- Trent, Council of
(1545–63) 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church, which made sweeping reforms and laid down dogma clarifying nearly all doctrines contested by the Protestants.Convened by Pope Paul III at Trento in northern Italy, it served to revitalize Roman Catholicism in many parts of Europe. In its first period (1545–47) it accepted the Nicene Creed as the basis of Catholic faith, fixed the canon of the Old and New Testaments, set the number of sacraments at seven, and defined the nature and consequences of original sin; it also ruled against Martin Luther's doctrine of justification by faith. In its second period (1551–52) it confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation and issued decrees on episcopal jurisdiction and clerical discipline. In the final period (1562–63) it defined the mass as a true sacrifice and issued statements on several other doctrinal issues. By the end of the 16th century, many of the abuses that had motivated the Protestant Reformation had disappeared, and the church had reclaimed many of its European followers.
* * *19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic church (1545–63), highly important for its sweeping decrees on self-reform and for its dogmatic definitions that clarified virtually every doctrine contested by the Protestants. Despite internal strife, external dangers, and two lengthy interruptions, the council played a vital role in revitalizing the Roman Catholic church in many parts of Europe.Though Germany demanded a general council following the excommunication of the German Reformation leader Martin Luther (Luther, Martin), Pope Clement VII held back for fear of renewed attacks on his supremacy. France, too, preferred inaction, afraid of increasing German power. Clement's successor, Paul III, however, was convinced that Christian unity and effective church reform could come only through a council. After his first attempts were frustrated, he convoked a council at Trent (northern Italy), which opened on Dec. 13, 1545.Period I (1545–47): When an emotional crisis developed as the council opened (some urging immediate reform and others urging clarification of Catholic doctrines), a compromise was reached whereby both topics were to be treated simultaneously. The council then laid the groundwork for future declarations: the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (Nicene Creed) was accepted as the basis of Catholic faith; the canon of Old and New Testament books was definitely fixed; tradition was accepted as a source of faith; the Latin Vulgate was declared adequate for doctrinal proofs; the number of sacraments (sacrament) was fixed at seven; and the nature and consequences of original sin were defined. After months of intense debate, the council ruled against Luther's doctrine of justification by faith alone: man, the council said, was inwardly justified by cooperating with divine grace that God bestows gratuitously. By enjoining on bishops an obligation to reside in their respective sees, the church effectively abolished plurality of bishoprics. Political problems forced the council's transfer to Bologna and finally interrupted its unfinished work altogether.Period II (1551–52): Before military events forced a second adjournment of the council, the delegates finished an important decree on the Eucharist that defined the Real Presence of Christ in opposition to the interpretation of Huldrych Zwingli, the Swiss Reformation leader, and the doctrine of transubstantiation (q.v.) as opposed to that of Luther. The sacrament of penance was extensively defined, extreme unction (later, the anointing of the sick) explained, and decrees issued on episcopal jurisdiction and clerical discipline. German Protestants, meanwhile, were demanding a reconsideration of all the council's previous doctrinal decrees and wanted a statement asserting that a council's authority is superior to that of the pope.Period III (1562–63): Pope Paul IV (1555–59) was opposed to the council, but it was reinstated by Pius IV (1559–65). The arrival of French bishops reopened the explosive question regarding the divine basis for the obligations of bishops to reside in their sees. When peace was restored, the council defined that Christ is entirely present in both the consecrated bread and the consecrated wine in the Eucharist but left to the pope the practical decision of whether or not the chalice should be granted to the laity. It defined the mass as a true sacrifice; issued doctrinal statements on holy orders, matrimony, purgatory, indulgences, and the veneration of saints, images, and relics; and enacted reform decrees on clerical morals and the establishment of seminaries.Pius IV confirmed the council's decrees in 1564 and published a summary of its doctrinal statements; observance of disciplinary decrees was imposed under sanctions. In short order the catechism of Trent appeared, the missal and breviary were revised, and eventually a revised version of the Bible was published. By the end of the century, many of the abuses that had motivated the Protestant Reformation had disappeared, and the Roman Catholic church had reclaimed many of its followers in Europe. The council, however, failed to heal the schism that had sundered the Western Christian church.
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Trent, Council of — • Main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 … Catholic encyclopedia
Trent, Council of — (1545 1563) This general council of the Roman Catholic Church was held primarily in the city of Trent (Italy) in response to the Protestant Reformation. This council, which addressed such central theological issues as the relationship of… … Glossary of theological terms
TRENT, COUNCIL OF — an oecumenical council, the eighteenth, held at Trent, and whose sittings, with sundry adjournments, extended from 13th December 1545 until 4th December 1563, the object of which was to define the position and creed of the Church of Rome in… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
TRENT, COUNCIL OF — the great ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Council held intermittently between 1545 and 1563 which provided the definitive definition of CATHOLICISM in reaction to the PROTESTANT REFORMATION. The Council affirmed the equal validity of TRADITION and… … Concise dictionary of Religion
Trent, Council of — Conference of the Catholic Church, ending in 1563, which decreed, among other things, that persons without a fixed address could not become Catholic priests … Historical dictionary of the Gypsies
Trent, Council of — Тридентский Собор … Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов
Trent, Council of — … Useful english dictionary
Council of Trent — Council of Trent † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Council of Trent The nineteenth ecumenical council opened at Trent on 13 December, 1545, and closed there on 4 December, 1563. Its main object was the definitive determination of the… … Catholic encyclopedia
Council of Constance — Council of Constance † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Council of Constance A (partly) ecumenical council held at Constance, now in the Grand Duchy of Baden, from 5 Nov., 1414, to 22 April, 1418. Its forty five general sessions were devoted… … Catholic encyclopedia
Council of Trent — The Council in Santa Maria Maggiore church; Museo Diocesano Tridentino, Trento. Council of Trent Date 1545–63 … Wikipedia