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Roman Catholic Confessions.


1. Besides the ecumenical* creeds, the RC Ch. accepts the pronouncements of its councils (see Councils and Synods) and papal decrees.*

Principal source and highest standard of the RC Ch.: Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. Doctrinal sessions of the Council of Trent*: III Symbol of faith; IV. Scriptural canon (apocrypha* included); V. Original sin; VI. Justification (justification by faith alone condemned); VII. Sacraments in gen., Baptism in particular; XIII. Eucharist; XIV. Penance and extreme unction; XXI. Communion; XXII. Mass; XXIII. Ordination; XXIV. Marriage; XXV. Purgatory; invocation, veneration, and relics of saints; sacred images; indulgences*; fasting; index* of prohibited books; etc. Disciplinary measures dealt, e.g., with residence of bps. and priests, training of clerics, reformation of religious orders, finances. 255 signed. The original acts and debates of the council, recorded by Angelo Massarelli (1510–66; b. Sanseverino, Mark Ancona, It.; secy. Council of Trent) are in the Vatican. Interpretation is reserved to the pope alone.

2. The Council of Trent 1563 declared the need for a profession of faith (Sess. XXIV, Reform, Chaps. i and xii). Under direction of Pius* IV the Profession of the Tridentine Faith (Professio fidei Tridentina; also called Creed of Pius IV) was drawn up 1564; it consisted of 12 arts. (1. Nicene Creed; 2–11. Summary of the doctrines of the Council of Trent; 12. Solemn adjuration) and soon became obligatory for all RC priests and pub. teachers and for converts from Protestantism; 2 arts. were added 1877 (one on the immaculate conception of Mary, the other on papal infallibility). In 1910 it was ordered that the profession be signed and confirmed by oath.

3. The Council of Trent also proposed a catechism (Sess. XXIV, Reform, Chap. vii; Sess. XXV, Reform, Concerning the Index of Books and the Catechism, Breviary, and Missal). The resultant Roman Catechism (Catechismus Romanus; also called Catechism of the Council of Trent) had been projected 1546 and was pub. in Lat. 1566; it was for teachers, not pupils, and deals with the Apostles' Creed, Sacraments, Decalog, and Lord's Prayer. Other catechisms were written by P. Canisius,* R. Bellarmine,* J. B. Bossuet,* et al. A new RC catechism was issued 1992. See also Popes, 21; Roman Catholic Church, The, B 2–5.

B. Papal bulls against Jansenism.*

C. Papal definition of the Immaculate* Conception. In 1849 Pius IX (see Popes, 28) invited opinions of bps. regarding definition of the immaculate conception. 600 replied; 4 dissented; 4 regarded the time inopportune. Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the immaculate conception 1854.

D. Papal Syllabus. In 1864 Pius IX issued the Syllabus* of Errors. In 1907 Pius X (see Popes, 30) issued Lamentabili, which condemned Modernism (see Modernism, 1) in 65 theses directed esp. against A. F. Loisy.* EL

See also Vatican Councils.

H. Jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, tr. E. Graf, 2 vols. (St. Louis, 1957); Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent: Original Text with English Translation, ed. and tr. H. J. Schroeder (St. Louis, 1941).

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

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