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BOGOMILES

A dualist, heretical sect and branch of the Catharists. Originally they taught in Bulgaria, in the first half of the tenth century, but in time their influence spread through Asia Minor and the Balkans. Eventually they merged with Islam. They believed in a superior God, the Father, whose son Satanaël revolted and was driven from heaven. Satanaël created the world and Adam, but since the Father gave Adam his soul, man belongs to God as well as Satan. The latter seduced Eve and was punished by being deprived of creative power, yet entrusted with the government of the world. As man fell more and more under Satan's power, God sent his second son, Jesus, under the appearance of a man. After conquering Satan, Jesus returned to heaven and left on earth his creatures, and the Holy Spirit to carry on his work among the Bogomiles, the only true Christians, who are changed into ethereal bodies at death. Besides rejecting most of the Old Testament, they also opposed infant baptism, baptism of water, marriage, the Real Presence, and all images and prayers except the Our Father.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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