The Cathars

The Cathars were a break away group of French Christians who rejected most of the Catholic Church’s practices and beliefs. And they were persecuted to death for it. Their story is presented as a 20/20 look back at the history of the Cathars, which becomes a parody of Communism and the McCarthy hearings.

Elsewhere on the Medieval dial there’s Hollywood Squares, ads for Patron Saints, and a hilarious spoof of ‘Andy of Mayberry’ in which Barney and Andy convince poor Aunt Bea that she’ll be going to hell for her Cathar beliefs.

Our take on the Cathars, a group of Christians who wanted a simpler faith, with less hierarchy, and focussed on the teachings of Jesus. Cathar meant ‘Pure ones.” That was not just a shock to the Church, it was a heresy. A pure one. You think people are intolerant nowadays? It was worse back in the Middle Ages.


hello and welcome to history bytes I’m
Rick Green in the 1950s a strange
paranoia appeared in the u.s. of a fear
of communism gripped the nation the Cold
War but this was not the first time that
a fear of subversives cause paranoia and
led to a witch hunt in fact the same
kind of fear errupted in the 13th
century in longa decor southern france a
new religious group the Cathars had been
gaining followers by the town load the
Catholic Church was worried these Cathar
heretics had to be exposed put on trial
and brought to justice and if it’s
exposure trials and justice you’re
seeking the best place to look is on
television this is 2024 March 18th
12:44 here is Barbara Watteau officials
here in southern France concluded a
30-year struggle against a heretical
enemy the crash of ideologies is over
the Cold War is done and the power
struggle for the hearts and minds and
spirits ends weaving one superpower the
church the whizzers the Cathars the
early 12 thirties it was a time of fear
and paranoia a new ideology had taken
hold of the east and was spreading
across the world
an ideology that preach that our world
and everything in it was fundamentally
evil and yet son stood up to the cat
outfit the people of this great religion
even if there was only one Cathar living
in laying a dog it would be one Cathar
to many good and are a threat to our
capitalist way of life which is a threat
to the future of the church
well after I took over the archbishopric
that was when we first began the
Inquisition’s Inquisition was all new to
us and sometimes that showed Anthony of
Toulouse are you now or have you ever
been a member of the Cathar party now
okay please inform the committee if you
do hear about any conferences next well
these infiltrators were devious they
tried to hide their subversive unnatural
practices vegetarianism since most of
the clergy eats nothing but meat it was
clearly a challenge even worse they had
priest Barbara who were women
after months of hearing only denials
their Inquisition grew more aggressive
that’s another known so you consider
yourself a good Christian oh yes yes I
as do most others yes look I’m not
assuming of course not then as a Cathar
you would believe that nothing you do
from the waist down can be considered a
sin wouldn’t you oh so an orgy with your
cat our sisters that would be perfectly
fine right now
my sister’s dead oh I see well that’s a
wrinkle even I hadn’t heard of we’re
working for God Barbara and sometimes
God has to get a little tricky to get
that confession do you believe now or
have you ever believed the converse of
those viewpoints that one who rejected
the views that might be held by a
practicing Cather might uphold or
consider other than not on Falls
gonorrhea arthritis tuberculosis or
herbal remedies miraculous water and
healing charms may not be enough you
need the power of patron saint’s they’re
bringing in a real live cat our prisoner
to hold in our dungeon yes maths oh yeah
Floyd the barber surgeon told me that
these cat bars are due that’s why I’m
just you know warm myself up so case is
heretic once do you know do all mark
these Cathars aren’t that kind of
duelists these fellows are religious
duelists you know two sides good and
evil yeah they they believe that all
matter is evil evil everything even my
lucky relic st. Peter’s pinkie bow yeah
especially that kind of thing they think
that collect and relics is abhorrent so
you’re saying these Cathars are against
the unearthing a dead Saints bodies so
we people can carry around their exhumed
body parts and fluids those cat bars are
sick they say that many people were
swayed to name a heretic just to collect
the cash bounty or to collect a portion
of the property that an exposed heretic
would automatically lose yes that was
what about Roger Ferguson that the guy
with the big expensive castle down by
the river the same Oh him oil he’s a
huge major catheter yeah don’t pray to
st. cosmas patron of bladder disease
when you need sate and for infertility a
voyage via crap patron saint of
hemorrhoids if you are aching for George
the saint of syphilis
I’ll pick Joan to block
a new movie coming out that’s right I
play the Evil Queen in the C Trek movie
resistance is futile
the Mongols have often been referred to
as Tartars by Europeans as their hordes
advanced this way where do they get that
name Tartars Oh after they kill you they
turn with left of you into this white
sauce supposed to be very nice with fish
which they don’t have because they live
in the Gobi Desert no what do they keep
invading other people they want a fish
I’ll disagree of course not they’re
called Tartars from the term Tartarus
the hell of Greek mythology circle gets
let’s talk about the fight against the
Cathars conspiracy okay your father
Simon de Montfort where’d that effort
they’ll have black wrists imprisonments
even death well yeah in fact mainly
deaths and we had to be tough it’s all
very well for modern-day bleeding the
hard Catholics to look back on the
catheters and feel sorry for them but
you know 30 years ago we were in a
struggle to preserve our way of life to
preserve the freedom of every man to
believe what the church tells him to
we all need to know what to do in the
event of an emergency make sure you know
the sound of a cat are alarmed this
alarm signal may mean that kept our
priests are about to infiltrate your
home keep your soul safe using the
following 4 steps 1 duck and cover under
a bed a cupboard or an altar the devious
Cathar who cannot see you cannot
persuade you to if enemy Cathar agents
invade your home place your fingers in
your ears like so this will prevent
dangerous kept our lives from
penetrating into the inner skull 3 make
a joyous noise unto the Lord this will
further prevent enemy propaganda from
contaminating your ears and may
encourage other decent god-fearing
Christians to smite the heretic Menace
for kick the Cathars don’t worry they
won’t kick back your Cathar is probably
a perfect and therefore a cowardly
pacifist fighting is not his way if he’s
not a perfect he will fight like a tiger
in that case used torture we had to end
their religion they were simply the
cause of just too much bloodshed it
wasn’t that blood mostly their own
passages perfect were slaughtered in
busy a caucus ah yes of course but do
you think it’s right though methods that
are being used now putting any person
even suspected of sympathizing with the
Cathars under this Inquisition no it’s
ridiculous art see our inquisitors are
human occasionally catheter sympathizers
slipped through see my dad had the right
idea in busy kill them all like God sort
it out it’s like I’m always telling the
young guys you know better a thousand
innocents die than one guilty heretic go
free it was pretty much what happened in
busy exactly dad was as good as his word
some people were uncomfortable with the
ruthless persecution of the Cathars
people these Cathars you know what harm
is there
and letting them practice their religion
Hey but doesn’t heresy hurt everyone yes
but it’s only heresy if you they are
well I remember some of the great cathar
castle ik debates and as far as I could
remember those Cathars gave those monks
everything they could handle a even the
cross unholy work sound like it’s a bad
thing and without the threat of torture
how could we get confessions of heretics
and it’s taxes the church to give people
forgiveness and salvation those kinds of
stay tuned for de Montford the monster
the priestly class of the Cathar
religion were called perfect
they lived in strict self-denial no
wealth no meat no sex being a perfect
was the only way to get into heaven but
given that strict lifestyle you got to
wonder how the Cathar religion became so
popular well there was a loophole you
could live your life as one of the
Cathar believers or credenza without the
total self-denial then when you were on
your deathbed you received a blessing
that made you a perfect then you just
spent your last few hours abstaining
from sex and meat I know that kind of
denial would kill me have you attended
any meetings the purpose of which was to
recruit arrogance No are you sure
because of Sir Edward a barber says he
saw you at one such meeting just when to
hear what the head the same it was one
meeting I I never had anything to do
with them after that well these are
serious charges consorting with heretics
not reporting them this committee could
have you blacklisted blacklisted yes
it’s a list we keep of people we burn at
the stake until they turn black all we
want from you is a few names you want me
to name names give us three names and
you can walk out of here a free man with
the committee’s gratitude Peter of
Castile Leonard of Tyrone and Simon of
the burn
it has become a practice of many people
facing the inquisitors when forced to
name names to give us the names of
people who are already dead as though
that will stop us from meeting out
justice that’s right folks this is Peter
of Castile alright boys next you big up
Leonard of Tehran and then Simon nobody
expects the Cathar Inquisition
especially not the people who are
conveniently dead I can’t wait to see
the premiere on the new Law & Order
series Law & Order alchemists
investigation Law and Order
ecclesiastical unit what now let’s go
back 12:09 Messier your father was
involved there did the church go too far
Archbishop Arnold inori ordering his
army to kill them all God will know his
own well it shows he trusts God’s
judgment but it went twenty thousand
citizens were emitted no no hold on is
it murder when you burn heretics at the
stake of course not but these people
weren’t all heretics many among those
20,000 were women and children
Barbara our guys could have interviewed
every person found out who was a heretic
who was a heretic supporter and who was
you know whatever innocent what the fact
is that would have taken time we had
other cities to siege and burn the term
Cathar is believed to have come from the
Greek word Kothari
which means pure it makes sense as the
Cathars did try to avoid many of the
impurities of this wicked world but
there are some who claim the name is
derived from a 12th century German term
relating to cats and a particular
practice that they claimed the Cathars
engaged in and it wasn’t pure at all no
sir I have not have you ever kissed the
anus of a cat
what what it’s a simple question sir
have you ever indulge in the Cathar
ritual of the obscene kiss no I have not
I have never even never know but do you
own a cap yeah sure you know care a
house bid I don’t think that’s and do
you love this house pad yeah yeah I love
the cat but you know only in a way when
might like to care have you ever kissed
this cat that you admit to loving yeah
but but you kissed its bottle no no way
no way no little picker the knows
nothing wooden man well I got the whole
place ready for the Cathar prisoner oh
you’ve been locked up the cat’s just
again that’s good thinkin mark have you
ever kissed the anus oh yes many times
so you admit to being a capper what’s a
Kaspar actually the Cathars were accused
of all sorts of ridiculous beliefs and
disgusting practices it was just crude
propaganda designed to discredit them
and sadly it often worked because in
medieval France people believed almost
anything bad news for parents trying to
give their child an edge in their
careers for centuries many believed that
if a woman was on top of her husband the
resulting baby would grow up to be a
bishop well in a new study statistics
prove this just isn’t true
these gaffers believe the only good
place in the whole universe is in this
spirit world
that’s right barn and they reckon the
only way they can get there is to become
a perfect well that’s gonna be pretty
tough on me and yeah I mean yeah most
days it’s hard for me to get my boots on
the right feet
Marney the perfect is what they call a
priest perfect these boys are supposed
to be home
well I think it’s because they live
lives of self-denial no meat no material
possessions no contact with the the
opposite sex I think they should be
called the perfectly boring I mean that
wrong no sure here’s the Cathar we’ll be
needing you to keep locked up for a
while I be sorry peg snuggling is
against my religion it’s not adultery if
you’re married wrong peg I joined the
Cathars I’m imperfect it means I’ve
given up sex and did you know that
Cathars also give up meat what since
wood and bud told me Cathars have to
kiss a cat’s tush that’s just a rumor
bud started when the priest caught him
in the park
when battling the Cathars didn’t stop
their religion from spreading through
medieval France the church switched
tactics trials the first members of the
Pope’s heresy tribunal were special
legates with wide prosecutorial powers
they roamed the countryside in search of
heretics alas many of these prosecutors
turned out to be crazed sociopaths who
sent thousands of alleged heretics to
death often the same day they were
accused to bring order to chaos the Pope
then turned to the Dominican monks men
he knew could conduct the Inquisition’s
as meticulous organized sociopaths even
though they were on the site of
unthinkable evil and in and we were on
the side of absolute good in a way we
were both doing our jobs so there have
been victories like in Bram word dad
showed compassion for his enemies
Simon senior seized the city of bran
from what he called a cookie just three
days Italians surrendered
Simon spared them he just wet them Co
yeah yeah bombing after he he gouged out
their eyes and cut off their noses and
upper lips I mean you gotta do something
to show everyone you know that we won
and you lost but you know like I said
dad really liked those guys you know
fine he even left the guy at the front
of the line with one eye so they
wouldn’t all be just bumping into trees
and stuff this was your father’s idea of
missing now you see when you start to
see your enemy as people just like you
it’s it’s really tough it’s much easier
to fight some some nameless faceless
opponent so that’s what we turned them
into even if you did cut off the
majority of their faces it still had
names yeah I suppose but ship without
eyes or noses you really couldn’t tell
them apart how could you do such a thing
like this
and with all the changes of the church
lately a good Christian woman can’t get
near an altar or a conclave of schools
go ahead Aunt Bea I’m sure we’ve heard
now aunt bee if you become one of these
Cathar Perfect’s you’re giving up more
than you think then you came to tend any
of them fancy churches now but if you
want to be Little Miss Perfect well
there will be no associated with women
now ain’t be I am no religious expert
I’ll leave that to the torturers but if
God didn’t want you to be a subservient
second-class citizen why would he have
gone to all the trouble to make you a
woman when the siege of Montague was
over and the Cathars and their
supporters surrendered did you
interrogate the survivors well of course
except for the bigwigs the perfect I
mean I gave them every opportunity to
renounce their beliefs and say you know
what I’m not perfect but they wouldn’t
do it
and you know with me it’s my way or the
highway the highway yes the high
temperature way sizzle rattle is it true
that the perfect went peacefully into
the fire singing hymns yeah
it’s funny to us they’re heretics so we
have to condemn them to the flames of
hell and to them
this evil material world is essentially
hell so really it worked out well for
everyone involved there are many who
believe that if the Cathars had not been
crushed the Renaissance might have
started then and there
the tolerance artistic pursuits and the
open minds of the Cathars were exactly
the qualities that led to the
Renaissance two centuries later instead
the Cathar legacy would be the
Inquisition Pope Gregory’s inquisitors
would have successors in different parts
of Europe for the next six hundred years
apparently the meek don’t always inherit
the earth when the last perfect was sent
to the stake in 30
21 the Cathars were but a footnote in
history and history bites and burns this
Cathar and light and tolerant attitude
it’s dangerous no thank you
but didn’t this enlightened attitude
lead to a peaceful coexistence between
Jews Muslims and Christians yes exactly
and besides the so-called enlightened
individuals banned a lot of our great
holiday traditions such as strike the
Jew when I was like eating to lose we
provide strike the Jew every Easter
batting the town Jews around in the
square if the car tires are so
enlightened did why would they ban a
great holiday tradition I strike the Jew