(untitled)#60

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walking cobbled streets

grown from Templar’s founding – now

echo with their ghosts

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ancient towns standing

testament to existence

buildings as headstones

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which ones shall we slay –

will god recognise his own

let his will be done

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is not mother church

a place of refuge – so lies

each genderless body

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even now decay

models durability –

our impermanence

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Now a modern city of ~ 75,000 people, the Massacre of Beziers took place in Languedoc, France, in 1209 A.D. The city was sacked by crusades against the ‘heretic’ Cathars and accounts suggest up to 20,000 were put to the sword.

Churches were broken open and those that had sought refuge were slain – up to 7,000 in the Church of St. Magdalene. The crusaders did not respect the supposed inviolable sanctity of church ground.

It is alleged that when asked how to recognise the heretics from the townsfolk, the Abbot replied ‘kill them all – god will recognise his own’.

Rather than God and Satan, Cathars considered that perhaps there were two gods – one good, one bad. The papal church viewed this as Satanism. The Cathars viewed the humans as the encapsulated souls of genderless angels. Perhaps they were right for the subject of sex returns to plague the modern day Church.

We shall never know their true beliefs as Catharism was destroyed along with most of its relics and works and their religion likely forms the root of the word ‘catharsis’ – to discharge pent-up emotions, probably from the torture that was used to encourage the betrayal of friends and family, a lack of zeal for which was considered to be a lack of commitment for the One True Church – or to expunge a problem.

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