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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

The Manicheans were persecuted


It

is therefore evident that the Manicheans either knew nothing about the dogma of endless hell, or did not believe it.

From the year 285 to the year 491, the Manicheans were persecuted. The emperors of Orient confiscated their property, and decreed the penalty of death against them. Thousands of them died in the most cruel tortures, rather than to give up their faith; we read even in our days, in the Theodosian code, the laws enacted against them. Despite those persecutions they rapidly and widely spread. In the fourth century St. Augustine was converted to their sect, but he afterwards left them, and became their most powerful opponent. They formed a large body in Africa. In 491, the mother of the emperor Anastase, who was a Manichean, obtained the suspension of the laws enacted against them. They were allowed, during twenty-seven years, to have churches, and to freely worship; but during the reign of Justin, and under his successors, they were again forbidden it. Towards the end of the seventh century, the famous Gallinice, who was a Manichean, brought up her two sons, Paul and John, in her belief, and sent them to Armenia as missionaries. Paul made so many proselytes that the new converts took the name of Paulicians.

In the beginning of the ninth century the Paulicians split; but soon after they reunited, at the persuasion of one of their most influential members, named Theodote. The aversion of the Manicheans

for the worship of the virgin Mary, of the cross, of the saints, and of images, pleased the Saracens, who made frequent irruptions in the empire: through their influence they obtained more credit among their opponents.

In the year 841, the empress Theodora, who had declared herself in favor of the worship of the virgin Mary, of the cross, of the saints, and of images, went so far in her fanatical zeal for this doctrine, that she resolved to exterminate the Manicheans, and their religion. By her orders more than one hundred thousand of them were arrested and put to death; nearly all expired in the most cruel tortures. Then the Manicheans sought a refuge among the Saracens; they retired in fortified towns, repelled the repeated assaults of the imperial armies, and maintained themselves during about forty years; but having been defeated in a great battle they were forced to disperse.

Some went to Bulgaria, and since took the name of Bulgarians; others went to Italy, and mainly settled in Lombardy, wherefrom they sent missionaries to France, to Germany, and to other countries. In the year 1022, under the king Robert, several canons of Orleans, who had joined the Manicheans, were burnt alive. Although the penalty of death had been decreed against the Manicheans, they established a large number of convents all over France, and particularly in the provinces of Provence, of Languedoc, and, more especially, in the diocese of Albi, where they took the name of Albigenses.

Alanus, monk of Citeaux, and Peter, monk of Vaux-Cernay, who wrote against them, accused them, 1st, of admitting two principles or creators, the one good and the other bad; the first, creator of invisible and spiritual things, and the second, creator of bodies. 2d, Of denying the resurrection of the body. 3d, Of denying the Purgatory. 4th, Of denying the utility of prayers for the dead. 5th, Of denying the pains of hell. 6th, Of believing the transmigration of the souls into other bodies of men, or of animals, according to the degree of their guilt in an anterior state of existence, until by successive expiatory transmigrations they become purified. 7th, Of disbelieving the seven sacraments. 8th, Of rejecting the worship of the virgin Mary, of the cross, of the saints, and of images, etc.


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