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Counter Reformation.

1. Also called Cath. Reformation. A movement in the RC Ch. toward reform and renewal, having its rise in the late 15th c. but receiving its greatest impetus and acceleration from the Prot. Reformation.

2. In the Low Countries the devotio* moderna was carried forward esp. by the Brethren* of the Common Life. The Imitation* of Christ and the revival of Augustinianism* are products of this movement. Nicholas* of Cusa and D. Erasmus* were educ. by the Brethren; both protested against evils in the RC Ch. and furthered reform.

3. In Sp., F. Jiménez* de Cisneros promoted drastic reform measures in Castile, esp. among the Conventuals*; opened U. of Alcalá de Henares 1508; instrumental in comp. and pub. the Complutensian Polyglot. Cardinal Francisco de Quin´┐Żones* ca. (1475–1540) compiled the Breviarum Sancti Crucis, which gave new emphasis to Scripture reading and influenced T. Cranmer* and the Book* of Common Prayer.

4. In It. the Oratory of Divine Love, founded ca. 1517, banded together ca. 60 clerics and laymen of an austere life, given to regular formal worship, charitable works, fasting, and pilgrimages, who were determined to renew the RC Ch. The group included Gian Matteo Giberti,* Cajetan* of Thiene (Gaetano da Tiene), Jacopo Sadoleto,* Giovanni Pietro Caraffa (later Paul* IV), and Luigi Lippomano (bp. Verona 1548). After the sack of Rome 1527, they went to Venice, where they were joined by G. Contarini,* R. Pole,* Giovanni Morone,* and others.

5. A commission was created by Paul* III which, under leadership of Contarini, prepared a scheme of reform, Consilium delectorum cardinalium et aliorum prelatorum, de emendanda ecclesia, 1537 to 1538. The commission included Contarini, Caraffa, Gregorio Cortese, Giberti, Sadoleto, Federigo Fregoso, Pole. G. Aleandro,* and Tommaso Badia; aged Bartolomeo Guidiccioni was also appointed and required to supply material for discussion, but permitted to stay home. The report of the commission stated that the ch. was almost in ruins; it condemned various evils, including abuses in the RC curia, absenteeism of bps., and corruption in religious orders.

6. The Camaldolese* were expanded and fl. in the 1st part of the 16th c. The Theatines* concerned themselves with reform of secular clergy. The Capuchins,* Barnabites,* Clerks* Regular of St. Paul, and Clerks Regular of Somascha* belong to the movement that revitalized Romanism. Orders for women (e.g., Ursulines*) were also prominent in the movement.

7. The Cong. of the Oratory, a cong. of secular priests authorized 1575, founded by F. de' Neri,* gave attention to forms of pub. worship and to scholarship; among its mems. were G. P. da Palestrina* and C. Baronius.*

8. The Society* of Jesus, founded by I. of Loyola* and approved 1540, included among its early mems. F. Xavier*, A. Salmerón,* C. Jajus,* D. Laynez,* and P. Favre*; dedicated to missions and educ., it was one of the most powerful forces in the renewal of Romanism. Xavier is noted for his missions in the Orient. Loyola est. the Collegium Romanum 1551, the Collegium Germanicum 1552; the latter supplied men for reconverting Prot. Germany. P. Canisius* comp. catechisms, founded schools, achieved much RC success in N Ger. Poland also was regained with the help of the Jesuits. C. Aquaviva* was one of the foremost generals of the order; R. Bellarmine* and F. Suarez* were among its outstanding theologians.

9. The Jesuits, observing strict obedience, became valuable allies of the reformed popes that followed the earlier Renaissance papacy. Paul* III, Julius* III, Paul* IV, Pius* IV, and Pius V (see Popes, 21) rehabilitated the papacy and made it a moral as well as a political force.

10. All of these popes used the Roman Inquisition,* founded 1542 by Paul III. An adaptation of an older institution used in Sp., it was operative esp. in It. in suppressing Protestantism.

11. The 1st Index* of Prohibited Books was issued 1559 under Paul IV, another step in efforts to counter Protestantism.

12. The Council of Trent* was one of the most important factors in this movement. Summoned by Paul III, it met in 3 assemblies, 1545–47, 1551–52, 1562–63. In the 1st, Giammaria del Monte (later Julius III), Marcello Cervini (later Marcellus II, 1555), and R. Pole were papal legates; D. Laynez was perhaps most influential. Doctrine and reform were treated concurrently. The acceptance of the traditional Canon (including the Apocrypha), the authorization of the Vulgate, and the definition of Scripture and tradition as the sources of religious truth were determined. Rejection of imputed righteousness in the doctrine of justification gave direction to RC doctrine. In the 2d assembly, canons on the Eucharist, Penance, and Extreme Unction were est. The last assembly, guided till March 1563 by Cardinal Girolamo Seripando, repeated the reemphasis of the 6th session on residence in their dioceses as a divine obligation for bps.; the sacrifice of the mass, orders, and the est. of seminaries were among the matters in which decisions were reached by this assembly. Anathemas on Prot. doctrines and affirmations of RC teachings, with the success of reform decrees, mark the importance of the Council of Trent in the Counter Reformation.

See also Czechoslovakia, 6; Hungary; Roman Catholic Confessions, A; Sweden, Conversion of, to Christianity.

B. J. Kidd, The Counter-Reformation, 1550 to 1600 (London, 1933); H. Jedin, Geschichte des Konzils von Trient, vols. I–II (Freiburg, 1949–57), tr. E. Graf, A History of the Council of Trent, vols. I–II (St. Louis, 1957–61) and Der Abschluss des Trienter Konzils, 1562–63 (Münster, 1963); Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, ed. and tr. H. J. Schroeder (St. Louis, 1941); H. Boehmer, The Jesuits, tr. from 4th rev. ed. P. Z. Strodach (Philadelphia, 1928); P. Janelle, The Catholic Reformation (Milwaukee, 1949); P. Dudon, St. Ignatius of Loyola, tr. W. J. Young (Milwaukee, 1949); L. Pastor, The History of the Popes, various translators and editors, vols. VI–XXXV (St. Louis, 1923–49). CSM


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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