1. INTRODUCTION: (VITA APOSTOLICA)
MEANING OF VITA APOSTOLICA
- Vita apostolica encompasses poverty, voluntary renunciation, celibacy, and detachment. The people lived just as the apostles lived. It implies apostolic preaching, itinerancy, all for the love of Christ.
- It is the ideal of simple life according to the example of Christ and the apostles.
- It is the return to the apostolic poverty of the early Church.
- Influence: One of the significance of the Crusades is the reawakening of the Christian poverty movement.
- Who’s involved?: Not only returning soldiers from the crusades but also those who stayed at home were inspired by the poor Savior.
- But poverty is only one aspect; Vita Apostolica is the full return to the Sacred Scriptures.
- All people became interested in the Gospel. Monks and clerics devoted themselves in reading the Bible and the laity as well who formed circles where scriptures were read and explained.
OPPOSITION TO THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH
- The medieval feudal Church was wealthy. Therefore, if the poor life of Jesus in the sacred scriptures was compared with the existing condition of the time, it is an opposition to the institutional Church.
- Bishoprics and abbeys were in hands of the nobility.
- The clergy who determined spiritual life was most intimately connected with the feudal lords
- If the people will be searching their religious questions within the limits of the Church and aim for an inward reform à BENEFICIAL
- (+) danger of development of heretical and anti-ecclesiastical ideas à ILL EFECTS
- He was a heretical itinerant preacher, critical of the established Roman Catholic Church, active in the Low Countries around the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries.
- Dutch reformer who spoke out against any possessions of clerics and the secular life of the clergy.
- From 1112, he preached in Antwerp, the Duchy of Brabant, Flanders and Zeeland against the official church and its hierarchy, opposed the payment of tithes and those priests who lived with women.
- He was apparently also in Rome, where he is supposed to have campaigned, in vain, for an extension of the Bishopric of Thérouanne to cover the islands of the Scheldt. He was briefly put under arrest in Cologne in 1113/1114 but released again, despite the vigorous protests of the cathedral clergy of Utrecht. In 1115, he was slain by a priest while on a water journey.
- The followers of Tanchelm, who is reported to have allowed himself to be venerated almost to the point of worship, were still to be found for a period after his death in Antwerp; in 1124, Saint Norbert of Xanten preached against their heresies.
- In 1115, he was killed by the people but his heresies did not die with him
ARNOLD OF BRESCIA (ca.1090-1155)
- He was an Italian canon regular from Lombardy. He called on the Church to renounce property ownership.
- Eventually arrested, he was hanged by the papacy, burned posthumously, and then had his ashes thrown into the Tiber River. In 1155, Frederick Barbarossa executed him in his involvement in high politics.
- Though as a religious reformer and a political leader Arnold failed, his teachings on apostolic poverty gained currency after his death among "Arnoldists" and more widely among Waldensians and the Spiritual Franciscans, though no written word of his has survived the official condemnation.
- He called for a Church without property and violently criticizes the papacy.
- The Arnoldists (his followers) joined the Waldensians and the Cathari.
2. THE WALDENSIANS
Peter Waldes: The Man Who Started It All
- In 1173-1176, Peter Waldes of Lyons, a wealthy merchant, discovered the ideal of poverty when he read Mt 10:5 ff
“Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, ‘Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, and cleanse the lepers drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborers deserve his keep. …” (Mt 10:5 ff)
so he gave away his fortune to devote himself to strict apostolic poverty and the preaching of penance.
Waldensians are Pauperes Christi
- His followers called themselves Pauperes Christi or poor men of Lyon
- They mean well but in contain danger for the faith and exaggeration.
A bit of history...
- Bishop of Lyons expelled them because they are not qualified to speak on questions of faith.
- Peter Waldes went to the Pope and appeared at the 3rd Lateran council and Alexander III permitted him to preach pure penance and not questions of faith.
- The regulation is vague and flexible and Waldes did not keep the condition à Bishop denied to preach.
- He went directly to Lucius III and in 1184 the Pope forbade Waldes of any activity.
- Waldes resisted his position and he justified that it is his inner call and personal mission by Christ and asserted that only person who has given away everything and live in poverty can preach Christianity à excommunicated
- The Waldensians became hostile to the Church and became underground and adopted heretical doctrines of faith
- Waldes died in 1217 and the remainder of his sect joined the Italian Protestants.
3. BEGHINES (1170)
- Around 1170, Beghines appeared in Belgium and Netherlands
- These pious women concerned themselves with prayer, reading of scriptures, manual labor, care for the sick, and religious instructions for girls.
- They lived together without monastic vows and devoted to active charity.
- Merchants, traders, and cloth weavers of Milan were united into a brotherhood for Christ’s sake and live in apostolic poverty. Some of them become too radical.
- In imitation of the early Christian community as they read in the Bible:” All who believed were together and had all things in common.”(Acts 2:44), they formed production co-operatives and rejected private property.
- Innocent III put them under ecclesiastical control when they gradually manifested radical tendencies.
- Some elected to live together in monastic communities under Augustinian rule; others chose to remain in the world but participated in the religious exercises of these monasteries. They were affiliated with them in communities of prayer and were the forerunners of the “Third Order”.
6. CATHARISTS OR ALBIGENSIANS
- Dogmatically, they are not Christians anymore.
- Morally and socially revolutionary group
- They considered themselves perfect.
- We see them in the Armenian Paulicians who had been resettled in the Balkans by Byzantium and brought Gnostic concepts.
- Bogomil, a village priest, summarized these Gnostic ideas in Macedonia.
- The Cistercians were not able to uproot the Albigensians.
Two (2) Principles of Gnostic Approach
a. The world, cosmos, visible Christian world is the effect of creation of evil god who is associated with the ferocious and vindictive god of the OT. And in the process of creation the pure souls of men had been enclosed in evil matters. Then the good god of the NT had sent one of his angels, Jesus Christ, to teach men to liberate themselves of evil matter and enter their real home, heaven as the pure ones (καθαροι = Cathari = Ketzers = heretics)
Note: Gnostics have Platonic approach: the kingdom of good god was the spiritual world and the evil god ruled the material world.
b. The soul is imprisoned in the body.
How to Accomplish their End?
- Asceticism + complete separation from the world (any contact with evil matter made a person unclean, as the whole creation is sinful.)
- The perfect ones were expected to avoid marriage, sexual intercourse, eating meat, any kind of manual labor, material possessions and wealth.
- Consolamentum was the only way to escape this evil world, which was administered by the imposition of hands. As all material things were evil, marriage and procreation were forbidden; likewise, the eating of flesh meat and any food derived from animals. Naturally, the majority of the members of the sect would not accept those stringent rules; they believed their salvation is assured if they received the consolamentum, which washes away everything.
Who Brought this to the West?
- Traveling merchants and returning crusaders in the 12th century which quickly spread in Germany, France, England, and Italy where they were connected with the Christian thoughts.
Council of Cathari (1167)
- They organized themselves according to the structure of the church i.e. Hierarchy + bishoprics
- In 1167, Council of Cathari in Toulouse.
- They succeeded in presenting to the people their un-Christian dualistic rejection of the world as the ideal picture of Christian asceticism.
- They presented its members as ideal Christians who led exemplary lives.
- They designated the Catholic Church as the synagogue of Satan, stigmatized the priests as hypocritical sinners, and declared the sacrament to be a work of the devil.
- The Cathari opposed the state and called the emperor the governor of Satan and his princes Satan’s helpers.
- The Catharist had a strong following in Southern France specifically Albi (thus Albigensian) who brought them together with the French Barons who were preparing to fight against the French king à Albigensian War (1209-1229) – bloody, semi-religious and semi-political
- The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis (inquiry on heretical perversity), was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church.
- It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy. Inquisition practices were used also on offences against canon law other than heresy.
Church and State United against the Cathari
- The Cathari is both an enemy of the Church and State so they acted as one unit in punishing them.
- In 1179, Louis VII of France & Henry II of England put pressure on the 3rd Lateran Council to pass severe ordinances against the hereticsà confiscation of property and imprisonment.
- In 1183, Lucius III agreed with Frederick Barbarosa à after excommunication they will be put in imperial ban and the agents of the state will search them out and turn them to the secular courts.
- In 1197, Peter II of Aragon denounced the Cathari as enemies of state and ordered their burning.
- The first one who acted physically against the heretics was the state. The Church usually excommunicates them, an ecclesiastical punishment until Constantine make it civil punishment
CRUSADE vs. CATHARI
- Failed attempt at Cathari conversion + Murder of Papal Legate (1208) à Crusade by Innocent III
- Result: bloodshed for 20 years, cities were depopulated, culture of Provence was destroyed. The heresy was outwardly exterminated but the inquisition had to work for many decades to really master the situation.
Procedure of Ecclesiastical Trial Law
- It was perfected by Innocent III
- The gov’t in certain cases had to proceed officially against a sinner or criminal (it must not wait until someone put charges)
- This applied to heretics in 1231 à (+) special papal inquisitors
- In 1224, Gregory IX and Frederick II passed law against heretics in Lombardy à it requires the secular power to arrest the heretic after a conviction of a bishop. The arrest of the brachium saeculare is followed by punishment.
- If the heretic wishes to spare his life à ghastly formalism and pure fiction because if the secular court refused to execute the heretic, the court itself is suspected of heresy.
- In 1252, Innocent IV empowered the inquisitors to use torture.
How do they know a Heretic?
- Normally, the Church inquires about orthodoxy.
- If condemned à secular arm (brachium saeculare) [5 points] It is the handing over of the heretics after the conviction of the Church to the State for final execution.
- Once declared heretic by the ecclesiastical tribunal, which was headed by a bishop, the civil authority is supposed to carry out the sentences.
- Gregory IX established formally the papal inquisition. For the Church, if they recanted à no execution.
The Nadir of Inquisition
- When the inquisition was put into service of unqualified superstition i.e. witchcraft.
- Many innocent blood were shed.
- The Enlightenment period put an end to this type of persecution.