogomiles (Chap. iv. N. 81), treating of the heresy of the Messalians. We have now to investigate the history of the Waldenses

17. Peter Waldo, the founder of the sect of the Waldenses, began to preach his heresy in the year 1160, on the occasion of the sudden death of a great personage in Lyons, who dropped dead in the presence of a great many people. He was so terrified at the occurrence, that he immediately distributed a large sum of money to the poor, and a great many people joined him out of devotion, and became his followers. He was a man of some learning, and began to explain the New Testament to his followers, and taught several errors. The clergy immediately took up arms against him, but he set them at defiance, telling his followers that they (the clergy) were both ignorant and corrupt, and that they were envious of his exemplary life and learning Such is the origin of the Waldenses, according to Fleury, Alexander, and Gotti (26); but Graveson gives another account (27); he says, that Peter Waldo, having either heard or read the 19th chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which our Lord tells us that we should sell our goods, and give the price to the poor, persuaded himself that he was called on to renew the Apostolic life, and accordingly sold his property, gave all to the poor, and led a life of poverty himself. A person

, of the name of John, terrified at the sudden death already spoken of, sold his patrimony, likewise, and joined him; many others followed their example, and in a little time the secť became so numerous, that in the diocese of Poictiers alone they had forty-one schools. From these seats of iniquity sprung several sects, enumerated by Rainer (28), who for seventeen years was a Waldensian, but his eyes at length being opened to their impiety, he forsook them, joined the Catholic Church, and became a distinguished member of the Order of St. Dominick. The different sects that sprouted out from the parent stock took various names; they were called Waldenses, from Peter Waldo; Lyonists, or poor men of Lyons, from the city whence they originated; Picards, Lombards, Bohemians, Bulgarians, from the provinces they overran; Arnaldists, Josepeists, and Lollards, from Doctors of the sect; Cathari, from the purity of heart they boasted of; Bons Hommes, or good men, from their apparent sanctity and regularity of life; Sabbatists, or Insa batists, either from the peculiar shoe or sandal, with a cross cut on the top, which they wore, or because they rejected the celebration of the Sabbath and other festivals (29).

18. The Waldenses fell into very many errors, which Rainer, quoted by Noel Alexander, enumerates (30). We will only men

(25) N. Alex. loc. cit. ar. 11. (26) Fleury, t. 11, l. 73, n. 55; Nat. Alex. t. 14, c. 4, ar. 13; Gotti, t. 2, c. 93, s. 1. (27) Graves. t. 3, s. 12, Coll. 3. (28) Rainer, Opusc. de Hæret. (29) Graves. loc. cit. & Nat. Alex. loc. cit. (30) Nat. Alex. loc. cit. ar. 13, s. 2,

& seq.

a

tion the principal ones here. The Roman Church, they said, failed in the time of Pope St. Sylvester, when it entered into the possession of temporal property, and that they alone were the true Church, as they followed the Apostles and the Gospel in holding no possessions. The Pope, they said, was the head of all errors, the bishops, Scribes, and the religious, Pharisees. Tithes ought not to be paid, as they were not paid in the primitive Church. They only believed in two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, and baptism, they said, was of no use to infants. A priest falling into mortal sin, according to them, lost the power of absolving and consecrating, and, on the contrary, a good layman has the power of giving absolution. They rejected indulgences, and the dispensations of the Church, the fasts commanded to be observed, and all the ceremonies of the Roman Church. They abhorred holy images and the sign of the Cross even; denied the distinction between mortal and venial sin, and said it was unlawful to take an oath, even in judgment. These heretics were first condemned by Alexander III., in 1163; in the Synod of Tours, in 1175 or 1176; in the Synod of Lombes, in 1178; in one held in Toulouse by Peter, Cardinal and Legate of the Pope; in the Third General Council of Lateran, in 1179; in the Fourth General Council of Lateran, in 1215; and finally, in the Constitution of Gregory IX., " Cap. Excommunicamus, 15 de Herat." in which all the heretics of all the above-named sects are anathematized (31).

ARTICLE III.

HERESIES OF THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY.

19. The Albigenses and their Errors. 20. The Corruption of their Morals. 21. Con

ferences held with them, and their Obstivacy. 22. They create an Anti-Pope. 23. Glorious Labours of St. Dominick, and his stupendous Miracles. 24. Crusade under the Command of Count Montfort, in which he is victorious. 25. Glorious Death of the Count, and Destruction of the Albigenses. 26. Sentence of the Fourth Council of Lateran, in which the Dogma is defined in Opposition to their Tenets. 27. Amalric and his Heresy; the Errors added by his Disciples; they are condemned. 28. William de St. Amour and his Errors. 29. The Flagellants and their Errors. 30. The Fratricelli and their Errors, condemned by John XXII.

19. The heretics called the Albigenses, sprung from the Waldenses, made their appearance in this century, and were so called, because they first spread themselves in the territory of the city of Albi, or that part of Narbonic Gaul called Albigensum, and subsequently in the province of Toulouse (1). Graveson (2) says that the impurities of all other heresies were joined in this one sect. This sect was in existence previous to the reign of Innocent III., but it was so strong in the year 1198, that Cesarius (3), a contem

(2) Graves. t. 3,

(31) Nat. Alex. loc. cit. 8. 7. (1) Nat. Alex. t. 16, c. 3, ar. 1. s. 12, Coll. 3. (3) Cæsar Heisterb. Dial. Mirac. Diss. 5, c. 2.

[ocr errors]

.

poraneous author, says, that almost all the pure grain of the Faith of the people was turned into tares. Spondanus gives the following list of their errors (4): First.—They received the New Testament alone, rejecting the Old, with the exception of the passages quoted by our Lord, and his Apostles; they, likewise renounced all Catholic Doctors, and when asked for an account of their Faith, they said they were not bound to answer. Second.—They taught that there were two Gods, a good and a bad one; the good one, the author of the New Testament, and the Creator of all invisible things; the bad one, the author of the Old Testament, the Creator of man, and of all visible things. Third.—They said that baptism was useless to infants. Fourth.—That an unworthy priest had not power to consecrate the Eucharist. Fifth.—That matrimony was nothing more than concubinage, and that no one could be saved in that state, and still their morals were most corrupt. Sixth.—That no one should obey either bishops or priests, unless they have acquired the qualities required by the Apostles; and that they have no power in the Sacraments or in Divine things, and that no one, therefore, should

pay

tithes to them. Seventh.—That churches should not be dedicated to God or the Saints, and that the faithful are not bound to pray or to give alms, either to the poor or to churches, and that it was quite sufficient to confess to any one at all, and that penance was of no use. Noel Alexander (5), besides these errors, enumerates several others, as that the Fathers of the Old Testament were all damned; that St. John the Baptist was a demon; that the Roman Church is the harlot of the Apocalypse; that the resurrection of the body is all a lie; that the Sacraments are all false, and that the Eucharist, Confirmation, Orders, and the Mass are nothing more than superstitions; that the souls of men are no other than the rebellious spirits who fell from heaven; that there was no purgatory, and they blasphemously applied to the Virgin Mother of God a term we dread to make use of.

20. They led most horribly immoral lives. Lucas Tudensis (6) horrifies us by recounting what he heard from some of them who forsook the sect, and joined the Catholic Church. Murder, cheating, theft, and usury were quite common among them, but their impurities were above all of the most horrible description; the nearest relatives had no regard to the decencies of life, or the very laws of nature itself. The old people, he says, are blasphemous and cruel; the young ripe for every wickedness; the children, from the universal depravity, belonging to no father in particular, are depraved from their childhood; and the infants imbibe the most pernicious errors with their mothers' milk; the women, without shame or modesty, go about among their neighbours, making others as bad as them

(5) Nat. Alex. loc. cit. 8. 2.

(4) Spondan. Epit. Baron. ad Ann. 1181. (6) Lucas Tuden. I. 3, adv. Albig.

a

selves. Among the other proofs of their impiety, Cesarius (7) tells us, that when they were besieged by the Catholics in Bessiers, they indecently defiled a book of the Gospels, and threw it from the walls into the ranks of the besiegers, amidst a shower of arrows, crying out: “Behold your law, wretches."

21. The Albigenses laboured to gain proselytes not alone by persuasion, but by force of arms likewise; and the Catholics, therefore, found it necessary to have recourse not alone to preaching, but were obliged to summon the power of the Prince to their aid. Peter of Castlenau and Rodulph, Cistercian monks, together with their Abbot, Arnold, appointed Apostolic Legates by Innocent III., were the first to oppose them. The holy Bishop of Osma joined them, and without attendance or money, like the Apostles, they proceeded on foot to preach to the heretics, and their first conference was held in Montreal, in the diocese of Carcasonne. They disputed for fifteen days in presence of judges chosen for the purpose, and the heretics were convinced, but the judges being favourable to the heretical party, suppressed the sentence, and would not even give up the Acts of the disputation. The preachers remained in the city to instruct the people, and supported themselves by begging from door to door. The Abbot of Citeaux and twelve of his monks, together with the Bishop of Osma, spread themselves through the country, preaching and disputing with the heretics. The Bishop of Osma and some other prelates held another conference with the Albigenses in Pamiers, and the heretics were so confounded that the judge of the Conference, a nobleman of the city, abjured his errors, and more followed his example every day (8). "The Cistercian, Peter of Castlenau, the Pope's Legate, having found it necessary to excommunicate Raymond, Count of Toulouse, the chief favourer of the heretics, was summoned before him to clear himself from charges laid against him; he went accordingly, but nothing was decided on in the interview; the Count even uttered threats against him when he was about to take his departure, and sent two of his servants to accompany him. One of them, while the Legate was passing the Rhone, ran him through with a lance. Peter at once felt that the wound was mortal. “God pardon me, said he, “ as I pardon you," and died shortly after. Pope Innocent,

, " when informed of his death, declared him a martyr, and excommunicated his murderers and all their accomplices, and gave orders to the bishops of the provinces of Arles and Narbonne and the neighbouring territories again to excommunicate the Count of Toulouse (9).

22. A few years after the Albigenses elected a person of the name of Bartolomew, an anti-Pope. He resided on the borders of Dal

[ocr errors]

.

(7) Cæsar, l. 5, de Demon. (8) Gotti, Ver. Rel. t. 2, c. 94, s. 3. l. 11, 76, n. 36; Gotti, loc. cit.; Nat. Alex. loc. cit.

(9) Fleury,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »