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Do Roman Catholics KnOw

about the Albigensian Crusade


Pope Innocent III ~ wasnt so innocent

he was a a brutal murderer

The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade (12091255) was a 45-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc. The Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown and promptly took on a political flavour, resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practicing Cathars but also a realignment of Occitania, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown and diminishing the distinct regional culture and high level of Aragonese influence.
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When Innocent III's diplomatic attempts to roll back Catharism[1] met with little success and after the murder of the papal legate, Pierre de Castelnau, Innocent III declared a crusade against Languedoc, offering the lands of the Cathar "heretics" to any French nobleman willing to take up arms. The violence led to France's acquisition of lands with closer linguistic, cultural, and political ties to Catalonia (see Occitan). The pope declared that all Albigenses "should be imprisoned and their property confiscated". (Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 1, 268) The Albigensian Crusade also had a role in the creation and institutionalization of both the Dominican Order and the Medieval Inquisition.

Origin
The Catholic Church had always dealt sternly with heresy, but before the 12th century these tended to centre around individual preachers or small localised sects. By the 12th century, more organized groups such as the Waldensians and Cathars were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of newly urbanized areas. In Western mediterranean France, one of the most urbanized areas of Europe at the time, the Cathars grew to represent a popular mass movement[2] that included religion and politics, and the belief was spreading to other areas. Relatively few believers took the consolamentum to become full Cathars, but the movement attracted many followers and sympathisers. The Cathari were dualistic, believing not in one all-encompassing god, but in two, equal and comparable in status. They held that the physical world was evil and created by the demiurge Rex Mundi (Latin, "King of the World"), who encompassed all that was corporeal, chaotic and powerful; the second god, the one whom they worshipped, was entirely disincarnate: a being or principle of pure spirit and completely unsullied by the taint of matter. He was the god of love, order and peace. Procreation was evil, so women were suspect. Civil authority had no claim on a Cathar, since this was the rule of the physical world. The goal of a Cathar was to become perfect. Cathar missionaries would point out examples of clerical immorality and would contrast that behaviour with uprightness of their own actions. They took special attention to point out the grievances the people of the south received from the French kings, and exalted a local sense of
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nationalism and independence. Thus, the religious movement moved into the political arena. The Catholic Church was deeply concerned by the spread of Cathar teachings and its developments.

This Pedro Berruguete work of the 15th century depicts a story of Saint Dominic and the Albigensians, in which the texts of each were cast into a fire, but only Saint Dominic's proved miraculously resistant to the flames.

Deriving from earlier varieties of gnosticism, Cathar theology found its most surprising success in the Languedoc and the Cathars were known as Albigensians, either because of an association with the city of Albi, or because the 1176 Church Council which declared the Cathar doctrine heretical was held near Albi.[3][4] In Languedoc, political control was divided among many local lords and town councils.[5] Before the crusade there was little fighting in the area and
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a fairly sophisticated polity. Western Mediterranean France itself was at that time divided between the Crown of Aragon and the county of Toulouse. On becoming Pope in 1198, Innocent III resolved to deal with the Cathars. The Cathars did not recognize the authority of the French king or, evidently, the Catholic Church, and so initially a delegation of friars was sent out to assess the situation in the province of Languedoc. The Cathar leadership was protected by powerful nobles,[6] who had clear interest in independence from the king. The powerful count Raymond VI of Toulouse refused to assist, and openly supported Cathars and their independent movement, so he was excommunicated in May 1207 and an interdict was placed on his lands. The Church senior legate, Pierre de Castelnau, responsible for these actions was murdered by fanatical supporters of Count Raymond of Toulouse, which brought down more penalties on him, and he soon reconciled with the Church. The French king, Philippe II, decided to act against those nobles who permitted Catharism and undermined the obedience owed to secular authority. The actual crusade lasted only two months, but the internal conflict between the north and the south continued for some twenty years.

Military campaigns
The military campaigns of the Crusade can be divided into several periods: the first from 1209 to 1215 was a series of great successes for the crusaders in Languedoc. There was episodes of extreme violence like the killing of Bziers, faced the forces assembled by vassal lords of the Capetian mainly from Ile de France and the north of France, led by Simon de Montfort, against the nobility of Toulouse led by Count Raymond VI of Toulouse and the family Trencavel that, as allies and vassals of the king of Aragon Peter II the Catholic, invoked direct involvement in the conflict at the Aragonese monarch, who was defeated and killed in the course of Battle of Muret in 1213. The captured lands, however, were largely lost between 1215 and 1225 in a series of revolts and military reverses. The death of Simon de Montfort at the site to Toulouse after the return of Count Raymond VII of Toulouse and the consolidation of Occitan resistance supported

by the Count of Foix and Aragonese crown forces decided the military intervention of Louis VIII of France from 1226 with the support of Pope Honorius III. The situation turned again following the intervention of the French king, Louis VIII, in 1226. He died in November of that year, but the struggle continued under King Louis IX and the area was reconquered by 1229; the leading nobles made peace, culminating in the Treaty of Meaux-Paris in 1229, which was agreed the integration of the territory Occitan in the French crown. After 1233, the Inquisition was central to crushing what remained of Catharism. Resistance and occasional revolts continued, but the days of Catharism were numbered. Military action ceased in 1255.
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