The Church Of Rome
Looked at objectively it is obvious that the Cathars were right. In the 21st century The Church of Rome still preaches the Jewish religion. The sole point of difference is that Church of Rome teaches that Jesus was the Messiah; anointed by God, the King of Israel who will reunite Jewish tribes in a Jewish Kingdom and usher in the messianic age of peace. The Messiah, however, preached, rather conveniently for the Romans, that the kingdom would be not of this world.
The Jews themselves refute that Jesus was the Messiah, they still await his arrival and they still expect Jewish domination. That is the only point of difference. Today there is a Jewish reform movement which rejects the concept of a Messiah linked with Jewish domination.
The Jews were important to the Romans; the diaspora had already begun. One estimate is that twenty percent of the population of the eastern empire was Jewish. Judaism incurred the wrath of the Roman Empire by combining religious beliefs with blatant nationalism.
In the name of the Devil
In Cathar eyes the Jews had distorted the message of Jesus. In Cathar eyes Jesus taught that the material world and the obsession of material wealth is evil. They believed that all gods are the same, rulers provide a service, material possessions are irrelevant and critically– the worship of Set (or Jehova), the God of the Jews, must be abanndonned. This message was absolutely offensive to many Jews but had had enormous appeal to almost everyone else including the Roman state.
Cathars believed that a group of Jews adopted the name of christianity and slowly but surely modified it for their own ends. In Cathar eyes they concealed the message in a mess of incomprehensible mystology.
Cathars believed that the result was that the Church of Rome was still working to fulfil Set’s agenda. It was all being done in the name of the Devil.
The Council of Jerusalem
One of the first formal acts of “Christianity” was Council of Jerusalem. The council was convened to inquire into St Paul’s activities as a promotor of the new faith. The focus of the conference was whether Gentile converts had to comply with Mosaic Law (need for circumcision) and /or the laws of Noah ( Idolatry, improper butchering of animals and fornication).
What is interesting is that the leader of the Desposyni(literally Christ’s relatives) Church, and therefore the convener of the Council of Jerusalem was not St Peter but the man considered by many to be Jesus younger brother, St James. So much for ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church”.
Therefore at this very early stage there were three distinct strands of even this essentially Jewish church. Orthdox Jews, Desposyni and Christians. The Desposyni created a Jewish church centred in Jerusalem. This was pure Judaism but with the assumption that Jesus was the Messiah.
Disappointed at being overlooked for leadership, St Peter left Jerusalem to join St Paul on the mission to the gentiles inexorably working towards the centre of power, Rome.
The traditional Jewish religion rejected both of of the new sects and there was violence.
Where then was the fourth strand which rejected the old testament and therefore could not be either of these strands of faith? It was hidden from view, because the Church of Rome removed the story from the records. This strand stipulated that there was only one God but that that one god was not Set. This was unacceptable to mainstream Jews, disposyni and Paul and Peter.
If we assume this forth strand was the precursor to the Cathar faith it was acceptable and indeed welcomed by other Roman cults who saw it as compatible with their own beliefs. The cult of Isis and Horus and the cult of Mithras, Gnosticism and the cult of Sol Invictus, not only survived but thrived, incorporating Jesus teaching. Inevitably the interpretation of Jesus message was slightly different in each of these cults.
Both Mithras and Osiris, the husband of Isis,were known as Chrestos. The words Chrestos and Christos lead to much confusion. In the opinion of the Cathars this confusion was deliberately encouraged by the Church of Rome as they pursued a campaign to establish themselves as the legitimate successors to Jesus. The Greek translation of Messiah is Christos (annointed) and this is where the term Christian developed from. The Cathars however considered themselves “Good Chrestians” not ” Good Christians.”
The Church of Rome believed that Jesus was a real person and that he was both the Jewish Messiah and God. The Cathars also believed that Jesus was a real person, but a person who had given a vastly different message to the one proagated by the Church of Rome. Cathars rejected the whole of Jewish teaching and did not believe that Jesus was God.
When did the differences of belief turn into physical conflict ? In Judaea, almost immediately. There was violence on the streets of Rome during the reigns of Tiberius, not long after the date given for Jesus death.
The violence was repeated in the reigns of Gaius (Caligula) and Claudius. By the time of Claudius the violence had spread to Alexandria and other provincial capitals. What were the “Jews” fighting about? It can only have been about religious differences.
The clash between the rival faiths spilled over into the streets of Rome, Alexandria and Jerusalem. The Roman Goverment saw quite clearly that the instigators of the disturbances were the “Jewish” faction and first Tiberius and then Claudius banned them from entering or living in Rome.
The fourth strand, the Cathars were at this time invisible, absorbed into Roman life as followers of a faith compatible with Rome.
It proved impossible to keep them The Jews out of Rome. The alternative faiths were fighting for the hearts and minds of the people.
For a time all three major strands were present in Rome. The Emperor Nero has been given a terrible name by the Church of Rome perhaps unjustly. He tried to provide better lives for the citizens of Rome and raised taxes to pay for his programs. This made him unpopular with the senate.
His rule was plagued with dissension between the quarrelling Jewish factions. In the end Nero lost patience and tried to remove the quarreling factions from Rome. He failed miserably and whatever the motivation for his persecution the Jewish strand always suspected the Cathars of complicity in Nero’s attack on them.
The Bishop of Rome
Two of the victims of Nero’s purge were St Peter and St Pau.
However regardless of what The Church of Rome claims St Peter was never Bishop of Rome. St Peter himself, in Apostolic Constitutions(BookVII Section IV), accepts that St Linus was already installed as Bishop of Rome before he arrived there .
St Linus came from Britain and was a member of the Celtic Church – the Druidic tradition also accepting Jesus message quite possibly a Cathar.
St Linus’ tenure as Bishop of Rome is recorded as 67-76 AD. St Peter died in 67 AD. The conclusion must be made that if Peter was right about Linus, then he himself could not have been Bishop of Rome. Possibly for a brief period he could have been an Anti-Bishop.
The church of the Desposyni in Jerusalem was wiped out in by a combination of Jewish prejudice and Roman invasion. A delegation of Desposyni came to rome to seek integration but their approach was rejected.
It was from this small beginning that The Church of Rome emerged, growing eventually to take complete control of the western empire.
How they achieved this is far from clear, but at the heart of their strategy was a determination to eliminate all opposition.