Whether they did or did not choose this form of death over maiming (I doubt they had any choice), the date of March 16, 1244 was, and is, considered the symbolic end of the Cathar religion.
True, the Ecclesia Gnostica out here always has a commemorative mass for the victims of Montsegur on March 16th. I've been to a couple of them.
Speaking of which, LA Weekly did a fantastic interview with Bishop Stephan Hoeller of the Ecclesia Gnostica back in 2005.Exile in Godville
One of my favorite parts of the interview:Aside from its dismissal of Judaic law and its challenge to Papal Writ, one of the things that undoubtedly drove the suppression of Gnostic scripture was its depiction of “the prostitute,” Mary Magdalene, as holding equal status with the 12 disciples and special rank with the Son of God himself. Like Eve, M.M. “gets it” before the guys do, not infrequently prompting grumblings of “What’s up with her?” This brings us to the zingers breathlessly reported by Dan Brown in the widely read pages of The Da Vinci Code.
Since Bishop Hoeller is a bona fide scholar of the lore alluded to by the now stupendously rich Mr. Brown, the question must be posed: Was it some sort of tantric sex thing between J.C. and M.M.?
“Although I’m delighted by the interest in Gnosticism it’s stirred up,” Hoeller says, “and by its part in restoring Mary Magdalene to her place at the side of Jesus, I must confess that my regard for The Da Vinci Code is considerably less than for The Matrix. For one thing, Mr. Brown seems to have an agenda. He appears to be deliberately courting certain ‘interest groups,’ among them conspiracy buffs, enthusiastic but badly informed Goddess worshippers and almost anyone who harbors a grudge against the Christian faith. And though the Gnostic Gospels do identify the Magdalene as having a unique spiritual kinship with Jesus, there’s no suggestion that the relationship was sexual, much less that it produced offspring. This is a canard derived almost wholly from an earlier piece of sensationalistic pseudo-history called Holy Blood, Holy Grail.”
“According to which,” I interject, “the bloodline of Jesus produced the French monarchy . . .”
“Yes, well . . . the Merovingian dynasty.”
“And your opinion of the Holy Blood theory?”
You've got to love the old guy, he's quite a character.
I think the Bishop copped out Tim
he acknowledges her rightful place at Jesus side
but he evidently forgets the Gnostic Gospel of Phillip
where Magdalene kisses Jesus and he her
and he must tow the line let's face it
Gnostic Gospels do identify the Magdalene as having a unique spiritual kinship with Jesus, there’s no suggestion that the relationship was sexual, much less that it produced offspring.
Bishop did you even read the Gospel of Phillip....
And I'm sure Jesus was kissing an unmarried woman in front of his MARRIED apostles
to show them it was "ok"
What a major COP OUT!