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Catholicism. Renaissance to Present. Early Catholicism & the Spanish Inquisition. In the late 13 th century, the Spanish Inquisition was authorized by Pope Sixtus IV under Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

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Renaissance to Present

early catholicism the spanish inquisition
Early Catholicism & the Spanish Inquisition
  • In the late 13th century, the Spanish Inquisition was authorized by Pope Sixtus IV under Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
  • Then in 1540, the tides of the Spanish Inquisition changed against Protestantism to try and unify Spain.
  • In 1588, England’s Royal Navy suppresses the Spanish Armada.
  • Only in the early 1800s will the Spanish Inquisition be defeated by Napoleon, then finally declared over in 1834.

Renaissance Catholicism

  • 1378 -The end of the Avignon Papacy begins the Western Schism
  • 1378-1417 –Western Schism ~ Split within the Catholic Church, two men claimed to be the pope – Pope Clement VII and Pope Urban VI. The Council of Constance ends the Western Schism (Martin V declared pope)
  • 1431-1445 – Council of Basel, Ferrara and Florence ~ a long series of councils that met to sort out the Schism between the East and West

October 1517 – Germany – Martin Luther publishes his 95 Theses that protested the Catholic Church selling indulgences

  • January 3, 1521 – Pope Leo X issues a bull (Decet Romanum Pontificem) excommunicating Martin Luther, who was also outlawed by the emperor.
  • April 1521 – Diet of Worms

~ Martin Luther presents his ideas, Protestant Reformation is addressed

  • When Martin Luther splits from the Catholic Church and spreads his own ideals, the Lutheran religion is developed.

Protestant Reformation

** Early 16th century – Erasmus, Calvin, Zwingli, Huss, Wycliffe criticize Catholic Church teachings led to →Protestant Reformation **

Protestant Reformation: Christian reform movement throughout Europe that established Protestantism as a religion

 Causes: Accusations of corruption in the Catholic Church, selling of indulgences, Great Schism, Northern Renaissance, German peasant uprisings, Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

  • October 1517 – Protestant Reformation begins

(Martin Luther publishes his 95 Theses)

  • 1525 – Anabaptist movement begins. Anabaptists rejected

infant baptisms and reigned in Mϋnster until Catholic and Protestant armies crushed them.


1534- Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church in England when he breaks away from the Catholic Church with the Act of Supremacy. This is later termed the English Reformation.

  • 1534 – Jesuits founded by Ignatius of Loyola. He taught religious and moral self-discipline in “Spiritual Exercises”
  • Two years later, John Calvin publishes “Institutes of the Christian Religion” which presents Protestant systematic theology/ July 1536 – he moves to Geneva and gets a following (Calvinists)
  • 1545- 1563 – Council of Trent ~ Three sessions held strictly under the pope’s control to change internal church discipline.

Catholic Church’s response to Protestant Reformation

  • 1555 –Peace of Augsburg was where each German prince is entitled to decide his territory’s religion/ gives religious freedom only to German Lutheran Protestants
  • French Huguenots ( “French Protestants”), including Henry of Navarre a one time king of France, followed Calvin teachings as well.

In general, Martin Luther, John Calvin and other Protestants began a reformation to change the Catholic Church, but started the Protestant movement. A main concern of the Reformation was the issue of free will. The Catholics responded with the Counter-Reformation that reclaimed parts of Europe that they lost to Protestantism. As a result, the majority of Northern Europe became

Protestant and the majority of Southern Europe remained Catholic. Calvinism, Lutheranism, the Anglican Church were some of the major religions that derived from Catholicism.


The Counter Reformation

  • The Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent and ended with the Thirty Year’s War. It is characterized by a hierarchical arrangement in which the pope has the most power and the parish priest has the least power; each successive power should be obedient to the power above them. The Church was trying to hold on to its power, but was weak. Despite this weakness, it was able to persevere in Eastern and Southern Europe. It was a reformation in religious and spiritual order. The Counter-Reformation also made ecclesiastical changes and created a “centralized episcopal church system.” The Catholic Church also recognized Jesuits in the Counter-Reformation.
thirty year s war the peace of westphalia
Thirty Year’s War & The Peace of Westphalia
  • 1618-1648 – one of the most destructive wars in Europe
  • It began as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire and quickly developed into a more political war. Calvinists were demanding to be recognized. There was a Catholic victory in the Bohemian Period of the war when the Catholic Emperor Ferdinand regained the Bohemian throne.
  • Peace of Westphalia – May to October 1648 – ended all hostilities in the Holy Roman Empire, gave Calvinists recognition and “broadened the legal status of Protestantism.” It also weakened the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor
17 th century catholicism
17th Century Catholicism
  • The Papal States and the popes were weak and did not have much power or pull in Europe for most of the 17th century. In the English Civil War and the English Revolution, Parliament required monarchs not to marry or take the throne if they were Catholic. This meant that the line of monarchs in England after the Revolution were Protestant. In France, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes that had given Huguenots religious freedom. He considered religious freedom to be a threat to the throne. Jansenism emerged as a new religion that was based on the idea that man remains evil after the original sin. In the end of the 17th Century, Jansenism spread through France, but continued to be condemned by Pope Clement IX.
18 th century catholicism
18th Century Catholicism
  • 1713 – Pope Clement XI wrote a constitution condemning Jansenism and Gallicanism.
  • The early 18th century brought struggles for Jansenism especially against the French king, Louis XIV. But they fought back when he died and became influential in the Parlements and the lower clergy.
  • The Scientific Revolution brought new ideas and discoveries that the Church did not agree with, like the ideals of Galileo and Copernicus.
  • Catholic Religious Enlightenment in France was led by Blaise Pascal and Richard Simon
  • As Jesuits gained support, they spread their ideals on missions to China and other parts of the Continent. Catholics were also spreading their ideals to Canada and South America as well as some areas of North America.
19 th century catholicism
19th Century Catholicism

French Revolution and Catholicism

  • When Napoleon took power of France during the French Revolution, his many changes included anti-clerical measures. He took Pope Pius VI prisoner in 1798 who died in captivity.
  • The French Concordat of 1801 re-established Catholicism in France after Napoleon.
  • The Revolution and the changing times allowed for a shift in power from Church to State.

Catholicism was spreading to several continents and countries through missionaries.

In Latin America, Catholicism was being rejected by anti-clerical regimes in the 1830s that destroyed Church properties, and tore apart bishop positions etc.

In 1829, Catholic Emancipation – England – gave Catholics right to vote and hold public office. This emancipation also removed many of the restrictions put on Roman Catholics, like the Test Acts and the Acts of Uniformity.

In 1870, Italy annexed Rome to restrain Garibaldi when Italy was trying to unify and going through a Revolution.

Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical RerumNovarum that expressed the popes concerns about developing economic and social issues. It criticized the laissez-faire and socialism ideals. (Modern European History pg 279)

20 th century catholicism
20th Century Catholicism
  • In 1917, the Canon Law was issued by Pope Benedict XV. This Law was passed to govern the Catholic Church in the changing Industrial Revolution including the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Anglican Commune of churches. (Wikipedia)

Red Terror – September – October 1918

  • Before the Spanish Civil War, more specifically during the Red Terror, led to persecution of the Church in which more than 6000 Catholic clergymen died.
  • It was an attack from the left-winged Spaniards against the right-winged, or the Catholic Church.
  • Many other clergy were arrested in mass or executed by the thousands.
  • Overall, the various Catholic Church denominations were having to deal with changing society and how it was industrializing and moving forward.
20 th c entury catholicism
20thCentury Catholicism
  • A new era of Catholicism began with the pontification of Pope John XXIII. He “strongly reaffirmed the commitment of the Catholic Church to the cause of economic and social reform…” (Modern European History)
  • Later in the 20th Century, the Second Vatican Council was formed (1962) that allowed mass to be recited in the vernacular and affirmed that the pope must share his power with bishops in the Church.
  • He also wanted to improve relations with other Christian denominations.
  • Pope Paul VI approved of the Second Vatican Council and reasserted the Catholic Church’s position on artificial contraception.
  • The next pope, Pope John Paul II, was the first non-Italian pope to be elected by the cardinals since the 16th century.
catholicism and wwi
Catholicism and WWI
  • When Franz Joseph sent troops into Bosnia and Herzegovnia in the years leading up to WWI, there were mixed reactions. Catholics in Bosnia were welcoming, but Orthodox Christians and Muslims fought the troops.
  • During and before WWI, Saint Pope Pius X made many reforms, including numerous communions and promoting Gregorian Chant in France.
  • As the beginning of the 20th century brought WWI, Pope Benedict XV declared neutrality, but neither of the sides believed the declaration to hold up.
  • After WWI, in 1918, there was widespread persecution of Roman Catholics, especially Eastern Catholics, in the Soviet Union.
catholicism and wwii
Catholicism and WWII
  • Pope Pius XII was the pope during WWII and was criticized for not protecting Jews during the Nazi take-over.
  • The next pope, Pope John XXIII, sought to modernize the Catholic Church and work with the changing social, economic, and political society.
  • Nazis murdered numerous priests and clergymen in Poland and more were sent to concentration camps.
  • In 1941, Pope Pius interpreted DiviniRedemptoris to say Catholics should not help Communists, so they did not help the Soviet Union militarily.
  • In March of the following year, Pius XII established a diplomatic relationship with Japan.
  • After WWII Pope Pius XII gave material aid to Europe from the Vatican City and wanted to focus on working on internationalization of Roman Catholicism.
20th century catholicism to present
20th Century Catholicism to Present
  • Pope John Paul II was pope from 1978 to 2005 and was one of the longest reigning popes in the Catholic Church.
  • Being a Polish pope, he was sympathetic with Eastern churches. He was a strong advocate of social justice and improving relations with other Christian denominations. Pope John Paul II also reasserted that popes be celibate and women not be allowed into priesthood.
  • Pope Benedict XVI became pope in April 2005. Now he is considered “one of the most powerful forces for conservatism in the Vatican (Cline 1).”