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HIST Lecture #23 11-15

HIST Lecture #23 11-15 - The Catholic Reformation and...

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The Catholic Reformation and Religious War The Catholic Church responded to the Protestant Reformation by trying to reform and in some places, roll back the Protestant Reformation and launch a counter-reformation. The Protestant Reformation launches a century of religious warfare. By 1536, England had joined a large part of Northern Europe under Lutheranism. At first, the church was caught off guard by the Reformation and its rapid spread. The Pope was furious, and very shortly after Luther begins challenging the church, the Pope declares him a heretic and excommunicates him. The papal bull was the pope’s list of Luther’s wrongdoings. By the late 1520’s and early 1530’s the Catholic church begins to consolidate the areas in southern Europe, parts of Germany and France that hadn’t yet experienced the Reformation. The French king was afraid that the Protestant Reformation would ruin their attempts to centralize power in the nation under a Catholic monarchy. By the 1530’s influential voices within the church called for a reform of the church. While they reject his theology, they do realize that his message is spreading because the church had problems. One way to do this was to initiate reform from the top down. Pope Paul called a church Council of Trent in 1535, which lasted for 18 years. Leading intellectuals and members of the church hierarchy gathered and talked about what was wrong. The first thing they did was reaffirming the foundations of Catholic doctrine. They also reject everything Luther has to say. They reject the Priesthood of Believers and the thought that anyone could interpret the Bible. In 1559, they establish the Index of Prohibited Books. They then focus on reform. They end the practice of simony. They try to pass reforms to lead to a better-educated clergy. The clergy were discouraged from materialism. They try to encourage a new piety among both the clergy and the lay folk. The biggest thing that happens is that the church regroups and gets its confidence back. This top-down reform is really just one aspect of the Catholic Reformation. There are many examples of Catholic monks and brethren coming together to think of ways to restore the church. A religious order called the Society of Jesus was created by Ignatius Loyola. He wanted to become a spiritual soldier of Jesus and the church. He wrote a book called Spiritual Exercises. It taught how to pray, how to meditate, and how to gain a closer relationship with God. The most important thing that separated the Jesuits was that they were organized, disciplined, and militant. They are intensely loyal to the Pope. The Jesuits become and instrument of the Pope. They are well educated and become some of the foremost educators throughout Europe. Wanted to show that Protestants don’t have
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