What was the Council of Trent?
- d_r_sivaLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
a Roman Catholic Church council held in Trento, Italy, from 1545 to 1563 to respond to the threat of Protestantism. The council reaffirmed and defined Roman Catholic beliefs and laid the foundation for the Counter-Reformation.
The Council of Trent (1545-1563) has a long antecedent history of great significance for the fortunes of the Catholic Church. During the 15th and the earlier half of the 16th century, the conception of an "ecumenical council" remained an ideal of which the realization was expected to provide a solution for the serious ecclesiastical difficulties which were then prevalent. True, the councils of Constance and Basel had fallen short of the desired goal; but confidence in the unknown quantity persisted and took deeper root as the popes of the Renaissance showed themselves less and less inclined to undertake the reforms considered necessary in wide circles of the Church. The papacy indeed did not recognize the jurisdiction of the ecumenical council, and in 1459 Pius II. had prohibited any appeal to such a tribunal under penalty of excommunication. This, however, had no effect on public opinion, and the council continued to be invoked as the supreme court of Christianity. So in 1518, for instance, the university of Paris demanded the convocation of a general council, to which it referred its solemn protest against the papal encroachments on the privileges of the French Church. Thus, when Luther took this very step in the same year, and repeated it later, his action was not devoid of precedent.