Medieval destruction of the Cathars and the sexualization of witches

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(ORDO NEWS) — Many Christian writers identified the gods and lower spirits of the Greek and Roman world with demons.

This marked the beginning of the Christian practice of demonizing those whom they considered their opponents.

One of these opponents of the Catholic Church were the Cathars, whose persecution marked the beginning of many horrors committed by the Church – in the name of God.

Who were the Cathars?

The Cathars are a heretical Christian sect that flourished in Western Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Cathars professed the neo-Manichean dualistic concept of two equal principles of the universe, good and evil, and the material world was considered as evil.

In the 12th-14th centuries, the Cathars arose as a medieval sect that questioned many dogmas of the Catholic Church.

For example, they believed that there were two gods: one was the god of good and the other was the god of evil.

They also preached poverty and rebelled against the corruption and exploitation of the poor by the Catholic Church.

As a result, they were branded first as heretics, and then as devil worshipers and sorcerers. Tales circulating about the Cathars would have made Frankenstein look like a comedian.

All the horrors and sexual fantasies that Bosch or Brueghel could imagine fell upon these villains who dared to follow too closely in the footsteps of Jesus.

According to some medieval writers, the receptive were lured into a religious building and introduced to the devil. Those who agreed to join his followers were forced to take an oath of allegiance.

They vowed to kill as many children under the age of three as possible and take their bodies to a religious building.

They swore, if possible, to prevent sexual contact between married people, and at the time of death to bequeath part of their body to the devil. So the medieval propaganda machine claimed.

To celebrate new members, the sect allegedly ate food made from the flesh of dead children. After dinner, the devil ordered the lights to be turned off.

Then, at his command, the witches engaged in orgiastic sex: men with women, men with men or groups, sometimes father and daughter, mother and son, or brother and sister.

When the party ended, people were given a jar of magic ointment supposedly made from the fat of burned children to rub on the tip of a cane and speed their way home.

These were the reasons why the Church tortured the Cathars, confiscated, destroyed and appropriated their property, as well as the property of other people.

Medieval destruction of the Cathars and the sexualization of witches 2

Cathars burned at the stake during an auto-da-fé anachronistically led by Saint Dominic

You are all witches!

This old black magic has bewitched me.

That old black magic that you weave so well.

Those icy fingers up and down my spine.

Same old magic when your eyes meet mine.

Ella Fitzgerald

Stories like those of the Cathars were a prelude to the next set of characters meant to scare people: witches. In a way, the witches were even more effective, as they were flesh-and-blood humans tainted with not-quite-tangible demons.

In the Middle Ages, fear of female sexuality was widespread. For this reason, or as justification, church authorities have burned thousands of women as witches.

The Decretum of Gratian, the most important collection of ecclesiastical laws of the twelfth century, contained the following warning about witches:

Some wicked women, perverted by the devil… profess themselves during the night hours to ride certain beasts together with Diana, the goddess of the pagans… and in countless women to cross the vast expanses of the earth…

Beginning in the 15th century, some Christian writers began to promote the idea that women were much more likely to become witches because of their greater lack of faith, and especially because of their carnal nature.

The Malleus Maleficarum, a bestseller of 1487, warns that “all sorcery comes from carnal lust, which in woman is insatiable.”

Medieval destruction of the Cathars and the sexualization of witches 3

However, these fairy tales appeared long before that, and remember that almost every fairy tale has villains. Jewish folk wisdom, and Gentiles too, told stories of seductive women who incited lust and envy.

These beings turned the men against each other, just when the need was for citizen soldiers united to fight for Yahweh or for Christ.

Thus, female sexuality was even more associated with evil. It was also believed that sex with demonic figures was more pleasurable than sex with other people.

Mirandola’s machinations

In 1523, Pico della Mirandola, a fiery priest from Florence (who was eventually thrown into the fire for denouncing the excesses of the church), wrote a dialogue between a skeptic named Apistius and a judge named Dicasto:

Apistius: I just can’t understand why things are so much better with the devil.

Dicasto: The witches say that there is no such pleasure on earth as with him.

Apistius: At least on the ground, not in a cloud. Is it because it’s forbidden fruit?

Dicasto: No need to go back that far. No, some witches claim there are three reasons. First, demons can take on angelic form.

Second: their declarations of love seem more convincing. And the third – probably the most important, I suspect – is that their masculine members were unusually large.

Apistius: This may explain why they had a hot time.

Dicasto: Actually, my skeptical friend, some of the confessions I’ve received say that the devil’s semen was very cold.

One poor woman confessed that she picked up the member of the demon who copulated with her… and it was cold as ice.

In the end, the nonsense of these monastic misogynists crossed all boundaries. One of them reported that in the confession of a witch woman there was a description of a demon with a forked penis.

Another wrote: “In conjunction with witches, ‘Satan sometimes takes the form of a black man, sometimes the form of an animal, such as a dog, a cat, or a ram.’

Although many men were also tried as witches, witchcraft was a predominantly female crime, and thus another way to control the female sex.

It was also a great way to get even with a neighbor, as one report that a person was practicing witchcraft was often enough to bring him before the inquisitor. Witchcraft, or at least accusations of witchcraft, were ubiquitous.

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The murder of St. Peter the Martyr by Giovanni Bellini is a murder that is believed to have been organized by the Cathar heretics

Devil dance

Already in the 17th century (more precisely, in 1612), one inquisitor who hunted witches told the details of the devil’s dance: people were forced to “worship a demon in the form of a disgusting goat, kiss him and caress the most vile parts of his body…

On holidays they had to there is the flesh of hanged people, the corpses and hearts of unbaptized children.”

Our inquisitor includes the confessions of a 16-year-old girl from Gascony accused of witchcraft. She described in detail the devil’s organ, which was covered with scales, longer than an alder brush, but dark red in color and writhing like a snake.

At other times his penis was longer than that of a mule, and was half iron and half flesh. Those who were accused of witchcraft claimed that the “evil one” used to have sex with the beautiful in front and the ugly in the back.

Let us leave to your imagination the types of torture used to extract such confessions from women, young and old.

For a thousand years, prelates, bishops, theologians, and inquisitors have spewed such writings from themselves.

Another story comes from a sermon by a 15th-century priest named Bernadino from Siena, which describes a coven of women taken into custody on suspicion of witchcraft:

And there was one among them who confessed, without torture, that she had killed 30 children by sucking their blood… that every time she let one of them go free, she had to sacrifice an animal limb… She confessed that killed her own little son and made a powder out of him, which she gave people to eat … “.

Here is an excerpt from the bestselling book Medieval Witchcraft Manual by Catholic Priest Heinrich Kramer. This quote is from an accused sorceress who was interrogated about the kidnapping of babies:

We prey on infants, especially those who have not yet been baptized… Through our ceremonies, we kill them in the cradle or when they lie next to their parents, and while it is believed that they were crushed or died of something else, we we secretly steal them from the grave and boil them in a cauldron until all the flesh is almost drinkable, we pull out the bones.

From the more solid we make a paste… and from the more liquid we fill the vessel… He who drinks from this vessel immediately becomes knowledgeable, if a few ceremonies are added, and becomes the master of our sect (Almond, 120).

The Malleus Maleficarum manual also describes how they made a paste of children’s limbs, then smeared it on a piece of wood, with which they could be carried to the roof at any time of the day or night.


If we analyze the thousands of years of work of these supposed people of God, we can only come to one logical conclusion: all of them, even the great ones, were disgusted with sex and any form of sexual intimacy and were obsessed with the concept of witchcraft.

This forced them to commit terrible atrocities, up to the genocide of the Cathars. There is no doubt that it was the horrors of hell, and not the bliss of heaven, that motivated people to give everything they had to the “Great Mother Church.”


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