Henry of Lausanne

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HENRY OF LAUSANNE

12th-century heretic; d. Toulouse, c. 1145. He was of uncertain origin, but St. bernard of clairvaux thought he was French. He was a black monk who had left his order. Although his theology was compendious and his morality doubtful, his influence was incontestable because of his oratorical talent and convincing external appearancehe presented himself as a prophet and reformer. His doctrine was negative: it was antisacerdotal and antisacramental; it rejected the baptism of children, Holy Eucharist, worship in churches, and probably also the invocation of saints. In 1101 he went from Lausanne to Le Mans, where he was confounded by hildebert of lavardin, who had returned from Rome, and was expelled. He then preached at Poitiers, at Bordeaux, and in Provence. The Council of Toulouse (1119) denounced him in its 3d and 10th canons. Sometime before 1135 he was refuted by a monk, William. When arrested by the archbishop of Arles, Henry retracted his errors at the Council of Pisa (1135), only to return to his errant life. He then met peter of bruys and was influenced by his doctrine. peter the venerable wrote his Tractatus adversus petrobrusianos haereticos (11371140) against them (see petrobrusians). The lateran council of 1139 condemned them again in canon 23. But subsequently, Henry, protected by Alphonse of St. Gilles, preached so effectively in Languedoc that Bernard himself undertook a successful campaign against him. Henry was seized c. 1145, sent to the bishop of Toulouse and condemned to prison, where he died. His disciples, the Henricians, were still in existence in 1236. Though he did not profess the theses later held by the waldenses and the albigenses, his influence cleared the way for them.

Bibliography: hildebert of lavardin, Epistolae 23, 24, Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v., indexes 4 v. (Paris 187890) 171:237242. william the monk, Contra Henricum scismaticum et hereticum, ed. r. manselli, Bullettino dell' Istituto storico italiano 67 (1953) 163. peter the venerable, Tractatus adversus Petrobrusianos, Patrologia Latina 189:719850. bernard of clairvaux, Epistolae 241, 242, Patrologia Latina 182:434437. f. vernet, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 190350; Tables Générales 1951) 6.2:217883. j. leclercq, Pierre le Vénérable (Paris 1946). r. manselli, Studi sulle eresie del secolo XII. (Studi storici 5; Rome 1953). e. delaruelle, Catholicisme 5:622624.

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Henry of Lausanne

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