Trent, Council of
TRENT, COUNCIL OF
The Nineteenth Ecumenical Council, which opened at Trent, Italy, on Dec. 13, 1545, and closed there on Dec. 4, 1563, having held 25 sessions. The council's objective was the order and clarification of Catholic doctrine, and legislation for a thorough reform of the Church.
The 25-Year Conflict over Its Convocation
On June 15, 1520, Pope leo x had condemned 4l propositions from the writings of Martin luther. But this condemnation had, in many quarters, not been accepted or regarded as the final, irrevocable decision of the Church, because the impression persisted, partly under the influence of the conciliar theory and partly because of the memory of the councils of the early centuries of the Church, that the final decision on controversies concerning the faith accrued to an ecumenical council. [see conciliarism (history of); conciliarism (theological aspect).]
Charles V and the Lutherans. Both the Catholic estates of the empire and those friendly to Luther demanded in the Diet of Nuremberg (1523) a "free, Christian Council on German soil" within a year. The Lutherans understood this to mean a council "free of the Pope," which would be summoned by pope and emperor in concert; "Christian" meant that the Bible alone would be the touchstone at that council and that the laity would be represented; "on German soil" meant within the boundaries of the empire, analogously to the ancient Christian councils that had been held where the controversies had erupted. The tenor of this Nuremberg formula explains why Pope clement vii was dilatory in his treatment of the demand for a council, which had the support of Emperor charles v; besides, wars between the emperor and King Francis I of France (1521–29, 1536–38) made the convocation of a council in the empire virtually impossible. The Lutherans gained time to establish, with the support of the secular authorities, a new ecclesiastical organization and submitted a profession of faith at the Diet of Augsburg (1530). The emperor made an effort to reach agreement with the Lutherans at this Diet but without success. Thereupon, in accord with an agreement reached with Charles V in Bologna, Clement VII offered to summon a council. But the pope attached so many conditions to the proposal that nothing came of it.
Proposal of Paul III. Pope paul iii was the first to make the council a part of his program; but the convocation agreed upon during Charles V's visit to Rome in April of 1536 came to nothing, because of the demand of the duke of Mantua for the provision of a strong papal guard for the council, which according to a previous agreement was to be brought to Mantua, at that time an imperial fief. The date of this convocation had been set for June 2, 1536; and when this effort failed, the council was transferred to Vicenza, to which city papal delegates journeyed to find that no bishops had appeared. The German Protestants and France refused to send delegates to the council. The emperor again made an effort to heal the breach at the Diet of Regensburg (1541) by direct negotiations with the Protestants, but in vain (see interims).
On May 22, 1542, the pope summoned the council to Trent, a site recommended by the emperor and approved by the estates. But a new war between Charles V and Francis I intervened, and seven months later there were only ten bishops present in Trent. The council had to be suspended; only after the Peace of Crépy (Sept. 18, 1544), in which the king of France assumed the obligation of sending delegates to the council, could the date March 15, 1545, be set for its convocation at Trent. The council was decreed by the bull Laetare Jerusalem (Nov. 19, 1544). The bull set three orders of business: healing of the confessional split, reform of the Church, and establishment of peace so that a defense against the Ottomans could be elaborated. On Feb. 22, 1545, the pope named
Cardinals Giovanni Del Monte, Marcello Cervini, and Reginald Pole as his legates.
The Council Under Paul III and Julius III (1545–52)
This second convocation sent to Trent was successful primarily because the pope and the emperor had reached agreement on a common procedure against the German Protestants: First, their opposition to the council (and to the emperor) was to be broken with military force, and then they were to present themselves to the council and, if necessary, be compelled to submit to its decisions. Because no imperial campaign against the Schmalkaldic League materialized, and it seemed unwise to keep the bishops already in Trent waiting much longer, the pope ordered the council to open on Dec. 13, 1545, in the Cathedral of St. Vigilius, although there were only 34 participants present with the right to vote. Since there had not been sufficient preparatory work, the deliberations took almost two months to get into meaningful action; on Jan. 22, 1546, the decision was taken to treat dogma and reform side by side.
Scripture and tradition. The debates on dogmatic points by the council fathers with right to vote in the general congregations were prepared in theological congregations (the first held on Feb. 20, 1546). Since Sola scriptura (Scripture alone), was recognized by the Protestants as a rule of faith, this was the point first attacked. The decree on the sources of revelation published in session 4 (April 8, 1546) contained a list of the canonical Books of the Old Testament and New Testament [see canon, biblical] and decreed that the apostolic traditions on faith and custom that "have been transmitted in some sense from generation to generation down to our times" were to be accepted "with as much reverence" (pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia ) as Sacred Scripture. There is scarcely any doubt that the majority of the council fathers were thinking in terms of a material supplementation to Sacred Scripture when they proposed the principle of tradition. A second decree declared the Vulgate (vetus et vulgata editio ) to be authentic, that is, apodictic when quoted in lectures, debates, and sermons. Criticism of this decree in Rome was answered by the council legates with the declaration that no suppression of the study of the original texts (Greek and Hebrew) was intended.
License for preaching. The proclamation of the Word of God in sermons presupposed a better training of priests. The council judged that it could content itself with the renewal and expansion of the decree promulgated at the Fourth Lateran Council on the establishment of lectorates in grammar and theology in the cathedral churches. Preaching on Sundays and holy days was made obligatory for all bishops and pastors; a controversy between bishops and exempt orders concerning the granting of the license to preach was resolved by a ruling that in the churches of exempt orders only the permission of the superiors of the order was required, whereas in all other churches, the license of the local ordinary was needed.
Original sin and justification. Also in session 5 (June 17, 1546), the council condemned in six canons both the Pelagian denial of original sin and Luther's teaching that original sin is not entirely effaced by Baptism; the evil concupiscence remaining after Baptism was held to be not sin in the strict sense but was sometimes called sin (even by the Apostle Paul), because it came from sin and inclined to sin (quia ex peccato est et ad peccatum inclinat ).
The ensuing debate on the doctrine of justification lasted seven months because of the impossibility of resolving the question by recourse to the decisions of earlier councils and because of the desire to avoid definite statements on standing controversies within the Catholic schools of theology (Thomists, Scotists, Augustinians). Moreover, in July of 1546 the war against the Protestants began, and at times it approached so threateningly close to the city of Trent that consideration was given to a suspension or transferral of the council. The first draft of a decree on justification (submitted on July 28) had to be withdrawn since it encountered general disapproval; the second draft, commissioned by Cervini from the Augustinian general Girolamo seripando (submitted on August 23) was finally adopted after repeated revision in session 6 (Jan. 13, 1547). For the first time, 16 doctrinal chapters were prefaced to the 33 canons in order to present the Catholic doctrine in positive form. The council answered Luther's most ardent desire by affirming that God's grace is necessary for the entire process of justification, although the process does not exclude dispositions for grace or the collaboration of free will (see grace; free will and grace). The essence of justification was declared to consist not in the remission of sins alone but rather in the "sanctification and renovation of the inner man" by supernatural charity. Faith is not the only condition of justification, although it is the "beginning, foundation and root"; no one can be certain that he is in a state of grace. The grace of justification increases through observance of the commandments of God, which is a duty imposed by God and not simply a sign of accomplished justification. The grace of justification can be lost as a result of mortal sin (not simply by loss of faith), and it can be regained through the Sacrament of penance. Eternal life in God is a grace, not merely a reward.
Residence and jurisdiction of bishops. The decree on justification was adopted almost unanimously, but the decree on obligatory residence for bishops and pastors, submitted on Jan. 7, 1547 in the general congregation, encountered strong opposition because it limited itself to enacting the punishment for the neglect of residence over a six-month period, that is, deprivation of revenue, without giving sufficient consideration to the reasons for nonresidence (impedimenta residentiae ), which had already been submitted for consideration by many bishops in the summer of 1546: These were the trammeling of episcopal activities by the secular power, the Curia, the exempt cathedral chapters, and others. Only 28 of the 60 participants with the right to vote gave the decree their unconditional placet in this session, and only in the general congregation of February 25 could its adoption be established by taking account of the qualified placet votes. The legates felt compelled to consider the bishops' demands and expand their reform program. The reform decree adopted in session 7 (March 3, 1547) eliminated a number of abuses in the matter of rights of jurisdiction and ordination; the prerogatives of the bishops were extended to include the right to make visitations of exempt parochial benefices as well.
First deliberation on the sacraments. The same session, after a detailed debate that extended from February 8 to 22, determined the Catholic notion of a Sacrament and placed their number at seven. The Sacraments were defined as efficacious signs, bringing grace by the rite itself ex opere operato and not simply by reason of the faith of the recipient. The council also defined the doctrine on the Sacraments of Baptism and confirmation (see sacramental, theology).
Transfer to Bologna. An epidemic of typhus, probably brought in from the German war front, provided the opportunity to transfer the council from Trent, the sphere of the emperor's influence, to Bologna, which was under papal hegemony. The decree of transference, adopted in session 8 (March 11, 1547), was protested by a minority of 14 bishops, almost all of them subjects of the emperor; they remained in Trent. The majority attended the first session in Bologna, held on April 21, 1547. The ensuing months were spent in intensive treatment of the doctrine on the remaining Sacraments and on the Sacrifice of the Mass [see sacrifice, iv (in christian theology); eu-charist in contemporary catholic thought], purgatory, veneration of the saints, and monastic vows, both in the theological congregation and the general congregation. But not a single one of the decrees on these dogmatic matters and their corresponding abuses could be adopted, because the pope did not want to push to the breaking point the tension with the emperor, which resulted from the council's transfer. The pope, however, rejected Charles V's demand for a return to Trent. After the emperor had submitted a solemn protest both in Rome and Bologna against the change of the site of the council, Paul III decreed a suspension of its deliberations on February 16, 1548. The significance of the Bologna interval lay in its important preparatory work for later conciliar debates.
Return to Trent. After the death of Paul III, his successor, julius iii, yielded to the pressure of the emperor and on Nov. 14, 1550 transferred the council back to Trent. The only legate was Cardinal Marcello Crescenzio, with whom were associated as co-chairmen Bishop Sebastiano Pighino and Bishop Luigi Lippomano. The council opened punctually on May 1, 1551, but it did not begin its deliberations until late summer; yet, as a result of the work that had been done in Bologna, it managed as early as Oct. 11, 1551 (session 13) to finish with the important decree on the Eucharist, which defined the Real Presence of Christ (vere, realiter et substantialiter ) in opposition chiefly to the doctrine of U. zwingli, and the doctrine of transubstantiation, as opposed to that of Luther. These definitions covered eight doctrinal chapters and 11 canons. On Nov. 25, 1551 (session 14), there followed the definition of the doctrine on Penance and Extreme Unction. [see anointing of the sick, i (theology of).] In the matter of the Sacrament of Penance, the council distinguished three elements: contrition, confession (at least of mortal sins), and reparation; the priestly absolution was defined to be a juridical act. In the matter of Extreme Unction, the main issue at stake was the sacramental nature of this action, which Luther had contested. The reform decrees of both sessions concerned the rights and duties of the bishops with respect to their clergy and regulated the procedure in church courts.
Meanwhile, ambassadors and theologians of several Protestant estates (Brandenburg, Württemberg, Strassburg) had appeared in Trent for the first and only time. They had indeed promised to attend the council of Trent; this promise had been given at the Diet of Augsburg in 1548 after the defeat of the Schmalkaldic League, but conditions had been attached that made any rapprochement difficult, if not impossible. These included a revision of the resolutions already taken by the council so as to base them solely on Scripture and the subordination of the pope to the council. The demand for an improved safe-conduct that would guarantee their safety in Trent was acceded to in session 15 (Jan. 25, 1552), but fulfillment of the other provisions was impossible. The debate on the Sacrament of holy orders and the Sacrifice of the Mass, begun on Jan. 2, 1552, could not be concluded because of the revolt against Charles by the German princes allied with France. This broke out in the spring and forced suspension of the council on April 28, 1552 (session 16).
Ten-year prorogation. The council's deliberations remained suspended for a decade, and thus far it had arrived only at fragmentary results: Its dogmatic definitions were incomplete, only a fraction of the controversies with the Protestants having been doctrinally resolved; still less satisfactory were its reform decrees, which left unanswered many urgent petitions of the bishops. In 1553 Julius III prepared an extensive reform bull to cope with the many unresolved practical problems, but he died before it could be published. paul iv, who had always been opposed to the council, summoned a papal reform assembly to Rome in 1556 as a substitute for the council, but this assembly was dissolved after a short time because of the pope's war against Spain.
The Council Under Pius IV (1562–63)
The reopening of the council under Paul IV's successor, pius iv, was occasioned by the advance of calvinism in France. As a result of the vacillating attitude of the regent catherine de mÉdicis, Catholicism seemed to be so severely threatened in France that only a general council could rescue it. Should this be a new council, as France and Emperor Ferdinand I wished, or should it be a continuation of the previous sessions, as King philip ii of spain demanded? Although the bull of convocation, published on Nov. 29, 1560, evaded the controversial question, an answer was implicit when in the course of the negotiations opened at Trent on Jan. 18, 1563, with 113 Council fathers present with right to vote, it was decided to resume discussion of the agenda broken off in 1551 and 1552, namely, Communion under both species and the doctrine of the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Renewed deliberation on episcopal residence. Presiding as legates were Cardinals Ercole Gonzaga, Girolamo Seripando, Stanislaus hosius, and Ludovico simonetta; the pope's nephew, Cardinal Marcus Sitticus von Hohenems (Altemps), also named as legate, left the council after a short time. In order to avoid the politically tense question of whether this was a new council or a continuation of Trent, the legates on March 11, 1562, presented 12 reform articles, the first of which dealt with the yet unresolved problem of episcopal residence. The debate centered on whether the council should declare bishops to be obliged to reside in their dioceses by divine law. The supporters of the ius divinum were convinced that this was the only way to cure the neglectfulness of bishops who resided at court or elsewhere than the territory entrusted to their pastoral care; the opponents saw in such a declaration a threat to papal primacy. A vote taken on April 20 on whether the council should make a declaration on the ius divinum of the residence obligation yielded 67 placets, 35 non-placets, with 34 council fathers referring the decision to the pope. Thereupon Pius IV forbade a continuation of the debate. Cardinals Gonzaga and Seripando, who were reputed to be in favor of the ius divinum solution, fell into disfavor with the pope, and their recall was contemplated. The vehement reaction of the Spanish bishops, led by Archbishop Pedro Guarrero of Granada, and of the imperial bishops against the measure condemned the council to inactivity until Gonzaga promised in the general congregation of June 6 to continue the debate on the residence obligation when the Sacrament of Holy Orders would be discussed. The crisis was temporarily surmounted.
Communion under both species. The first fruit of the renewed deliberations was the decree of session 21 (July 16, 1562) on Communion under both species, which laid the dogmatic basis (expressed in the statement that under either species the whole and undivided Christ is received) for the resolution of the practical question of the granting of the chalice to the laity. The practical question itself, however, which had been raised by Emperor Ferdinand I and the duke of Bavaria, was postponed in view of the reservations expressed, especially by the Spaniards. In the following session, the regulation of the practical question was referred to the pope, who, after the conclusion of the council (April 16, 1564) authorized the chalice for the laity under certain conditions for several ecclesiastical provinces of Germany and the hereditary territories of the hapsburgs.
Sacrifice of the Mass. The nine canons and nine doctrinal chapters adopted in session 22 (Sept. 17, 1562) on the Sacrifice of the Mass are, together with the decree on justification, by far the most important definitions of the entire council. All the reformers had denied the sacrificial character of the Mass, and its abolition had always been the decisive step toward separation. For the Catholic Church the Mass is the center of the mystery of salvation, latreutic and Eucharistic but also propitiatory, a commemoration but also a rendering present of the sacrifice of the cross; the Mass in no way encroaches upon the uniqueness of the sacrifice of Calvary because the same sacrificial priest offers the same sacrificial gift, although in a different way (eadem hostia, idem offerens, sola offerendi ratione diversa ). The council defined that the Sacrifice of the Mass may be offered in honor of the saints and for the faithful, living and dead. A simultaneous reform decree bound the bishops to eliminate abuses in its celebration. The claim that a contemplated ban on florid counterpoint was prevented by Giovanni Pierluigi da palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli is a legend that originated only in 1609; but there may be a grain of historical truth in it inasmuch as the council fathers were acquainted with the newly developing church music of Palestrina and Orlando di Lassus through the polyphonic conciliar prayers by the Dutch composer Jacobus de Kerle and through other compositions.
Ius Divinum of episcopal office. During the ensuing debate on the Sacrament of Holy Orders (October 13 to 20, November 3 to 10) and on the schema on the obligation of residence presented on December 10, the clash between the supporters of the ius divinum of the episcopal office and the "Zelanti" backed by the legate Simonetta broke out afresh. The former were reinforced by 12 French bishops led by Cardinal Charles Guise, who arrived in Trent on November 13. All the efforts of Gonzaga and Seripando to bring the two parties to agreement on the controversial canon 7 of the decree on Holy Orders were unsuccessful. The draft formula of Seripando to the effect that the bishops had "been established in the Church by Christ" but received their jurisdiction from the pope was rejected not only by the "Zelanti" but also in Rome; conversely, the French resisted the suggestion made by Rome that the Florentine council's definition of the primacy be adopted. Again the negotiations bogged down and the council seemed incapable of fruitful progress. Guise, now the undisputed leader of the opposition, went to Emperor Ferdinand I at Innsbruck and persuaded him to draw the attention of the pope in two letters written on March 3, 1563, to the seriousness of the situation; simultaneously a special ambassador of the king of Spain appeared in Rome with similar complaints. This intervention of the secular powers accented the full seriousness of the conciliar crisis.
It was surmounted only after the two senior legates, Gonzaga and Seripando, had died (March 2 and 17 respectively) and been replaced by Cardinals Giovanni morone and Bernardo Navagero. Morone, the best diplomat then available to the Curia, and possessing the full confidence of the pope, became the savior of the council. Soon after his arrival in Trent, he went to the emperor at Innsbruck and dissipated his fears that the pope wanted neither reform of the Church nor the council's continuation. The pope meanwhile assured the king of Spain in several personal letters that he was resolved to continue the council, to confirm and implement its decisions, in short "to do everything that a good pope and a good Christian can and must do." This put a stop to the intervention of the secular states in the affairs of the council. In Trent itself, Cardinal Morone's diplomatic skill managed to win over Cardinal Guise for a compromise involving a simple omission of the most important point of doctrinal controversy, the ius divinum of the episcopal office.
The decree on Holy Orders (4 chapters and 8 canons) adopted in session 23 (July 15, 1563) defined the sacramental character of sacerdotal ordination and the existence of an ecclesiastical hierarchy based on divine ordinance. The controversial canon 7, now become canon 8, condemned the contention that bishops named by the pope are not legal and true bishops. The simultaneously adopted decree on the residence obligation began with the words "it is a divine precept that the pastor know his flock," but refrained from any statement concerning the basis of the obligation of episcopal residence that was made specifically to include the cardinals.
Establishment of seminaries. Session 23 also ordered the establishment of episcopal seminaries for the training of priests (De ref. c. 18). Previously there had been neither binding norms nor appropriate institutions for the training and education of future priests; it had been left up to each individual candidate to acquire the training necessary for his priestly functions. There was practically no question of any spiritual formation. The council averted to certain examples of organized training already in existence in Verona and Granada, and noted the decree of the English National Synod (1556) that established cathedral schools as "nurseries" (seminaria ) of the clergy and laid upon the bishops the obligation of erecting, with the financial assistance of their diocesan clergy, "colleges" for the training and education of future priests.
Reform petitions. The deepest reason for the two crises of the council was the suspicion of many non-Italian bishops that the pope and Curia wanted to avoid any consequential reform of the Church and preferred to settle for measures of little gravity. What the bishops judged was needed for reform they had committed to writing in reform memoranda. On April 6, 1562, the Spaniards had presented such a list to the legates; later the emperor and the French had proposed similar "reform petitions," but the council had not taken them up. Now Morone had these proposals sifted by the auditor of the Rota, Gabrielle Paleotti, and an extensive text was elaborated, taking account of curial traditions; its first portion was put up for debate on Sept. 3, 1563. Its basic thought was that the salvation of souls must be the supreme law. Therefore, in the selection of bishops, attention was to be paid to choosing only the more worthy (digniores ), who would be able to function, on the model of Christ, as good shepherds and heralds of the gospel. The episcopal powers, hitherto exposed to many limitations, were de facto expanded; bishops were given, for instance, in their quality as delegates of the Holy See, the right of correction and punishment over all exempt orders and chapters, institutions and individuals insofar as any of these were engaged in pastoral work. Provincial synods were to be held every three years, diocesan synods every year; the exempt were also to appear at them and obey their enactments. Competition for pastoral appointments was introduced after the Spanish model, so as to discover the most qualified (magis idoneus ) candidates.
Decrees on marriage. Session 24 (Nov. 11, 1563), which adopted this reform legislation, also enacted a dogmatic and a disciplinary decree on marriage. The former defended the sacramental character of marriage, from which derived the Church's right to establish impediments; it likewise proclaimed the unity and indissolubility of marriage. The second decree, usually called the Tametsi from its initial word, declared that secret marriages not solemnized in facie ecclesiae (matrimonia clandestina ) were not only illicit, as the law then in force had declared, but invalid as well: It made the validity of a marriage dependent on the observance of the prescription regarding form, namely, that the marriage be solemnized before a competent pastor and two or three witnesses. The fact of the marriage is to be entered in a register. The Tametsi decree came into force only where it was promulgated.
Morone made every effort, in accord with Pius IV and his nephew Charles borromeo, who was responsible for the correspondence with the conciliar legates, to end the council before Christmas; the Spanish ambassador, Count Luna, with a small group of malcontents, tried to prolong it, but without success. The second part of the great reform text was debated in the general congregation. It was directed against excessive ostentation on the part of cardinals and bishops and reminded them that they ought to be models of holy humility (sanctae humilitatis exempla ); in the interest of pastoral efficiency, many changes were made in the law governing ecclesiastical offices, with particular regard to patronage, union of benefices, and claims to benefices.
Regular clerics. The schema on reform of the regulars presented on November 20 limited itself to establishing certain definite principles concerning the novitiate, the making of profession and the vita communis, binding for all orders. It contained precautions to safeguard the freedom of action in making profession and a tightening of the enclosure for convents. The ban on awarding abbeys to secular priests, especially cardinals, as commendatories, was so vaguely worded as to be ineffectual. A minority of about 40 cardinals complained of its indefiniteness but to no avail, and this abuse was not entirely suppressed in the sequel.
Indulgences. Besides these reform decrees, there was on the agenda a declaration of the council on indulgences, against which Luther had previously composed his 95 Theses, on purgatory, and on the veneration of the saints, of their relics, and of images; this veneration of saints had been a great point of contention in the polemic with the Protestants. Since it proved impossible for lack of time to treat these articles of faith in detail with the same care as the others (in the theological and general congregations), Morone yielded to the insistence of Guise and formed three council committees to elaborate brief decrees that reproduced the essentials of Catholic doctrine on these points and also contained the reform measures necessary precisely in this area. The council stated that the Church has full power to grant indulgences; that there is a place of purification for the dead that is accessible to the intercession and sacrifice of the faithful; that it "is good and profitable to invoke the saints" and to venerate their relics; that it is permissible to place images of Christ and the saints in churches and to venerate them, because, as the seventh Ecumenical Council had defined: "the honor given them is directed to the originals whom they represent."
Close of the council. It was intended to publish these decrees and the last-mentioned reform decrees on December 9 and thus to conclude the council. But when during the night of November 30 and December 1 a courier brought the news from Rome that the pope was dangerously ill, session 25 was advanced to December 3. It lasted two days because the decrees from all the previous sessions were read again and approved and signed. The signatories were 6 cardinals, 3 patriarchs, 25 archbishops, 169 bishops, 19 proxies for absent bishops, and 7 generals of religious orders. At the conclusion of the session, Cardinal Guise acclaimed the reigning pope and his predecessors Paul III and Julius III, who had convoked and continued the council. All the council fathers then obligated themselves to confess the faith and doctrine contained in the dogmatic decrees and to observe the directives of the reform decrees.
Papal confirmation. In its final session the council had commissioned the legates to obtain papal confirmation of their work. This was given on Jan. 26, 1564; after this oral approval, the bull Benedictus Deus was prepared but was not published until June 30, 1564. All decrees were approved without alteration; the pope reserved the authentic interpretation to the Apostolic See and forbade the publication of commentaries and glosses without its approval. On Aug. 2, 1564, the authentic interpretation of the decrees was entrusted to a committee of cardinals from which developed the Sacred Congregation of the Council.
Supplementation. The council had also in its final session given over to the pope several pieces of business that it had not been able to dispatch itself. Accordingly, Pius IV published on March 24, 1564, the revised Index of Forbidden Books; Pius V, the Roman Catechism for Pastors (1566), the reformed Roman Breviary (1568), and the Reformed Roman Missal (1570). The revised edition of the Vulgate did not appear until 1592 (Sixto-Clementina). The reform of the offices of the Roman Curia, from which the council had abstained entirely, was mainly the work of Pius V and Sixtus V.
Implementation. Still more important than the supplementation of the decrees was their implementation. The official edition of the decrees printed by Paulus Manutius was sent to the bishops; in this way they also reached America and Africa (Congo). They were accepted and accommodated at provincial and diocesan synods. A crucial factor was the intervention of the popes on behalf of an implementation of the decrees; nuncios and apostolic visitors were commissioned to supervise this execution. In view of the still-intimate ties between Church and State, the papal representatives were also at pains to get the decrees accepted by the governments. The Italian states and Poland accepted them unconditionally; Spain, "without prejudice to the rights of the King." The decrees were not officially accepted by the secular power either in France or in the empire.
Historical significance. The Council of Trent was the Church's answer to the Protestant reformation. It delimited Catholic doctrine sharply from Protestant doctrine and eliminated the disastrous obscurity as to what was an essential element of the faith and what was merely a subject for theological controversy. This Tridentine faith was briefly summarized in the Professio fidei Tridentina, prescribed on Nov. 13, 1564. This profession of faith has one striking lacuna: There is no definition of the Church or of the papal primacy, against which the attacks of the reformers had been concentrated. It is clear from the history of the council that this definition was impossible at that time because the opposing conceptions still in existence could not be reconciled.
The reform decrees of the council were a compromise between the radical reformers' wishes and the curial tradition, not an ideal solution but a serviceable one. Wherever implemented, they effected a renewal and strengthening of ecclesiastical life. The new Catholic piety and mysticism, the revival of scholastic theology, the emergence of positive theology, and the art and culture of the baroque age depend upon the Council of Trent or at least are inconceivable without it. It was no mere restoration of the Middle Ages; rather, it brought so many new features to the countenance of the Church that with it a new era of Church history begins. To the present-day reproach that the council deepened the split between Catholics and Protestants and imbued the Catholic Church for a century with an anti-Protestant attitude, the answer must be that there was an absolute need to delimit clearly the Catholic faith from the Protestant confessions. A resultant anti-Protestant posture was scarcely avoidable given the circumstances. The Council of Trent is not an insurmountable barrier for Christian reunion, as often alleged, for its doctrinal decrees, though not in need of revision, are capable of supplementation.
Bibliography: Sources. h. jedin, Das Konzil von Trient: Ein Überlick über die Erforschung seiner Geschichte (Rome 1948). Canones et decreta S…Concilii Tridentini (Rome 1564), the official standard ed. repr. many times; critical text now in g. alberigo, Conciliorum oeucumenicorum decreta (New York 1962) 633–775. The oldest collection of the Acta was provided by j. le plat, Monumentorum ad historiam Concilii Tridentini potissimum illustrandam spectantium amplissima collectio, 7 v. (Louvain 1781–87). Critical edition of all available sources, Concilium Tridentinum, containing: Diaries, ed. s. merkle, v. 1–3.1; Acts, ed. s. ehses, v. 4, 5, 7.2, and 9, and t. freudenberger, v. 6.1 and 7.1; Letters, ed. g. buschbell, v. 10 and 11; Treatises, ed. v. schweitzer, v. 12, and h. jedin, v. 13. The correspondence of the Legates during the last sessions in j. Šusta, Die Römische Kurie und das Konzil von Trient unter Pius IV, 4 v. (Vienna 1904–14). s. kuttner, ed., Decreta septem priorum sessionum Concilii Tridentini sub Paulo IIIP. M. (Washington 1945), autograph of Council Secretary Massarelli reproduced in photostat copy with important introd. on the oldest printed eds. of the decrees. Narrative and interpretative works. General. p. sarpi, Istoria del Concilio Tridentino (London 1619), strongly antipapal, critical ed. by g. gambarin, 3 v. (Bari 1935). p. s. pallavicino, Istoria del Concilio di Trento, 3 v. (Rome 1656–57), best ed. by f. a. zaccaria, 6 v. (Faenza 1792–97), with h. jedin, Der Quellenapparat der Konzilsgeschichte Pallavicinos (Rome 1940). p. richard, Histoire du Concile de Trente, 2 v. (Paris 1930–31). l. cristiani, L'Église à l'époque du concile de Trente (Paris 1948). g. schreiber, Das Weltkonzil von Trient, 2 v. (Freiburg 1951). h. jedin, A History of the Council of Trent, tr. e. graf,v. 1–2 (St. Louis 1957–60), v. 3 in prep. Participants in the Council. j. de castro, Portugal no Concílio de Trento, 6 v. (Lisbon 1944–46). c. gutiÉrrez, ed. and tr., Españoles en Trento (Valladolid 1951). a. walz, I domenicani al Concilio di Trento (Rome 1961). g. alberigo, "Cataloghi dei partecipanti al Concilio di Trento editi durante il medesimo," Rivista di storia della Chiesa iri Italia 10 (1956) 345–373; 11 (1957) 49–94. i. rogger, Le nazioni al Concilio di Trento durante la sua epoca imperiale, 1545–1552 (Rome 1952). Further bibliog. on participants from religious orders in h. jedin, History of the Council of Trent, tr. e. graf,v. 1–2 (St. Louis 1957–60) 2:60, also h. o. evennett, "Three Benedictine Abbots at the Council of Trent, 1545–1547," Studia monastica 1 (1959) 343–377. The entire duration of the council, h. jedin, Papal Legate at the Council of Trent: Cardinal Seripando, tr. f. c. eckhoff (St. Louis 1947); "Redeund Stimmfreiheit auf dem Konzil von Trient," Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 75 (1956) 73–93. The council under Paul III and Julius III (1545–52). h. jedin, "Die Kosten des Konzils von Trient unter Paul III," Münchener theologische Zeitschrift 4 (1953) 119–132. g. alberigo, I vescovi italiani al Concilio di Trento 1545–47 (Florence 1959). Bibliog. of older writings on Scripture and tradition, h. jedin, History of the Council of Trent, tr. e. graf, v. 1–2 (St. Louis 1957–60) 2:52. The extensive literature that appeared during Vatican II: j. r. geiselmann, Die Heilige Schrift und die Tradition (Quaestiones disputatae 18; Freiburg 1962). The older opinion, held also by H. Jedin, on the sense of the et-et in f. lennerz, Gregorianum 40 (1959) 38–53, 624–635. w. koch, "Der authentische Charakter der Vulgata im Lichte der Trienter Konzilsverhandlungen," Theologische Quartalschrift 96 (1914) 401–422, 542–572; 97 (1915) 225–249, 529–549. r. draguet, "Le Maître louvaniste Driedo inspirateur du décret de Trente sur la Vulgate," Miscellanea historica in honorem A. de Meyer (Louvain 1946) 836–854. s. ehses, "Das Konzil von Trient und die Übersetzung der Bibel in die Landessprache," Vereinsschrift der Görres-Gesellschaft, 1908 3 (1908) 37–50. j. rainer, "Entstehungsgeschichte des Trienter Predigtreformdekretes," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 39 (1915) 256–317, 465–523. Bibliog. on older works on original sin and decree of justification, h. jedin, History of the Council of Trent, (2d ed. Freiburg 1951) 2:146, 175–176, 178–179. j. olazaran, Documentos inéditos Tridentinos sobre la justificación (Madrid 1957). a. mobilia, Cornelio Musso e la prima forma del decreto sulla giustificazione (Naples 1960). The doctrine of the sacraments in general. d. iturrioz, La definición del Concilio de Trento sobre la causalidad de los sacramentos (Madrid 1951). Bologna sessions. l. carcereri, Il Concilio di Trento dalla traslazione e Bologna alla sospensione (Bologna 1910). t. freudenberger, "Der Kampf um die radikale Abschaffung der Stolgebühren während der Bologneser Periode des Trienter Konzils," Münchener theologische Zeitschrift 1 (1950) 40–53. h. jedin, "Il significato del periodo bolognese per le decisioni dogmatiche e l'opera di riforma del Concilio di Trento" in Problemi di vita religiosa in Italia nel Cinquecento (Padua 1960) 1–16; "Der kaiserliche Protest gegen die Translation des Konzils von Trient nach Bologna," Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 71 (1952) 184–196. Sessions of 1551 and 1552. c. erdmann, "Die Wiedereröffnung des Trienter Konzils durch Julius III," Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken 20 (1928–29) 238–317. j. birkner, "Kardinal M. Crescentius," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 43 (1935) 267–285. h. jedin, "Das Konzilstagebuch des Bischofs Julius Pflug von Naumburg 1551–1552," ibid. 50 (1955) 22–43; "Die Deutschen am Trienter Konzil 1551–1552," Historische Zeitschrift 188 (1959) 1–16. g. alberigo, "Un informatore senese al Concilio di Trento 1551–1552," Rivista di storia della Chiesa iri Italia 12 (1958) 173–201. Protestant participation in the council. r. stupperich, "Die Reformation und das Tridentinum," Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 47 (1956) 20–63. r. e. macnally, "The Council of Trent and the German Protestants," Theological Studies 25 (1964) 1–22. The council under Pius IV (1562–63). h. jedin, "Kirchenreform und Konzilsgedanke 1550–1559," Historisches Jahrbuch der Görres-Gesellschaft 54 (1934) 401–431. New sources for the history of the third period of sessions, which were not yet processed in Concilium Tridentinum, or in Šusta, have been adduced in g. drei, "La corrispondenza del card. Ercole Gonzaga, presidente del Concilio di Trento," Archivio storico per le provincie Parmensi 17 (1917) 185–242; 18 (1918) 29–143. h. jedin, Krisis und Wendepunkt des Trienter Konzils, 1562–1563 (Würzburg 1941). m. calini, Lettere conciliari 1561–63, ed. a. marani (Brescia 1963). j. i. tellechea idigoras, "Cartas y documentos tridentinos inéditos," Hispania sacra 16 (1963) 191–248. n. rodolico, A. D. Addario, Osservatori Aoscani al C. di Trento (Florence 1965). h. o. evennett, The Cardinal of Lorraine and the Council of Trent (Cambridge, Eng. 1940). b. chudoba, "Las relaciones de las dos cortes Absburgesas en la tercera asamblea del Concilio Tridentino," Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 103(1933) 297–368. l. castano, Mons. Nicolò Sfrondati, vescovo di Cremona al Concilio di Trento, 1561–1563 (Turin 1939). l. prosdocimi, "Il progetto di reforma dei principi al Concilio di Trento," Aevum 13 (1939) 3–64. p. prodi, Il cardinale G. Paleotti, v. 1 (Uomi e dottrine 7; Rome 1959). h. jedin, "Das Gefolge der Trienter Konzilsprälaten im Jahre 1562," Festschrift Franz Steinbach (Bonn 1960) 580–596. The fundamental work on the deliberations on Communion under both species for the laity is g. constant, Concession à l'Allemagne de la communion sous les deux espèces, 2 v. (Paris 1923). Debate on the Sacrifice of the Mass. É jamoulle, "Le Sacrifice eucharistique au Concile de Trente," Nouvelle revue théolgique 67 (1945) 513–531; Ephemerides theologicae Louvanienses 22 (1946) 34–69. o. ursprung, "Palestrina und die tridentinische Reform der Kirchenmusik," Monatshefte für katholische Kirchenmusik 10 (1928) 210–219. j. a. o'donohoe, Tridentine Seminary Legislation: Its Sources and Its Formation (Louvain 1957). p. fransen, "Ehescheidung bei Ehebruch," Scholastik 29(1954) 537–560. h. jedin, "L'importanza del dectreto tridentino sui seminari nella vita della Chiesa," Seminarium 15 (1963) 396–412; "Das Konzil von Trient und die Anfänge der Kirchenmatrikeln," Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte, Kanonistische 32 (1943) 419–494; "Zur Vorgeschichte der Regularenreform Trid. Sess. XXV," Römische Quartalschrift für christliche Altertumskunde und für Kirchengeschichte 44 (1936) 231–281; "Entstehung und Tragweite des Trienter Dekrets über die Bilderverehrung," Theologische Quartalschrift 116 (1935) 143–188, 404–429; suppl. in Zeitschrift für Kirchgeschichte 74(1963) 321–339; Krisis und Abschluss des Trienter Konzils 1562–63 (Freiburg 1964), brief summary of third period of sessions. Confirmation, supplementation, and implementation of the council and its historical importance, Pastor v. 15–18. Excellent reports on latest literature, g. alberigo, "Studi e problemi relativi all'applicazione del Concilio di Trento in Italia," Rivisita storica italiana 70 (1958) 239–298. s. kuttner, "The Reform of the Church and the Council of Trent," Jurist 22 (1962) 123–142. h. jedin, "Das Konzil von Trient und die Reform der liturgischen Bücher," Ephemerides liturgicae 59 (1945) 5–38. p. paschini, in Cinquecento Romano e riforma cattolica (Rome 1958) 49–89, on the Roman Catechism. É mÂle, L'Art religieux de la fin du XVI e siècle, du XVII e siècle et du XVIII e siècle: Étude sur l'iconographie après le concile de Trente (2d ed. Paris 1951). p. prodi, Ricerche sulla teorica delle arti figurative nella Riforma cattolica (Rome 1962). General estimate. h. jedin, "Il Concilio di Trento: Scopo, svolgimento e risultati," Divinitas 5 (1961) 345–360; "Ist das Konzil von Trient ein Hindernis der Wiedervereinigung?" Ephemerides theologicae Louvanienses 38 (1962) 841–855. n. minnich, "'Wie in dem Basilischen Concilio den Behemen Gescheen': The Status of the Protestants at the Council of Trent," The Contentious Triangle (Kirksville, Mo. 1999) 201–219. k. mcdonnell, "Luther and Trent on Penance," Lutheran Quarterly ns 7 (1993) 261–276. d.n. power, "The Priestly Prayer: The Tridentine Theologians and the Roman Canon," Fountain of Life, ed. g. austin (Washington, D.C. 1991) 131–164. j. f. mchugh, "The Sacrifice of the Mass at the Council of Trent," Sacrifice and Redemption, ed s. w. sykes (Cambridge 1991) 157–181. j. e. vercruysse, "Luther as Reformer within Christendom," Studia Missionalia 34 (1985) 351–371. r.a. kolb, "The German Lutheran Reaction to the Third Period of the Council of Trent," Lutherjahrbuch (1984) 63–95.
"Trent, Council of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council
"Trent, Council of." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/trent-council