Analyze the aims, methods, and degree of success of the Catholic Reformation

In the early 16th century, the Protestant Reformation occurred and caused the popularity of Catholicism to decline. In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church issued the Catholic Counter-Reformation to reestablish the power and popularity of Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Counter-Reformation aimed to create new societies while addressing problems within the Roman Catholic Church.

The main reasons for the Catholic Counter-Reformation were to respond to Protestantism and to reform the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church was plagued with corruption and scandals, such as simony (the sale of church offices), absenteeism (priests not showing up to services), and the sale of indulgences (paying the church to absolve sins).

Many priests were illiterate, and some abused their powers for absolution of sins. To reform the structure of the Catholic Church, Pope Paul III established the Council of Trent, which consisted of Catholic cardinals responsible for handling the reforms of the Catholic Church.

The Council of Trent is considered one of the Catholic Church's most important councils.

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The Council had 25 sessions from 1545 to 1563, which addressed issues within the Catholic Church. The result of these 25 sessions was the validation of all seven sacraments and the reaffirmation of monasticism, celibacy of the clergy, transubstantiation, and purgatory. In essence, the Council of Trent addressed and fixed the problems of Catholicism.

Another result of the Catholic Counter-Reformation was the establishment of the religious order of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus). Founded in 1540 by St. Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuits had three goals: to reform the Church through education, to spread the Gospel to pagans, and to fight Protestantism.

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Jesuit schools were highly regarded as the finest schools for education in Europe. The Jesuits were organized in a military fashion, following rules from Loyola's guidebook Spiritual Exercises. The book instructed Jesuits on how to have less attachment to physical items and how "to master the soul to manipulate the body."

Updated: Apr 09, 2023
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Analyze the aims, methods, and degree of success of the Catholic Reformation. (2016, Apr 24). Retrieved from

Analyze the aims, methods, and degree of success of the Catholic Reformation essay
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