Skip to main content
Select Source:

Trent, Council of

TRENT, COUNCIL OF

TRENT, COUNCIL OF. Considered the nineteenth general council of Western Christendom, the Council of Trent met after much delay in response to the call of both Lutherans and Catholics at the Nuremberg Reichstag of 1524 for "a general free Christian council in German lands" to reform the church. Paul III (reigned 15341549), having failed to assemble a council in the imperial city of Mantua in 1537 due primarily to inadequate security arrangements and in Venetian Vicenza in 1538 due to the attendance of only five bishops, ordered the council to meet in 1542 in Trent. This Holy Roman Empire city had a population of about six thousand, of whom a quarter were German-speaking, was ruled by a prince-bishop, and was situated on the Italian side of the Alps about eighty miles south of an imperial residence in Innsbruck. Hostilities between France and the empire delayed the opening of the council until 1545.

GOALS AND SESSIONS OF THE COUNCIL

The goals formally assigned to the council by Paul III in 1542 were to define doctrine, correct morals, restore peace among Christians, and repel infidels. Pius IV in 1560 made explicit the goal that "schisms and heresies may be destroyed." The pope initially gave priority to a clarification of Catholic doctrine, the emperor to a reform of abuses. The compromise was to treat simultaneously the removal of any abuses related to a teaching that was defined.

Period I. The council can be divided into three periods. Period I, under Paul III, consisted of sessions 1 to 8 (13 December 1545 to 11 March1547), which met in Trent. Claiming an outbreak of typhus, the pope had the council transferred to Bologna in the Papal States despite the opposition of the 27 bishops from Habsburg lands, who remained in Trent. Sessions 9 and 10 (21 April and 2 June 1547) issued no doctrinal or disciplinary decrees, and after the general congregation of 29 February 1548 the council was suspended. In subsequent periods the council would return to Trent. In the first period, attendance varied from about 30 to 70 prelates per session; in all there were about 100 members with a deliberative vote: 5 cardinals, 12 archbishops, 76 bishops, 3 abbots, and 6 generals of religious orders, plus two procurators of absent German bishops who had only a consultative voice. Most prelates were Italians, the Spanish were well represented, and only a few came from other Catholic lands. During this period the prelates focused on the teachings of Martin Luther (14831546), Huldrych Zwingli (14841531), and their followers in Germany and Switzerland.

Period II. Period II, under Julius III (reigned 15501555), included sessions 11 to 16 (1 May 1551 to 28 April 1552). Attendance varied between 44 and 51 prelates, with a total of about 59 prelates. As many as 13 German bishops were represented, including the personal presence of the powerful electoral archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier. Lutheran states agreed to send delegations: that from Brandenburg accepted the authority of the council and was incorporated at the 13th session; those from Württemberg and the imperial cities led by Strasbourg were allowed to read their mandates at the general congregation of 24 January 1552. Hopes that agreement could be found with so many Germans present were dashed by the reopening of military conflict.

Period III. Period III, under Pius IV (reigned 15591565), consisted of sessions 17 to 26 (18 January 1562 to 34 December 1563) and was noteworthy for the arrival of a delegation of 13 bishops, 3 abbots, and 18 theologians from France and for the increased attention to the teachings of John Calvin (15091564) and the situation in France. There were 117 prelates at the 17th session, which rose to 228 at the 24th. About 270 bishops in all attended during this period, the vast majority being Italians (187), but Spanish (31) and French (26) were also well represented, and bishops from other Catholic lands attended too. The final decree was signed by 255 prelates and procurators. Altogether, the council sat for five years and one month.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE AND ATTENDEES

The organizational structures given to the council allowed it to achieve most of its goals. The popes were usually represented by cardinal legates, who served as council presidents and were in regular communication with the pope and congregation of cardinals in Rome, who set the agenda and at times made crucial decisions. "The Holy Spirit arrived in the saddle bags of papal couriers," quipped the historian Paolo Sarpi (15521623). The most important presidents were Cardinals Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte (14871555, Tuscan canonist, administrator, and future Julius III), Reginald Pole (15001558, cousin of Henry VIII, friend of Sir Thomas More, conciliatory theologian, and archbishop of Canterbury under Mary Tudor), Girolamo Seripando (14931563, Neapolitan, conciliatory theologian, reformer, former general of the Augustinian friars, and archbishop of Salerno), Stanislaus Hosius (15041579, Polish controversialist theologian and bishop of Warmia), and Giovanni Morone (15091580, Milanese diplomat, conciliatory theologian, former bishop of Modena, and target of the Roman Inquisition, whose diplomatic skills rescued the council after the deadlock over episcopal residence in 1563). The council presidents had the difficult task of resolving disputestraditionalists versus conciliationists, papalists versus conciliarists and episcopalists, curialists and exempt religious versus diocesan bishops, Scholastics versus humanists, Scotists versus Thomists versus Augustinians, and rival national delegations eager for uniformity in teaching and practice (Spanish and Italians) or for reconciliation with the Protestants in their lands (Germans and French) or for preserving their ruler's patronage rights and prerogatives (Spanish, Portuguese, and French).

Among the other leading prelates at the council were the Italians: Pietro Bertano, O.P. (Fano), Tommaso Campeggio (Feltre), Giulio Contarini (Belluno), Cornelio Musso, O.F.M. (Bitonto, then Bertinoro), and Tommaso Stella, O.P. (Salpe, then Lavello, and finally Capodistria); the Spanish: Martín Pérez de Ayala (Guadix, then Segovia), Pedro Guerrero (Granada), Pedro Pacheco (Jaen), and Melchor Alváres de Vozmediano (Guadix); the Portuguese Bartolomé dos Martires, O.P. (Braga) and João Soarez, O.E.S.A. (Coimbra); the Frenchmen Antoine Filheul (Aix), Charles de Guise (Reims), and Nicolas Psaume (Verdun); the Germans Friedrich Grau [Nausea] (Vienna) and Julius von Pflug (Naumburg); the Scot Robert Wauchop (Armagh); the Croatian Georg Draskovich (Pécs); the Moravian Anton Brus von Müglitz (Prague); and the exiled Swede Olof Månsson Store (Uppsala).

Theologians, who had only a consultative vote in the proceedings, were sent by the pope and Christian rulers or brought along as advisers (periti) by the bishops and generals of religious orders. Known as "minor theologians" (theologi minores) to distinguish them from prelates who were also theologians, the vast majority were members of religious orders, and of these over half were Franciscans and about a quarter Dominicans. In the first period they numbered about 35; their numbers rose until in the last period there were about 100, of whom only 34 were allowed to speak on a topic, for a half-hour each; the others could submit their thoughts in writing prior to a debate. Among the leading theologians were the Jesuits and papal theologians Diego Lainez and Alfonso Salmeron; the Dominican Thomists Melchor Cano, Domingo de Soto, Bartolomé Carranza de Miranda, and Ambrogio Catarino (Lancellotto de' Politi); the Franciscan Scotists Alfonso de Castro and Andrés Vega; and the secular priests Johann Gropper, Francisco de Torres, and Ruard Tapper.

The council developed its own organizational structures. It began with classes or group meetings in which bishops and theologians together debated the theological issues, frequently in the form of suspect quotations extracted from the writings of the Protestants. When the bishops soon came to hate this procedure (odiossima), the legates had the theologians debate the topics on their own with the bishops listening. Once ideas were clarified and a consensus emerged, the bishops met on their own in particular congregations to draw up draft decrees. Reform decrees were drafted by commissions (nominated by the legates and approved by the prelates) from various proposals submitted by bishops and ambassadors. Drafts of decrees were debated in general congregations, where they were modified and approved. Formal approbation was done at a session, a liturgical ceremony with a mass, sermon, and formal vote on the decree. The decrees were issued in the name of the council with the papal legates presiding and not in the name of the council representing the universal church, as the more conciliarist types preferred. Beginning with the fifth session, the council condemned certain theological statements as anathema (contrary to Catholic teaching and practice) and then gave the reasons for the condemnation. From the sixth session onward the doctrinal decrees began with chapters that stated positively the Catholic position and ended with canons that condemned unacceptable teachings. The canons had the greater doctrinal weight.

DECREES

The council issued a number of important doctrinal decrees. It affirmed that all the books of the Bible, including the Apocrypha or deuterocanonical books not found in the Hebrew bible and rejected by Luther, were inspired and that the Vulgate version was "authentic," that is, could be used in sermons and disputations. Critical editions and translations were subject to ecclesiastical censorship. The Bible was to be interpreted according to the sense given to it by the church over the centuries. Unwritten apostolic traditions, whether dictated orally by Christ or by the Holy Spirit, were also a source of saving truths and rules of conduct. It restated the teaching of the Council of Orange (529) on the existence, nature, and effects of original sin, rejecting both Pelagian optimism and Lutheran pessimism. It taught that justification, whereby one's sins were remitted and one became just and could grow in holiness through good works "done in God," was an unmerited gift of God, but that those with the power of discretion must freely cooperate with grace. The traditional seven sacraments (baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance or reconciliation, extreme unction or anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony) were taught as having been instituted by Christ (whether immediately or mediately is not defined), to contain the graces they signify, and in the case of baptism, confirmation, and holy orders to leave an indelible mark on the soul so that they could not be repeated. Baptism by water even of children was necessary for salvation. In the Eucharist the bread and wine were changed into the true Body and Blood of Christ (transubstantiation), the pope was to decide when and where it was prudent to allow reception of the Eucharist under both forms, the Mass was a sacrifice, auricular confession of one's mortal sins to a priest was required, and marriage to be valid was henceforth to be contracted before a priest and witnesses. The existence of purgatory and the veneration of saints, relics, and sacred images were also decreed.

Among the principal reform decrees were those requiring a bishop to preach and reside in his diocese. A bishop was to conduct a visitation of his diocese and celebrate a synod annually. He was also to establish a lectureship on the Bible and to see that catechetical instruction was provided for the laity in parishes and that his clergy were properly trained in ecclesiastical disciplines in collegesthis led to the establishment of seminaries. Parish churches (and not confraternity churches and private chapels) were to be the settings for the laity's regular religious worship and instruction. Books were not to be published until their orthodoxy had been determined by the local ordinary or popethis led to the issuance of lists or indices of forbidden books. Religious art was encouraged as a means for instruction and incitement of piety, but care was to be exercised that no false doctrine or unbecoming and confusing scene was depicted and no superstitious practices allowed. Avoiding more restrictive prescriptions, the council decreed that music was allowed in church provided it was not "base and suggestive," and it ordered seminarians to be taught to chant. The council entrusted to the pope the completion of a number of tasks it was unable to finish, and asked him to confirm its decrees.

By the bull Benedictus Deus, dated 26 January 1564 but issued on June 30th, Pope Pius IV confirmed all the decrees of the council unaltered and ordered their implementation. The first official edition of the decrees had been printed in Rome by Paolo Manuzio on 18 March 1564. The pope forbade the publication of any glosses or commentaries on them and established the Congregation of the Council on 2 August 1564 to interpret them. The principal doctrinal teachings of the council he summarized in the Professio Fidei Tridentina, to which all university professors (10 November 1564) and prelates (13 November 1564) were required to swear. Support for implementing the decrees was sought and secured from the rulers of Catholic states: Spain, Portugal, Venice, and Poland-Lithuania in 1564, the Catholic Swiss Cantons in 1565, and the Catholic Estates of the Empire in 1566. When the king and Estates-General of France repeatedly refused to confirm the decrees of Trent, French bishops met on their own and did so in 1615. Provincial councils applied Trent's decrees on the local levels. The decrees of the six Milanese provincial councils (15651582) held under Carlo Borromeo (15381584) and published together in 1582 as Acta Ecclesiae Mediolanensis became the model throughout Catholic Europe for much of the implementing legislation on the provincial and diocesan levels. The papacy brought to completion the tasks assigned to it by the council, issuing revised indices of forbidden books (1564 and 1596), the first Roman Catechism (1566), and corrected editions of the Breviary (1568) and Missal (1570). The decisions of the Congregation of the Council imposed on Catholicism a uniformity and passive deference to Rome that became known as Tridentinism. The implementation of Trent's decrees on the local level, pushed forward by papal nuncios, reforming bishops and religious, and dedicated Catholic rulers, took many generations to effect.

See also Bible: Interpretation ; Borromeo, Carlo ; Catholicism ; Clergy: Roman Catholic Clergy ; Index of Prohibited Books ; Jesuits ; Lutheranism ; Marriage ; Paul III (pope) ; Pius IV (pope) ; Reformation, Catholic ; Religious Orders ; Ritual, Religious ; Sarpi, Paolo (Pietro) ; Seminary .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources

Concilium Tridentinum: Diariorum, Actorum, Epistularum, Tractatuum Nova Collectio. Edited by the Görres-Gesellschaft. 13 vols. Freiburg im Breisgau, 19012001. A critical edition of the primary sources for the council.

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Original texts edited by Giuseppe Alberigo et al., translation editor Norman P. Tanner, S.J., 2 vols. London and Washington, D.C., 1990. Vol. II, pp. 657799.

Secondary Sources

Alberigo, Giuseppe, and Iginio Rogger, eds. Il concilio di

Trento: nella prospettiva del terzo millennio. Istituto di Scienze Religiose in Trento, Religione e Cultura, 10. Brescia, 1997.

Bäumer, Remigius, ed. Concilium Tridentinum. Wege der Forschung, 313. Darmstadt, 1979. Collection of the important articles on the council, plus useful bibliography.

De La Brosse, Olivier, Joseph Lecler, Henri Holstein, Charles Lefebvre, and Pierre Adnès. Latran V et Trente. Histoire des conciles oecuméniques, 10 and 11. Paris, 19751981.

Jedin, Hubert. Geschichte des Konzils von Trient, 4 vols. in 5. Freiburg, 19481975. Vols. 1 and 2 translated by Ernest Graf as A History of the Council of Trent. St. Louis and London, 19571961.

. Girolamo Seripando: Sein Leben und Denken im Geisteskampf des 16. Jahrhunderts. 2 vols. Würzburg, 1937. Translated by Frederic C. Eckhoff as Papal Legate at the Council of Trent: Cardinal Seripando. St. Louis, 1947.

. Krisis und Abschluss des Trienter Konzils 1562/63: Ein Rückblick nach vier Jahrhunderten. Herder Bücherei, 177. Freiburg im Breisgau, 1964. Translated by N. D. Smith as Crisis and Closure of the Council of Trent: A Retrospective View from the Second Vatican Council. London and Melbourne, 1967.

Tallon, Alain. La France et le concile de Trente (15181563). Rome, 1997.

Nelson H. Minnich

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trent, Council of." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Trent, Council of." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

"Trent, Council of." Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

Trent, Council of

Council of Trent, 1545–47, 1551–52, 1562–63, 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, convoked to meet the crisis of the Protestant Reformation. Earlier efforts at reforming the church had already produced the Fifth Lateran Council (1512–17), but it had proved ineffectual. The rise of Lutheranism brought forth a church-wide reaction that was strongly anti-Lutheran. It hoped for a new council, and when Paul III was elected pope in 1534 such a council seemed assured (see Counter Reformation). The obstacles, however, took 10 years to overcome, for now that a known reformer was pope, those opposing reform were not eager for a meeting.

The Meetings of the Council

The Protestants at first stipulated that it be held in Germany, while the pope insisted on an Italian venue. Mantua was chosen, but its duke refused; then Venice prevented a meeting at Vicenza. Finally Trent, an imperial city, almost in Italy, was selected as a compromise between the papal party and that of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. There was an abortive start in 1542.

In 1544 the pope convened the council definitively. There were no Protestant delegates. The work of the council embraced dogmatic definition and correction of abuses, and it was so planned that discussion of doctrine and of reforms of practices could be carried on at the same time. The 10 years of delay bore good fruit, for the reformers arrived at the council intensively prepared in every question likely to be studied. The chief functions of the council were occasional solemn one-day sessions (25 in all, of which 10 dealt with formalities only) for the purpose of making the final decisions and declarations; the hard work of the council was done at informal, sometimes private, meetings. The council met at first in three great committees, later as a whole.

As with every ecumenical council since antiquity, the presence of the pope or his legates was required, and at Trent they drew up the agenda. The sessions of the council fell into three periods: 1–10 (1545–47), under Paul III; 11–16 (1551–52), under Julius III; and 17–25 (1562–63), under Pius IV. The two great interruptions were chiefly occasioned, first, by an impasse over the place of meeting after most of the bishops had left Trent for fear of the plague (1547), and, second, by the lack of interest of Paul IV (1555–59). Furthermore, the swiftly changing events of German politics often made delays seem wise. The numbers attending the council varied; in the first group of sessions there were less than 200, in the second group somewhat less, and in the third considerably more.

The Work of the Council

The work of the council was confirmed by Pius IV (in the papal bull Benedictus Deus, 1564), and its most important prescription, the issuance of an explicit account of the beliefs of the church, was fulfilled by the publication (1566) of the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or Roman Catechism (which, in fact, was not catechetical but descriptive in form). The dogmatic definitions and the reform decrees of the first group of sessions treated the Scriptures (canon, text, interpretation, and function), original sin, justification, the sacraments in general, baptism, and confirmation; and also the regulation of education, preaching, and alms collecting and the duties and obligations of bishops and beneficiaries. The canons on justification (6th session), the product of seven months of discussion, are among the chief work of the council.

The second period of the council was notable for the work of the Jesuits, especially Diego Lainez. The subjects treated were the Eucharist, penance, extreme unction, episcopal jurisdiction and office, clerical discipline, and benefices. The third period was dominated by St. Charles Borromeo; its definitions and regulations covered communion in both kinds, the Mass, the sacraments of orders and matrimony, the veneration and invocation of the saints, the cult of relics and images, the list of forbidden books, the priesthood in all its phases, ecclesiastical foundations, education, marriage, religious orders, feasts and fasts, and the service books of the church.

Influence

The doctrinal canons of the Council of Trent cover most of the controverted points in Roman Catholic dogma, and the definitions are so clear and lucid that the language of the council is often quoted in definitions. The reform measures of the council were tremendously far-reaching and their enforcement was probably the most thoroughgoing reform in the history of the church. The Counter Reformation afterward was to a great extent occupied with carrying out the principles and requirements laid down at Trent. The modern Roman Catholic Church can be understood only in the light of the work of the Council of Trent.

Bibliography

The most complete history is found in Ludwig Pastor's history of the popes; there is an English translation of the dogmatic canons and decrees and of the Roman Catechism, which includes much from the conciliar canons. See also H. Jedin, History of the Council of Trent (2 vol., tr. 1957–61); study by J. A. Froude (1896, repr. 1969); J. W. O'Malley, Trent: What Happened at the Council (2012).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trent, Council of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Trent, Council of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

"Trent, Council of." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

Council of Trent

Council of Trent

The Council of Trent was an important church council, attended by cardinals, bishops, archbishops, and papal legates (representatives), who convened to make decisions on church doctrine and ceremony and to oppose the spread of the Protestant Reformation. The council met at the northern Italian city of Trent between 1545 and 1563. It refuted Martin Luther's ideas on the importance of certain books of the Bible, condemned the idea of grace by faith alone, and affirmed the traditional nature of the seven church sacraments. The council set down the liturgy of a standard Catholic Mass, known as the Tridentine Mass, and held that Christ was actually present in the bread and wine of the ceremony. It affirmed the rule of celibacy for priests, the need for infant baptism (which some Protestant sects considered optional), upheld the doctrine of purgatory and the veneration of relics, created an Index of forbidden books, and set down strict guidelines for marriage and divorce. The decrees of the council were ratified by Pope Pius IV in a papal bull of 1564. The council condemned the ideas of the Reformation and reserved to the church the right to punish Protestant heresy as it saw fit; many of its proclamations and decrees have been affirmed by the modern Catholic Church.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Council of Trent." The Renaissance. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Council of Trent." The Renaissance. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/arts-construction-medicine-science-and-technology-magazines/council-trent

"Council of Trent." The Renaissance. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/arts-construction-medicine-science-and-technology-magazines/council-trent

Trent, Council of

Trent, Council of (1545–63). A council of Roman Catholic bishops and superiors of religious orders, reckoned by that church to be the 19th ecumenical council. It was convoked only after pressure from the Emperor Charles V, who hoped for reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in his German dominions. It met in three sessions at Triento in N. Italy, 1545–9, 1551–2, and 1562–3. Protestant representatives attended only the second of these sessions, with no lasting effect. The fathers of the council rejected Protestant sacramental theory and Luther's doctrine of consubstantiation, in the latter case endorsing the theory of transubstantiation. Among the ecclesiastical reforms there was an attempt to abolish pluralism, an insistence that bishops must reside in their sees, a provision of better education for, and closer control over, the clergy, and a reform of the Roman curia. It also reasserted the traditional teaching on a number of issues such as indulgences, the existence of purgatory, and the veneration of saints. It was, perhaps, the single most significant element in the Counter-Reformation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trent, Council of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Trent, Council of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/trent-council

"Trent, Council of." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/trent-council

Trent, Council of

Trent, Council of (1545–63) Nineteenth ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, which provided the main impetus of the Counter-Reformation in Europe. It met at Trent, n Italy, in three sessions under three popes (Paul III, Julius III, Pius IV). It clarified Catholic doctrine and refused concessions to the Protestants, while also instituting reform of many of the abuses that had provoked the Reformation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trent, Council of." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Trent, Council of." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

"Trent, Council of." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council

Trent, Council of

Trent, Council of an ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, held in three sessions between 1545 and 1563 in Trento. Prompted by the opposition of the Reformation, the council clarified and redefined the Church's doctrine, abolished many ecclesiastical abuses, and strengthened the authority of the papacy. These measures provided the Church with a solid foundation for the Counter-Reformation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Trent, Council of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Trent, Council of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/trent-council

"Trent, Council of." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved October 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/trent-council