The Persecutions of the Cathars ?

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” Little is known about Cathars. Most of the information about them has been destroyed, and what we do know has mostly been aduced from Catholic records. This is rather like reconstructing Jewish theology from Nazi records of the holocaust. Records are biased and incomplete. What we do know is that the Cathars were ascetics. Their ministers and teachers, called parfaits or perfected ones, were vegetarians. They generally adopted a life of extreme devotion and simplicity. Both men and women could become parfaits. They lived in poverty, the men travelling and preaching. They earned their livings by cloth making, shepherding, and other trades. Followers were not expected to adhere to the same ascetic standards as the parfaits, and were permitted to eat meat and engage in sex. They had a low opinion of the institution of marriage and are thought to have practised birth control and abortion. They disagreed with the Roman Church on many points. They took the view that if sex was agreeable to both partners then it could not be disagreeable to God. They declined to take oathes.”

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