A Unexplained Mysteries forum member recently questioned my posting of the evils that Christian has perpetrated against Christian and even disbelieved a quote of a high rank Christian just before the sacking of a Christian town. So here is a little history of the “Albigensian Crusade”
Taking the murder of Peter of Castelanu, the church legate, in 1209 CE as an excuse, Pope Innocent declared that the Albigensian (a sect of Christianity that taught among other things that the Church had deviated from the teaching of Jesus from the 3rd century onward) Count of Toulouse, Raymond, was responsible. Innocent then rang the call to arms, threatening any Nobel or Knight that refused to answer this call with excommunication and other ecumenical punishments. Since the major benefit (for the attackers) of 13th century warfare was unlimited looting, there was no need of threats, especially since the Albigensian towns were among the most prosperous in Europe. Needless to say, the nobility of northern France jumped at the chance to plunder the wealthy south and supported the church’s crusade (yes, a crusade against other CHRISTIANS). This crusade lasted 2 decades and resulted in the death of thousands of Christians at the hands of their brothers in religion!
It was contemporarily reported that 20,000 knights and 200,000 foot soldiers led by the bloody Abbot of Citeaux, Arnold and the notorious adventurer Simon de Montfort (familiar to all with any knowledge of English history), descended upon the Albigensians. On June 24th 1209 the campaign began at the first large Albigensian town, Beziers. In his Dialogus Miraculorum, Caesarius of Heisterback recorded that when the Abbot of Citeaux was asked how to distinguish between the heretics and the true Christians he responded, “caedite eos…novit enim Dominus qui sunt eisu “(Show mercy neither to order, or to age, nor to sex…Cathar or Catholic, kill them all…God will know his own). Reporting to the Pope, Abbot Arnold reported they had indeed spared neither rank, age or sex and had massacred 20,000 people. Some historians put this figure at 40,000. 6000 alone were said to have sheltered in the Catholic Church of St. Madeleine and were probably mostly Catholics. It was burned and all inside were murdered. These actions were repeated in each Albigensian town taken, All the inhabitants were put to the sword without distinction of rank, age or sex. Albigensian clergy were met with unbridled ferocity, Simon de Montfort diligently incinerated the heretics, 140 at Minerve, 300 at Lavor, 60 at Le Casses and on and on. It was written of de Montfort that” he ought to wear a crown and be resplendent in the heavens, if by abolishing honor, by making pride victorious, by stimulating evil and extinguishing good, if by killing women and slaughtering infants, one can in this world achieve salvation in Christ.”
Raymond VI offered a peace in 1211, so Innocent stopped the crusade after two years of almost unparalleled butchery, but then yielded to the greed of de Monfort and the crusaders and the fanaticism of the monks and reopened it, prolonging the massacres for another 18 years. The Albigensians were still so strong after two years of the most brutal carnage that, when the pope renewed the crusade in 1214, a fresh hundred thousand “pilgrims” had to be summoned. It proves the scale of the heresy.
Today Christian writers dispute these things, but they are recorded in the bragging words of the Catholics of the time. Innocent boasted that they took five hundred towns and castles from the heretics, and they butchered every man, woman and child in each town when they took it. Noble ladies with their daughters were thrown down wells, and large stones flung upon them. Albigensian knights were hanged in batches of eighty. How could Catholic knights, footsoldiers and monks commit such atrocities, so fearful, as they were, of eternal retribution in the fires of hell? Because Innocent III had granted them absolution in advance as an incentive to do their worst. And they did!
“The accounts of the cruelties and abominations of this crusade are far more terrible to read than any account of Christian martyrdom by the Pagans, and they have the added horror of being indisputably true”. - H G Wells, Crux Ansata
"The Albigensians had defied the Church’s authority, rejected its teaching, and in general thought and acted for themselves. For these sins there was no mercy. The custodians of Christianity unhesitatingly burnt their fellow men persuaded that being burnt to death in a half hour of torment was better than the eternal torment of hell fire. This monstrous belief is still alive among Christians." - M.D. Magee :yes: