On the other hand, sanctity of life on the part of the minister is not necessary in order to the validity of the sacraments which he confers, although this was held to be the case by the Donatists in the 4th century, and following them by the Waldensians and Albigenses in the 12th, and by the followers of Hus and Wycliffe in the 14th.
The English Independents and the modern Baptists, as well as the Mennonites, may be regarded as the historical continuation of lines of development going back to the Waldensians and the Bohemian Brethren, and passing down through the German, Dutch and Swiss Anabaptists.
Pope Alexander III., who had approved of the poverty of the Waldensians, prohibited them from preaching without the permission of the bishops (1179).
The earliest known document proceeding from the Waldensians is an account of a conference held at Bergamo in 1218 between the Ultramontane and the Lombard divisions, in which the Lombards showed a greater opposition to the recognized priesthood than did their northern brethren.2 As these opinions became more pronounced persecution became more severe, and the breach between the Waldenses and the church widened.
There, in the recesses of Piedmont, where the streams of the Pelice, the Angrogne, the Clusone and others cleave the sides of the Alps into valleys which converge at Susa, a settlement of the Waldensians was made who gave their name to these valleys of the Vaudois.