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COUNTER REFORMATION AND IMPACT REFORMATION IN GENERAL (1)

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COUNTER REFORMATIONThe Reformation movement made the Roman Church suffer a very great blow. Followers of the Pope saw the new branch of Christianity as a dangerous heresy. Attempts made by the Roman Church to reform itself from within is referred to as Counter Reformation. It was a reaction or resistance to Protestant Reformation. By the 16th century the following areas were either dominated by Protestants or Catholics.Catholics Protestants France Spain Italy Germany Denmark IrelandHungary Austria Sweden EnglandPoland Med. Islands Holland SwitzerlandThe Catholic reformers wanted to win back to Catholic faith areas which had becomeProtestant. The major agents or instruments of Counter Reformation were:1. The Jesuits2. Inquisition/fighting heresy3. Council of Trent4. The IndexA. THE JESUITS/SOCIETY OF JESUSThis society was started in 1534 by a Spaniard Ignatius Loyola. He was wounded in war and later became determined to become a soldier of Jesus. He became a monk.He was joined by others. The aim of the society was to return to the old ideals of the Christian Church. The members gave themselves freely to be used entirely by the church. They were to be humble and sober. At first it was called the society of Jesus and later known as Jesuits. Pope Paul III allowed it to carry its activities.The Jesuits became the most effective missionary organisation. They were dominantin the Council of Trent where doctrines of the church were clearly stated.RESULTS OF THE WORK OF THE JESUITS1. In their missionary work, they went as far as China. India, North and South America and most European countries.2. Wherever they went, they carried out good works and showed self-sacrifice. Their life was very simple.3. They built schools in Protestant countries. Their schools were became the best in Europe; even Protestant scholars praised them.4. Parts of Europe such as in Germany, England and Ireland were won back to Catholicism.15. Catholics and Protestants later became rivals in various activities such as missionary work. Trade and exploration outside Europe.B. THE INQUISITIONPeople who questioned the church teaching were called “heretics”. They were accused of the sin of heresy. In the early days of Christianity a heretic usually had his property taken from him or was banished from his own country.During the time of reformation the Pope sent Dominican Friars to find those suspected of heresy. These Friars were called “inquisitors” meaning investigators.PUNISHMENT GIVEN TO THOSE FOUND GUILTY1. Many were put to death-usually by being burnt alive.2. Some were tortured to make them accuse other heretics.3. Imprisonment for life.4. Some were handed over to the police force for execution.Inquisition came to be viewed with horror and marked a reign of terror. It was worse in Spain than anywhere else . King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain took overthe idea of inquisition to maintain Spain as a Catholic country. Here it became a weapon of the state as well as of the church. Even Muslims and the Jews were victims.In 1481: The first “commission” was set up at Seville. 300 heretics were burnt in this city and over two thousand in the diocese within a year.In 1542: Pope Paul II set up the “Holy Office” or standing committee of the inquisition. Burnings in Rome were started.In 1555: Pope Caratta continued with the inquisition. He personally presided at the congregation of the inquisition once a week. A lot of torture was used. Pius IV had many Protestants massacred.Pasquale, the Italian translator of the New Testament was burnt.Persecution reached its climax under Pius V. As a result of inquisition Protestanism was wiped out of Italy.Inquisition spread to Netherlands and in France but not so much in Germany. Different methods of dealing with the heretics were used. Some historians have attempted to judge inquisition fairly using the following arguments:1. Inquisition was not new in the 16th century. It had developed gradually from the days of early Christianity.22. Its cruelties were not invented by the church, but were borrowed from the state. In fact for a long time the church stood up against the death sentence and would not allow the use of torture. In the 16th century, the church was under pressure and thought it necessary to use methods used by the government of the time against traitors and criminals.3. Cruelties especially death by burning heretics alive were sparingly and unwillingly employed particularly outside Spain. Different methods were of dealing with the heretics were applied in different places/countries.4. The main aim of inquisition was not to punish Protestants but to prevent heresy and backsliding among Catholics. It was accepted by Catholic nations as a measure of public safety.Comment on the above points critically.Inquisition continued in Spain up to the 19th century. Napoleon got rid of it in 1812, but it was finally abolished in 1820.C. THE COUNCIL OF TRENTA demand for a General Council or Pan Catholic Congress had been made by Luther but was not taken seriously. Foundation of the Jesuits in 1530s and the Holy Office in 1542 encouraged meetings to discuss policy.In 1542: A preliminary meeting of Germans and Italians was held at Trent.In 1545: Paul III summoned the major council of Trent. Other sessions were held in 1551 and 1562.MAJOR POINTS DISCUSSED1. Questions of church reform such as holding of a number of church offices by one person, absenteeism from the parish.2. Questions raised by the demands of the Protestants or some reforming Catholics such as marriage of the clergy, translation of the Bible, administering the wine as well as the bread to the laity at Holy Communion.3. Questions on the theological doctrines of Protestanism especially related to the nature of mass, original sin, justification by faith. The Pope was determined to obtain from the council a final condemnation of the Protestant position.4. Questions affecting the claims and privileges of the Papacy. This was debated at the third council. The papal position was defended with some difficulty by the Jesuit representatives. Major Result: The church was left more than ever in the hands of the papacy. Why was this?31. Trent was technically within the Emperor’s jurisdiction and packed with Italian bishops who voted


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