Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/307

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ALBINUS
ALBINUS
269

and took the field against his former friends. Roger, Viscount of Béziers, was first attacked, and his principal fortresses, Béziers and Carcassonne, were taken (1209). The monstrous words: "Slay all; God will know His own," alleged to have been uttered at the capture of Béziers, by the papal legate, were never pronounced (Tamizey de Larroque, "Rev. des quest. hist." 1866, I, 168–91). Simon of Monfort, Earl of Leicester, was given control of the conquered territory and became the military leader of the crusade. At the Council of Avignon (1209) Raymond VI was again excommunicated for not fulfilling the conditions of ecclesiastical reconciliation. He went in person to Rome, and the Pope ordered an investigation. After fruitless attempts in the Council of Arles (1211) at an agreement between the papal legates and the Count of Toulouse, the latter left the council and prepared to resist. He was declared an enemy of the Church and his possessions were forfeited to whoever would conquer them. Lavaur, Dep. of Tarn, fell in 1211, amid dreadful carnage, into the hands of the crusaders. The latter, exasperated by the reported massacre of 6,000 of their followers, spared neither age nor sex. The crusade now degenerated into a war of conquest, and Innocent III, in spite of his efforts, was powerless to bring the undertaking back to its original purpose. Peter of Aragon, Raymond's brother-in-law, interposed to obtain his forgiveness, but without success. He then took up arms to defend him. The troops of Peter and of Simon of Montfort met at Muret (1213). Peter was defeated and killed. The allies of the fallen king were now so weakened that they offered to submit. The Pope sent as his representative the Cardinal-Deacon Peter of Santa Maria in Aquiro, who carried out only part of his instructions, receiving indeed Raymond, the inhabitants of Toulouse, and others back into the Church, but furthering at the same time Simon's plans of conquest. This commander continued the war and was appointed by the Council of Montpellier (1215) lord over all the acquired territory. The Pope, informed that it was the only effectual means of crushing the heresy, approved the choice. At the death of Simon (1218), his son Amalric inherited his rights and continued the war with but little success. The territory was ultimately ceded almost entirely by both Amalric and Raymond VII to the King of France, while the Council of Toulouse (1229) entrusted the Inquisition, which soon passed into the hands of the Dominicans (1233), with the repression of Albigensianism. The heresy disappeared about the end of the fourteenth century.

III. Organization and Liturgy.—The members of the sect were divided into two classes: The "perfect" (perfecti) and the mere "believers" (credentes). The "perfect" were those who had submitted to the initiation-rite (consolamentum). They were few in number and were alone bound to the observance of the above-described rigid moral law. While the female members of this class did not travel, the men went, by twos, from place to place, performing the ceremony of initiation. The only bond that attached the "believers" to Albigensianism was the promise to receive the consolamentum before death. They were very numerous, could marry, wage war, etc., and generally observed the ten commandments. Many remained "believers" for years and were only initiated on their deathbed. If the illness did not end fatally, starvation or poison prevented rather frequently subsequent moral transgressions. In some instances the reconsolatio was administered to those who, after initiation, had relapsed into sin. The hierarchy consisted of bishops and deacons. The existence of an Albigensian Pope is not universally admitted. The bishops were chosen from among the "perfect." They had two assistants, the older and the younger son (filius major and filius minor), and were generally succeeded by the former. The consolamentum, or ceremony of initiation, was a sort of spiritual baptism, analogous in rite and equivalent in significance to several of the Catholic sacraments (Baptism, Penance, Order). Its reception, from which children were debarred, was, if possible, preceded by careful religious study and penitential practices. In this period of preparation, the candidates used ceremonies that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient Christian catechumenate. The essential rite of the consolamentum was the imposition of hands. The engagement which the "believers" took to be initiated before death was known as the convenenza (promise).

IV. Attitude of the Church.—Properly speaking, Albigensianism was not a Christian heresy but an extra-Christian religion. Ecclesiastical authority, after persuasion had failed, adopted a course of severe repression, which led at times to regrettable excess. Simon of Montfort intended well at first, but later used the pretext of religion to usurp the territory of the Counts of Toulouse. The death penalty was, indeed, inflicted too freely on the Albigenses, but it must be remembered that the penal code of the time was considerably more rigorous than ours, and the excesses were sometimes provoked. Raymond VI and his successor, Raymond VII, were, when in distress, ever ready to promise, but never to earnestly amend. Pope Innocent III was justified in saying that the Albigenses were "worse than the Saracens"; and still he counselled moderation and disapproved of the selfish policy adopted by Simon of Montfort. What the Church combated was principles that led directly not only to the ruin of Christianity, but to the very extinction of the human race.

Peter of Vaux-Cernay, Historia Albigensium, in Bouquet, Recueil des historiens des Gaules (Paris, 1880), XIX, 1–113; William of Puy-Laurens, Historia Albigensium, ibid., 193–225; Histoire de la Guerre des Albigeois … par un auteur anonyme, ibid., 114–192; La chanson de la croisade contre les Albigeois, ed. Meyer (Paris, 1875–79); Döllinger, Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters (Munich, 1890); Molinier, Catalogue des actes de Simon et d'Amaury de Montfort in Biblioth. de l'école des chartes, (1873) XXXIV, 153–203, 445–501; Twigge, Albi and the Albigensians in Dublin Rev. (1894), V, 309–332; Schmidt, Histoire et doctrine de la secte des Cathares ou Albigeois (Paris, 1849); Douais, Les Albigenis (Paris, 1879); Tocco, L' eresia nel medio evo (Florence, 1884), 73–134; Hefele, Conciliengesch. (Freiburg. 1886), V, 827–61; Vacandard, Les origines de l'heresie Albigeoise in Rev. des quest. hist. (1894), I, 50–83; Guiraud, Questions d'histoire (Paris, 1906), 3–149. For an extensive bibliography, see Chevalier, Repertoire topo-bibl. (Montbéliard, 1894), 39–42.

Albinus, a scholarly English monk, pupil of Archbishop Theodore, and of Abbot Adrian of St. Peter's, Canterbury, contemporary of Saint Bede (673–735). He succeeded Adrian in the Abbatial office, and was buried beside him in 732. His chief title to fame lies in the fact that we owe to him the composition by Saint Bede of his "Ecclesiastical History of the English". The latter gratefully records the fact in the letter he sent to Albinus with a copy of the work, and at greater length in his letter to King Ceolwulf, both of which serve as a preface to the narrative. He calls Albinus a most learned man in all the sciences (Hist. Ecc. Angl., v, 20), and says that to his instigation and help the above-mentioned work was chiefly owing (auctor ante omnes atque adjutor opusculi hujus). Bede learned from him what had happened in Kent since the arrival of St. Augustine, both ecclesiastical and civil matters. Nothelm, a priest of London, served as their intermediary, and when the former returned from Rome with additional documents from the pontifical archives, Albinus was again called on to help in fitting them into their proper places. He seems to have been endowed with a fine historical sense, for the Father of English ecclesiastical history