Having completed my post on the Waldenses, I stumbled upon an illuminating quotation a few days later. The quote is an aside in Rodney Stark's fascinating book The Rise of Christianity.
The year is 1179 and Walter Map (a Catholic writer) is in Rome. He witnesses the arrival in the City of a group of itinerant Waldensians, who for some reason had traveled from their Alpine homes to Rome. His observation was as follows:
"They go about two by two, barefoot, clad in woolen garments, owning nothing, holding all things in common like the Apostles ... If we admit them, we shall be driven out."