The priests ( parfaits) are separated from believers ( credentes) and have a totally different set of rules to live by. The parfait’s set an example but understand that not everyone can achieve perfection. The rules for Parfaits are strict. They must have no sexual activities, must eat no meat ,drink no alcohol and have no possessions. Unlike the Roman Church the Cathar Faith has no possessions and so a Parfait’s possessions are distributed amongst relatives.
The Credentes are the entry level. All have to do is support an environment in which the faith can thrive. Credentes have little constraints on them but they are encouraged to become Parfaits later on in life. Those who do not die in a state of perfection will not find union with the Good God but may do so in the next life . Reincarnation is therefore an essential part of Catharism. One of the few constraints on Cathars is that they must avoid the procreation of children. Both males and females are trained in contaception how to give and receive sexual pleasure whilst avoiding conception.
The Heros of God
However some children must be procreated to pass the message to the next generation.
A special blessing gives each generation the courage to keep the faith. The blessing, called the consolumentum has been handed down from the beginning of time from person to person . An important person in that link was Jesus. The link is maintained through the Perfects, the perfect believers who give up all contact with the physical world to ensure their reunion with the Good God and who can give the consolumentum to anyone who desires to accept it preferrably immediately before death, so that there is no opportunity to lapse into a love of the material world.
A combination of the consolumentum and abstinence from material pleasures allows the spirit to escape for reunion with the good god.