They rejected the message of the historical Jesus and the very idea that Jesus died for the salvation of mortal flesh.
Shouldnt we really wait until a cache of Cathar documents are found, by the Cathars themselves, that give us a fuller picture of their beliefs?
Instead of relying on those accounts of the Inquisition?
I don't think it's absolutely necessary, given that their lines of spiritual authority, their Ordos
, were headed by Bogomil bishops and there is plenty of historical documentation from Bogomil sources on what their beliefs were. The information gleaned from Catholic sources on what the Cathars believed is a very good match with what the Bogomils wrote about themselves. It shouldn't be too great of a stretch of logic to conclude that Bogomil bishops were consecrating Cathar bishops because they shared a common dogma.
I dont care what anyone has to say, but what the Catholic church did to the Cathars should never be justified - and a more hilsitic view of the Cathars will never be found in the reports from the Albigensian Crusade.
I don't think anyone is justifying anything, certainly not me. And while it's safe to assume that one wouldn't expect to find sympathetic words for the Cathars in Catholic accounts of their destruction, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Catholics were lying about the root causes of their condemnation. Particularly not if sympathetic sources from outside the Catholic sphere exist that corroborate those root causes, at least where dogma is concerned. I don't think that anyone can really argue that both Catholics and Cathars viewed the other's beliefs as heresy.
It's one of many tragedies of history, and I feel perfectly comfortable taking the view that man's inhumanity to man is never justifiable. But neither do I take sides, given the fact that I think religion is a a pretty poor excuse for it.