A now-extinct heresy, Josephism was the belief that the Catholic Church in and of itself was a heretical organization. Father Joseph, who hailed from Kington, France, believed that no hierarchy should exist within the Catholic Church and that the only ruler ought to be God. As such, the Holy See and the Papacy were seen as illegitimate institutions. Father Joseph pushed for the creation of priest-councils which would be ruled by the oldest and wisest priests. They would have the final say in all things both administrative and theological. Every settlement would have these councils. Josephists were relatively peaceful, opting for sabotage instead of open rebellion. They were rooted out in the 11th Century. Usually today, some heretics are called Josephists if they reject the authority of the Catholic Church, or the Pope himself.

Categories: History