Cathar theology found its greatest success in the Languedoc region. In the early Middle Ages, the Languedoc was not part of France. It was an independent area comprising a handful of city-states, each with its own rulers, the most powerful of whom were the Counts of Toulouse. During the 12th century, the Cathar religion flourished in this area noted for its high culture, sophistication, religious tolerance and liberalism. For a Cathar, Christ was a human being and therefore directly accessible, negating the power and purpose of the Vatican Church.
The Cathars were known as Albigensians because of their association with the city of Albi, and because the 1176 Church Council which declared the Cathar doctrine heretical was held near Albi. Most of the territory that came to be called Languedoc became attached to the Kingdom of France in the 13th century, following the Albigensian Crusade (1208–1244). This crusade aimed to put an end to what the Black Sun Roman controlled Vatican considered as the Cathar heresy, and enabled the Capetian dynasty to extend its influence south of the region. The Capetian dynasty, also known as the House of France, is a dynasty of Frankish origin from the Germanic regions, founded by Hugh Capet. Members of the dynasty were traditionally Catholic, and the early Capetians had an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire, thus the Vatican.
As part of this process, the former principalities of Trencavel, including Carcassona, were integrated into the Royal French Domain in 1224. Carcassonne is located in the south of France, about 80 kilometres east of Toulouse. Its strategic location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea has been known since the neolithic era. Carcassonne became famous for its role in the Albigensian Crusades, when the city was a stronghold of Occitan Cathars. In August 1209 the crusading army of the Papal Legate, Abbot Arnaud Amalric, forced its citizens to surrender, and the genocidal campaign ordered by the Vatican to fully eliminate the Cathars ensued.
The Albigensian Crusade or the Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by Pope Innocent III and aided by the NAA Vatican stronghold to eliminate Catharism and the knowledge of Stargates held by Essene Templars in Languedoc, in southern France. Innocent III called for a crusade against the Albigensians, with the view that a Europe free of heresy could better defend its borders against invading Muslims. The time period of the Crusade coincided with the Fifth and Sixth Crusades in the Holy Land. The Crusade was prosecuted primarily by the French crown resulting in not only a significant reduction in the number of practicing Cathars, but also a realignment of the County of Toulouse in Languedoc, bringing it into the sphere of the French crown and diminishing the distinct regional culture and high level of influence of the Counts of Barcelona. The Albigensian Crusade also had a role in the creation and institutionalization of both the Dominican Order and the Medieval Inquisition. The Dominicans promulgated the message of the Vatican to combat alleged heresies by preaching the Church's teachings in towns and villages, while the Inquisition investigated heresies with brutal methods of torture and killing. The head of the Dominican Order’s sole purpose that was sponsored under the Pope was to wipe out the last clandestine Cathars from the area, which eventually, he did.
The Inquisition was established under Pope Gregory IX in 1234 to uproot heretical movements, including the remaining Cathars. Operating in the south at Toulouse, Albi, Carcassonne and other towns during the whole of the 13th century, and a great part of the 14th, it succeeded in crushing Catharism as a popular movement and driving its remaining adherents underground. Punishments for Cathars varied greatly. Most frequently, they were made to wear yellow crosses atop their garments as a sign of outward penance. Others made obligatory pilgrimages, which often included fighting against Muslims. Visiting a local church naked once each month to be scourged was also a common punishment, including for returned pilgrims. Cathars who were slow to repent suffered imprisonment and, often, the loss of property. Others who altogether refused to repent were burned. The Catholic Church found another useful tool for combating heresy in the establishment of the Order of Preachers, whose members were called "Dominicans", after their founder, Saint Dominic. The Dominicans would travel to towns and villages preaching in favor of the teachings of the Church and against heresy and reporting those they thought suspicious for inquisition. From May 1243 to March 1244, the Cathar fortress of Montségur was besieged by the troops that conquered Carcassonne and Pierre Amiel, the Archbishop of Narbonne. On March 16, 1244, a large massacre took place, in which over 200 Cathar perfects were burnt in an enormous pyre at the prat dels cremats ("field of the burned") near the foot of the castle. Because of these efforts, by the middle of the 14th century, any discernible traces of the Cathar movement had been eradicated.
Cathar Genocidal Massacre
Reference from Historical Timeline Trigger Events: 780 YA, Albigensian Crusade carried out by the Church of Rome, Cathars were trapped and burned alive in Southern France. Attempts to eliminate Essene Templar knowledge outside control of the Church.