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The Catholic Counter-Reformation

1560-1648. The Catholic Counter-Reformation. 4 Areas of Focus :. Political Dimensions Doctrine Ecclesiastical & Structural Reconfiguration Religious Orders. #1 Political Dimensions. 1520 Pope Leo X orders Luther to recant 41 of his 95 theses or be excommunicated.

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The Catholic Counter-Reformation

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  1. 1560-1648 The Catholic Counter-Reformation

  2. 4 Areas of Focus : • Political Dimensions • Doctrine • Ecclesiastical & Structural Reconfiguration • Religious Orders

  3. #1 Political Dimensions • 1520 Pope Leo X orders Luther to recant 41 of his 95 theses or be excommunicated • Luther burns the order • (called a Papal Bull, or • law) • Luther is protected by • the Elector of Saxony, • Frederick III.

  4. Political Dimensions Cont’d • The Emperor Charles V, in response, calls a «Diet» (meeting of the German Estates) in Worms the next year. (1521)

  5. Political Dimensions Cont’d • It is here where Luther refuses to recant, and utters the (probably mythical) words, «Here I stand. I can do nothing other. God Help Me. Amen.»

  6. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Luther is spirited away, and Charles V insists on there being a full Church council, as do the German estates. • Charles V wants the • religious controversy • settled ASAP. He has • the France of François I • and the Turkey of • Suleiman II to deal • with.

  7. Political Dimensions Cont’d • But back In Rome, a full church council is the last thing the new Pope, Clement VII (the one who will give Henry so much trouble) wants. • Full Church Councils • tend to think they are • the voice of God on • Earth.

  8. Political Dimension Cont’d • But everyone knows that this is heresy. • Unless you want to end up like this :

  9. Political Dimensions Cont’d • So the Papacy will delay and delay and delay. • And heresy will spread and spread and spread. • England will fall in 1533. • And in France, the Calvinist heresy will take hold.

  10. Political Dimensions Cont’d Jean Calvin (1509-64) Heretic extraordinaire Born in France too!

  11. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Basically Calvin said: • 1) We are enslaved to sin because of the Fall of Adam and Eve. • 2) Only God’s mercy can save us. • 3) The only person punished for our sins is Christ himself. • Therefore God won’t punish «the elect» twice (i.e. with Hell) • Who are «the elect»? • Us.  • Which could mean ALL of us.  • Or just some.  • Only God knows.

  12. Political Dimensions Cont’d • 4) Grace is irresistible on the elect. • 5) The Perseverance of the saints: • By «saints» Calvin means the elect • By «perseverance» he means that the elect can never stray. • This doctrine is very useful for Henri IV of France. • He will «stray» several times, finally • settling on Catholicism in 1594 by • observing : • «Paris vaut bien une messe.» 

  13. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Calvin doesn’t work in isolation : many beliefs of the Lutheran faith, such as the «priesthood of all believers» of Martin Luther, are believed by Calvinists too • All peoples’ work is pleasing to God…not just a priest’s. • Everyone can read and interpret scripture • And this would be nothing except…

  14. Political Dimension Cont’d • What makes Calvinism so threatening is how quickly is spreads and how effectively it organizes. • It doesn’t really spread in the countryside, but it does in the towns and cities • Except Paris, which remains severely Catholic. • Luther was an original thinker, but not good at the practical aspects of building a Church • Calvin was a systematizer • He created a Church with roles for both clergy and non-clergy

  15. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Calvin gives disgruntled nobles something to do • Calvinism spreads like wild fire through the upper nobility of France (via the wives, who convert their husbands and sons) • Like this one : Jeanne d’Albrect, Queen of Navarre • Her son, Henri, will • become King Henri • IV, the first Bourbon • monarch

  16. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Unfortunately in France, into one noble household, namely les Valois, Calvinism makes no inroads. • Les Valois, who have for their leader one François I, just happen to be the kings of France from 1515-1589

  17. Political Dimensions Cont’d • But why should les Valois remain so staunchly Catholic? • Why would François I support Clement VII and not want a general Chuch council?

  18. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Well, unlike Henry VIII in England, in 1516 François I won the right to control of most of the French Catholic Church in something called The Concordat of Bologna. • The Pope was the only person who could annul a marriage, but beyond that, François I was pretty much the head of the Catholic Church in France. • He could tax, appoint bishops, block appointments by the Pope, etc.

  19. Political Dimension Cont’d • In return, the Papacy got François I’s support against Church councils. • So you can see (now) why it takes so long to get a General Council together. • It won’t meet until 1545. And it won’t end until 1563. • And it will only actually meet 3 times in that period.

  20. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Pope Paul III will try to summon it in 1537, but will get nowhere until 1545 • Pope Julius III, (not a • fan), moves the council • to Bologna, suspends it • and then dies. (1555)

  21. Political Dimensions Cont’d • Pope Paul IV spends his papacy becoming «the father of the Roman Inquisition.» • It is Pope Pius IV who • will bring the Council to • a successful end (and • then die) in 1563 (1565).

  22. #2 : Doctrine • Upheld basic beliefs of the medieval Church. • The Church Fathers (ancient Saints like Augustine and Origen), the scholastics, and canon law were all held to be as valid as the Bible. (so no sola scriptura). • Grace and therefore salvation were achieved thru faith and good works, not sola fidae • The 7 sacraments were confirmed, including the doctrine of transubstantiation.

  23. A Word about sacraments • Definition : a sacrament is an outward sign of an inner blessing from God • These are rites instituted by Christ during his ministry on Earth. • The Catholic Church has 7 : • Baptism • Confirmation • The Eucharist (Communion) • Marriage • Ordination • Holy Orders • Last rites

  24. A Word about sacraments • The Lutherans will reduce the number of sacraments to two : baptism and marriage • The Calvinists eliminate them all. • For the most part, the sacraments are harmless doctrine, except for a) Holy Orders • Which made priests «special» and better than ordinary people • And b) marriage

  25. A Word about sacraments • Marriage is a problem because a blessing from God cannot be taken back • This is why the marriage state bound people to one another and it was practically impossible to dissolve them. • The Church didn’t offer divorce per sé, but an annulment. • This declared that the marriage was invalid at the time the vows were declared, and thus no grace was ever given by God. • This is what Henry VIII sought : he claimed his marriage to Catherine of Aragon was incestuous.

  26. #2 Doctrine Cont’d • Indulgences (tho’ not $ ones), pilgrimages, & the veneration of the saints & Virgin Mary were all reinforced. • Catholic doctrine was recorded in the Roman Catechism, a manual for priests basically teaching them the beliefs of the faith. • The Mass was standardized and spoken in Latin.

  27. #3 : Ecclesiastical Reforms • Here the Church sided with the humanists in their criticism of priests. • Parish priests were to be better educated and trained, catching up with the average person in most cases. • Papal authorities would better educate the laiety (i.e. those who were not priests) about their religion : the liturgy, the art, etc.

  28. Ecclesiastical Reforms Cont’d • From now on, bishops were made to live in their dioceses (i.e. the lands they ruled in the Church’s name) • However, bishops now had greater power in overseeing spiritual matters in their jurisdictions • Celibacy was effectively enforced

  29. #4 : Religious Orders • Capuchins, Ursulines, Theatines, Barnabites, & especially Jesuits, were the «shock troops» of the Counter-Reformation • They were orders of the world (i.e. they lived amidst the people) and oversaw the «spiritual health» of priests and the laiety and rooted out heresy

  30. #4 : Religious Orders Cont’d • Capuchins practised the imitatio Christi of Erasmus • Theatines rooted out heresy and educated the clergy • Ursulines educated girls • But the Jesuits were most effective

  31. The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) • Founder : Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) • A soldier, he is badly wounded at Pamplona in 1521 by a canon ball • If he survives, he will devote himself to «God and the Roman Pontiff, his vicar on Earth.» • Started The Society of Jesus in 1534

  32. #4 The Jesuits Cont’d • Given Papal authorization in 1540 by Paul III • Organized along military lines with strict military discipline • Took oaths of chastity, poverty, and obedience

  33. #4 Religious Orders Cont’d • The Jesuits thus helped the papacy keep its supremacy versus Church Councils with Loyola’s oath • This was another key aspect of the medieval Catholic Church : the primacy over the Church of the office of the Pope in direct opposition to the doctrine of Concialiarism, the belief that God’s will was revealed through Church councils, not just the Pope alone • It explains why the Council of Trent took so long to form. • And why it took so long to end. (1545-1563)

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