counter reformation

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  • 95 thesis creates problems
  • 95 thesis= dramatic reforms to the church!
  • Luther practically challenges the pope
  • leaders of church gather
  • The sale by the Pope of indulgences, a guarantee of salvation, was the last straw. Martin Luther became a figurehead for the discontented masses, and his “95 Theses” proposed dramatic reforms of the Catholic Church. With the advent of the printing press Luther's manifesto spread far and wide and garnered widespread support.
  • church is paying for the survival of the church
  • The challenge from Luther caught the Pope by surprise. The leaders of the Catholic Church were also frightened by how confidently the Princes of Germany resisted Vatican pressure.
  • Pope changes mind
  • In 1545, the leaders of the Catholic Church gathered in the Northern Italian city of Trent for an emergency conference. Their aim was to reclaim the moral high ground, and the superiority of the Holy Mother Church, in the wake of the Protestant challenge.
  • A book about Luther was published
  • The stakes were high. They were playing for the survival of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • After 20-years of debate, the Council of Trent established the basis for a Catholic counter-attack. Decrees were issued covering every aspect of Church authority, from the holding of multiple offices, to the chastity of priests, and monastic reform. Ignatius Loyola was charged with forming the Jesuits, a band of militant missionaries whose task was to reconvert the converted.
  • The “Index of Forbidden Books” was published, naming and shaming 583 heretical texts, including most translations of the Bible and the works of Erasmus, Calvin and Luther. New churches were ordered, with space for thousands of worshippers, and acoustics designed, for the first time, for vernacular sermons. The Catholic Church used the weapon of reform to entice back its disillusioned congregations.
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