Puritas, purity), the name given - originally perhaps in a hostile sense on the analogy of Catharism (see Cathars) - tO the movement for greater strictness of life and simplicity in worship which grew up in the Church of England in the 16th century among those who thought that there had not been a sufficient divergence from the Roman Church, and which ultimately led to the rise of a number of separatist denominations.
The people were attached to the bons hommes, whose asceticism imposed upon the masses, and the anti-sacerdotal preaching of Peter of Bruys and Henry of Lausanne in Perigord, Languedoc and Provence, only facilitated the progress of Catharism in those regions.
It may be said generally that Catharism formed the abiding background of medieval heresy.
The system of Catharism recognized two classes of adherents, credentes and perfecti.
The influence of Catharism on the Catholic church was enormous.