Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud
Wasn't there a crusade and an inquisition that went along with the vanishing of the Cathars?The Jesuits fielded some amazing missionaries, but somehow or another seemed to keep winding up with bad reputations on the home front. I am not sure how much was politics and how much "puffed up" vs "built up." Perhaps the combination of disciplines tempts one to be not just "holier than thou" but also "much smarter than thou." Hmm--a familiar theme from politics.IIRC the Cathars et al thought the body evil and the spirit pure--not the same thing as, but parallel to, the modern "how you perceive your body matters more than your body's mere physicality."(I easily remember how to spell Cathars, and Bogomils, but have to look up Albi...)
Speaking of politics, in my very inexpert opinion Protestant had some politically useful aspects that might have contributed to its staying power. Since it was attacking the structure of the Catholic Church as much as its theology defending or advancing Protestantism was a way for secular rulers to attack the temporal power of the Catholic Church.
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