Apostolici

Several bodies and sects have used this name. Epiphanius (c.315-403), bishop of Salamis, used the name for several Gnostic communities of his day. The title was also adopted by ascetic groups which flourished in the twelfth century near Cologne and in France. They claimed to imitate the apostles in renouncing the world, believing all matter to be absolutely corrupt. Several groups rejected marriage. They attacked the hierarchy of the church, believing it was so corrupt as to have vitiated all the sacraments except baptism. The name was used also for a sect founded in Parma in 1260 by Gerard Segarelli who, after his sect had twice been condemned by Rome, was burnt to death in 1300. His successor, Fra Dolcino, who expounded apocalyptic doctrines, was also put to death. The name has further been used by some Anabaptist sects.