Show Notes about Cathar Theology
Cathars thought that God was not omnipotent. God was constantly in battle with Evil in an epic battle where sometimes Evil won. Fear not, God would prevail at the End of Time. But along the way Satan scored a lot of points!
The material world was not created by God but rather by Satan. To them, the whole earth, the stars and the sun were a diabolical phenomenon and a manifestation of Evil.
What about men, women and children? Being creatures of flesh and blood they too were a creation of the Devil. So, Satan created all physical things.
BUT the Devil cannot create souls. The Devil can only create lifeless things.
GOD can create souls. God is what turns an inert sac of cells into a living body. Do you follow me so far?
God had created a lot of wonderful souls and they were all in Heaven. And then the Devil lured Adam and Eve into having a carnal union and that’s how Satan steals souls from Heaven.
Do you follow me? When a baby is born into a the world it’s an Evil thing and that poor soul is now imprisoned in a body of flesh and blood that belongs to Satan.
What is one to do in the face of such odds?
Behave in a Godly way, of course!
A man who had led a just life would be reincarnated in a body better suited for his further spiritual development.
The man who led a criminal life would be reborn in a body full of flaws and hereditary vices, perhaps into a the body of an animal! In other words, Elyse, behave yourself or you might come out with a crooked back next time you’re reborn!
How do you break this vicious cycle of birth and death and rebirth etc? The only way for lost souls to go back to their blissful state of being a pure soul without any sort of bodily incarnation is if a messenger from God comes down into the Evil world on God’s behalf and frees their souls from the enslavement of the Devil.
That Messenger is Jesus, of course. Jesus is the one who shows us the way towards a pure existence in the realm of God which is purely metaphysical. Meta, very very meta.
But, it is unthinkable that Jesus being as pure as he was would take human form and be enslaved by the Devil.
So, Jesus had the appearance of a body, but it was a trick! He remained a soul all along. He looked like he was like the rest of us and needed to drink and eat and sleep, but that was a ruse to deceive the Devil. Jesus made it look like he was made flesh, but he wasn’t! Jesus was like a ghost who looked exactly like a human. Are you with me?
But by the end of Jesus’ life, Satan caught on that this person was different than all his other human slaves. To deceive humanity further, Satan made it look like Jesus died on the cross. But being a non-fleshy body Jesus could not suffer, die or be resurrected. He was a soul all along! It was all a ruse to deceive the people into thinking that the resurrection could save them when in reality following Jesus back to the realm of the spirit was the way to escape the Evil world of Satan. All Jesus had to do was bring a genuine soul to the earth, share the Holy Spirit which is the only thing that can bring consolation to the souls dwelling in exile away from Heaven.
The Devil is very crafty. He substituted Jesus’ genuine path which has to do with following the Holy Spirit with a church of Satan. Where do you think the Church of Satan is based? In Rome, of course.
The church of Rome was the Great Beast, the Whore of Babylon, full of blasphemy, never leading anyone back to Heaven. This is a church where they believe that material rites and mechanical gestures can bring you to salvation. Taking communion cannot be the body of Christ or it would be the size of a mountain by now. The cross should not be an object of veneration but rather should be seen as an object of torture because it was the instrument of Jesus’ humiliation.
If you bow in front of a cross you bow to something material, made by the Devil. Relics were also evil because they were physical. If you bow in front of a statue of a saint or his relic you are bowing in front of Satan’s work.
The Virgin Mary was not the mother of Jesus since he didn’t have a body. She too was a pure spirit made to look like a human. An angel, a manifestation of Heaven in our wicked world.
If all things earthly are evil it makes for a strange outlook on life:
Marriage is a crime against the Spirit since it brings new souls into an Evil world.
All murder, including killing an animal is a crime. By taking a life a man deprives one soul of the change to achieve reconciliation with the Spirit. Cutting life short is a grave offense, even if it’s the life of a bird. Cathars were strict vegans. Consuming any food of animal origin was seen as tempering with God’s plan to let all living things try their luck at returning to the Spirit world.
The holiest Cathars could not own anything because all things are Evil, remember? You weren’t supposed to aspire to owning your own home and those who had received the Consolamentum were homeless and lived on the generosity of their supporters.
In that theology there’s no Hell either because earth is Hell. Anything that is not Spirit is Hell. In the End Times when God finally wins, the tangible world vanishes, the sun and starts are extinguished. The souls who hadn’t tried to escape their satanic form of flesh soul by converting to the truth faith of the Cathars perish in this holocaust and when it’s all gone all that is left is eternal joy in God.
You might wonder how Catholics were ever converted to the Cathar religion, but honestly, even though Catholics don’t believe that giving birth to a child is adding a lost soul in the Devil’s column, it’s not like they were sex positive either!
And priests never read the Scriptures to the people. Mass was in Latin which most people did not understand any better then than we do now. You went to mass to fulfill an obligation, take communion, sit in a gorgeous building that represented the opulence of Heaven, but it didn’t make any sense logically. Regular people weren’t exposed to theology at all. They looked at church Art and they knew it was the story of Saint this or that. Maybe they knew the story of saint this or that, but that’s not theology. Teaching Cathechism to everyone is a relatively recent development. Before that you were supposed to believe because you were in awe if the Catholic church.
Now, when a Cathar preacher came around he talked to the people in perfectly understandable Occitan, they talked theology, some preachers had the Bible and could share bits of it with the people and people had a thirst for it. Don’t think that just because a person is poor or has a manual job he/she is dumb.
What triggered Catholic clergy against the Cathars was their absolute rejection of Catholic dogma which many of them knew more about than regular Catholics. Cathars rejected the Church’s sacred symbols. Cathars rejected the opulence of the church. And you know who else rejected the opulence of the Church? Lots of Catholics! Some of the Bishops had nothing to do with Godliness and everything to do with greed.
The Archbishop of Narbonne Bérenger II was so corrupt that even Pope Innocent III was revolted by his behavior. The Bishop of Toulouse, Raymond de Rabastens, spent most of his life fighting against his own vassals rather than show any interest in preaching the good word. Troubadours composed songs about the debauched habits and the venality of the local prelates.
And at the same time you had the “bons hommes” walking around in their black robes, most of them thin as rails because they truly subsisted on the generosity of the people, preaching a gospel of spiritual rebirth. I’m not surprised it caught on!