Catholic Counter-Reformation

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In reaction to the Protestant Reformation, Catholicism underwent a major reawakening. The Catholic Counter Reformation was sparked with the Council of Trent. The Council of Trent consisted of religious authority figures and scholars. Some members of the council wished for moderate reform and others desired to focus on tradition doctrine; the latter won. Because of this, the Pope is recognized as the most supreme individual, churches were to interpret scripture, and confidence in the Catholic religion was partially restored. All in all, the Council of Trent reaffirmed the traditional Catholic teachings against Protestant beliefs.

The Catholic Reformation also featured the revival of many medieval aspects of Catholicism, including mysticism and monasticism. A great example of mysticism during the Catholic Reformation can be given by Saint Teresa of Avila. She was a nun who claimed that she experienced a variety of mystical visions, that she claimed resulted in the union of her soul with God. Monasticism had many members of the Catholic population completely dedicating themselves to their religion. The Jesuits were also very important during the Catholic Counter Reformation. When Ignatius of Loyola decided to dedicate his will to the will of the church, he organized the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Jesuits are known as the key of the Catholic Reformation. The Jesuits helped educate others and spread the Catholic faith. They sent missionaries abroad and made efforts to reconvert the Protestants. They were eventually able to reform the Catholic Church.

At the time, the revival and rediscovery of lost Catholic values was essential. The Protestant Reformation left many Catholic people feeling discouraged that their religion was disappearing. The occurrence of the Catholic Counter Reformation helped Catholic people keep their faith and gain more self-respect.
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