Catharism is a Christian dualist movement that thrived in some areas of Southern Europe, particularly northern Italy, northern Spain and southern France, former Occitania and Catalonia, between the 12th and 14th centuries. Cathar beliefs vary between communities because Catharism was initially taught by ascetic priests who had set few guidelines. The Cathars are a direct challenge to the Catholic Church, which renounces its practices and dismisses it outright as the Church of Satan.
The Cathar, or Albigensian, heresy rejects confession and the holiness of the clergy and of the Pope. They only have a single sacrament - the Consolation - to remove sin and turn the believer into a Cathar 'Perfect'. As a dualist gnostic belief, they believe in two gods, the 'evil god' of the Old Testament, whom they name Satan, and the 'good god' of the New Testament, who is Christ. The heresy originates from the Bogomils and Paulicians of the East. Defining features in game:
- There is no religious head
- Cathars may install women as priests
Catharism is a heresy of Catholicism.
Absolute Cognatic Succession Law - Cathar rulers have access to the Absolute Cognatic Succession Law. Cathars may also have Cathar women lead troops and hold any position on their councils.