Medieval heresies. The Inquisition

Medieval heresies. The Inquisition


The church became very rich. The higher clergy bathed in luxury, the laity called for living in poverty. For many, this provoked a protest.

XII century. From a revelatory speech against the shortcomings of the bishops

A former monk… received a diocese… He in two years, like a hungry boar, overgrown with fat. Once it was satisfied with the water from the monastery source, now it consumes such a flow of strong wines that it is carried into the bed on your hands drunk… And then you will see how thousands of thousands flock to his relatives… stating: I am a relative of the bishop, I member of his family. And the bishop makes one canon, another treasurer… And those who have long served, do not get anything…

Dissatisfied with church orders, there was enough even among the clergy, not to mention burghers and peasants. Many thought that the church was spoiled, that the priests misinterpret the Bible to the lay people. In this case, another interpretation of individual biblical subjects was proposed. Arbitrary interpretations of the Holy Scripture the church considered heretical, that is, blasphemous. Realizing that heresies are directed against it, the church, with the help of state power, fought with them resolutely. How exactly? She trained theologians, who publicly proved the error and harmfulness of heretical creeds. Sometimes she recognized the individual claims of the heretics as correct and this made them safe for themselves. But more often than not, she simply stopped the mouths of heretics, burning them at the stake.

Heresy covered many townspeople, peasants, small knights. Sometimes such heretical movements were directed not only against church vices, but also against the willfulness of the feudal lords and merged with peasant uprisings.

The most formidable for the church was the movement of Cathars or Albigenses in the 12th-13th centuries. It spread in France, Italy, England, Northern Germany – almost the whole of Europe. The Cathars did not agree with a number of provisions of the Christian dogma, were persistent in their heretical views and courageously marched for them to death.

The frightened ecclesiastical authority organized the Crusade against the Albigensians and a special tribunal – the Inquisition. The Crusaders were guided by the council of the papal viceroy to instruct God to determine who was heretic and who was not, and spared no one. In the French region of Languedoc, they killed many people. And the Inquisition did not doze. Only the Spanish inquisitor Torquemada sent thousands of heretics to the stake.

XIII century. From the work of Caesaria Heyesterbachsky “On the heresy of the Albigensian”

The Albigensians recognize two principles: the god of good and the evil god who, they say, created all the bodies, whereas the good god is all souls… They deny the Resurrection of the bodies; laugh at all the blessings that render the living dead. To attend church and pray there they consider it useless, baptism reject…

But still, the flames of heretical movements could not completely extinguish the church.

The Inquisition is a church court for the affairs of heretics.



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Medieval heresies. The Inquisition