The Counter Reformation

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The Counter Reformation

By | Jan. 2006
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The Counter Reformation arose largely in answer to the Protestant Reformation. The Counter Reformation started in the 1540s as a reaction to Protestantism and progressed simultaneously with the Catholic Reformation. These two reformations were aimed at reforming the Catholic Church. Conservative forces whose aim was both to reform the church and to secure its traditions led the Counter Reformation. Moreover, the Counter Reformation lasted several years with several key phases. The success that lied within this reformation made the Catholic Church legitimate once again.
The Counter sought to stimulate a new religious fervor. With most of Europe engulfed with Protestantism the Catholic Church needed to comeback and stop the deterioration of the Church. The Catholic Church put forth much effort to encourage heretics to return to the church before they encourage more disbelief within the Catholic Church. The Church believed that the heretics would infect the Christian society with an attitude of distrust and hatred towards the Catholic Church. Also there was a lot of attempts to bring many new members into the Church.

In 1542 Pope Paul III established the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office. This group, established by Pope Paul III in 1542, carried out the Roman Inquisition as a way to combat heresy. It had the power to arrest, imprison, and execute, but its influence was confined to papal territories. In 1545, after delay and miscarriage, the Council of Trent was convened by Paul III. This council was the central event of the Counter Reformation. In France the Counter Reformation took root, after the accession and conversion to Catholicism of Henry IV. In England the Counter Reformation took effect less in the restoration of the Roman Catholic Church under Queen Mary. The Jesuits led in foreign missions; in America it was the spirit of the Counter Reformation that led the missionaries to work for the Native Americans, often in opposition to the...