led the Crusade ?
Coats of Arms
Coats of arms
Them All ... "
Cathars still exist ?
Cross of Toulouse
THE SUMMA OF BROTHER RAINERIUS OF THE ORDER OF PREACHERS ON THE
CATHARS AND THE POOR OF LYONS (1250)
Translated in Wakefield & Evans, Heresies of the High
Middle Ages, S51 pp.329-346.
Rainerius was an inquisitor and an ex-Cathar, so his testimony
is particularly valuable: Wakefield & Evans give the following
excellent introduction to his work which dates from 1250.
Rainerius Sacconi, onetime heretic become Dominican friar and
inquisitor, wrote the most widely circulated tract on the Cathars
and Waldenses of the thirteenth century. He was a native of
Piacenza, that city so torn by civic and religious strife, but
after many years in heresy-"formerly a heresiarch"
he says of himself-he was converted, about the year 1245, by
the influence of Peter of Verona, and entered the Dominican
order. The careers of these two men then ran together for several
years. In 1252 Rainerius was also a target of the plot which
took Peter's life, but he escaped. He later sat with the commission
investigating the miracles attributed to his martyred associate
and, as inquisitor, took part in the proceedings against the
assassins. From 1254 to 1259 he was inquisitor for Lombardy.
The last record of him is in a papal letter of July, 1262.
In 1250, Rainerius wrote his Summa de Catharis et Pauperibus
de Lugduno [summa on the Cathars and the Poor of Lyons]. Its
great historical value in details of Catharist churches and
sects and in the catalogue of their beliefs is qualified only
by a certain terseness and by the obvious antipathy of the convert
for his former coreligionists. As Father Dondaine remarks, without
Rainerius's description of the doctrinal system of John of Lugio,
our understanding of an important heretical work, the Liber
de duobus principiis (see No. 59), would be much more difficult.
The translation is of the summa as printed by Antoine Dondaine,
in his preface to Un Traite neo-manichien du Mlle gide: Le Liber
du duobus principiis, suivi d'un fragment de rituel cathare
(Rome, 1939), pp. 6478,4 by permission of the Istituto storico
domenicano di S. Sabina. For our comments on the author
we have relied heavily on the sketch of his career in that same
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Although at one time sects of heretics were numerous, by
the grace  of Jesus Christ
they have been almost completely destroyed; yet, two in
particular are now found, one of which is called the Cathars
or Patarines, the other the Leonists or Poor of Lyons. Their
beliefs are set forth in the pages which follow.
 On the Various Sects of the Cathars.-
Now it should be noted at the outset that the foremost
sect, to wit, the Cathars, is divided into three parts or
principal groups, the first of which is called the Albanenses,
the second the Concorezzenses, the third the Bagnolenses;
all these are in Lombardy. Other Cathars, whether in Tuscany
or in the March of Treviso] or in Provence, do not differ
in beliefs from the Cathars just named or from some part
of them. For all the Cathars have general beliefs in which
they agree and particular ones in which they differ. We
shall discuss all of these and first those which they hold
 On the General Beliefs of the Cathars.-
The general beliefs of all Cathars are as follows: That
the devil made this world and every-thing in it. Also, that
all the sacraments of the Church, namely, baptism of actual
water and the other sacraments, are of no avail for salvation
and that they are not the true sacraments of Christ and
His Church but are deceptive and diabolical and belong to
the church of the wicked. How many sacraments, which ones,
and of what sort the aforesaid heretics do have is recounted
below. Also, a belief common to all Cathars is that carnal
matrimony has always been a mortal sin and that in the future
life one incurs no heavier a penalty for adultery or incest
than for legitimate marriage, nor indeed among them should
anyone be more severely punished on this account. Also,
all Cathars deny the future resurrection of the body. Also,
they believe that to eat meat, eggs, or cheese, even in
pressing need, is a mortal sin; this for the reason that
they are begotten by coition. Also, that taking an oath
is in no case permissible; this, consequently, is a mortal
sin. Also, that secular authorities commit mortal sin in
punishing malefactors or heretics. Also, that no one can
attain salvation except in their sect. Also, that all children,
even the baptized, will endure no lighter punishment in
eternity than will thieves and murderers.
[The Albaneses disagree, saying that no creature of the
good God shall perish. Also they deny purgatory. It is the
common opinion of all Cathars that one of them would sin
very gravely by deliberately killing any bird, from the
smallest to the largest, or any quadruped, from a weasel
to an elephant in size; but they make no reference to other
living things - found only in Dublin, Trinity College, MS
On this point the Albanenses seem to disagree somewhat,
as will be explained below. Also, they all deny purgatory.
 On the Sacraments of the Cathars.-
The Cathars, indeed, like apes who try to imitate the acts
of man, have four sacraments, though
 false and vain, unlawful and sacrilegious.
They are the imposition of the hand, blessing of bread,
penance, and consecration [ordo] which will be treated in
 On the Imposition of the Hand.-
The imposition of the hand is called by them the consolamentum,
spiritual baptism, or baptism of the Holy Spirit. According
to them, without it mortal sin is not forgiven, nor is the
Holy Spirit imparted to anyone; both of these occur only
when the rite is performed by them. But the Albanenses differ
a little from the others in this; for they say that in this
rite the hand accomplishes nothing (since according to them
it was itself created by the devil, as will be explained
below), but only the Lord's Prayer, which those who impose
the hand repeat at the time. All the other Cathars, however,
say that both, that is, the imposition of the hand and the
Lord's Prayer, are necessary and requisite for the rite.
It is also the common belief of all Cathars that no remission
of sins is accomplished by that imposition of the hand if
those who impose the hand are in any mortal sin at the time.
This imposition of the hand is performed by at least two
persons, and not only by their prelates but by those under
them, even, in case of need, by Cathar women.
 On the Breaking of Bread.-
The blessing of bread by the Cathars is a certain bread-breaking
which they perform daily at the morning and evening meal.
This breaking of bread is done thus: When the Cathars, men
and women, have come to the table, they remain standing
while they say the Lord's Prayer. Meanwhile, one who has
precedence in length of membership or rank holds a loaf,
or several if necessary for the group which happens to be
present, and with the words, "May the grace of our
Lord Jesus Christ be always with us all," he breaks
the loaf or loaves and distributes the bread to all those
at the table, not only to Cathars but also to their believers,
to thieves, adulterers, and murderers. The Albanenses, however,
say that the actual bread is not blessed nor can it receive
any blessing, since according to them the bread itself is
the creation of the devil. In this they differ from all
the others, who say that the bread is truly blessed. Nevertheless,
none of them believes that the bread is changed into the
body of Christ.
 On the False Penance of the Cathars.-
The next point of discussion is the nature of the penance
of the Cathars. The penance of the Cathars is altogether
false and vain, deceptive and poisonous, as is shown below.
For in true penance three things are requisite: contrition
 of heart, confession
of the lips, and satisfaction by works. But I, Brother Rainerius,
formerly a heresiarch but now by the grace of God a priest
in the Order of Preachers, although unworthy, say positively
and testify before God, who knows that I do not lie, that
not one of these three appears among the Cathars or in their
penance. For the poison of error which they have sucked
from the mouth of the old serpent does not let them feel
any sorrow for their sins. This error is fourfold, namely,
that eternal glory is not lessened for any penitent by any
sin, that the punishment of hell is not increased thereby
for the impenitent, that for no one is purgatorial fire
reserved, and that guilt and penalty are blotted out by
God through the imposition of the hand. Judas the traitor
will be punished no more severely than a child one day old,
but all will be equal in glory as well as in punishment.
This they believe, except the Albanenses, who say that each
one will be restored to his former status, although not
by his own merits, and that in each kingdom, whether of
God or of the devil, some are greater than others.
And I add this further statement, that many of them who
have been infected by the errors set forth above often grieve
when they recall that they did not indulge their passions
more frequently in the days when they had not yet professed
the heresy of the Cathars. Moreover, this is why many believers,
both men and women, no more fear to give them-selves to
sister or brother, daughter or son, niece or nephew, relation
by blood or marriage, than to their own wife or husband.
But from acts of this kind some of them are perhaps restrained
by horror or by a natural human feeling of shame.
That they do not feel contrition for sins committed before
the profession of their heresy is clearly proved by the
fact that they make restitution to no man for usury, theft,
or rapine; on the contrary they keep the gain for themselves,
or rather they leave it to their children or relatives who
are still of the world. They say that usury is no sin.
Furthermore, I say positively that during the seventeen
years when I was in intimate converse with them, I did not
see any one of them pray secretly, apart from the others,
or show himself contrite for his sins, or weep, or beat
his breast and say, "Be gracious, 0 Lord, to me, a
sinner," or anything of this sort, which might be a
sign of contrition. Never do they implore the aid or intervention
of angels, or of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or of the saints,
nor fortify themselves by the sign of the Cross.
 On the Confession of the Cathars.-
Now to be considered is the 
confession of the Cathars: what it is and how constituted,
when they make it, and to whom they confess. Their confession
is made in this manner: "I am here before God and before
you to make confession and to take upon myself the guilt
for all my sins which in any way are in me and to obtain
pardon from God and from you all." The confession is
made publicly and in the presence of all who have met together,
where oftentimes there are a hundred or more Cathars, men
and women, and their believers. Every one of them makes
the confession quoted when he receives the imposition of
the hand described above, reciting it primarily to their
prelate, who holds the Gospels or the whole New Testament
before his breast. After absolution has been granted, the
prelate places the Book, and the other Cathars who are present
put their right hand upon the convert's head; then they
begin their prayers.
When, moreover, any one of them, after he has received
the imposition of the hand, commits a sin of the flesh or
any other which is a mortal sin according to their belief,
he need confess that sin only and no others and may again
receive the imposition of the hand, privately, from his
prelate and at least one associate.
Also, confession of venial sins is made in this manner:
One says in a loud voice, speaking for all who are bowed
to the ground before the prelate, who holds the Book before
his breast, "We come before God and before you to confess
our sins, for we have sinned much in word and in deed, in
our purposes and in thoughts," and more of this sort.
Whence it is clearly apparent that all the Cathars die in
their sins without confession. In this fashion they confess
once a month if they can conveniently do so.
The next question is whether the Cathars do works in satisfaction
of the sins which they committed before they professed heresy.
To this I say no, although this may perchance seem strange
to the undiscerning. For they do pray often and they fast
and they always abstain from meat, eggs, and cheese, all
of which seem to be in the nature of acts to amend for their
sins; and of them they often boast vaingloriously. But there
is among them a threefold error which prevents the said
works from being reparations. The first is that guilt and
punishment are totally wiped out by their imposition of
the hand and by prayer, or by prayer alone according to
the Albanenses, as was stated above. The second is that
God inflicts on no one purgatorial punishment, the existence
of which they totally deny, or temporal punishment, which
they think is  inflicted
by the devil in this life. Here also we must say that from
the time they become Cathars the works referred to are not
required of them for penance or for the remission of sins.
The third is that every-one is bound of necessity to perform
these works as if they were the commands of God. For instance,
a boy ten years old who had never committed any mortal sin
at all before he became a Cathar is in the same class as
an old man who had never ceased from sinning. For no Cathar
among them would be punished any more severely if he drank
poison from a desire to commit suicide than if, on a physician's
advice, he ate a fowl to avoid death or for some other imperative
reason; nor, in their view, would he be punished more severely
in the hereafter. They speak in the same way about matrimony,
as has already been explained above.
Also, they do little or no almsgiving, none to outsiders,
except to avoid scandal among their neighbors and to be
held in esteem by them, and little to their own needy. The
reason for this is threefold. The first is that they do
not thereby expect greater glory in the hereafter or forgiveness
of their sins. The second is that almost all of them are
very avaricious and grasping. This is why the poor among
them, who in time of persecution do not have the necessities
of life or anything with which to repay those who harbor
them for goods or houses destroyed on their account, can
hardly find anyone who is then willing to receive them;
but wealthy Cathars can find many. Wherefore every one of
them accumulates wealth if he can and saves it.
Furthermore, the question of their prayer should not be
overlooked; the times at which they think it must be said,
most particularly when they partake of food and drink. Since
many of them when ill have sometimes asked those who nursed
them not to put any food or drink into their mouths if the
invalids could not at least say the Lord's Prayer, it is
quite evident that many of them thus commit suicide.
So, from what has been said above, it is abundantly clear
that the Cathars perform no penance, especially since they
do not feel contrition for their sins or confess them or
do works in satisfaction of them (although they do greatly
afflict themselves), and that for their errors they will
be heavily punished throughout eternity.
Now we have to deal with the fourth and last sacrament
of the Cathars, namely, consecration. First, how many offices
they have; second, their names; third, the function of each
office; fourth and fifth,  by
whom and how they are constituted; and last is added the
number and location of the churches of the Cathars.
 On the Offices of the Cathars and Their Duties.----
The offices of the Cathars are four. He who has been established
in the first and highest office is called bishop; in the
second, the elder son; in the third, the younger son; and
in the fourth and last, the deacon. The others among them,
who are without office, are called Christian men and women.
 On the Functions of the Bishops.-
It is the duty of the bishop always to take the first place
in everything they do, namely, in the imposition of the
hand, the breaking of bread, and beginning the prayer. In
the absence of the bishop, the elder son presides, and in
the absence of the bishop and the elder son, the younger
son does so.
Moreover, these two sons, together or separately, go about
visiting all the Cathar men and women who are in the bishop's
charge, and all persons owe them obedience. Likewise, the
deacons preside and perform all functions, each among his
charges, in the absence of the bishop and the sons. It is
to be noted that the bishops and the sons have particular
deacons in their own particular cities, especially where
 On the Duty of the Deacons.-
It is also the function of the deacons to hear from those
in their charge the confession of venial sins, which is
made once a month, as mentioned above, and to give them
absolution by enjoining on them a three-day fast or one
hundred genuflections. This is called the Service, or, in
other words, to impose (caregare) the Service.
 How the Bishop Is Ordained.-
The offices just described are conferred by the bishop
and also, with the bishop's consent, by the sons. The ordination
of a bishop once usually took place in this fashion: When
a bishop died, the younger son ordained the elder son as
bishop, the latter thereupon ordained the younger son as
elder son. Then a younger son was elected by all the prelates
and those in their charge who were gathered at the place
set for the election, and he was ordained as younger son
by the bishop. The ordination of the younger son has not
been changed among them. But that described above for the
bishop has been changed by all the Cathars dwelling on this
side of the [Adriatic ??] sea, who say that by the former
ordination the son would appear to install the father, which
seems rather unnatural. Consequently, it is now done
 in a different way, namely, the bishop before
his death consecrates the elder son as bishop. Upon the
death of either one of these, the younger son is made elder
son and bishop on the same day. Thus almost every church
of the Cathars has two bishops. Hence, John of Lugio, who
is one of those so consecrated, always describes himself
in his letters, "John, by grace of God elder son and
ordained bishop," etc. Nevertheless, both ordinations
are manifestly reprehensible, for a carnal son never appoints
his parent and nowhere do we read that one and the same
church had two bishops at the same time, just as one woman
does not legally have two husbands.
 The Method of Ordination.-
A11 the offices described above are conferred by the imposition
of the hand, and that grace of conferring the offices listed
and of bestowing the Holy Spirit is assigned to their bishop
alone, or to any one of them who has precedence and who
officiates by holding the New Testament over the head of
the one on whom the hand is imposed.
 A Notable Uncertainty among Them.-
Hence, all Cathars labor under very great doubt and danger
of soul. To specify, if their prelate, especially their
bishop, may secretly have committed some mortal sin -and
many such persons have been found among them in the past-all
those upon whom he has imposed his hand have been misled
and perish if they die in that state. In order to avoid
this peril all the churches of the Cathars, excepting only
one or two, have allowed the consolamentum for the second,
or even for the third time, that is, the imposition of the
hand, which is their baptism, as described above. These
facts are a matter of common report among them.
 These Are the Churches of the Cathars.-
There are in all sixteen Cathar churches but, reader, do
not blame me for calling them churches, rather blame them,
since this is how they refer to themselves: The church of
the Albanenses or of Desenzano [or Donnezacho], the church
of Concorezzo, the church of the Bagnolenses or of Bagnolo,
the church of Vicenza or of the March [of Treviso], the
church of Florence, the church of the Spoletan Valley, the
church of France, the Toulousan church, the church of Carcassonne,
the Albigensian church, the church of Sclavonia, the church
of the Latins of Constantinople, the church of the Greeks
of the same place, the church of Philadelphia in Romania,
the church of Bulgaria, the church of Drugunthia. All sprang
from the last two named. 
 The Places Where They Are Located.----
The first group, namely, the Albanenses dwell in Verona
and several cities of Lombardy and number about five hundred
of both sexes. Those of Concorezzo are scattered throughout
almost all of Lombardy, and there are fifteen hundred or
more of both sexes. The Bagnolenses are at Mantua, Brescia,
Bergamo, and in the region of Milan (but in very small numbers),
and in Romagna; there are about two hundred of them. The
church of the March [of Treviso] persists at Vicenza but
has no members at Verona; there are about one hundred of
them. Those of Tuscany and of the Spoletan Valley number
not quite a hundred. The church of France is in Verona and
Lombardy, about one hundred and fifty strong. The Toulousan
church, the Albigensian, and that of Carcassonne, together
with some who were formerly of the church of Agen, which
has been almost totally destroyed, number nearly two hundred.
The church of the Latins in Constantinople comprises less
than fifty people. Likewise, the church of Sclavonia, that
of Philadelphia, and those of the Greeks, of Bulgaria, and
of Drugunthia, number altogether something under five hundred.
0 reader, you can safely say that in the whole world there
are not as many as four thousand Cathars of both sexes,
[ie baptised Cathars, Munich MS Clm, 311, f 96 adds "but
they have countless believers"] and the computation
given here has been made many times in the past among them.
 On Beliefs Peculiar to the Albanenses.----
An account has been given in the preceding of the beliefs
and sacraments common to the Cathars and also of their ministers.
It remains now to describe the ideas peculiar to each group,
beginning with the church of the Albanenses, which is also
called by the name of Desenzano, because they err in more
ways than the others.
First, then, it is important to note that these Albanenses
are divided into two groups with contrary and different
opinions. The head of one group is Belesmanza of Verona,
their bishop, whom most of the older and a few of the younger
persons of that sect follow. The leader of the other group
is John of Lugio of Bergamo, their elder son and ordained
bishop. He is followed, in distinction from the first group,
by the younger men and a few of the older ones; this group
is somewhat larger than the first.
 On the Beliefs of Belesmanza.-
The first group maintains the old beliefs, which all the
Cathars and Albanenses used to hold in the period of approximately
A.D. 1200 to 1230. Thus, their peculiar beliefs,
 besides the common ones set forth above, are
That there are from eternity two principles, to wit, of
good and of evil.
Also, that the Trinity, namely, the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit, is not one God, but that the Father is
greater than the Son and than the Holy Spirit.
Also, that each principle, or each God, created his own
angels and his own world, and that this world and all which
is in it was created, made, and formed by the evil deity.
Also, that the devil with his angels ascended into heaven
and there, after doing battle with the archangel Michael
and the angels of the good God, carried off a third part
of the creatures created by God. These he implants daily
in human bodies and in those of lower animals, and also
transfers them from one body to another until such time
as all shall be brought back to heaven. According to these
heretics, these beings created by God are called "the
people of God," "souls," "the sheep
of Israel," and also by many other names.
Also, that the Son of God did not acquire human nature
in reality but only its semblance from the Blessed Virgin,
who, they say, was an angel. Neither did He really eat,
drink, or suffer, nor was He really dead and buried, nor
was His resurrection real, but all these things were in
appearance only, as one reads of Him in Luke, "being
(as it was supposed) the son of Joseph." [Luke 3:23].
They teach the same about all the miracles which Christ
Also, that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the fathers
of old, and John the Baptist, were enemies of God and ministers
of the devil.
Also, that the devil was the author of all of the Old Testament
except these books: Job, the Psalms, the books of Solomon,
of Jesus the son of Sirach, of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel,
Daniel, and of the twelve prophets. Some of these, they
say, were written in heaven, to wit, those which were written
before the destruction of Jerusalem, which, they say, was
the heavenly land.
Also, that the world will never come to an end. Also, that
the "future" judgment has already been made and
will not be made again.
Also, that hell and eternal fire or eternal punishment
are in this world only and nowhere else.
In general, all the Albanenses in the time we have stated
held the  beliefs described
above, except those who were less well informed, to whom
special points were not revealed.
 On Beliefs Peculiar to John of Lugio.-
Next to be described here are the beliefs of the John of
Lugio mentioned above and his fol-lowers. It should first
be noted that John still holds some of the beliefs mentioned
above, some of them he has completely changed for the worse,
and some other errors he has devised for himself, as appears
 On the Two Principles.-
This John of Lugio, an Albanensian, asserts that there
are from eternity two principles, or gods, or lords, namely,
one of good and the other of evil, but in rather a different
fashion from the earlier ideas, as will soon be apparent.
He completely spurns the Trinity and its unity in God as
held in the Catholic faith.
 The Names He Gives to the Evil Principle.-
The first principle of evil, he maintains, is called by
many names in the Holy Scriptures. It is called malice,
iniquity, cupidity, impiety, sin, pride, death, hell, calumny,
vanity, injustice, perdition, confusion, corruption, and
fornication. And he also says that all the evils named are
gods or goddesses, that they have their being from the malice
which, he asserts, is a first cause, and that this first
cause is signified from time to time by the vices named.
Moreover, he says that the evil principle is denoted by
"the tongue," which St. James characterizes as
"an unquiet evil, full of deadly poisons"; [James
3:8] likewise by "day," whereof the Lord
says in the Gospel, "Sufficient for the day is the
evil thereof." [Matt. 6:34]
It is also referred to in that phrase of the Apostle in
his second epistle to the Corinthians, "It is, and
It is not." [2 Cor. 1:17-20]
It is called also Mount Seir, concerning which it is said
in Ezekiel, "Because thou hast been an everlasting
enemy of the Lord." [cf. Ezechiel
35:5] It is also said to be the belly, whereof the
Apostle says, "Whose God is their belly."
He says further that the idols of the nations of which
one reads throughout the entire Old Testament are really
evil gods, that is, malign spirits, and that the Gentiles
made images of them the better to worship them. But why
say more? It disgusts me to record the many fabulous things
which this John has written about the above mentioned evils
and idols in an attempt to buttress his errors.
 On the Beliefs of John of Lugio about Creation and
What Creation Is, According to Him.-
What this John believes about the
 creator of all things visible and invisible
remains to be told. First, what creation is; second, whether
created things were made or created from nothing; third,
whether creatures of the good God were created absolutely
good and pure, without any evil; fourth, whether anyone
ever had freedom of will.
According to him, to create is to make something from some
pre-existent matter, and it is always so considered, never
to make from nothing. And he distinguishes a threefold creation:
First, from good to better; according to this distinction,
Christ was created or made by the Father, whence Isaiah,
"I the Lord have created Hun," [Isaiah
45:8] and, the Apostle says, "made a high priest
forever." [Heb. 6:20] Secondly,
to change from evil to good is called "to create,"
in accord with the word of the Apostle, "For we are
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus," [Ephesians.
2:10] and the sentence in Genesis, "In the beginning,
God created heaven and earth," [Gen
1:1] which John explains thus: "In the beginning,"
that is, in the Son who says: "[I am] the beginning,
who also speak unto you." [John
8:25] And John explicitly says that at that time
God the Father created heaven and earth, not from nothing
but from something to something good, as with those of whom
the Apostle says, "Created in Christ Jesus in good
works." [Ephesians 2:10]
Thirdly, creating also refers to making bad into worse.
In support of this he adduces that passage in The Code [of
Justinian] under the title De haereticis et Manichaeis:
"All heresies forbidden by divine laws and imperial
constitutions," and so on, as far as "to create
ministers because they are not." [the
reference is to Codex Justinianus, see W&E p 747, note
32] And so, he says, all creatures exist from eternity,
good creatures with the good God and evil with the evil
god; that creators do not precede creatures in eternity
except causally; and that creatures are from God from eternity,
like the splendor or rays of the sun which does not precede
its rays in time, but only as cause or by nature.
Also, he thinks that the good God has another world wherein
are people and animals and everything else comparable to
the visible and corruptible creatures here; marriages and
fornications and adulteries take place there, from which
children are born. And what is even more base, there the
people of the good God, against His command, have taken
foreign women to wife, that is, daughters of a strange god
or of evil gods, and from such shameful and forbidden intercourse
have been born giants [Gen. 6:4] and
many other beings at various times.
 Whether the Good God Created His Creatures Free of
The next point is whether the good God created His creatures
pure , without any evil.
In this connection it is necessary to pass over many blasphemies
uttered by this John, such as that God is not omnipotent.
He says, however, that God wills and can do all good as
far as lies in Him and in His creatures, who of necessity
render him. obedience, but that this will and power of God
are hindered by His enemy.
Also, that each of these gods has been active against the
other from eternity and that the evil cause, that is, the
evil god, has from eternity attacked the true God and His
Son and all His works. In support of these points he cites
many authorities, such as that speech of the Lord to Satan
in Job, "Thou halt moved me against Job, that I should
afflict him without cause"; [Job
2:3] and again, Job to God, "Thou art changed
to be cruel toward me." [Job
30:21] Also, he says that he who is chief in evil
is more powerful than the creatures who are subjects of
the highest God of good; whence, he concludes from these
premises that the good God could not make His creatures
perfect even though He wished to. And this befell Him and
His creatures because of the opposition of the evil god,
who from eternity has forced into them his own impulse (arum)
or a certain malice, from which evil they have the capability
of sinning. In support of this he cites that passage in
Ecclesiasticus, "He that could have transgressed, and
hath not transgressed, and could do evil things, and hath
not done them," [Ecclesiasticus
??? 31:10] the whole of which he simply explains
as referring to Christ; and that passage from Job, "In
his angels he found wicked-ness," [Job
4:18] and again, "The stars are not pure, "[Job
25:5] and so on; and the passage in the beginning
of Genesis, "Now the serpent was more subtle than any
of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made."
[Gen 3:1] From this he draws
the inference: Therefore all the beasts of the field are
endowed with cunning, but the serpent more than all the
others, and therefore through him has deceitfulness come
about. In addition to the foregoing, he also makes another
assertion on his own authority, to wit, that there is nothing
which has free will, not even God most high, since even
He could not carry out His own will because of the opposition
of His enemy.
Also, he says that every creature of the good God received
the capacity for action under influence of error. He calls
error the greatest god of evil. Christ is an exception.
In Him that capacity for sinning or the power of transgression
was so suppressed by the highest good that it failed of
its effect-which was marvelous and extraordinary, even for
 Christ. Wherefore, He is greatly to be praised,
as says Ecclesiasticus, "Who is He, and we will praise
Him?" [the text here refers to
the Book of Wisdom, but the quote is from Ecclesiasticus
31:9] and so on. All other creatures of the good
God became blameworthy. In support of this he cites the
word of the Apostle, "For the creature was made subject
to vanity, not willingly,"[Rom. 8:20] and so on; and
again, "We know that every creature groaneth,"
[Rom 8:22] and so on.
Also, he says that when God inflicts punishments for sins
upon His creatures, He does evil and does not comport Himself
as God but rather serves His adversary.
Also, he says that when God declares, "I am God and
there is no other," [Isaiah 45:22]
and again, "See that I alone am God," [Cf.
Deut. 32:39] and the like, repetitiously, then He
is influenced by His adversary, for the true God speaks
but once and, as Job says, does not repeat Himself.
[Cf. Job 33:14]
Also, he says that God, by the power of His own knowledge,
does not have foreknowledge of anything evil, since it does
not emanate from Him, but sometimes He does have foreknowledge
of it through His adversary. Also, he believes that the
true God brought about the Flood, destroyed Pentapolis,
and overthrew Jerusalem, because of the sins of His creatures;
and, to summarize, the true God, provoked by His adversary,
brought upon His people Israel all the afore-mentioned evils
which they suffered in Judea or in the Promised Land because
of the sins which they had committed. So this John says;
he also believes that all the events mentioned took place
in a certain other world, belonging to the true God.
Also, he believes that the souls who are of God are transferred
from body to body and that in the end all will be freed
from punishment and guilt.
Also, this John accepts the whole Bible, but thinks that
it was written in another world, and that there Adam and
Eve were formed.
Also, he believes that Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and
the other patriarchs, and Moses, Joshua, and all the prophets,
and the Blessed John the Baptist were pleasing to God and
that they were men in another world.
Also, that Christ was born according to the flesh of the
fathers of old, just named, and that He really assumed flesh
from the Blessed Virgin and really suffered, was crucified,
dead, and buried, and rose again on the third day, but he
thinks that all these things took place in
 another, higher world, not in this one. Also,
that in the aforesaid world, the whole human race incurred
death because of sin to which it yielded, sin which this
John calls the principle and cause of all evil, as we have
repeatedly remarked. And after their bodies were buried
in that world, their souls necessarily descended into hell,
that is, into this world, and to this hell Christ came down
to help them.
Also, he believes that in the upper world will come the
resurrection of the dead, namely, that each soul belonging
to God will receive its own body.
Also, that in that same world the true God gave the law
of Moses to the people we have described. There, also, priests
offered sacrifices and burnt offerings for the sins of the
people, as their offering is commanded in the Law.
Also, in that same place Christ literally wrought true miracles
in raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, and feeding
five thousand men, not counting the women and children,
from five barley loaves and two fishes.
Why say more? Whatever in the whole Bible is stated to
have been in this world he changes to have actually taken
place in that other world.
 How John of Lugio Wrote a Book about His Errors.-
Indeed, the oft-mentioned heresiarch John of Lugio fabricated
the blasphemies and errors described above and many others
which would take too long and be too disgusting for me to
recount. From them he compiled a large volume of ten quires,
a copy of which I have. I have read it all and from it have
extracted the errors cited above. It is also to be noted
especially that this John and his associates do not dare
to reveal to their believers the errors described, lest
their own believers desert them on account of these novel
errors and because of the schism existing among the Albanensian
Cathars, of which they are the cause. The Albanensian Cathars
censure the Concorezzenses and are in turn censured by the
 The Following Concerns the Particular Errors of the
Church of the Cathars of Concorezzo.
These people rightly believe in one Principle only, but
many of them err in respect of the Trinity and unity.
Also, they confess that God created the angels and the
four elements from nothing; but they err in believing that
the devil, with God's permission, made all visible things,
or this world.  Also,
they believe that the devil formed the body of the first
man and into it infused an angel who had already sinned
Also, that all souls exist by propagation from that angel.
Also, they reject the whole of the Old Testament, thinking
that the devil was its author, except for those phrases
which were carried over into the New Testament by Christ
and the apostles, such as, "Behold a virgin shall be
with child, [Matt 1:23] and
Also, they all reject Moses, and many of them are doubtful
about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the other patriarchs,
and also especially the prophets.
And many of them only recently came to believe correctly
about the Blessed John the Baptist, whom they all formerly
Also, they say that Christ did not take on a human soul,
but almost all believe that He did assume flesh from the
 The Errors of Nazarius, Their Bishop.---
Nazarius, a former bishop of theirs and a very old man,
said before me and many others that the Blessed Virgin was
an angel and that Christ did not assume human nature but
an angelic one, or a celestial body. And he said he got
this error from the bishop and elder son of the church of
Bulgaria almost sixty years ago.
Moreover, it should be noted that all the Cathars who profess
that Christ assumed a true human body deny that that body
was glorified and is to be glorified. They say that Christ
on the day of His ascension laid it aside in the shining
sky and will resume it again on the Day of Judgment, and
after the judgment it will be resolved into pre-existent
matter like a putrid corpse.
Also, they say that the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary
and those of the apostles and of all the saints are not
yet in glory, nor will they be until the Day of Judgment,
but they are in that ether, in the same place as the body
of Jesus Christ.
 On the Bagnolensian Cathars.
The next matter for discussion is the beliefs of the church
These people agree with the aforesaid Cathars of Concorezzo
in almost all the beliefs described above, except for this:
They say that souls were created by God before the foundation
of the world and that they sinned even then.
Also, they believe, along with the aforesaid Nazarius,
that the Blessed Virgin was an angel and that Christ did
not assume human nature from 
her, nor did He undergo any real suffering in death,
but that He assumed a celestial body.
 On the Toulousan Cathars, the Albigenses, and Those
Lastly, it is to be noted that the Cathars of the Toulousan
church, and those of Albi and Carcassonne, maintain the
errors of Belesmanza and the old Albanenses, as do almost
all the churches of Cathars beyond the seas which I have
No church of Cathars, in truth, agrees on all points with
the church of Concorezzo. The church of France (Franciae)
agrees with that of Bagnolo. Those of the March of Treviso,
indeed, and of Tuscany, and of the valley of Spoleto agree
in more points with the said Bagnolenses than with the Albanenses,
but little by little they are being drawn to the Albanenses.
Also, all the churches of the Cathars recognize each other,
although they may have differing and contrary opinions,
except the Albanenses and the Concorezzenses, who censure
each other, as mentioned above. If any Cathar, of either
sex, refuses to admit the particular errors described, or
at least those held in common, then one may indisputably
say of him that he utters lies in hypocrisy, which is a
characteristic of the Cathars-witness thereto is the Apostle,
who so clearly prophesied about them [I
Tim. 4:1-3] -unless perhaps that person be someone
simple or a novice among them, for to many such they do
not reveal their secrets.
 On the Heresy of the Leonists, or the Poor of Lyons.-
Enough has now been said about the heresy of the Cathars.
Our next subject is the heresy of the Leonists, or Poor
of Lyons. However, this heresy is divided into two parts,
the first called the Ultramontane Poor, the second the Poor
of Lombardy. The latter are descended from the former. The
first, namely, the Ultramontane Poor, say that in the New
Testament every oath is forbidden as a mortal sin. And they
say the same about secular justice, to wit, that kings,
princes, and potentates are not permitted to punish malefactors.
Also, they affirm that a simple layman can consecrate the
body of the Lord. I believe, also, that as to women they
say the same thing, since they have not denied it before
me. Also, that the Roman Church is not the Church of Jesus
 On the Poor of Lombardy.----
The Poor of Lombardy agree with the first group as regards
the oath and secular justice. About the body of the Lord,
indeed, their beliefs are even worse than those of the others:
 They say that any man without mortal sin is
allowed to consecrate it.
Also, they say that the Roman Church is the church of the
wicked, the beast and the harlot which are described in
the Apocalypse; consequently, they say that it is no sin
to eat meat during Lent and on Fridays, despite the precepts
of the Church, provided it be done without scandal to others.
Also, [they say] that the Church of Christ subsisted in
the bishops and other prelates down to the time of the Blessed
Sylvester,[= the time of Constantine]
and in him it fell away until they themselves restored it.
Nevertheless, they assert that there were always some who
feared God and were saved. Also, they say that infants are
saved without baptism. [not a generally
The foregoing work has been faithfully compiled by the
said Brother Rainerius, in the year of our Lord 1250. Thanks
be to God!