Those popes who bear the name, "Pius," are the greatest guardians of the Church against heresy. This blog is a watchdog for modernism in the Church. In reality, outside this blog, the members of the board temper their criticisms and opinions with prudence and charity so as to help souls in their journey towards Christ. But sometimes, for the sake of their own sanity, the authors of this blog just need to blow off some steam. The result is Totus Pius.

17 January 2007

Modern Albigenses?

Recently, We were reading up on the history of St. Dominic and his illustrious Order of Preachers. The Catholic Encyclopedia relates how, traditionally, Our Lady gave the Rosary to St. Dominic and urged him to preach this devotion as an antidote to sin and, especially, to the heresy of the Albigenses, which was ravaging southern France at the time. Proceeding to the article in the same encyclopedia on the Albigenses (who were also called Catharists), We read the following paragraph on their moral principles and began to draw some comparisons:
The dualism of the Albigenses was also the basis of their moral teaching. Man, they taught, is a living contradiction. Hence, the liberation of the soul from its captivity in the body is the true end of our being. To attain this, suicide is commendable; it was customary among them in the form of the endura (starvation). The extinction of bodily life on the largest scale consistent with human existence is also a perfect aim. As generation propagates the slavery of the soul to the body, perpetual chastity should be practiced. Matrimonial intercourse is unlawful; concubinage, being of a less permanent nature, is preferable to marriage. Abandonment of his wife by the husband, or vice versa, is desirable. Generation was abhorred by the Albigenses even in the animal kingdom. Consequently, abstention from all animal food, except fish, was enjoined. Their belief in metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls, the result of their logical rejection of purgatory, furnishes another explanation for the same abstinence. To this practice they added long and rigorous fasts. The necessity of absolute fidelity to the sect was strongly inculcated. War and capital punishment were absolutely condemned.
Now, We do not know if any modern descendents of the Albigenses actually exist, but many of their moral principles seem to have been adopted by the liberal political sects of our own time. Whether this is merely coincidental, We are not yet certain, but a further investigation could prove to be quite interesting. Obviously, the secular liberals of the present day would not subscribe to these principles out of concern for their souls. But, the denigration of marriage, the legality of divorce, the hatred of children, the rejection of meat, and the absolute opposition to war and to the death penalty are all dominant themes of liberal thought that are readily visible to any observer of modern society. Again, We do not pretend to know if any correlation does exist between Albigensian thought and that of modern liberals, but the obvious similarities are, indeed, quite intriguing.

"Tell my son Joseph he will meet my divisions in heaven. "

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Some ideas are indeed practiced today but usually by people of secular persuasion. However, war, abortion, capital punishment are sins that the late pope and blessed mother Teresa spoke out as sins of our times.These latter sins have existed perhaps since the first days of mankind.

Sanctus Belle said...

There are no new heresies under the sun.

Papa Venerabilis Pius XII said...

"War and capital punishment were absolutely condemned."

You ought to be careful, anon. Listing "war, abortion, capital punishment" such as you did could lead one to believe that you consider them all to be equally grave sins. But, while war and capital punishment can, in fact, be grave sins under certain circumstances, they are not always such. Abortion, however, is always a mortal sin. The Church has never taught that war and capital punishment are absolutely condemned like the Albigenses in this post or the political liberals today.

Additionally, We drew a comparison between the Albigensian and liberal ideologies not because of the erroneous doctrines per se (some of which have been held throughout history by a multitude of groups) but because of the body of doctrine as a whole. Oddly, the liberals seem to hold to a similar body of doctrine. Obviously, tolerance of divorce and abortion could be found in pagan societies, but their doctrines definitely did not include vegetarianism and pacifism as well.

M. Alexander said...

Have you heard that the Dominicans were charged with fighting the Albigensians and the Jesuits the modernists?

When was the last time you met an Albigensian?