Uneingeschränkter Zugang

The Contributions of the Council of Trent to the Catholic Reformation

   | 18. Nov. 2020
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The Catholic Reformation. Ecclesiology, Justification, Freedom, Sin, Grace & the Council of Trent. Editor: Eduardo J. Echeverria


This article begins by examining what is meant by the Catholic Reformation and how it relates to the other frequently used term, Counter–Reformation. It then discusses the different ways Catholics and Protestants in the early 16th century understood ecclesial reform. Next there is a consideration of the call for a general or ecumenical council to resolve the differences between the Catholics and Protestant reformers; the reasons for the delay of the council; and the reasons why the Protestants did not participate. The article then provides a summary of the three main periods of the Council of Trent: 1545–1547; 1551–1552; and 1562–1563 along with the 1547–1549 Bologna period. This is followed by a detailed overview of the reforms of the council, which were both doctrinal and disciplinary. The article shows that, while abuses related to various Catholic practices and the sacraments were addressed, the main concerns in the various disciplinary decrees related to clerical corruption and immorality. The article addresses the need for bishops to reside in their dioceses; stop clerical corruption, greed, and nepotism; and establish seminaries for the proper formation of priests. After the review of the disciplinary reform decrees, attention is given to the Catechism of the Council of Trent that served as a resource for parish priests in their instruction of the faithful. The final section considers viewpoints of different historians regarding the effect of the Council of Trent on reform within the Catholic Church.

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Fachgebiete der Zeitschrift:
Theologie und Religion, Allgemeines und Rezeptionsgeschichte der Bibel