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Class 11 : Trent, and Three S ons of Trent. Dr. Ann T. Orlando 14 February 2014. Rome in Later 16 th C. Center of Catholic Spiritual Power Combined with Spanish military might, world-wide reach “Stubborn” emphasis on (reformed) discipline and doctrine rejected by Protestants

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class 11 trent and three s ons of trent

Class 11 : Trent, and Three Sons of Trent

Dr. Ann T. Orlando

14February 2014

rome in later 16 th c
Rome in Later 16th C
  • Center of Catholic Spiritual Power
  • Combined with Spanish military might, world-wide reach
  • “Stubborn” emphasis on (reformed) discipline and doctrine rejected by Protestants
    • Sacraments
    • Tradition
    • Saints
    • Importance of Papacy
    • Art in service of religion: the Baroque
catholic response council of trent
Catholic Response: Council of Trent
  • Called by Pope Paul III
  • Lengthy, intermittent (1545-1563)
    • Pope initially reluctant to call council because of bad experiences with councils (especially Council of Constance) in 15th C
    • Purpose was both to address reform of practice and to uphold Catholic doctrine
    • Developed in several sessions
  • Jesuits play a major theological role at Trent; encouraged explicit statement of Catholic doctrine in opposition to Protestant views
politics behind council
Politics Behind Council
  • Charles V wanted control of Council; insisted that it occur in his territory, and control over bishops
  • Also, successors of Paul III, Julius III and Paul IV, not in favor of council
    • Limited control over French bishops
    • Not in favor of some reforms
  • Structure of Council in 25 Sessions scattered across 3 Periods
    • Period I (1545-1547)
    • Period II (1551-1552)
    • Period III (1562-1563)
first period 1545 1547 key results
First Period 1545-1547 Key Results
  • Includes Bull of Convocation, Sessions 1-10; Pope Paul III
  • Emphasis on Nicene Creed and Tradition
  • Definitive statement concerning books of NT and OT; Latin Vulgate declared adequate for doctrinal proofs
  • Number of sacraments fixed at 7
  • Justification: man cooperates with God’s grace
second period 1551 1552
Second Period (1551-1552)
  • Includes Sessions 11-16; Pope Julius III
  • Degree on Eucharist that defined Real Presence;
    • Transubstantiation
  • Sacrament of Penance revised
third period 1562 1563
Third Period (1562-1563)
  • Sessions 18-25; Pope Pius IV
  • Resolution that bishops should live in their diocese
  • Catechism of Trent
  • Revised missal and breviary
  • Mass as true sacrifice
  • Reform decrees on clerical behavior and revision of seminary rules
key theological statements from trent
Key Theological Statements from Trent
  • Scripture and Tradition
  • Sacraments are effective through performance of sacramental action, “ex opereoperato”
  • Affirmed Mass as sacrifice and transubstantiation
  • Affirmed 7 sacraments
  • Good works together with faith brings about salvation
  • Affirmed indulgences and intercession of saints
trent and seminaries
Trent and Seminaries
  • Recall that universities had been the primary locus for clerical training
    • By the 14th C, run by academics, not bishops
    • Included a broad cross-section of students
    • Emphasis increasingly on intellectual but not moral formation
    • By 16th C increasingly tied to monarchies
  • Trent Session 23 on Seminaries
    • Every bishop should establish a seminary in his diocese; the bishop is directly responsible for the seminary
    • Seminary dedicated to education of clergy
seminarian formation
Seminarian Formation
  • Seminarians should wear clerical dress at all times
    • To keep always in mind that they are ecclesiastics
  • Seminarians should study a range of skills including
    • Biblical studies
    • Philosophy and theology
    • Homiletics, especially studying homilies of the Fathers
    • Practical skills such as accounting
  • Seminarians should develop a strong spiritual life
    • Daily Mass
    • Spiritual director and confessor
    • Attend to parish or diocesan assignments on feast days
st charles borromeo 1538 1584
St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
  • From northern Italy, parents placed him in a monastery school as a young boy
  • Studied for priesthood at university in Pavia
  • Quickly rose to be Archbishop of Milan and Secretary of State
    • Charles was a key intermediary between Pius IV (Charles’ uncle) and the Council
    • Significantly contributed to Tridentine catechism
  • As Archbishop of Milan
    • Instituted the seminary directives from Trent
    • Encouraged lay spiritual formation
    • Beloved in Milan for having personally cared for sick during a plague
st robert bellarmine 1542 1621
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
  • Born in Italy; attended schools run by Jesuits
  • Entered Jesuit order 1560
  • Writes De Controversiis 1576
    • Systematic work based on Council of Trent
  • As chief theologian in Curia, he was able to ensure degrees of Trent were implemented
  • Declared saint and doctor of Church in 1930
st francis de sales 1567 1622
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
  • Born in eastern France, educated by Jesuits
  • As a young man studying theology, was very concerned about predestination
    • In prayer before a statue of Mary, his fears were relieved
    • Decided to lead a celibate life
    • Over his father’s objection entered ecclesial life
  • As a priest he was known for the insight of his confessions, and the force of his preaching
  • He was named bishop of Geneva (in absentia) in 1602
    • Lived a very simple life as bishop
    • Great care for poor
    • Known for kindness
    • Along with St, Jean de Chantal founded Visitation sisters
    • Started catechetical programs for lay people
  • Died praying “God’s will be done; Jesus my God and my all”
  • Canonized 1665; declared doctor of Church 1877
introduction to the devout life
Introduction to the Devout Life
  • Widely influential in his own time
  • Introduction was translated into every European language almost immediately
  • Why such an impact then (and now)
    • Written for layman (really woman)
    • Written in a spirit of understanding and gentleness with the human condition
  • Nothing really new, but repackaged in the light of Reformation and Trent
    • Emphasis on Confession
    • Emphasis on authority of Fathers
impact of trent
Impact of Trent
  • Defined Catholicism in Early Modern World
    • Reiterated tradition
    • Defined Catholicism as opposed to Protestants
  • Gave the Church a unified teaching program against the Protestants
  • Made Jesuits the theologians of the Church at beginning of modern period
    • Note, Jesuits not tied to local bishops
  • Relation between Trent and Vatican II still being worked out
but theological debates on justification within church continue dominicans and jesuits
But Theological Debates On Justification Within Church Continue: Dominicans and Jesuits
  • A continuing discussion within the Church on grace and works
    • Dominicans of 16th, 17th C tended more toward grace; interested in universals
    • Jesuits toward works, interested in particulars
    • Congregatio de Auxiliis called by Clement VIII in 1598 to settle dispute
    • On the advice of St. Francis de Sales, in 1607 Pope Paul V degreed that the Jesuits could not call the Dominicans Calvinstis; nor were the Jesuits allowed to call the Dominicans Calvinists
  • In renewed sacrament of penance, Jesuit development of casuistry
    • De-emphasize universal moral principles
    • ‘Sinfulness’ dependent on particulars of the agent and his circumstances
  • In early 17th C Bishop of Ypres, Cornelius Jansenius (1583-1635) will write massive Augustinus published in 1640
    • Opposition to Jesuits (Molina in particular), but also some aspects of Dominican position
    • Strongly anti-Pelagian, but also questioned value of philosophy (Aristotelianism) to lead to the truths of faith
  • 1. Trent Decrees on Scripture, Sacraments, Justification, Indulgences in Bettenson ed. Documents of the Christian Church Third Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. 275-282.
  • 2. Francis De Sales Devout Life, Prayer, Preface and First Part of Introduction in Introduction to the Devout Life, available at