The Catholic Church authorized the massacres of the Waldensians.

The Waldensians were critical of Catholic beliefs and spoke of the Catholic Church as the harlot of the Apocalypse. The Catholic Church declared them heretical and enjoined all to destroy the Waldensians in any way possible, absolving all who perpetrate such crimes. The Waldensians were still fiercely persecuted, for example, the Massacre of Mérindol in 1545. In the massacre of 1655, instigated by the Roman Catholic Church, the soldiers of the Duke of Savoy looted, raped, and tortured them. In 1685, French troops forced 8,000 to convert to Catholicism, killed about 2,000 Waldensians and incarcerated about 8,500 prisoners in several fortresses. The government confiscated Waldensian properties and the valleys were resettled by Catholic subjects.