PETROBROSIANS: Followers of a monk, Peter de Bruis, who, tired of the restraint of the cloister, apostatized, and fled to the province of Arles, where, about 1118, he began to preach his errors. Twenty years later the populace of St. Gilles, near Nimes, exasperated by his burning of crosses, cast him into the flames.
     He rejected the baptism of infants; condemned altars and churches; prohibited the veneration of the Cross; rejected the Mass and Holy Eucharist; and denied the utility of prayers for the dead. These errors were all condemned by the Second Council of the Lateran in 1139.

HENRICIANS: So-called after Henry of Lausanne, a clunac monk who left his monastery and began to preach to the people. He joined in with the Petrobrosians in Provence, was arrested and confined to a cell as a heretic. Subsequently released, he was again arrested and died in prison in 1149.
     His doctrine mainly insisted upon personal responsibility as opposed to authority in religious matters and the rejection of the rites and authority of the Church.

WALDENSES: Founded by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant of Lyons, who carried out literally the counsel of Christ: "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast and give to the poor". In 1176 he completed the distribution of all his earthly possessions and took a vow of poverty shortly afterwards. This action of his created a great stir in Lyons and he soon had imitators, many of whom began to preach in the streets. They soon fell into error and were condemned as here ties by numerous synods and councils, but especially by the Third Council of the Lateran in 1179.
       Their errors were: the Catholic Church erred in accepting temporal property; they condemned tithes; believed in only two sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist; held that a layman could absolve from sin, but that a sinful priest could not; rejected indulgences, fasts and all the ceremonies of the Church; made no distinction between mortal and venial sins; claimed the veneration of sacred images to be idolatry, and condemned all oaths to be unlawful.


©1997-1998, Catholic Truth Publications
Last edited March 17, 1998