ALBIGENSES: Traced to one Constantine of Samosata and so-called because they first spread themselves in the city of Albi, or that part of Gaul called Albigensum, and subsequently in the Province of Toulouse. The errors of all other heresies were joined in this one sect. They were condemned in numerous synods, and especially by the Third Council of the Lateran in 1179.
      They believed in two Gods; held only the New Testament to be inspired; rejected infant baptism; declared marriage sinful; that it was wrong to obey and support the clergy; held that everyone has the power to forgive sins; denied the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption and the Sacraments; declared all penance useless, and held that an unworthy priest lost the power of consecrating the Holy Eucharist.

FRATICELLI: One sect by this name may be traced to Gherardo Segarelli, a laboring man of Parma, who organized his followers as an "apostolic order", and made considerable noise in upper Italy from 1260 to 1307. Another such sect was started by two apostate Franciscan Friars, Peter of Macerata and Peter of Fossombrone.
      In general, these heretics held that there were two churches, one carnal, the other spiritual; that only the spiritual church has the true Scriptures and divine power, and that in them alone was the Gospel of Jesus Christ fulfilled. They were condemned in 1318 by a Bull of Pope John XXII.

FLAGELLANTS: A sect which was the offspring of an ill-judged piety and can not be traced to any one individual.
     The advocated excessive sell-flagellation; confessed sins to laymen; believed that penance helped the damned; denied the Sacraments, and taught that one month's penance was necessary for the forgiveness of sins. They were formally condemned as heretics by Pope Clement VI (1342-1352).


LOLLARDS: The name applied to the followers of John Wyclif, who was born at Ipreswel (now Hipswell) near Richmond, Yorkshire, England, probably some years earlier than 1324. He studied at Oxford and in 1356 began to publish his works. His doctrines were condemned in 1382 by a synod of twelve theologians, and two years later Wyclif died. He was formally declared a heretic by the Council of Constance (1414-1418).
     The Lollards held that the universe and God are one; that creation was an emanation of God; believed in predestination; denied the Real Presence; held the veneration of sacred images to be unlawful, and rejected the episcopacy of the Church.


HUSSITES: Followers of John Huss, who was born at Husinetz in Southern Bohemia in 1369. Ordained to the priesthood in 1400, he was made Rector of the University of Prague in 1402. Huss was greatly influenced by the writings of Wyclif and soon became infected with error. He was tried for heresy at Constance, condemned July 6, 1415 and burned at the stake.
      The Hussites taught that the Church consisted of the predestined only; claimed St. Peter never to have been the head of the Church; denied that the clergy received authority from Christ, and held that mortal sin deprives every ruler of jurisdiction.

BOHEMIAN BRETHREN: Founded by Peter Chelczicky, a layman of the Bohemian nobility.
      They denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation; rejected tradition, and held the Bible to be the only guide to heaven.


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