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Counter Reformation Definition

Counter Reformation Definition

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The counter reformation was started by the Roman Catholic Church in reaction to the Protestant reformation. The main goals of the Counter Reformation were to get church members to remain loyal by increasing their faith, to eliminate some of the abuses the protestants criticised and to reaffirm principles that the protestants were against, such as the pope's authority and veneration of the saints.

How the Counter Reformation Happened:

The Catholic Church leaders met in Trent in 1545 in order to discuss how to re-establish the superiority of the Roman Catholic Church compared to the Protestant churches.

  • They decided on decrees to set rules on monastic reform, the chastity of priests and more.
  • The Jesuits was formed, under leadership of Ignatius Loyola, who were tasked with reconverting protestants to the Catholic church. They were militant and became quite infamous.
  • The church leaders ordered the publishing of the “Index of Forbidden Books” which specified 583 text that were considered heretical, including most Bible translations as well as the works of Luther, Calvin and Erasmus.
  • New churches were constructed to accommodate thousands of people and with acoustics for vernacular sermons
  • The Roman Inquisition was established, in order to try any evidence of dissent or heresy. Guilt was always assumed and they used relentless interrogation to get a witness to talk.