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The Catechism of the Council of Trent

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The Council held in Trent from 1545 to 1563 should have ended the rift between Catholics and Protestants. But it ended in a series of rigid affirmations with which Luther’s theories were disavowed. Indeed, the reform of the Catholic Church and the Counter-Reformation took shape from the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

The premises of the Council of Trent

What are the premises for the Catechism of the Council of Trent? So, after the Protestant Reformation began in 1517 in Germany and continued throughout Europe. Therefore, the need for renewal became strong in the Catholic world.

This need shaped the Catholic Reform, aimed at eliminating the evils of the Church of Rome. And also the Counter-Reformation, whose objective was to react to the Protestant theory.    

The first attempts of Pope Paul III to reform the church was by Pope Paul III. So he inaugurated the renewal of the Roman Church with measures such as the appointment of new cardinals sensitive to the need for reform and the creation of a cardinals council charged with identifying the evils of the Church. 

Indeed, the council created in 1536 a project called Consilium de emendanda ecclesia which proposed changes in ecclesiastical institutions and the customs of the clergy, such as:    

  • The reform of the curia
  • The obligation to reside in the parish for parish priests
  • The strengthening of the power of the bishops
  • Interventions against the immorality of priests

Representation of the Council of Trent

catechism of the council of trent

Source: wikipedia

The birth of the Holy Office

The reform projects were accompanied by the need to shape control bodies. That would not allow the spread of dangerous ideas. In 1542 the pope created the Holy Office, a congregation of cardinals with whom all the processes to combat religious dissent were concentrated in Rome. 

The provisions of Paul III were not enough. For some time, all of Christianity had been asking for a council to be convened to heal the rift between Catholics and Protestants and reform what was wrong.

So, in 1517 Martin Luther was the first to ask, amid the reform work, for a council that would resolve the conflict with the Pope. His request was supported by Catholics, who were more sensitive to the idea of ​​renewal, and by Emperor Charles V. He saw an instrument in the council to improve the Church and increase imperial power.     

The Pope convenes the Council.

The pope, afraid of being put in the dock by Lutheran delegates and that Charles V would become more powerful, could no longer postpone. In 1545 he convened an ecumenical council in Trent, a city recommended by the emperor. Because it was close to his territories, meeting all the Catholic bishops of the world: the Council of Trent raised great hopes for Christianity.    

The beginning of the Council and the move to Bologna

Therefore, the Trent Council occurred between Trento and Bologna from 1545 to 1563. Indeed, it was transferred from 1547 to 1549 to avoid the plague in Northern Italy. And to escape the emperor’s interference before returning to Trento in 1552.    

Pope Paul III initiated it, continued by Julius III (from 1551 to 1555), Marcellus II (April-May 1255), and Pope Paul IV. Who completed the works in 1563. The Catechism of the Council of Trent was interrupted from 1552 to 1555 due to the wars between the Empire and also Protestant princes.    

Conclusion