Nov 24, 2014

Short history of Bogomils in Bosnia

Pope Pius II (1458-1464) in his work "Cosmografia" wrote while describing the Adriatic countries: "Behind Albania come the Illyrian people towards the west and north. This people were called the Slaves in our time and they call themselves Bosniaks, other Dalmatians, third Croats, Istrians and Carniolans".

Bosnia - land of the Bogomils

The first mention of heresy in Bosnia stems from the first half of the 10th century. In the letter of Pope Ivan X, sent to an archbishop from Split and the local clergy in 925, a complaint is mentioned that in the neighbouring diocese or land (referring to Bosnia), there is a science  "located in holly books". The Pope rebukes them for not paying attention and "tacitly approving it". Though here there is no direct mention of who the heretics were, nor is there mention of the character of their teachings, but there is mention that it is not "in the holly books", this clearly implies that the Pope saw it as heresy. That it refers to Bosnia and its heretics is quite clear since in the later period Bosnia was the only country in this part of Europe where heresy developed and where it, so to speak, gained the status of  state religion. (Source: F. Šišić, Manual on Croatian history, I/1 Zagreb 1914., p.215.)
Another important document confirms that the Bogomils were present in Bosnia in the 10th century.Anselmo Canterburyjski (San Anselmo) from Alexandria in Italy, which lived and worked in the 13th century, in one of his documents mentions that "the heretics were initially in Bosnia from where they spread their teachings to Lombardy, and from there towards France, from where it arrived to Orleans in 1022 and into Arras in 1025." (Source: A. Dondaine, Le Tractatus de hereticis d'Alexandrie, Arch. Fr. Praedic, XX, Rome 1950., p. 308-324).

Letter of the Roman Pope Gregory IX about Bosnia as a nest of heretics

"In his letters from 1232 to 1239 (pope Gregory IX) mentions heretics in Bosnia several times. Thus on May 30th 1233 he wrote to the cardinal Jakov Prenestinsky his legate in Bosnia, that with sorrow he discerned from his report, that the Bosnian bishop fell "into the bitterness of the crazy heresy ". That's why he ordered to place two, three or four bishops?! (though he has no support in Bosnia).
About the Bosniaks he says: "About the inhabitants of that country he says, that they are poor in estate, and rich in wickedness, since in most part they are infected with wickedness of heresy". (Pope doesn't hide his hatred towards the Bosniaks and confirms that Bosnia is mostly heretic but despite that he plans to place bishops in Bosnia?!)
In the second letter from February 13th 1234 Gregory IX wrote: "such is the multitude of infidels in Bosnia and surrounding areas, that the entire country (Bosnia) weeps and aches, barren and impassable". On August 8th 1236 the pope wrote to Sibislav, the duke of Usora, son of the former king of Bosnia Stephen (Stepan Kulinić), that "he received with joy the news that he is among the dukes of the Bosnian diocese?! (which never existed), which are infected by the taint of heretic wickedness, like a lily among thorns".
From this letter one can clearly conclude that the pope clearly wrote to one catholic among the Bosnian nobility, commending him for not falling into heresy like all the other Bosnian nobility. He mentions that in the letters, which he wrote to Ancila, the mother of Sibislav and to Hungarian bishops (since there are no Bosnian bishops), to whom he recommends Sibislav and his mother".  (Source: Dominik Mandić "Bosnia and Herzegovina volume II: Bogomil church of Bosnian Christians" p. 33-34).

Letter of Pope Ivan XII 1319 to Croatian liege Mladin Šubić

"They are learning disastrous heretical fallacies. Every believer has to stand up against such people and destroy them in order to up root their poisonous anger to prevent contamination of other believers. We often, with great sorrow, listened, from credible sources, that the land of the Bosniaks is the home to heretics, that churches are being abandoned, the clergy has been up rooted, Christian sanctities are being trudged on, the cross is not being respected, moreover, there is no sacrament of christening".

Bosniaks - dualists

"Dialogus contra manichaeos in Bosna" translated "Dialogue against Manichaeism in Bosnia" is the work of Jakob de Marchia who was placed as the vicar of Bosnia and main inquisitor by the Roman curia. This work which was written on the ground of Bosnia describes the Bosniaks as Manichaeists  and as bi-fundamental heretics (dualists). In the dialogue it is mentioned that they baptize themselves with the book, and not water, similarly to the western Cathars, which is the original spiritual, dualistic baptism called consolamentum.
The work "Dialogus contra manichaeos in Bosnia" was in the hands of church censors in 1697 when the issue was canonization of Jakov (Jakob)  Markijski (de Marchia). Since then the work has been lost. Censors Johannes Bapt. Lucini and Jochannes Bapt. Barberio exhausted the content of the work and incorporated it into their analysis which is contained in a collective work called "Monumenta canonizationis B. Jacobi de Marchia" which is in Rome.
Jakob de Marchia who was labelled a saint was a doctor of canonical law and a great fighter against heresy. Senate of Dubrovnik called him "the most elegant sower of the Lords word". His lack of success in converting Bosnian Patarens he justified to the pope by claiming that he lacked support from the royal couple Tvrtko II and Dorothea. Dorothea and Tvrtko became very unpopular among the Franciscans, which called Dorothea an "evil woman".

They would rather die than accept orthodoxy

One of the four grand inquisitors which were labelled saints by the Roman church is inquisitor Capistran (Giovanni de Capistrano) which was also known as the expert on heresy. In his letter to pope Kalisto III 4/7/1455 wrote: "Bosnian Christians are not members of the Eastern church, nay they would rather die in disbelief, than accept the religion of the Rašan (Serbs)."  (Ref: Franjo Šanjek Phenomenon "krstjani (Christians)" in medieval Bosnia and Hum, collection of works.)
How much hatred and revolt there was against the Pope, and the eastern church - which at one moment had a competition who will commit greater genocide over the Bogomils - is best confirmed by this letter according to which the Bogomils inclined towards the Ottomans as protectors against Christian evil (inquisition) and murdering.
At the end of 1456 pope's legate Ivan Karahal sent Nikola Barbucini to king Tomaš in order to talk him into declaring war against the Ottomans in unison with Hungary. After the stay and discussion with the Bosnian king, Barbucini sent a report to the pope's. legate that Tomaš is willing to go to war against the Ottomans but that "he can't because of the Manichaeists which are still a majority in Bosnia, and which love the Ottomans more than the Christians..". The statement that the Bosnian king gave to Barbuicini was repeated literally, three years later in 1459 in his letter to pope Pius II.

Fifty Manichean fallacies in Bosnia according to Torquemada

Theological structure of Bosnian heresy according to inquisitor Torquemada:
Cardinal Juan Torquemada, uncle of the infamous Spanish grand inquisitor Tomas Torquemada, in 1461 compiled a list "fifty Manichean fallacies in Bosnia". Namely, that year three Bosnian nobles were brought in chains to Rome ("three champions of heresy, influential in the king's court"). Cardinal Torquemada questioned them and studied their religion for a whole year and found 50 fallacies. He had Croatian priests at his side, and especially Luka de Talentis, archdeacon from Korčula, who was at the time serving among the pope's curia. In the end he interpreted to the three Bogomil's the list of cardinal Torquemada and based on that list on May 14th 1461 they renounced all 50 "Manichean fallacies" and promised that they will try to persuade their countrymen to change their opinion and renounce them as well. After the ceremonial renunciation the three Bosnian Christians returned to Bosnia. The two of them kept their promises, and one of them reclaimed and escaped into the parts where Stepan Kosača ruled "his friend in unbelief".
Fifty Manichean fallacies in Bosnia according to Torquemada:
1. There are two gods, one of which they call supreme good, and the other supreme evil.
2. There are two principles. The first they call god of light and the other god of darkness.

3. Some angels have an evil nature and they couldn't stop sinning.
4. Lucifer ascended into the sky and fought god and he brought many angels from there.
5. Human souls are demon's trapped inside bodies.
6. Evil angels, trapped in bodies, will return into heaven with the help of baptism, cleansing and repentance.
7. They condemn and reject the Old Testament. They say it stems from the god of darkness.
8. For the angel that spoke to Moses on the hill Sinai, they claim he was evil.
9. They accept the New Testament only partially. They deny that Jesus was born by a woman and they don't accept his genealogy.
10. They renounce the patriarchs and prophets of the Old Testament.
11. They condemn the blessed John the Baptist and claim that there is no greater devil in hell than him.
12. The tree of knowledge (of good and evil) was a woman, and Adam sinned for having sex with her and that's why he was cast out of heaven.
13. Blessed Marry was not a woman nor female being but an angel.
14. Son of god took a pseudo-body and not a real one.
15. Christ didn't truly suffer nor died, nor did he go to heaven or hell, but all that he did was illusory.
16. They believe that their church was God's.
17. They are successors of the apostles, and their heresy is the bishop of the church and the deputy and successor of Peter.
18. The Roman church was condemned and cast out.
19. Everyone is a pope, from Saint Peter to Saint Sylvester, whether their religion or not, and saint Sylvester was the first one who went rogue.
20. They condemn brick churches and called them synagogues, and for those that pray inside them, they say they are performing idolatry.
21. Use of pictures inside churches is idolatry.
22. Sign of the cross is the devil's symbol.
23. They despise the service of the lord, laude and hymns, they say it's all contrary to Christ's gospel and his teachings.
24. They make fun of and condemn worship of holly relics.
25. All reverence of saints which is done in churches is condemned and made fun of and they say one should only pray to god and worship him.
26. Their elders allow the people to pray to them, saying that they are without sin and that they carry the holy ghost in them (Parakletos).
27. They condemn church sacraments.
28. They renounce baptism which is done in the water and they say that it is John's baptism and that it cannot save anyone.
29. They claim that's Christ's baptism is done without water, by placing a book of the gospel on the chest and imposition of hands.
30. With their baptism everyone achieves forgiveness of sins and becomes as holly as Peter himself.
31. A child cannot be saved before it reaches the age of reason.
32. Full worth and power of baptism comes to the baptised from merit of the baptist.
33. The number of times the baptist sins, that's how many souls, though they be in heaven, will fall into hell.
34. The number of times the baptist sins, that's the number of baptisms those that he baptised will need.
35. They renounce the sacrament of confirmation.
36. They say that the Christ's body cannot turn into bread, and if it is turned, we cannot eat it.
37. They renounce the sacrament of penance, they say that sins are forgiven by their repeat baptism.
38. They renounce the sacrament of the last ointment.
39. They renounce the sacrament of the (holy) order.
40. Bodily marriage is adultery.
41. Every sin is a death sin.
42. Renouncing every church authority, they say that no one must be excommunicated.
43. They renounce enjoyment of meet, they say that no one who eats meet or cheese or dairy products can be saved if they are not baptised again.
44. They deny resurrection and say that the body that dies now will never resurrect but the spirit will.
45. They claim that there is no purgatory. They say that there is no middle way between heaven and hell. 46. They renounce prayers which are used for the deceased inside the church.
47. It's a death sin to kill animals or birds, also to smash eggs.
48. They condemn blood justice which is done by worldly leaders.
49. They condemn all oaths.
50. They forbid giving charity, they reject and rebuff acts of mercy.