Tower of Dominican Church#
Saint Dominic met and debated with the Cathari in 1203. He concluded that only preachers who displayed real sanctity, humility and asceticism could win over convinced Cathar believers. The institutional Church as a general rule did not possess these spiritual values. His conviction led eventually to the establishment of the Dominican Order in 1216. The order was to live up to the terms of his famous statement, "Zeal must be met by zeal, humility by humility, false sanctity by real sanctity, preaching falsehood by preaching truth."
However, even St. Dominic managed only a few converts among the Cathari.
The history of Dominicans in Toulouse is complex: Saint Dominic founded a mission-center already in 1206 ouside Toulouse, yet pope Innozenz initially did not want to recognize the order. It was his successor who did recognize the order.
The Dominican order spread fast, initially, and tried to convert Cathari in a gentle way. However, it became eventually responsible for the inquisition.
The order was forced to leave Tolouse again in 1217, because of the turmoil of the war (the second Albi crusade) but was able to return in 1229 when, as mentioned earlier, Toulouse surrendered to the French crown.