The Council of Trent

Kath Qualey
Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

Just a mind map to describe the Council of Trent.

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Kath Qualey
Created by Kath Qualey over 5 years ago
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The Council of Trent
1 What was it?
1.1 The council of Trent was one of the great turning points in the Catholic Church.
2 Aims:
2.1 The aims of the council were to arrive at clear definitions of the Catholic doctrine and to reform the discipline of the Church.
3 3 Sessions:
3.1 First Session: 1545-7
3.1.1 Much of the 1st Session was taken up with the problem of salvation and justification by "Faith Alone", which were central to Protestant teaching. Some bishops and cardinals, and those who recognised the importance of the biblical studies generated by humanism, looked favourably on "faith alone" and tried to find a compromise between earning salvation and predestination. Lainez and Salmeron represented the orthodox view and were allowed to start and sum up the session on justification - Lainez being allowed to address the assembly for three hours. Although Lainez and Salmeron summer up the majority view, their explanations impressed the assembled bishops/
3.1.1.1 There were 29 voting delegates, mostly Italian bishops with one English, one French and one German bishops, and two from Spain. A debate at once started on which should bediscussed first - discussing reform or doctrine.Although a majority wanted reformfirst, the papal legates secured a compromise by which bothsould be discuessed in parallel.
3.2 Second Session: 1551-2
3.2.1 In the second session, both thelogians commented on the doctrines of the Mass, including the real presence. The Emperor Chrales V had wanted some compromise on the issue of whether the laity in Germany should be allowed to take communion in Both kinds. This had been allowed in some parts of central Europe and it would have been helpful to allow Lutherans who returned to Catholicism to continue to receive both the bread and wine. Salmeron argued that the true Catholic teaching was to take the break only and denounced attempts at compromise. The Jesuits showed they were well thought of when discussing religious problems.
3.2.1.1 The reign of Julius III; Julius was an effective legate at the Council of Trent, but he enjoyed good living and promoted his family to key positions (nepotism). Although not against reform, he had too much timidity and too little drive. He possessed none of the greatness of Paul III, but he did commission another report on reform of the papal curia and ordered the Council to return to Trent for its second session.
3.2.1.2 In the 2nd session little was achieved; no compromise was given to protestant views. Charles wanted a compromise. Protestant repressentatives were persuaded to attend. However mejor doctrinal decrees had already been passed in the first sessionk so there was no hope of a reunion.
3.3 Third Session: 1562-3
3.3.1 The third Session of the council almost fell apart of the critical issue of the nature of the authority of the bishops. The Spanish delegation of Bishops argued that the presence and authority of a bishop in his diocese and indeed the office itself, was commanded by divine law - that is, had its origins in Christ himself, and not in the law of the Church. Therefore the status of bishops was not given by the pope, and indeed the pope himself was the most important bishop.
3.3.1.1 It had great implications. If the bishop was in his diocese by diving authority, then the pope could not, for example, give permission for a bishop to leave his diocese for other work. This greatly alarmed the Italian Bishops in the papal court, most of them whom would have had to return to their dioceses.
3.3.1.1.1 The problem was that although all Catholics recognised the authority of the Pope, the precise extent of this authority was the subject of bitter argument. Even the Jesuits, with their supposed total obedience to the Pope, only accepted this when doing missionary work.
3.3.1.2 It was Pope Pius IV's greatest achievement to recall the Council of Trent. The third session brought together the work on discipline. There was a redefinition of the role of bishops: they had to stay in their diocese and visit each parish at least once a year; preaching a pastoral work was their chief role; they had to be legitimate, of a mature age and well educated. Celibacy was asserted. Duties were clearly define. Indulgence sellers and relic merchants were banned (but not indulgences or relics themselves). Other decrees defined standards of monastic life and the status of sacrament of marriage. Priests had to register marriages as well as baptisms.
3.3.1.2.1 It was affirmed that:
3.3.1.2.1.1 There were 7 sacraments
3.3.1.2.1.2 Belief in purgatory, the veneration of saints and images, pilgrimages and every traditional practice of popular Catholicism was correct.
3.3.1.2.1.3 Good works were essential to salvation, not faith alone.
3.3.1.2.1.4 The only acceptable version of the Bible was the Vulgate, although its errors would be corrected. Other translations, or reading in the vernacular were not banned.
3.3.1.2.1.5 The traditions and teaching authority of the Church were on an equal footing to personal interpretations of the scripture.
3.3.1.2.1.6 Laypeople should only have bread at Communion.
3.3.1.2.1.7 The only orthodox explanation for the Real Presence of Christ on the altar was Transubstantiation.
4 The Influence of the Jesuits at Trent:
4.1 Jesuits = Reliable supporters of Catholic orthodoxy and champions of papal authority. The Council recognised their unique organisation by exempting them from the new rule which said that a novice should be accepted into an order straight after his noviciate and their schools avoided a new tax to pay for schools to return to train priests. Their privileges given by the popes were confirmed.
4.2 Their close identification with the papacy was a mixed blessing. Although it gave them high status in the Church, it caused great resentment from the other orders, and some monarchs were suspicious that their loyalties were with the papacy and that there were international papal "agents". As the status of the papacy declined in the 18th century, demands were made for their abolition, which happened in 1773.
5 Who founded it?
5.1 The Council of Trent was Paul III's greatest achievement. It was the result of many years od patient diplomacy. In 1534 Paul's knowledge of the German situation was minimal, but he soon appreciated that the spread of Lutheranism into Scandinavia and Germany, and the formation of Protestant military leagues, meant that a general council had to be called to deal with the two problems of the spread of heresy and demands for reform from both Protestant and liberal Catholics.
5.1.1 Paul called a council to meet at Mantua in 1536, which failed. It was not until December 1545 that a council actually began its work at Trent. Paul had managed to overcome considerable obstacles to make this happen:
6 Obstacles to Needed to Overcome to Make The Council of Trent happen:
6.1 The Emperor Charles V needed a general council to solve the religious division of Germany. He was faced with a conflict with Francis I and pressure from the Ottoman Turks to the east. He needed soldiers and resources from his German lands to sustain these conflicts. Religious compromise and reforms which met Lutheran criticisms would reunite the empire and thus increase his political and military authority. He therefore demanded that anycouncil must meet within the empire. Reform of discipline was his priority. However , the price of his support for a council was complete support for Habsburg policy, which the pope could not agree to.
6.2 Francis I of France took the opposite view. He opposed the calling of a general council because if it reunited Germany it would increase Charles' power. He could wreck the Council by refusing to allow French bishops to attend.
6.3 A council held considerable dangers for the papacy. The Conciliar Movement of the 15th century had undermined papal authority and since 1460 the popes had been strengthening their control over the Church. Now, only a pope could call a council, but the Lutherans rejected any council called by the pope. Popes were afraid that reform would begin with the pope and the papal curia itself. Paul III had to create a delicate balance - confronting the Lutheran heresy was the first priority; any reform must not challenge the powers of the pope. Any council must take place in Italy, where the pope could monitor its work. On the other hand, if a council was seem merely as a papal rubber stamp, it would have littleattraction for many bishops. Free speech had to be allowed.
6.4 There was political instability - dangers of war and actual wars between Francis I and Charles V; between the German Protestant princes supported by Francis I againstthe Emperor; and between the Emperor and the Turks.
6.5 Ways to reduce obstacles:
6.5.1 The issue of a venue was decided when Charles V suggested Trent in 1542. It was technically inside the Holy Roman Empire, but south of the Alps. The only problems were that it was bitterly cold in winter and had a fly-blown,frontier town atmosphere with poor accommodation.
6.5.2 Paul III succeeded in establishing the method of voting. In previous councils each nation (English, French, ect.) had had one vote. Paul insisted that voting should be by individuals actuallypresent and only by those with pastoral authority in the Church ( when Trent met, there were hundreds of theologians, experts and representatives of states also present)
6.5.3 Papal control was also secured byother decisions. The call for a council must come from the pope; the sessions would be chaired by three papal legates (representatives), who decided the agenda and ruled on procedure; and the Council's decisions would be adisory only, making recommendations for the pope to accept (or not).
7 Was it successful?
7.1 Yes:
7.1.1 It strengthened the authority of the Bishops. They were now clearly responsible for managing their dioceses. Changed the attitude of Bishops - it was no longer acceptable to have bishops treating their pastoral mission casually.
7.1.2 The stress on an educated clergy and seminaries produced great benefits in the long term, In 1600 there were 20 in Spain, 11 in Italy and none in France. Even in 1630, one half of Italian dioceses had a seminary. It took time.
7.2 No:
7.2.1 The Council was silent on a number of important issues, such as the role of the new orders; the role of the Inquisition; the great missionary work world wide; the exact relationship between Church and state and the role of women in the church.
7.2.2 Above all, the Council did not define the exact position of the pope within the church, although the debate of 1562 had strengthened the papal position. It said little about reforming the papal curia which had faced criticism for centuries.
7.2.3 The success of the decrees on dicipline depended on the support of the secular rulers, but many of the changes cut across their own interests. Bishops could not use their new powers without their support. Philip II accepted the decrees in a limited way and France and the Imperial Diet, not at all.
7.3 The real winner was the papacy - the Council trusted it to carry out its decrees.

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