HIST 2200 Lecture Notes - Archbasilica Of St. John Lateran, Mendicant Orders, Main Source

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Published on 23 Nov 2011
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Popular Piety and Heresy
a. Popular thing in the 12th century, direct threat to the papacy
b. Main source was the church itself and its laws
Doctrine of Apostolic Poverty
a. Main issue, idea of absolute poverty by all Christians with communal living
and ownership
b. Poverty was considered necessary for Christian life, was fundamental to
c. Problem was that it becomes a kind of fiction, monks have no money but
their community/monastery was wealthy, very reason for reforms of Cluny
and Cistercians
d. High clergy (brothers of kings and nobles,) were extremely wealthy and
no vow of poverty, tried to collect money in any way possible
Buy and sell offices became common
e. 12th century it became a main concern, some said it was necessary for
salvation, wealth of the clergy became an embarrassment
f. Dilemma of the Church, couldn’t deny poverty because it is in Scriptures,
higher clergy were threatened by those who lived in poverty b/c they were a
better example of the Christian mission
g. 2 critical groups – those who believed you must embrace poverty for
salvation, another group who had a fundamental set of beliefs different from
the Catholic faith along with poverty
Cathars (Cathari; Manicheans; Gnostics)
a. 1st group of heretics, had roots back into antiquity, strong in North Africa
and Eastern parts of the Empire, after the 6th Century invasions they
b. St Augustine was one before he converted
c. Manicheans were dualists, believe there was light and darkness, perpetual
struggle, not sure which one would win, different from the Christian view that
God would always win no matter what
God in the spiritual world, Satan in the material world
Live a perfect live you must be an extreme ascetic, were celibate,
vegetarians and owned nothing at all
d. 11th Century Manichean beliefs returned to European, possibly through
Balkan missionaries to convert people, were called CATHARs of CATHARI –
means the pure people
Actively trying to convert, chiefly in Lombardy, Tuscany and Southern
Never spread to England b/c some came to England(Henry II), were
flogged, branded and thrown out into the snow to die, end of spread to
e. These people were PAGANS, never were Christian, independent religion
from the past begins to absorb things from Christianity due to constant
competition with each other
f. Many Christian heretics adopted things from the Gnostics
g. Cathari were Manicheans but looked like Christians so were called heretics
by the Church
h. 2 classes of Cathars
Parfait(perfects), led live of rigid acesticism, priestly caste, initiated
ceremonies, became a perfecti through consolamentum(blessed by
Others were the Credentes, basically lived like a normal person and
owned property, married, etc
1. Had to receive consolamentum, wiped away all sins, could not be
repeated ever and if they fell back into sin then they would go to Hell
2. Some thought it was better to commit suicide after receive the
consolamentum to ensure salvation
Thought the soul was obliged to live again, reincarnation until
was reached
-We only have knowledge about them from their enemies
-Thought that transubstantiation was wrong, Baptism as an adult, Sex
was mortal sin, wrong to kill anything, no oaths allowed
j. Cathars spread to small areas in northern Germany, Italy. Greece,
Clergy of the Christian faith in areas not doing their job well cast
doubts among the laity
Led to people thinking the Cathars were a good option(Credentes were
the best possible way to live)
k. 12th century bands travelled around Europe preaching and practicing
apostolic poverty
a. Worked within the Church for a long time, rejected eventually and become
b. Peter Waldo, prosperous merchant at Leon, added to his wealth through
practicing interest on loans, heard ministerial sing about Alexis giving up all
his wealth for a life of begging, did the exact same thing with his life, wanted
to learn more about Apostolic Poverty through the Bible, couldn’t read Latin
so he persuaded a priest to translate parts of the Bible in vulgate language,
began to preach his own version of poverty and ideas, called to the bishop
and told since he did not have a license to preach him and his followers were
They did not understand why they were silenced since they were using
the Bible, went to the Pope during the 3rd Lateran Council, was
examined by clerics and found he had no intention to attack the
Church doctrines, if he was preaching errors it was out of ignorance
Pope said to live in poverty and not preach, ignored this because he
believed New Testament called followers to preach, was condemned
by the Pope and called a heretic
c. Was competing with the Albigensians(Cathars) for converts
d. Basic purpose was to live the perfect Christian life based on Jesus
e. He committed 2 serious offences – continued to preach and refused to
obey authorities
f. As soon as they are condemned they began to act like heretics(claimed
you didn’t need the Church, etc)
Albigensian Crusade (1209-1215)
a. Church develops group of preachers to convert the Herectics, called the
Dominicans, sent to the south of France where the Albigensians
b. Whole area is depopulated because of this crusade
c. Feudal lords remain on the sidelines, Pope Innocent asks King Phillip to
round up Albigensians, told to capture cathar lords, didn’t
d. Simon De Montfort and followers captured a town full of Cathars, Pope
said to kill everyone in the town and God would know his own, 7000 in one
Church killed, lasted until 1215 with the fall of Toulouse, Crusaders were
landless knights and noble sons coming for the land , Cathars eventually
e. Apostolic poverty still remained, Church tried to control it
Mendicant Orders
Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)
a. Was son of merchant in Assisi(Umbria, Italy), renounces worldly goods and
b. Was a merchant’s son until he was 25, dreamed of becoming a knight,
took part in a war which possibly caused him spiritual and mental anguish,
deep religious feelings developed, began to give away family’s money to the
c. Father summoned Francis to the Court of the Bishop of Assisi, wanted his
money back from Francis, disowned his own father for God, in a dream God
told Francis to go and repair his Church, literal thinker and goes to San
Damiano (one mile away from Assisi) ruins of a small church, rebuilds it
physically, gained some followers and work together to repair the church,
begin work and live in poverty, helped lepers
d. Goes to Pope Innocent III in 1209 for permission to form an order,
supposedly the
Pope had a dream that the Lateran Basilica was falling down and being held
up by a man in ratty robes, thinks Francis was the man from the dream,
allowed to do this during the Albigensian Crusade, called the Order of the
Friars Minor, dedicated to absolute poverty, critical point – same motions as
Peter Waldo but his absolute devotion to aspects of the Church that Heretics
criticized (such as how the Cathars hate the Eucharist and the failings of the