The Catholic revival in Europe gained momentum during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Council of Trent (1545-63) was the 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church was held at Trent in northern Italy. It was the principal effort of the Catholic church to respond to the Protestant Reformation and was the basis of the Counter-Reformation. The Council was delayed because of concerns of Emperor Charles V and French King Francis I. The council met during threeseparate periods (1545-47, 1551-52, 1562-63) under three different popes (Paul III, Julius III, Pius IV). The Council refused any concessions to the Protestants. All of the major theological issues which Protestantism had challenged were confirmed by the Council: seven sacraments, transubstantiation, purgatory, the necessity of the priesthood, and
justification by works as well as by faith. Clerical celibacy and monasticism were continued, and the efficacy of relics, indulgences, and the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the saints were all masintained. The Council also declared tradition as coequal to Scripture as a source of spiritual knowledge and insisted that the Church had the sole right to interpret the Bible. The Council did adopt reforms to end the abuses within the church that had played a major role in causing the Reformation. The Catholic movement following the Council of Trent involved only Catholic theologians and a few princes had taken part. Later a much wider movement developed
with clergy and laity and was characterized by an more fervent religious spirit. Rather than gradually seeking accomodation, Catholics were becoming less tolerant of Protestantim. Ptotestants were also intolerant, but the force of religous fervor in the early 17h century sems to have been strongest with the Catholic party.
The Roman Catholic 16th century and early-17th century effort reform itself and to supress the Protestant Reformation is called the Counter-Reformation. The reform movement began first, but the Counter Reformation only assumed real force after reformist monk Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door (1517). Some authors object to the term Counter Reformation, prefering the term Catholic Reformation, pointing out that the impulse for reform of the Church predated Luther.
The Roman Catholic Church was not just a religious institution. Like Islam, it also aspired for temporal power. The Church in the medieval era wrestled for political power. There were major comflicts such as the Investiture Controversy which pitted popes against kings and emperors. Eventually temporal leaders established their authority although the issue of who was the head of the church in the emerging nation states remained. While temporal leaders dominated Europe by the 16th century, the Catholic Church was still a powerful ecomomic force. Over centuries men seeking to make their peace with God had bequethed their land and holdings to the Church. The Church was the largest landowner in Europe and was exempt from all taxes. This made the Church the richest institution in Western Chrstendom. possessing wealth far beyond thsat of any king or emperor. The Church also demand taxes (tithes) from believers. Not only were some churchmen offended by the wealth and groiwing worlidness of the church, tempral leaders were disturbed by their inability to tax such great wealth in their domains and the export of tithes and income out of their domaines to Rome. The Roman Church was headed by the Pope who claimed to be God's spokesman on Earth. The Renaisance popes were not only involved in secular affairs, but were major supporters of art and physical displasy. Many not only seemed unconcerned with spiritual mattersm but seem almoest agnostic. Many laymen and churchmen began to see the Church as corrupt and began to seek reform.
There were early efforts to reform the Catholic Church which by the 12th century was becoming increasingly weathly and worldy. The Catarists might be seen as a reform movement. The Church did not take kindlky to reform abd the Cathsrs were deemed heritics and bloodly supressed. Other early reform figures were Wycliff (England) and Hus (Bohemia). The policies of the Renaissance popes, however, added fuel to the reform movement. Luther was one of many who wre concerned about reform. Other important reformers were Gian Matteo Giberti and Gian Pietro Caraffa. They helped found the Oratory of Divine Love in Rome (1517). They wanted to restore what they saw as proper dignity the observance of Divine Service. They were not a religious orderand they did not take vows. They worked in Rome on reform until mutinous troops of Charles V sacked the city (1527).
The Protestant Reformation was the religious struggle during the 16th and 17th century which began as an effort to reform the Catholic Church and ended with the splintering of the Western Christendom into the Catholic and Protestant churches. Combined with the Renaissance which preceeded it, the reformatuin marked the end of the Medieval world and the beginning of a modern world view. The French Revolution which followed the Reformation in the 18th century marked the beginning of our modern age. Conditions developing in Medieval Europe laid the groundwork for the Reformation. The Reformation began when a German monk, Martin Luthur nailed his 95 Thesis on the Castle Church in Wittenberg (1517). Luthur was offended by the papal sale of indulgences by which the Renaissance popes were fiancing the splendid new church of St. Peters in Rome. Luthur's concern with indulgences were soon mixed with a complex mix of doctrinal, political, economic, and cultural issues that would take Ruropean Church anfd temporal leaders nearly two centuries to partially resolve and several devestating wars, especially the 30 Years War in Germany. Western Christendom would be left permanently split and even the Cathloic Church profoundly changed. Changes in man's view of himself and the Church were to also affect his view relative to the state and many in Europe began to question royal absolutism and divinr right monarchy, a process keading to the French Revolution.
The Catholic Counter Reformation was unferway by the 1540s. The first major step in the Counter Reformation was the Council of Trent (1545-63).
Nationalism by thec16th century was a growing force in Europe. It proved to be a critical factor in the failure of the pan-national universal church to suppress Luther and the Protestats. Luther unlike Wycliff and Huss was able to find protection from temporal leaders. Many German princes wanted to establish independent nation states. This mean independence from the Emperor who supported the Catholic Church. They also saw the wealth of the Church which they had no access to. And they saw Church tithes being sent to Rome rather thn veing used to enrich their own domans. German nsationalism thus was a major force in the Reformation. And nationlism was a major influence in nmany other countries and principalities (Bohemia, England, Estonia, Finlnd, the Netherlands, Sweden, and others).
The Catholic response to the Reformation is refrred to as the Counter or Catholic Reformation. The Counter Reformmation was at first an effort to supress the escalating Protestant Reformation, but there was also a movement to revive and reform the Roman Catholic Church. The effort was not only inspired by the Lutheran and Calvinist movements as well as within the Catholic Church itself. Many issues are associated with the Counter Reformation. The Counter Reformation accepted the need for reform, but unlike the Protestsants diud not attack the traditional hierarchy and authority of the Church. Many were primarily concerned with defeating the Lutherans and other developing Protestant sects. The Inquisition, which had been in existence for many years, was expanded. Whereever Catholic jurisdiction clearly prevailed, Potestand were judged as unrepentant heretics and were subject to death and imprisonment. Others were concerned with correcting abuses within the Catholic Church as well as reassess doctrinal
The spirit of religious toleration was not yet a feature of Western Christendom. Catholic Counter-Reformation took place in a atmpsphere of spirit and religious ardor in cotrast to the humanistic spirit of the Renaissance. There was a recognition of abuses in the church. Some decicated themselves to reform. There was, however, a fine line between reform and opposition to the establih order. The major attitude of the Church was intolerance toward major criticism which was judged heresy. There were churchmen who wanted conciliation and compromise with with Protestants. They wer willing to make concessions to maintain the unity of the Church. The were rejected by the great force of the Church which was opposed to any compromise with the Protesants who themselves began as reformers. The Church rejected the very idea of compromise and concession. Through civil authorities and the Inquisition, they suppressed heresy where this was possible or refused to recognize it where it was not possible to supress. This because the Catholic forces did not have the strength to suppress the Reformation, made the split in Western Christendom permanent. Thus the intolerance that marked the Roman Church since it became the state religion of the Roman Empire (4th century AD), was the key factor leading to the split and making it permanent. It should not be thought that intolerance was a unique feature of the Catholic party. It would be difficult to fond voices of tolerastion within the Protestant party in their relastions with Catholics or even other Protesrants when various other denominastions appeared. This of course should have been expected. Affter all, when you are convinced you have God's truth, compromise would be a sinful. We see this mindset among Islamic fundamentalists in our modern world. It should be noted that the modern spirit of toleration of the West did not come out of any moralistic spirit that developed from a theological foundation. There was no European Ghandi. Toleration was the result of the terrible religious wars that broke out in Europe between Catholics and Protestants (16th-17th centuries). Only when the two sides realized tht they could not defeat the other and saw the terrible costs of continued war did a spirit of toleration begin to develop in Europe during the 18th century Enligtenment. A feature here was a weakening of not only religious ardor, but faith itself.
The Catholic revival in Europe gained momentum during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Council of Trent (1545-63) was the 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church was held at Trent in northern Italy. It was the principal effort of the Catholic church to respond to the Protestant Reformation and was the basis of the Counter-Reformation. The Council was delayed because of concerns of Emperor Charles V and French King Francis I. The Council met during three separate periods (1545-47, 1551-52, 1562-63) under three different popes (Paul III, Julius III, Pius IV). The Council refused any concessions to the Protestants. All of the major theological issues which Protestantism had challenged were confirmed by the Council: seven sacraments, transubstantiation, purgatory, the necessity of the priesthood, and justification by works as well as by faith. Clerical celibacy and monasticism were continued, and the efficacy of relics, indulgences, and the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the saints were all masintained. The Council also declared tradition as coequal to Scripture as a source of spiritual knowledge and insisted that the Church had the sole right to interpret the Bible. The Council did adopt reforms to end the abuses within the church that had played a major role in causing the Reformation. The Catholic movement following the Council of Trent involved only Catholic theologians and a few princes had taken part.
Later a much wider movement developed with clergy and laity and was characterized by an more fervent religious spirit. Rather than gradually seeking accomodation, Catholics were becoming less tolerant of Protestantim. Ptotestants were also intolerant, but the force of religous fervor in the early 17h century sems to have been strongest with the Catholic party.In the sixteenth century the Roman church undertook to reform itself. This reform movement began in the 16th century and extended into the early-17th century. The reforms undeniably raised the moral and educational tandards of the clergy.
The reforms clearly inspired the Church with a zeal not noted in the 15th century. The revived morale helped the Church hold its ground in southern Europe and win back areas where Protestantism had made inroads. Out of these reforms and the challenge of Protestantism, the modern Catholic Church began to form.
A range of different organizations and grouped waged the Counter Reformation. The movement was of course orcestred by the papacy. The popes who oversaw the Counter Reformation were a very different group than the Renasssance popes. There were religious orders. The Church used reformed existing orders as well as mewly founded orders. The Inquisition and the Roman Index of Prohibited Books also had a part in the work.
New religious orders and other groups were founded by the Catholic Church to effect its internal religious revival. The most notable was the Society of Jesus--the Jesuits. Ignatius of Loyola and six other students at the University of Paris founded the Jesuits (1534). They proved to be the Church's most militant order in pursuing the Counter Reformation.
He was an ordinary clergyman with military training. He sought an order which combined the intellectual vitality of humanism with a reformed Catholicism. His goal was to win new converts to the church. The Jesuits dedicated themselves to teaching, The Jesuits saw a united, univeral Church was vital and that Protestant theology was flawed. One of the Jesuits primary efforts was the conversion of non-Chritian peoples in Asia and the Americas. Protestant missionary efforts at the time were much more limited.
The Giustiniani, a well known Venetian family, guided the reformation of the Camaldolese. They readopted a very ascetic way of life. Caraffa and Gaetano da Thiene fouded the Theatines (1524). The members were priests from wealthy and nobel families who set out the reform of the regular clergy. Their rule did not permit begging and taking alms. Antony Zaccaria of Cremona founded the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul who became knoen as the Barnabites. Their docus was on alieviating the sufferings of the common people and uplifting their moral standards. The Clerics Regular of Somascha worked in hospitals, orphanages, refuges for prostitutes, and other charity institutions. Matteo da Bascio founded the Capuchins who were part of the Franciscan order. Their popular name came from their distinctive hoods. Despite resistance within the Francicans, Cardinal Caraffa helped them obtsain papal recognition (1528). They were devoted to aeseticism. Teyate simple foods and wore coarse garments. The devoted themselves to charity and through their acts and examples bring laymen to God. Women's orders also participated in the reform movement. The best known were the Ursulines. St. Angela Merici founded the Ursulines (1535) and they obtaoined papal sanction (1544). They worked to promote the education of girls, having an impact in both Europe and the Americas.
The Catholic Reformation was a many pronged effort. There were efforts at reform as well as preeching and education. When these efforts failed, the Church turned to supression. The Protestants were not reluctsnt to use supression themselves, but is probably safe to say that the Roman Church and the Catholic Party was more prone to use violence. The Church's primary instrument of supression was the Inquisition. but the instrunent at the papacy's command was the Roman Inquisition. It was a medieval institution inquisitions established to searching for heretics and bring them to trial. he work of the Roman Inquisition had lessened (15th century). The power of the papal Inquisition in Italy had declined. Ferdinand and Isabella had gave royal support to the Spanish Inquisition (1478). It proved to be a very effective instrument in the Catholic Monarch's desire to "purify" Spain. The Spanish Inquisition was at first concerned with a laxity of faith observd by Isabella, but soon it began to focus on Spain's diverse population which included Muslims and Jews. After the expulsion of the Hews and Muslims (1492) it had been primarily aimed at conversos (Jewish converts). The Spanish Inquisition not only tracked down conversos who remained faithful to Judaism, but over time in effectively stiffeled intelectual dscourse in Spain. Cardinal Caraffa (who would become Pope Paul IV) observed the Spanish Inquisition in operation. He was impressed and decided that a permanent papal (Roman) Inquisition was needed with universal jurisdiction and power over all persons, even the nobility, who were suspected of heresy.
Two European alliance systems were sponsored by the papacy They were initially formed to protect the Papal states from French domination when the French Valois challenged both the papacy and Hapsburgs by invasing Italy. Over time the papacy widened the diplomsatic effort to rally Catholic forces against bothe Ottomon Turks and the Protestant Reformation. The countries participating in the alliances varied as did the gosals. They were called the Holy League because they were orhmized by the papacy.
Pope Alexander VI helped put together the first Holy League (1495). It included Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I, Aragon’s Ferdinand II, Venice, and Milan (1495). Charles VIII of France had invaded Italy (1494). The French gained some impressiuve successes, advancing south to Naples. The allies soon forced the French out of Italy (1496).
Pope Julius II organized the second Holy League (1510-11). It was aimed at Charles VIII’s successor, Louis XII. It was joined by Spain, Venice, the Holy Roman Empire, England, and the Swiss Cantons.
The Swiss did most of the actual fighting, defeated the French at Novara (1513), but Julius subequently died. Ehen the League disinigrated, ae French victory at Marignano (1515) allpwed to regain a foothold in Lombardy.
Pius V promoted the renewal the Holy League against the Ottoman Turks. The alliance was commanded by Don Jusn of Austria and included contingents from Spain (including its territories of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Venice, the Papacy, the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and others. A major outcome was the Battle of Lepanto in which Ottomon naval power in the Mediterranean was smashed (1571).
Several popes played important roles in the Catholic Counter Reformation. Popes because they are selected late in life have generally short reigns. Thus quite a number of popes were involved in the struhhle aginst the Protestant Reformatio. This meant a degree of discontinuity in the Church's reform effort and in the struggle with the Protestats.
The first pope which is commonly seen as leading the Catholic Reformation was Paul III (1534-49). It was during his pontificate that Jesuit order was founded. He also oversaw the opening of the Council of Trent. Paul also refounded the Roman Inquisition. Paul clearly saw the need for reform. He appointed a commission of nine cardinals to create a program for church reforn (1536). He chose many distinguished churchmen who had been advocating reform: Contarini, Sadoleto, Giberti, Caraffa, and Pole. The Commission submitted its report (1537). It was a comprehensive presentastion of church abuses. It was especially critical of pluralism and the lifestyle of the clergy. Monasteries were sharply criticized. The Commission also found fault with religious instruction in the universities which of course was the origins of Luther. Their report critized bishops, cardinals, and even popes. The report was so senational that some of those criticized had it
suppressed. The Commission was also established to help prepare for a general council at Mantua in 1537, but thids necer materislized.
Pope Julius III was born Giovanni Maria del Monte (1487). He was created cardinal by Pope Paul III (1536). Paul used him to filled several important legations in Rome. He was elected pope (1550). The College of Cardinals chose him heven though he had angered Emperor Charles V as president of the council of Trent. He adopted a conciliatory approach and accepted the Emperor's desire to reassembe the Council (1551) wich had been suspended. Opposition to the Emperor's subsequent demands and the renewal of hostilities caused Julius again suspend the Council (1552). Sespite the differences with the Emperor, he was an ally and thus affected by imperial defeats at the hads of the French. He was thus forced to accept the loss of Parma to Ottavio Farnese, a French ally (1552). He gradually became discouraged by politics and devoted hin time to beautifying his villa at Porta del Popolo. Here he engaged in "questioinable" entrtainments. He saw to his family with church funds and appoitments, although in a less extesve way of Paul III. He made some unworthy appointments to the cardinalate. Reforms coninued during his pontficate, but few initisatives came from Julius. Reform measures included attempts to abolish plurality of benefices and to restore monastic discipline. The Collegium Germanicum was created for the conversion of Germans in Rome (1552). With the accension of Queen Mary, England was absolved by the cardinal-legate Pole, and received again into the Roman communion (1554). Julius died and was succeeded by Pope Marcellus II (1555).
Giovanni Angelo de' Medici was born into the lesser nobility of Milan (1499). The name of course id fanmous, but he was not related to Medici of Florence. He was educated in Pavia. He was awarded a doctorate in canon and civil law at the University of Bologna (1525). He began his career in the Church as a protonotary apostolic. Working under Pope Paul III he worked in the administration of the papal states and in diplomacy, given missions to Hungary and Transylvania. He was not ordined a priest until middle age, when he was 46 years old (1545). In that same year Paul III appointed him archbishop of Ragusa in Sicily. Paul 4 years later raised him to the cardinalate. He was assigned to archdiocese of Foligno (1556). And finally he was elected pope and took the name Pius IV (1559). Pius IV focused his attention on the suspended Council of Trent. Paul adopted a more flecible approach than the mpre severe approsach of Paul IV. As aresult, Church historisans rank him as one of the great popes of the Catholic Reformation. The Council was a major problem because of all the issues it raised. Charles V' abdication (1556) opened some opportunities to Pius who proved to be an accomplished diplomat.
He reassembled the Council (1562). The sucessfully guided the Council in its third periodthrough to its sucessful completion (1563). Then Pius began the implemented the Tridentine Decrees. Here he showed a sence of moderation and cunning. He also supervised the application of the Index and work of the Inquisition.
Pius V exemplified the characteristics of unbending rigidity and zeal for reform that typified the Catholic Reformation. The work of the Counil of Trent was finally completed during the pontificate Of Pius V. He quickly began to enforce the disciplinary decrees of the Council where he could. Here his efforts were particularly active in Rome itself.
Cardinals, bishops, and priests were instructed to refocus on their duties. There was a reorganization of the Curia to nd abuses lik simony and nepotism. Roman prostitutes were driven off the streets. Pius ordered the publication of the Roman Missal and Catechism as instructed by the Council. He also published a Roman Breviary. And he published Thomas Aquinas' Summa theologiae. He made Aquinas a Doctor of the Church (1567). He ordered the universities to teach Thomism exclusively. Pius instructed secular rulers to more actively combat heresy in their domains and to assist in the reform effort. He even threatened Emperor Maximilian II with excommunication. The Emperor was Catholic, but as he had toi rule Germany he was prone to making accomodations with the Protestant princes. Pius resisted any such accomodations. After
the Catholic queen of Sweden took communion "in both kinds", Pius excommunicated her. He excomumicated Queen Elizabeth in England (1570). He intensified the work of the Inquisition. He sent troops to France to support the Catholic Party in its wars with the Huguenots. Pope Pius V helped revive the the Holy Alliance. He played a key role in gathering the Christian forces that won the pivotal battle of Lepanto which smashed Ottomon naval power (1571). He approced three national synods: Naples under Alfonso Cardinal Caraffa (whose family had, after inquiry, been reinstated by Pius V), Milan under Saint Charles Borromeo, and Machim. He has been canonized.
One aspect of the Counter Reformation was education. The Church still did not encourage Bible reading like the Protestants or publication of the Bible into national languages. They did open new schools and universities throughout Europe
The Church began to promote design changes in churches. A distinctive style of art and architecture emerged which beca,e knoewn as the baroque style. We note stylistic features like cherubic angels and saints ascending to heaven . The Baoque was intended to move the faithful emotionally. Protestants tended to be more restrained, seeing religion as a private, intellectual matter. The Catholic Church took a more public emotional aproach to touch people’s emotions and this was reflected in art.
Repression was a nimportant aspect of the Vounter Reformation. There were areas won back to the Church, notably Bohemia, rehions of Frsce, Hunary, and the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium). This was not done by education and preaching, but rather by force of arms. Queen Mary in England set out to do the same, but her inability to produce a heir doomed Catholcism in England. The Church in addition to the military power of Catholic monrchs used other repressive measures. The Inquisition was expanded, nostly in southern Europe. The Church sought to supress the spread of Protestant ideas and created through censorshop. The Church esblished an Index of Prohibited Books.
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