The Catholic Reformation

Topics: Catholic Church, Council of Trent, Protestant Reformation Pages: 2 (691 words) Published: November 26, 2013

The Catholic Reformation

For several years before the Protestant reformation, the Catholic church had been planning a movement to reform itself from within and help Catholics to remain loyal followers. However, this movement only took place in the mid 1500’s, approximately 20 years after the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic reformation, sometimes referred to as the counter reformation, had four main goals: to revise and strengthen Catholic doctrines, to reform any unjust happenings within the church, to prevent the spread of Protestantism, and to regain land lost to Protestantism, as well as spread Catholicism to new places. Led mainly by Pope Paul III and Pope Paul IV, the counter reformation had many long lasting effects on not only Europe, but also the entire world.

The first thing the church worked on reforming was it’s doctrines, or beliefs they held and preached. In order to come up with a unified decision, Pope Paul III called together a council of church leaders to a meeting, known as the Council of Trent. From 1545 to 1563, church leaders came up with a mutual decision, agreeing on a few doctrines. The first was that the church had sole right to interpret the bible, and it’s interpretation would be final - anyone who came up with their own interpretation would be considered a heretic. The next doctrine was that the Bible and tradition were of equal authority - this opposed the Protestant belief that the Bible alone was the main authority. They also agreed that in order to obtain salvation, faith and good works were needed. This, too, opposed the Protestant belief, specifically Luther’s teaching, that faith alone was enough for salvation. Finally, they decided that although indulgences were valid expressions of faith, it was unjust to have to pay for them, and the selling of indulgences was banned. During the Catholic reformation, church leaders also searched for any other corrupt processes taking place in the church and banned them.


Bibliography: "The First Session at Trent." The First Session at Trent. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.
"Aids to the Counter-Reformation." Aids to the Counter-Reformation. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.
"What Were the Results of the Council of Trent?" What Were the Results of the Council of Trent. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.
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