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Networking to Orthodoxy: The Case of Durán of Huesca

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 February 2016

Damian J. Smith
St Louis University
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While the Franciscan and Dominican Orders were greatly to influence the spiritual and intellectual life of the later Middle Ages and beyond, the religious community of the contemporary of Saints Francis and Dominic, Durán of Huesca, quickly disappeared from the scene. Yet at the beginning of the thirteenth century, the Roman Curia had spent a great deal of time in dealings with Durán and his followers, the Catholic Poor. The papal chancery spilt a fair amount of ink writing to or about Durán, at a time when the affairs of Francis, Dominic and their followers bothered it very little. For Rome, the Catholic Poor were a very exciting prospect. For they had been Christians who had (from the papal viewpoint) slipped into heresy as followers of Valdes, but had then decided to return to the fold. In an age when western Europe was overwhelmingly Catholic, but the perceived threat of heresy was enormous, Durán and the Catholic Poor were great news for the church. That they managed to re-establish themselves within the church was very much a matter of Durán's successful use of international religious networks. That it was the friars who were ultimately to flourish but not the Catholic Poor was in significant measure due to the former’s ability and the latter’s inability to combine the effective use of international networks with an equally positive approach towards the local networks they needed in order to succeed.

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Copyright © Ecclesiastical History Society 1994

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1 On the Catholic Poor, the best general works are Thouzellier, C., Catharisme et Valdéisme en Languedoc à la fin du XII’ et au début du XIII’ siècle (Paris, 1966);Google Scholar Selge, K.-V., Die ersten Waldenser: Mit Edition des Liber Antiheresis des Durandus von Osca, 2 vols (Berlin, 1967).Google Scholar

2 Dondaine, A., ‘Durand de Huesca et la polémique anti-Cathare’, AFP 24 (1959), 228–76 at 248;Google Scholar Thouzellier, , Catharisme et Valdéisme, 215;Google Scholar Sánchez, E. Sarasa, ‘Durán de Huesca, un heteredoxo aragonés en la Edad Media’, in Miscelánea de Estudios en Honor de D. Antonio Durán Gudiol (Sabiñánigo, 1981), 22538 Google Scholar, at 227. An ingenious argument by Yves Dossat, ‘À propos du prieur des Pauvres catholiques: Duránd de Huesca ou de Losque en Rouerge?’, Bulletin philologique et historique (à 1610) du Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques, année 1967, 2 vols (Paris, 1969), 1: 673–85 did not take into account correspondence between Innocent III and the bishop of Huesca on the subject of Durán: D. Smith, Innocent III and the Crown of Aragon: The Limits of Papal Authority (Aldershot, 2004), 252–3

3 Colección diplomática de la catedral de Huesca, ed. A. Durán Gudiol, 2 vols (Zaragoza, 1965–7, 1: 372–3 (no. 373) [hereafter: CDCH). For Durán as acolyte, see La documen tación pontificia hasta Inocencio III (965–1216), ed. D. Mansilla (Rome, 1955), 508–9 (no. 480) [hereafter: MDI\.

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15 Hystoria Albigensis 48 (ed. Guébin and Lyon, 1: 43); Guillaume de Puylaurens, Historia Albigensium 8 (ed. Bouquet and Delisle, 19: 200) does not suggest Arnold was sympathetic or otherwise: ‘Fuitque ibi disputatum contra Valdenses, sub magistro Arnaldo de Campranhano, tunc clerico seculari, arbitro a partibus electo, qui cum eius iudicio succubuissent, ex eis ad cor aliqui redeuntes, ad sedem apostolicam adierunt et poenitentiam habuerunt, data sibi licentia vivendi regulariter, ut audivi, in quibus Durandus de Osca fuit prior, et composuit contra haereticos quaedam scripta’.

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