Cathar Perfect

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Perfect (also known as a Parfait in French or Perfectus in Latin) was the name given to a monk of the medieval French Christian religious movement commonly referred to as the Cathars. They were expected to follow a lifestyle of extreme renunciation and austerity from the world which included abstaining from eating meat and avoiding all sexual contact. By that virtue they were recognized as trans-material (i.e. spiritualized) angels by their followers, the Credentes (Croyant in French, Believers in English). Perfecti were drawn from all walks of life and counted aristocrats, merchants and peasants among their number. Women could also become Perfects; Female Perfects were known as Parfaites or Perfectae.


Catharism itself was a Christian religious movement with dualistic and Gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France (Occitania at the time) around the middle of the 12<sup>th</sup> century. The movement was branded by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical with some authorities denouncing them as not being Christian at all. It existed throughout much of Western Europe (including Aragon and Catalonia in Spain, the Rhineland and Flanders in Northern Europe and Lombardy and Tuscany in Italy), but its focus was in the Languedoc and surrounding areas of what is now southern France. In addition it had links with the similar Christian movement the Bogomils (Friends of God) from the Balkans. The Cathars were ruthlessly suppressed and finally...
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