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A copy of the Vulgate (the Latin edition of the Catholic Bible) printed in 1590, after many of the Council of Trent's reforms had begun to take place in Catholic worship
A copy of the Vulgate (the Latin edition of the Catholic Bible) printed in 1590, after many of the Council of Trent's reforms had begun to take place in Catholic worship

The Counter-Reformation (Latin: Contrareformatio), also called the Catholic Reformation (Latin: Reformatio Catholica) or the Catholic Revival,[1] was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and largely ended with the 1781 Patent of Toleration, although smaller expulsions of Protestants continued into the 19th century.[2] Initiated to preserve the power, influence and material wealth enjoyed by the Catholic Church and to present a theological and material challenge to Reformation, the Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort composed of apologetic and polemical documents, ecclesiastical reconfiguration as decreed by the Council of Trent, a series of wars, political maneuvering including the efforts of Imperial Diets of the Holy Roman Empire, exiling of Protestant populations, confiscation of Protestant children for Catholic institutionalized upbringing, heresy trials and the Inquisition, anti-corruption efforts, spiritual movements, and the founding of new religious orders.

Such reforms included the foundation of seminaries for the proper training of priests in the spiritual life and the theological traditions of the church, the reform of religious life by returning orders to their spiritual foundations, and new spiritual movements focusing on the devotional life and a personal relationship with Christ, including the Spanish mystics and the French school of spirituality.[3]

It also involved political activities that included the Roman Inquisition and the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Protestants. One primary emphasis of the Counter-Reformation was a mission to reach parts of the world that had been colonized as predominantly Catholic and also try to reconvert areas such as Sweden and England that were at one time Catholic, but had been Protestantized during the Reformation.[3]

Various Counter-Reformation theologians focused only on defending doctrinal positions such as the sacraments and pious practices that were attacked by the Protestant reformers,[4] up to the Second Vatican Council in 1962–1965. One of the "most dramatic moments" at that council was the intervention of Belgian Bishop Émile-Joseph De Smed when, during the debate on the nature of the church, he called for an end to the "triumphalism, clericalism, and juridicism" that had typified the church in the previous centuries.[5]

Key events of the period include: the Council of Trent (1545–1563); the excommunication of Elizabeth I (1570) and the Battle of Lepanto (1571), both occurring during the pontificate of Pius V; the construction of the Gregorian observatory, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, and the Jesuit China mission of Matteo Ricci under Pope Gregory XIII; the French Wars of Religion; the Long Turkish War and the execution of Giordano Bruno in 1600, under Pope Clement VIII; the birth of the Lyncean Academy of the Papal States, of which the main figure was Galileo Galilei (later put on trial); the final phases of the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) during the pontificates of Urban VIII and Innocent X; and the formation of the last Holy League by Innocent XI during the Great Turkish War.

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  • ✪ Rick Steves' Luther and the Reformation
  • ✪ Version 2.0: Music from the Lutheran Reformation (1530-1560)
  • ✪ Martin Luther (1953) Full 1080p HD
  • ✪ Tomás Luis de Victoria - O Magnum Mysterium (The Sixteen)


In a castle, in the heart of Germany, in 1521, a monk on the run took refuge. He was in disguise and using an alias. A few days earlier, the holy Roman emperor had branded him an outlaw, and now he could be killed at will. For nearly a year, that monk hid out in this castle while shock waves from his supposed crimes reverberated throughout Europe. His name? Martin Luther. This is the story of Luther and the Reformation. And it's more. It's the story of progress, from medieval darkness to Renaissance humanism, and how it's with great struggle that societies earn freedom as they evolve. Hi, I'm Rick Steves. 500 years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Reformation. In the next hour, we'll trace the dramatic events of this grassroots movement that changed the course of history. With this upheaval, Christianity in Western Europe was split in two -- between Protestants and Catholics. This split happened to a medieval world permeated and stabilized by one all-encompassing religion. But that world was colliding with the new ideas of the Renaissance. It was rocked by fearless explorers and adventurous thinkers. And one of these great minds belonged to a humble German monk named Martin Luther, who could no longer stay silent about the wealth and corruption of his Church. His controversial teaching and preaching brought him into conflict with the pope and the holy Roman emperor, leading to a bold showdown watched by all of Europe. This courageous stand by one man sparked a century of conflict. It started as a war of words, but eventually spiraled into actual war, changing Europe and Christianity forever and contributing to the birth of our modern world. The story of Martin Luther -- the man who would become the most notorious, celebrated, and provocative figure of his age -- begins here, in the bucolic German countryside south of Berlin. When Luther was born in this house in Eisleben in 1483, he entered a world that was still medieval. Most people lived in humble villages. They tilled the fields. They lived their entire lives in a single place, poor and illiterate. They bowed down to the local duke, who protected them from rampaging bandits. And in every town, overseeing it all was the biggest and richest structure in town -- the church. Though most people were poor, Luther's father owned a copper mining business, and his son got the best education this remote land could offer. Luther's story was set here in rural Germany at the end of the Middle Ages. But to understand the Reformation, we need to go back 1,000 years to far-off Rome. When the ancient Roman Empire fell around the year 500, it created a power vacuum that left Europe in relative poverty and stagnation for 10 centuries -- the Middle Ages. During that difficult time, the Roman Catholic Church held Europe together. It provided more than religion. It provided stability. It was the one thing that united a fractured Europe, offering continuity and comfort in a troubled age. Echoes of ancient Rome lived on in the Church: Roman senators became bishops, the design of their law courts -- called "basilicas" -- became the design of their churches, and the Roman emperor (called the "pontifex maximus") became the Christian pope (also called the "pontifex maximus"). The Church was "Roman" because it was ruled from Rome, and "catholic" -- a word that means "universal." Through the Middle Ages, the Church condoned a kind of institutionalized slavery -- that was feudalism. Feudal European society was made of three parts -- The nobility had the secular power and owned most of the land. The Church -- which was the educated elite -- controlled the Word of God, and provided spiritual blessings. And the downtrodden peasantry -- they did all the hard labor. For commoners -- that was 90% of the population -- life was pretty miserable. Most children died before adulthood. Punishments for the poor were harsh. [ Bell ringing ] The plague, which routinely devastated towns, killing a third of the population, was thought to be the wrath of God. It was a frightful time. People worked the land, hoping only to survive the winter. Life for the vast majority was a dreary existence, tolerable only as a preparation for heaven. The Church offered a glimmer of hope with the promise of eternal happiness in paradise. Art was considered worthwhile and legitimate only as long as it glorified God. Entire communities dedicated generations of their resources to constructing the biggest buildings of the age: awe-inspiring cathedrals lit by splendid stained glass. The Church commissioned society's greatest art -- statues, pulpits, and altar pieces, all done anonymously. And Europe's faithful masses paid the price, and carried the stone. To this day, all over Europe, you can see the legacy of this great medieval "Age of Faith" -- soaring naves topped with elaborate Gothic arches and flooded with a heavenly light. Art was a tool of the Church -- both to teach, and to terrify. Imagine, once a week, illiterate peasants would walk into a church and be wonder-struck by stained glass, towering columns, and glittering glories. Church art gave them a glimpse of the amazing heaven that would reward only the faithful and the terrible hell awaiting those who disobeyed. Martin Luther lived at the end of this period, but on the cusp of dramatic change, the dawn of the modern age. In 1501, 18-year-old Martin moved to the city of Erfurt, where he attended law school. Even today, this half-timbered medieval town -- with a shallow river gurgling through its center -- remains an inviting destination. Erfurt's venerable university produced many illustrious alumni. But a good education didn't come easy. Medieval students had a rough life. They got up at 4:00 in the morning to attend mass, ate two simple meals a day, and only took one bath a month. On the upside, students were given a liter of beer per meal. Martin enjoyed his college days here in Erfurt. Like any normal kid, he studied hard, and he partied hard. As a schoolboy, young Martin developed his appetite for learning, music, and the Bible. A deep thinker and a big personality even at a young age, his friends nicknamed him "the philosopher." And his love of good German beer earned him the title "king of hops." Luther's father had planned that his son would become a lawyer, but that safe career path was suddenly sidetracked by an event that seemed to him like destiny. In July of 1505, as he was traveling to school, Martin was caught in a violent storm and nearly struck by a bolt of lightning. Terrified, he promised that if he survived the storm, he'd dedicate his life to God. Soon after, 21-year-old Martin checked into Erfurt's Augustinian monastery, famous for its discipline and scholarship. The former party boy took a vow of chastity, poverty, and obedience and became a monk. Luther set out to become an A-plus monk. He did everything he could to please God. He studied ancient Greek and Hebrew in order to read the earliest manuscripts of the Bible. He'd spend hours at a time in confession and lie overnight on this tomb, arms outstretched, to meditate on his faith. He was ordained a priest and said his first mass in this church. By age 23, Martin Luther was a dedicated priest in the Roman Catholic Church, and on the fast track to a brilliant career as a professor of theology. And yet, in spite of all this, he remained tormented by feelings of unworthiness. He was consumed by a spiritual obsession -- coming to terms with his relationship as a sinner with a demanding and judgmental God. In 1505 -- the same year that Luther entered the monastery in Germany -- hundreds of miles to the south, in Italy, Florence was celebrating the unveiling of a brand-new symbol of the city -- Michelangelo's "David." David also symbolized a new age, known as the Renaissance. Looking into the confidence in David's face as he sizes up the giant he's about to kill, the Florentines saw optimism, the goodness of creation, and the power of the individual to affect change -- in a word, humanism. That's why the Renaissance was about more than just pretty art. It was a revolution of ideas. The Renaissance, which means "rebirth," sought to rediscover Western civilization's ancient Greek and Roman roots. And with humanism, the importance of the individual skyrocketed. This "rebirth" opened up a whole new world of possibility -- in science, politics, and economics. Religion was also seen in a new light. Life was suddenly about more than preparing for the hereafter. Artists saw themselves as an extension of God's creative powers. Both in subject matter -- like beautiful nude bodies -- and in theme, humanists embraced the full human experience. Rather than just bowing down in church, Renaissance artists and thinkers sought to express the glory of humanity -- and in doing so, to glorify God. Other big changes were also percolating. Imagine Europe's class of 1500. Great thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci embraced science and studied nature. Gutenberg's printing press made books affordable, allowing knowledge to spread rapidly. Michelangelo was chipping away at his early masterpieces, Machiavelli was shaping modern politics, Columbus stumbled upon the Americas, Copernicus was putting the earth in its place, and Martin Luther, among other courageous reformers, would soon be questioning 1500 years of Church tradition. With all this progress, two important movements in European history were about to intersect: the Renaissance and the coming Protestant Reformation. But first, Luther had to address his inner turmoil, and a life-changing trip helped make that happen. In 1510, seeking a way to help the troubled young monk overcome his demons, Brother Martin's superiors at the monastery sent him on a pilgrimage. He walked 700 miles through a harsh winter, over the Alps, down the spine of Italy on a pilgrim's trail just like this. His destination -- the hometown of his Christian faith, the city of Rome. Imagine Luther, the weary yet wide-eyed young pilgrim, trekking for weeks and finally cresting this hill and seeing Rome. Passing through the gates of the city, he dropped to his knees and said, "Hail, holy city of Rome!" He would have seen many of the same sights that tourists and pilgrims enjoy today, places like the fabled Colosseum, the glorious Pantheon -- where pilgrims remembered early Christian martyrs sent to their deaths, and churches approached by long stairways, busy with worshippers climbing on their knees. He marveled at exquisite basilicas, and gazed at Castel Sant'Angelo -- the fortress where the pope would take refuge when the city was under siege in that rough-and-tumble age. Luther crossed this bridge, the venerable Ponte Sant'Angelo, to reach the highlight of his pilgrimage -- St. Peter's Basilica. Today's basilica stands on the tomb of St. Peter -- the spot where, nearly 2,000 years ago, Christianity became solidly established in Europe. It's believed that Peter, Jesus' right-hand man, was crucified for his beliefs right here at a chariot racecourse, which was decorated by this obelisk. His followers buried his body in a humble graveyard on the Vatican Hill -- just over there. For three centuries, Christians worshipped quietly at his grave. In the fourth century, after Christianity was legalized, a huge church was built directly upon Peter's tomb. While today's basilica was built shortly after Luther's visit, stepping into the grand church, Luther would have had an experience much like pilgrims do now. He'd have seen Peter everywhere -- in artwork, his tomb, and in the words that Christ spoke to his disciple, which gave the popes in Rome their holy authority -- "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." And, like today's pilgrims, Martin Luther lined up to kiss the foot -- worn shiny by over 1,000 years of veneration -- of this very statue of Peter, the first pope. Despite all the history and grandeur, Luther was struck by the contradiction between the enormous wealth of the Church and the Bible's emphasis on simplicity and caring for the poor. During Luther's visit, the bombastic Pope Julius II was in the midst of spending a fortune for an extravagant remodel of his church. In addition, the pope had hired Raphael to decorate his personal living quarters with elaborate frescoes and Michelangelo to paint his sanctuary, the Sistine Chapel. All this was to be financed by money extracted from faithful parishioners across Europe. Over the centuries, the Church, ruled from Rome, had grown increasingly corrupt and worldly. Popes, bishops, and priests lived in luxury while others struggled, tarnishing the Church's reputation. The Church hierarchy had become materialistic and entangled with politics. Sins were crimes, and tithes were collected like taxes. Popes waged war, and bishops were treated like royalty -- when one entered the room, you knelt and made a show of humility. The Church -- tasked with protecting 1500 years of tradition -- had grown conservative, even as times were changing quickly. While scientists and progressive thinkers were introducing new ideas, the Church, which defended the notion that the world was the center of the universe, fought against these new ideas. And the Church was the keeper of knowledge. Knowledge is power, and in Europe, until modern times, church abbey libraries held most of the books. And locked away in these libraries were any books with threatening ideas -- the "libri prohibiti," or prohibited books. Church leaders were the gate-keepers to this knowledge, and they alone had the key. Back then, access to the Bible was also controlled. It was only available in Latin, which only the educated elites of medieval Europe, which was the clergy, could read. For over 1,000 years, mass had been said in Latin. Priests would interpret the Word of God to the parishioner, who had little choice but to simply nod in agreement. In Rome, Luther came face-to-face with this worldly corruption at its worst. And one thing he found particularly troubling -- the veneration of holy relics. Relics were the physical remains of something holy -- a saint's bone, a piece of the cross, or a drop of holy blood. Rome was the richest place in Christendom for relics, which helped make it the ultimate destination for pilgrims. And the pilgrimage trade was a big money-maker for the Church. Medieval Christians believed they'd go to heaven only if they did more good than evil. And most figured they'd fall short. So when they died, God would need to purge them of their excess sin. The Church called this purging process "purgatory" and the people thought of it as years of misery. To reduce waiting time in purgatory, the devout accumulated good works in this lifetime by doing penance, and by venerating holy relics. Like any devout pilgrim, Luther immersed himself in the holy sights of Rome and visited a long list of relics. But he became increasingly disenchanted. He wondered if these objects really were that important. He observed lots of greed and hedonism, and very little spirituality. It seemed that each spiritual favor came with a price. Corrupt monks and clergy were abusing both their powers and the trust of their parishioners. And Luther bristled at the pope's lavish lifestyle and vanity projects funded by the sale of indulgences. Indulgences worked like this: The saints lived such holy lives that they accumulated a surplus of "heavenly merits." These merits could be earned or purchased by sinners and then used as a kind of currency to buy down the consequences of their sins. An indulgence came as a letter from the pope, a kind of coupon good for less time in purgatory. And they were transferable. An earnest Christian could actually buy credit for his dead loved ones, as well. One day while in Rome, Luther visited the Scala Santa (or "Holy Steps") brought back from the Holy Land and believed to be the very steps from Pontius Pilate's palace that Jesus climbed on the day he was convicted. As Roman Catholic pilgrims still do today, Luther joined the crowd and made his way up, saying the Lord's Prayer on each step. The pilgrim's reward for this climb: fewer years in purgatory for each of those steps. Reaching the top, Luther stood up and thought, "Who knows if this is actually true?" Luther had a lot to think about as he hiked home. Back in Germany, he moved to the university town of Wittenberg, where he became a professor of theology. At the time, Wittenberg was on the rise. The local ruler, Prince Frederick the Wise, was working to make his capital an intellectual and cultural center. He invited the region's best and brightest, from Luther to the painter Lucas Cranach to Luther's fellow professor and theologian, Philip Melanchthon. The old center of Wittenberg looks much like it did in Martin Luther's day. Stately mansions stand shoulder to shoulder, and the main square is dominated by its Town Hall. Wittenberg's Church of St. Mary is where young Luther preached hundreds of sermons. As if sorting out the spiritual confusion caused by his time in Rome, Luther struggled publicly through his preaching. It was a dilemma. He wanted to be true both to his Church and to his new understanding of God. Things were revving up as it was becoming clear to everyone that there were discrepancies between what the Bible taught and what the Church was doing. Luther attracted larger and larger crowds as, eventually, both his teaching and his writings directly attacked the corrupt practices he'd seen in Rome. At the altar today, a painting shows a charismatic Luther preaching with his hand on the Bible, recalling how he supported his points not by relying on Church tradition but by quoting directly from the gospel. Luther was not the first to question Church practices, nor was this discontent limited to Germany. But going up against the medieval Church had a history of deadly consequences. Two centuries before Luther, these evocative and remote castles in the south of France were destroyed by the medieval Church to silence heretical voices and keep the Church united. They were the desperate last refuge of the Cathars, a break-away group of Christians who disobeyed Church dictates. After a terrible period of torture and mass burnings, the Cathars were wiped out. A century after the Cathars, Jan Hus of Prague also confronted the Church and met a similar fate. He demanded that ordinary Christians be allowed to take communion with both the bread and the wine, which at the time was reserved exclusively for the priest. Like Luther, Hus was a professor who gave controversial sermons and challenged Church authority by translating parts of the Bible into the local language. And, also like Luther, Hus was prepared to die for his convictions. But Hus was ahead of his time. Lacking Luther's advantages -- such as the printing press, to help spread his ideas -- Jan Hus was declared a heretic and burned at the stake in 1415. Back in Wittenberg, just as Luther was struggling with these contradictions and becoming more and more skeptical, the pope kicked off a capital campaign to build a glorious new St. Peter's Church in Rome. It would be very expensive, and the German states, more fragmented and therefore easier to take advantage of than other parts of Europe, would foot much of the bill. Papal fundraisers came out in full force. With a fanfare of drummers and trumpeters, the fundraising campaign of the zealous priest John Tetzel came to Luther's neighborhood. They offered letters of indulgence promising "full forgiveness for all sins, no matter how great, and absolution from all punishments." As these were fully transferable, indulgences were ideal for bailing loved ones out of purgatory. Caring and frightened peasants lined up to buy as Tetzel's men sang, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, another soul from purgatory springs." [ Coin jingles ] Luther, with fresh memories of the corruption he saw in Rome, was outraged. The Bible said nothing about buying forgiveness. And it said nothing about purgatory, either. Luther, now brazenly defying both the pope and over a thousand years of Church tradition, had become hugely popular. But internally, he was still struggling with feelings of his own unworthiness. He searched the Bible, hungry for an answer. He was desperate to know, how could anyone deserve or earn salvation? He found his answer in Paul's letter to the Romans. It read, "The just shall live by faith." With that key phrase, Luther discovered what he considered the "good news": that salvation is not earned by doing good works or giving money to the Church -- it's a free gift to anyone who believes. Realizing this, Luther actually wrote, "All at once, I felt that I had been born again." Re-energized, Luther began shaping a new theology that emphasized a personal relationship with God. It was each person's faith that mattered, rather than Church rituals. By the fall of 1517, Luther was ready to go public. He wrote a treatise, known as his "95 Theses," or points for discussion. As any good professor should, he raised some hard questions. For example, point #82 boldly asked, "If the pope redeems some souls for the sake of miserable money to buy a church, why doesn't he empty purgatory for the sake of holy love?" It was here, at Wittenberg's Castle Church, where, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther came with his 95 points. According to legend, he nailed the list to the door. It was a kind of community bulletin board back then. It was written in Latin, and intended only for scholarly debate. But its impact turned out to be far greater. Luther's supporters spread his ideas. They were printed up in German and spread across the land. The issues he called attention to angered the public. This was a turning point, and now, change was unstoppable. The sale of indulgences dropped dramatically, and the pope's salesmen were run out of town as German mobs now chanted slogans like, "When the coin rings in the pitcher, the pope becomes even richer." [ Coin jingles ] Luther's posting of the 95 Theses kicked off the Reformation. Many consider this the most important religious event of the last 1,000 years. And today, 500 years later, Reformation Sunday is still celebrated in Protestant churches each October. Luther was expert at PR, and his timing was ideal. While he was a great writer, he also had the best political cartoonist in the land as a friend and took full advantage of the new-fangled printing press. Thanks to the printing press, his many sermons and essays could be quickly and cheaply mass-produced as booklets. His writing was witty, concise, and often in the local dialect. His pamphlets were instant bestsellers -- nicknamed "Flugschriften," or "writings that fly," because they spread like a flock of birds to every corner of Europe. In today's terms, his ideas went viral. And that political cartoonist? That was Lucas Cranach. Cranach painted many portraits of Luther and his family, and illustrated Luther's books. Knowing many of his followers were illiterate, Luther used Cranach to illustrate his points. And Cranach did so vividly. Book covers showed priests as bumbling animals, even the pope as a donkey. Luther's bold ideas resonated with the masses: "Christ is found not in the bones of saints but in your love for each other, in the sacraments, and in the holy words." "God's forgiveness cannot be purchased like a sack of potatoes. The pope needs more prayer than money." Meanwhile, the news of Luther's theology, attacks on the Church, and growing popularity reached Rome. The new pope, Leo X, called Luther a heretic and sent him a papal bull threatening excommunication. This formal document gave Luther 60 days to recant or be kicked out of the Church. Luther, not cowed by the pope's bull, responded with a flurry of new pamphlets, further challenging Church practices. Things escalated. In a legendary tit-for-tat, the pope ordered the burning of Luther's books, and Luther burned the papal bull. The more the Church opposed Luther, the bolder Luther became. The two most powerful leaders in Europe back then were the pope, based in Rome, and the holy Roman emperor, whose empire spanned much of Europe. The pope was furious. And the emperor, Charles V, being a devout Catholic, wanted to support his pope. The emperor could have crushed Luther easily. But Charles had a bigger problem. The Turks were threatening Europe from the east, closing in on Vienna. Much of Charles' empire was made of German states, so to defend Europe, he needed German support. Knowing Martin Luther had powerful German friends, the emperor had to deal with Luther cautiously. He agreed to give Luther a hearing and summoned him to the imperial diet -- that's like a congressional hearing -- in the city of Worms on the Rhine River. The Holy Roman Emperor himself traveled to Worms to arbitrate. Luther's challenge to Rome's authority was cheered by Germans. Traveling to Worms, Luther was greeted with a hero's welcome at each stop. Pamphlets showed him with a halo accompanied by a dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit. It's said that in one town, 60 horsemen escorted Luther to a church so packed with people eager to hear him preach that the balcony groaned and nearly collapsed. Imagine the showdown at Worms -- papal representatives, princes, imperial troops, all power-dressing. The emperor himself, sitting high on his throne. The crowds craning to see the action. In the center of the room, Martin Luther stood alone beside a table stacked with his rabble-rousing books and pamphlets. The prosecutor insisted Luther was a heretic. Summing up his case, he asked, "Who are you to go against 1500 years of Church doctrine?" He demanded that Luther renounce his writings. Luther would not budge. Perhaps as never before in European history, one ordinary person stood up to authority for what he believed. He said: "Unless you can convince me by scripture or by clear reasoning, I am bound by my beliefs. I cannot and I will not recant. May God help me. Amen." Luther was declared a heretic and left Worms essentially an outlaw. Now "outside" the protection of the law, Luther could be captured and killed by anyone. On his way home to Wittenberg, he was kidnapped and dropped out of sight. Many thought Luther had been killed. In fact, Luther had been kidnapped but by friends for his own safety. He was given refuge in the Wartburg Castle by his benefactor, Prince Frederick the Wise. Luther grew a beard and passed himself off as a simple knight -- Junker George. He spent the next year in hiding -- waiting, planning, and wondering what would come next. This was Luther's room. Restless and lonely in the castle, he fell into depression. Throughout his life, he had struggled with what he saw as his personal war with Satan. Luther would say, "Whenever the devil harasses you, seek out the company of friends, drink more, joke, and make merry." Alone at Wartburg, he fought his depression by studying and writing. And it was here that he employed his favorite weapon -- the printed word. Believing that everyone should be able to read the Word of God, Luther began the daunting -- and dangerous -- task of translating the New Testament from the original ancient Greek into German. He used simplified language, as he said, like a mother talking to her children. Just as the King James version of the Bible did for English, Luther's translation helped to establish a standard German language that's used to this day. Luther's translation brought the Bible to the masses. The printing press made it more readily available and affordable to the public. And German literacy rates skyrocketed. As Germans read the Bible for the first time, they found -- as Luther had -- no mention of indulgences, purgatory, or even a pope. This further fanned the fires of reform. Luther was becoming the hero and figurehead of a growing revolution. The epic showdown at the Diet of Worms inspired others to action. Before long, across the land, monks and nuns left their monasteries, priests got married, and peasants were actually challenging the feudal system. Things went beyond Luther's intentions of reforming the Church. The Reformation was unleashing a grassroots social and political rebellion, and it spread like fire. The changes spilled beyond religion. In 1524, Germany's peasants, emboldened by Luther's brave challenge to the status quo, rose up, attacking their feudal masters with hoes and pitchforks. They misinterpreted Luther's calls for freedom of religion to mean freedom from their feudal lords, as well. Luther, who was only concerned with issues of faith and the Church, was horrified that his ideas could be misused to spark such a social revolt. He actually condoned the nobles' brutal crackdown as they killed thousands of peasants to restore order. But it was clear, the wheels of Revolution he'd set in motion could not be stopped. Martin Luther's reforms unleashed turmoil far beyond his intent. Eventually Luther left his Wartburg Castle refuge and returned home, here to Wittenberg. He surrounded himself with a theological think tank and worked to rein in the extremism now rampaging through the land and to give direction to the Reformation and to what was becoming the "Lutheran" Church. The Reformation movement spread far beyond Germany in the early 1500s. Luther, while pivotal, was only one of many Christian leaders struggling to reform the Church. In Switzerland, a land with deep roots in democracy and free thinking, Ulrich Zwingli also challenged the authority of Rome. From his pulpit in Zürich, he railed against Church corruption and any practices that weren't specifically mentioned in the Bible. His mission -- to place a Bible, written in everyday German -- into the hands of every person. Zwingli's ideas reached each of Switzerland's remote cantons, and his theology gave the famously independent and yet-to-be-united Swiss something in common. In nearby Geneva, in this church, a Frenchman named John Calvin also preached reform. Like Luther, Calvin was convinced that salvation was by God's grace. But Calvin emphasized predestination, the notion that God had already decided who was saved. Calvinism, which evolved into Presbyterianism, spread to France, the Netherlands, and beyond. Protestant ideas spread quickly through Scandinavia, thanks to its rulers. King Christian III of Denmark had actually been present at the Diet of Worms and was inspired by Luther's brave stand. He returned home to Copenhagen to establish Lutheranism as Denmark's state religion. The Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, took a shrewd political approach. He used the Reformation to make a clean break with Roman Catholic rule, nationalize Church holdings, and consolidate power for himself, thus becoming the "father" of the modern state of Sweden. In England, King Henry VIII also broke with the pope in Rome but for selfish as well as political reasons. He created the Church of England, with himself at its head. He dissolved the monastic orders, destroyed their abbeys, and appropriated the Catholic Church's vast land holdings. When Catholics rose up against him, Henry had the ringleaders hung, drawn, and quartered. And his actions left Henry not only much richer and more powerful but free to divorce his barren wife and marry his fertile young mistress. In Scotland, John Knox preached at the main church in Edinburgh, where he founded a separate Protestant denomination, austere Scottish Presbyterianism. Knox insisted that every person be able to read the Word of God for themselves, which resulted in Scotland developing an education system centuries ahead of its time. Not all reformers broke from the Church. The priest and philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam admired Luther's ideas on the importance of faith over good deeds. Like Luther, he openly questioned the Church. But he proposed sweeping reforms from within. Erasmus remained a priest and never left the Catholic Church. A Spanish soldier named Ignatius of Loyola had a spiritual conversion and spent a decade wandering Europe on a pilgrimage. He eventually formed the Jesuits, a religious order whose mission was to be the intellectual warriors of the Church, battling both corruption within the Church and heresy outside the Church. During the early 1500s, new ideas were cross-pollinating throughout Europe. Protestant reformers, Catholic reformers, humanists, and scientists were all reading each other's words. It was an exciting and confusing time. Two powerful cultural movements -- the Reformation and the Renaissance -- were rushing together in a swirl of currents as history flowed on. All across Europe, the momentum seemed in favor of reformers. But the spread of the Reformation didn't happen without chaos and conflict. In many areas, there were violent uprisings. From Holland to Switzerland, Protestant extremists vandalized Catholic churches. They attacked what they considered symbols of idol worship, forbidden by their interpretation of the Bible. These iconoclasts, as they were called, shattered stained-glass windows, they lopped off the stone heads of saints, and stripped gold-leaf angels from the walls. When Catholic cathedrals became Protestant churches, interiors were made simple, with dazzling images replaced by plain walls, pipe organs, and pulpits. [ Organ plays ] For example, the biggest church in Switzerland, the Lausanne Cathedral, was originally Catholic and dedicated to Mary. But when the Reformation hit, Swiss reformers purged it, whitewashing colorfully frescoed walls, trashing stained-glass windows, and smashing statues of Mary and the saints. Today, the church remains clean of images and dominated by its extravagant pipe organ. [ Organ plays ] Another example is the once Catholic, now Protestant main church of Haarlem, in Holland. While now whitewashed in the Protestant fashion, the pillars reveal the decorative original frescoes that were covered up. The many gilded chapels dedicated to various saints were removed. The towering pipe organ is a reminder that, for Protestants, music became more important than the visual arts. [ Organ plays ] And pulpits became a prominent feature because of the Protestant emphasis of bringing the Word of God directly to the people in their own language. In territories where Protestants dominated, Catholics survived but went underground, forced to practice their faith in hidden churches. In generally Protestant Amsterdam, for example, this Catholic church kept a low profile, disguised as a townhouse. Persecution of Catholics, along with the rise of Protestantism, was turning Catholics into a minority in northern Europe. By the mid 1500s, the Roman Church employed a strategy for stemming the tide of reformation. The Vatican fought back with the Counter-Reformation, an attempt to put what was the universal Catholic Church back together. On one hand, the Church worked to reform its internal corruption and reach out to alienated members -- and on the other hand, the Church resorted to propaganda, intimidation, and outright force. Art became a propaganda tool. Extravagant Counter-Reformation art and architecture was designed to inspire the masses. Catholic churches dazzled with gold leaf and ornate decorations, offering a glimpse of the heaven that awaited those who remained faithful. Counter-Reformation artists painted radiant, soft-focus Marys, sentimentally wrapping everything in warm colors and gentle light. This bubbly Baroque style of art featured large canvases... bright colors... rippling motion... wild emotions... grand themes... and holy saints. It appealed to the senses. and was popular with both peasants and nobles alike. It made heavenly visions real, and stirred the emotions. This Baroque style remained popular in Catholic parts of Europe for generations. The Church's propaganda art could intimidate as well as inspire. Worshippers saw images of God-fearing Catholics burning Protestant pamphlets, of defenders of the Church stepping on snakes representing heretics, and angry angel babies tearing out pages of Lutheran teaching. And the Counter-Reformation relied on an institution dating back to earlier times: the Inquisition. It emanated from Spain at the imposing palace of El Escorial. This full-scale, Church-run legal system brought Protestants, Jews, and nonconforming Catholics before its courts on the slightest evidence of "heresy." Those convicted would be punished, tortured, and, in many cases, executed. The Protestants responded with anti-Catholic propaganda of their own. In this painting, hanging in Luther's hometown church in Wittenberg, the reformers tend to the "Garden of the Lord." Luther rakes, and his intellectual sidekick, Melanchthon, pulls water from the well, symbolizing how the reformers went back to the original source to translate the Bible. Meanwhile, the pope and his people trash all their careful spiritual gardening. Even though Jesus has given the pope a reward, the pope keeps his hand outstretched, asking for more. Looking on, the reformers pray reverently. Other art was shockingly direct. In this etching, Protestants portray the pope as Satan himself. The whole era was intolerant to the extreme. Everyone was convinced their vision of God was the one and only way. And Luther was as conflicted and intolerant as his age. He came down hard on the Roman Church, on Protestants who disagreed, and particularly hard on Jews. Luther was intolerant of Jews. He was angered that they wouldn't convert, which drove him, in his later years, to write hateful anti-Jewish essays. This prejudice was consistent with his general intolerance, as when he supported the killing of so many rampaging peasants who were threatening the social order. And it was only a matter of time before this kind of bitter war of ideas would flare up into actual war. The Reformation and Counter-Reformation unleashed pent-up frustrations that transformed Europe into a battlefield for the next 100 years. The wars may have been called "religious wars," but for the princes who ruled the many little German states, breaking with Rome -- as with most religious wars -- was also about power, money, and land. Many German princes -- like Luther's supporter Frederick the Wise at Wittenberg -- saw the Roman Church as an obstacle to greater power. And, at great peril, many opted to split from the Roman Church to support Luther, even if that meant war. For a German prince, there were three big reasons to break from Rome: First, by opposing the pope, princes could rule without meddling bishops, who were above secular laws. Second, princes could hold onto tithes formerly sent to Rome -- and a huge drain on their economies. And third, the biggest landowner in their realm was the Church, and by joining forces with the Protestants, princes could confiscate Church lands. The strife Martin Luther had unwittingly unleashed led to a chaotic series of wars that would last more than a century. Throughout the 1500s, Europe's princes and kings jockeyed for power, using religion as their excuse. It culminated in a bloody free-for-all, called the "Thirty Years' War," that raged from 1618 to 1648. While the war involved many countries, it was fought mainly on German soil. Much of the battle gear, ramparts, and folkloric reenactments tourists see today in Germany dates from this war. Casualties were devastating, as a third of all Germans were killed. On the Catholic side, the pope was supported by the powerful holy Roman emperor. The emperor had Europe's leading army, and was more than willing to march into Germany and put down Protestants. As these wars, with a mix of political and religious agendas, raged across Europe, princes grabbed for power while the people violently sorted out their deep-seated religious frustrations. After literally millions of deaths, the devastation of entire regions, and widespread economic ruin, all involved were exhausted. In 1648, a treaty was finally signed. The result? Not religious freedom. But now the leaders of each country were free to decide if their subjects would be Roman Catholic Christian or Protestant Christian. Western Europe was effectively divided between a Catholic south and a Protestant north, a line that roughly survives to this day. Europe had split into two camps. On one side was the Roman Catholic Church -- those Christians who still recognized the pope. On the other side were the Protestants, or protesting Christians. Of course, both Catholics and Protestants are Christians. But they have different styles and take different approaches. For Catholics, church rituals and an ordained clergy are essential intermediaries between a worshipper and God. They venerate saints and the Virgin Mary, and confess their sins to a priest. Catholics accept precedents established through the centuries by the Church, and follow the spiritual leadership of the pope in Rome. And they maintain a time-honored element of elaborate ritual and mysticism that enriches their religious experience. For Protestants, worship style became different. They purged their churches of holy relics, dispensed with many of the rituals, and reduced the formal role of ordained clergy. Rather than appealing to saints and Mary, Protestants emphasize their direct relationship with God through Bible study and personal prayer. Luther rejected five of the Catholic Church's seven sacraments. He kept only Holy Communion and baptism. The Lutheran movement introduced two essential changes -- They believe, first, salvation is a gift from God. It's a matter of faith. You can't earn it. And second, the Bible is the only source of religious authority. After sparking such sweeping changes, Luther, in his later years, settled into a quiet life as a respected professor. But his life was never without surprises. One of the first things he did shocked everybody -- he got married! 42-year-old Martin Luther, a former monk, married 26-year-old Katherine von Bora, a former nun. Martin and Katie went on to have six children and raise four orphans. Katie, who ran the huge and busy Luther household, was a welcome partner in Luther's circle. Luther wrote, "Marriage is a better school for the character than any monastery, for it's here that your sharp corners are rubbed off." Luther used his dining room table to host an ongoing social and intellectual jam session. It was where his students, houseguests, and fellow reformers gathered, drinking Katie's homebrewed beer and eating the Luthers almost out of house and home. They'd spend long hours discussing and debating religious issues and applying their ideas concretely to everyday life. Luther's followers hung on his every word. His students took notes. And this anthology, which was printed in 1567, is called "Table Talk." It collects over 6,000 entries, from profound to vulgar and offensive to silly. "He who does not love wine, women, and song remains a fool his whole life long." "What lies they tell about relics! How is it that 18 apostles are buried in Germany when Christ had only 12?" "God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone but on the trees and flowers and clouds and stars." Luther remained a complex man. He continued to struggle with depression. He could be crude, bombastic, and even bigoted -- riddled with contradictions. And he certainly enjoyed his beer. Although he did warn, "It's better to think of church in the ale house than to think of the ale house in church." Luther's earthy lifestyle reflects some of the spirit of what became the Lutheran Church, ideas which, back then, were quite radical. He affirmed dimensions of everyday life, such as marriage and the joy of sex, as good and important, provided they were carried out in faith. And pastors were free to marry. There was nothing in the Bible that said they couldn't. Luther believed in what he called the "priesthood of all believers." Whether a schoolteacher, farmer, or a gardener, he believed all are equally capable of understanding God's word and can receive salvation without the help of intermediaries. Because literacy was crucial to reading the Bible, Luther lobbied Germany's nobles to provide schools for all boys and girls. And Luther loved music, which he figured the devil hated. In perhaps his deepest depression, Luther wrote one of Christendom's greatest hymns, "A Mighty Fortress." He composed many other hymns that put the basic elements of Christian worship into song. To this day, Protestant churches are particularly alive with great organs and choral music. Luther, who believed, "He who sings prays double," would have enjoyed the singing of the visiting Dresden boys' choir as they performed in his hometown church in Wittenberg. Luther died in 1546 at age 62. A massive funeral procession accompanied his body to the Castle Church in Wittenberg, where he's buried. To this day, pilgrims bring flowers. [ Choir singing ] After Luther's death, until the dawn of the 20th century, the Reformation helped open the way for fundamental changes in Western society. With a less controlling role of the Church in everyday life, secular forces were free to flourish. Secular thinking, including science, would thrive. Literacy increased across Europe as people had the freedom to read the Bible. Free-market capitalism thrived in northern Europe, fueled by the Protestant work ethic. Nonreligious, secular arts were able to flourish. And, eventually, a democratic spirit was kindled as people were emboldened to stand up to power, and there was a greater separation between church and state. For most of the 500 years since the Reformation, relations between Catholics and Protestants have been troubled. But there was one lesson Europe learned the hard way: tolerance. And in our lifetime, huge strides have been made. More than ever, Protestants and Catholics are coming together, and see themselves merely as different expressions of the same faith. The Reformation was more than a religious event. It was part of the societal weave we call progress. And progress comes out of struggle -- religious freedom grew out of the Protestant Reformation, political freedom came out of the French Revolution, and personal freedom is the cry of the civil rights movement in our age. It's all hard-earned. It's not always pretty. But it is worth the trouble. Martin Luther was a pivotal character in history who stood up for what he believed. The Reformation he unleashed helped create a more tolerant society that eventually allowed diversity in how people strive to better understand God. I'm Rick Steves. Thanks for joining us.



Confutatio Augustana

Confutatio Augustana (left) and Confessio Augustana (right) being presented to Charles V
Confutatio Augustana (left) and Confessio Augustana (right) being presented to Charles V

The 1530 Confutatio Augustana was the Catholic response to the Augsburg Confession.

Council of Trent

A session of the Council of Trent, from an engraving
A session of the Council of Trent, from an engraving

Pope Paul III (1534–1549) is considered the first pope of the Counter-Reformation,[3] and he also initiated the Council of Trent (1545–1563), a commission of cardinals tasked with institutional reform, addressing contentious issues such as corrupt bishops and priests, the sale of indulgences, and other financial abuses.

The council upheld the basic structure of the medieval church, its sacramental system, religious orders, and doctrine. It rejected all compromise with the Protestants, restating basic tenets of the Roman Catholic faith. The council upheld salvation appropriated by grace through faith and works of that faith (not just by faith, as the Protestants insisted) because "faith without works is dead", as the Epistle of James states (2:22–26).

Transubstantiation, according to which the consecrated bread and wine are held to have been transformed really and substantially into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, was also reaffirmed, as were the traditional seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. Other practices that drew the ire of Protestant reformers, such as pilgrimages, the veneration of saints and relics, the use of venerable images and statuary, and the veneration of the Virgin Mary were strongly reaffirmed as spiritually commendable practices.

The council, in the Canon of Trent, officially accepted the Vulgate listing of the Old Testament Bible, which included the deuterocanonical works (called apocrypha by Protestants) on a par with the 39 books found in the Masoretic Text. This reaffirmed the previous Council of Rome and Synods of Carthage (both held in the 4th century AD), which had affirmed the Deuterocanon as scripture.[6] The council also commissioned the Roman Catechism, which served as authoritative church teaching until the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992).

While the traditional fundamentals of the church were reaffirmed, there were noticeable changes to answer complaints that the Counter-Reformers were, tacitly, willing to admit were legitimate. Among the conditions to be corrected by Catholic reformers was the growing divide between the clerics and the laity; many members of the clergy in the rural parishes had been poorly educated. Often, these rural priests did not know Latin and lacked opportunities for proper theological training. Addressing the education of priests had been a fundamental focus of the humanist reformers in the past.

Parish priests were to be better educated in matters of theology and apologetics, while Papal authorities sought to educate the faithful about the meaning, nature and value of art and liturgy, particularly in monastic churches (Reformed Protestants had criticised them as "distracting"). Notebooks and handbooks became more common, describing how to be good priests and confessors.

Thus, the Council of Trent attempted to improve the discipline and administration of the church. The worldly excesses of the secular Renaissance church, epitomized by the era of Alexander VI (1492–1503), intensified during the Reformation under Pope Leo X (1513–1521), whose campaign to raise funds for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica by supporting use of indulgences served as a key impetus for Martin Luther's 95 Theses. The Catholic Church responded to these problems by a vigorous campaign of reform, inspired by earlier Catholic reform movements that predated the Council of Constance (1414–1417): humanism, devotionalism, legalism and the observantine tradition.

The council, by virtue of its actions, repudiated the pluralism of the secular Renaissance that had previously plagued the church: the organization of religious institutions was tightened, discipline was improved, and the parish was emphasized. The appointment of bishops for political reasons was no longer tolerated. In the past, the large landholdings forced many bishops to be "absent bishops" who at times were property managers trained in administration. Thus, the Council of Trent combated "absenteeism", which was the practice of bishops living in Rome or on landed estates rather than in their dioceses. The Council of Trent also gave bishops greater power to supervise all aspects of religious life. Zealous prelates, such as Milan's Archbishop Carlo Borromeo (1538–1584), later canonized as a saint, set an example by visiting the remotest parishes and instilling high standards.

This 1711 illustration for the Index Librorum Prohibitorum depicts the Holy Ghost supplying the book burning fire.
This 1711 illustration for the Index Librorum Prohibitorum depicts the Holy Ghost supplying the book burning fire.

Index Librorum Prohibitorum

The 1559-1967 Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a directory of prohibited books which was updated twenty times during the next four centuries as books were added or removed from the list by the Sacred Congregation of the Index. It was divided into three classes. The first class listed heretical writers, the second class listed heretical works, and the third class listed forbidden writings which were published without the name of the author. The Index was finally suspended on March 29, 1967.

Roman Catechism

The 1566 Roman Catechism was an attempt to educate the clergy.

Nova ordinantia ecclesiastica

The 1575 Nova ordinantia ecclesiastica was an addendum to the Liturgia Svecanæ Ecclesiæ catholicæ & orthodoxæ conformia, also called the "Red Book."[7] This launched the Liturgical Struggle, which pitted John III of Sweden against his younger brother Charles. During this time, Jesuit Laurentius Nicolai came to lead the Collegium regium Stockholmense. The overall counter-reformation effort was called the Missio Suetica.

Defensio Tridentinæ fidei

The 1578 Defensio Tridentinæ fidei was the Catholic response to the Examination of the Council of Trent.


The 1713 papal bull Unigenitus condemned 101 propositions of the French Jansenist theologian Pasquier Quesnel (1634-1719). Jansenism was a Protestant-leaning or mediating movement within Roman Catholicism that was criticized for being Crypto-Protestant. After Jansenism was condemned it led to the development of the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands.


British isles

The Netherlands

Anabaptist Dirk Willems rescues his pursuer and is subsequently burned at the stake in 1569.
Anabaptist Dirk Willems rescues his pursuer and is subsequently burned at the stake in 1569.

When the Calvinists took control of various parts of the Netherlands in the Dutch Revolt, the Catholics led by Philip II of Spain fought back. The king sent in Alexander Farnese as Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578 to 1592.

Farnese led a successful campaign 1578–1592 against the Dutch Revolt, in which he captured the main cities in the south Spanish – Belgium and returned them to the control of Catholic Spain.[8] He took advantage of the divisions in the ranks of his opponents between the Dutch-speaking Flemish and the French-speaking Walloons, using persuasion to take advantage of the divisions and foment the growing discord. By doing so he was able to bring back the Walloon provinces to an allegiance to the king. By the treaty of Arras in 1579, he secured the support of the 'Malcontents', as the Catholic nobles of the south were styled.

The seven northern provinces as well as Flanders and Brabant, controlled by Calvinists, responded with the Union of Utrecht, where they resolved to stick together to fight Spain. Farnese secured his base in Hainaut and Artois, then moved against Brabant and Flanders. City after city fell: Tournai, Maastricht, Breda, Bruges and Ghent opened their gates.

Farnese finally laid siege to the great seaport of Antwerp. The town was open to the sea, strongly fortified, and well defended under the leadership of Marnix van St. Aldegonde. Farnese cut off all access to the sea by constructing a bridge of boats across the Scheldt. The city surrendered in 1585 as 60,000 Antwerp citizens (60 per cent of the pre-siege population) fled north. All of the southern Netherlands was once more under Spanish control.

In a war composed mostly of sieges rather than battles, he proved his mettle. His strategy was to offer generous terms for surrender: there would be no massacres or looting; historic urban privileges were retained; there was a full pardon and amnesty; return to the Catholic Church would be gradual.[9]

Meanwhile, Catholic refugees from the North regrouped in Cologne and Douai and developed a more militant, Tridentine identity. They became the mobilizing forces of a popular Counter-Reformation in the South, thereby facilitating the eventual emergence of the state of Belgium.[10]


The Augsburg Interim was a period where Counter-Reformation measures were exacted upon defeated Protestant populations following the Schmalkaldic War.

During the centuries of Counter Reformation, new towns, collectively termed Exulantenstadt, were founded especially as homes for refugees fleeing the Counter-Reformation. Supporters of the Unity of the Brethren settled in parts of Silesia and Poland. Protestants from Flanders, Belgium often fled to the Lower Rhine region and northern Germany. French Huguenots crossed the Rhineland to Central Germany. This is not quite the same as the center of Germany today due to changing borders and the post-WII forced exile of Germans.

A list of Exulantenstadt:


The Cologne War (1583–89) was a conflict between Protestant and Catholic factions that devastated the Electorate of Cologne. After the archbishop ruling the area converted to Protestantism, Catholics elected another archbishop, Ernst of Bavaria, and successfully defeated him and his allies.

Peter Paul Rubens was the great Flemish artist of the Counter-Reformation. He painted Adoration of the Magii in 1624.
Peter Paul Rubens was the great Flemish artist of the Counter-Reformation. He painted Adoration of the Magii in 1624.


Bohemia and Austria

In the Habsburg hereditary lands, which had become predominantly Protestant except for Tyrol, the Counter-Reformation began with Emperor Rudolf II, who began suppressing Protestant activity in 1576. This conflict escalated into the Bohemian Revolt of 1620. Defeated, the Protestant nobility and clergy of Bohemia and Austria were expelled from the country or forced to convert to Catholicism. Among these exiles were important German poets such as Sigmund von Birken, Catharina Regina von Greiffenberg, and Johann Wilhelm von Stubenberg. This influenced the development of German Baroque literature, especially around Regensburg and Nuremberg. Some lived as crypto-Protestants.

Others moved to Saxony or the Margraviate of Brandenburg. The Salzburg Protestants were exiled in the 18th century, especially to Prussia. The Transylvanian Landlers were deported to the eastern part of the Habsburg domain. As heir to the throne, Joseph II spoke vehemently to his mother, Maria Theresa, in 1777 against the expulsion of Protestants from Moravia, calling her choices "unjust, impious, impossible, harmful and ridiculous."[11] His 1781 Patent of Toleration can be regarded as the end of the Counter-Reformation, although, there were still smaller expulsions against Protestants (such as the Zillertal expulsion). In 1966, Archbishop Andreas Rohracher expressed regret about the expulsions.


Matanzas Inlet, Florida, where the survivors were killed
Matanzas Inlet, Florida, where the survivors were killed

Huguenots (French Reformed Protestants) fought a series of wars in France with Catholics, resulting in millions of deaths and the Edict of Fontainebleau in 1685 which revoked their freedom of religion. In 1565, several hundred Huguenot shipwreck survivors surrendered to the Spanish in Florida, believing they would be treated well. Although a Catholic minority in their party was spared, all of the rest were executed for heresy, with active clerical participation.[12]


Poland and Lithuania


Eastern Rites

Middle east


The effects of the Council of Trent and the counter-reformation also paved the way for Ruthenian Orthodox Christians to return to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving their Byzantine tradition. Pope Clement VIII received the Ruthenian bishops into full communion on February 7, 1596.[13] Under the Treaty of the Union of Brest, Rome recognized the Ruthenians' continued practice of Byzantine liturgical tradition, married clergy, and consecration of bishops from within the Ruthenian Christian tradition. Moreover, the treaty specifically exempts Ruthenians from accepting the Filioque clause and Purgatory as a condition for reconciliation.[14]

Areas affected

The Counter-Reformation succeeded in diminishing Protestantism in Poland, France, Italy, Ireland, and the vast lands controlled by the Habsburgs including Austria, southern Germany, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium), Croatia, and Slovenia. Noticeably, it failed to succeed completely in Hungary, where a sizeable Protestant minority remains to this day, though Catholics still are the largest Christian denomination.

Peak of the Reformation & beginning of the Counter-Reformation (1545–1620)
End of the Reformation & Counter-Reformation (1648)
Religious situation in Europe, late 16th & early to mid 17th century

Spiritual movements


The 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries saw a spiritual revival in Europe, in which the question of salvation became central. This became known as the Catholic Reformation. Several theologians[who?] harkened back to the early days of Christianity and questioned their spirituality. Their debates expanded across most of the Western Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, whilst secular critics[who?] also examined religious practice, clerical behavior and the church's doctrinal positions. Several varied currents of thought were active, but the ideas of reform and renewal were led by the clergy.[citation needed]

The reforms decreed at Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512–1517) had only a small effect.[citation needed] Some doctrinal positions got further from the church's official positions,[citation needed] leading to the break with Rome and the formation of Protestant denominations. Even so, conservative and reforming parties still survived within the Catholic Church even as the Protestant Reformation spread. Protestants decisively broke from the Catholic Church in the 1520s. The two distinct dogmatic positions within the Catholic Church solidified in the 1560s. The Catholic Reformation became known as the Counter-Reformation, defined as a reaction to Protestantism rather than as a reform movement. The historian Henri Daniel-Rops wrote:

The term, however, though common, is misleading: it cannot rightly be applied, logically or chronologically, to that sudden awakening as of a startled giant, that wonderful effort of rejuvenation and reorganization, which in a space of thirty years gave to the Church an altogether new appearance. ... The so-called 'counter-reformation' did not begin with the Council of Trent, long after Luther; its origins and initial achievements were much anterior to the fame of Wittenberg. It was undertaken, not by way of answering the 'reformers,' but in obedience to demands and principles that are part of the unalterable tradition of the Church and proceed from her most fundamental loyalties.[15]

The regular orders made their first attempts at reform in the 14th century. The 'Benedictine Bull' of 1336 reformed the Benedictines and Cistercians. In 1523, the Camaldolese Hermits of Monte Corona were recognized as a separate congregation of monks. In 1435, Francis of Paola founded the Poor Hermits of Saint Francis of Assisi, who became the Minim Friars. In 1526, Matteo de Bascio suggested reforming the Franciscan rule of life to its original purity, giving birth to the Capuchins, recognized by the pope in 1619.[16] This order was well-known to the laity and play an important role in public preaching. To respond to the new needs of evangelism, clergy formed into religious congregations, taking special vows but with no obligation to assist in a monastery's religious offices. These regular clergy taught, preached and took confession but were under a bishop's direct authority and not linked to a specific parish or area like a vicar or canon.[16]

In Italy, the first congregation of regular clergy was the Theatines founded in 1524 by Gaetano and Cardinal Gian Caraffa. This was followed by the Somaschi Fathers in 1528, the Barnabites in 1530, the Ursulines in 1535, the Jesuits, canonically recognised in 1540, the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca in 1583, the Camillians in 1584, the Adorno Fathers in 1588, and finally the Piarists in 1621. In 1524,[clarification needed] a number of priests in Rome began to live in a community centred on Philip Neri. The Oratorians were given their institutions in 1564 and recognized as an order by the pope in 1575. They used music and singing to attract the faithful.[17]

Religious orders

New religious orders were a fundamental part of the reforms. Orders such as the Capuchins, Discalced Carmelites, Discalced Augustinians, Augustinian Recollects, Cistercian Feuillants, Ursulines, Theatines, Barnabites, Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, and especially Jesuits worked in rural parishes and set examples of Catholic renewal.

The Theatines undertook checking the spread of heresy and contributed to a regeneration of the clergy. The Capuchins, an offshoot of the Franciscan order notable for their preaching and for their care for the poor and the sick, grew rapidly. Capuchin-founded confraternities took special interest in the poor and lived austerely. Members of orders active in overseas missionary expansion expressed the view that the rural parishes often needed Christianizing as much as the heathens of Asia and the Americas.

The Ursulines focused on the special task of educating girls,[18] the first order of women to be dedicated to that goal.[19] Devotion to the traditional works of mercy exemplified the Catholic Reformation's reaffirmation of the importance of both faith and works and salvation through God's grace and repudiation of the maxim sola scriptura emphasized by Protestants sects. Not only did they make the church more effective, but they also reaffirmed fundamental premises of the medieval church.[citation needed]

The Jesuits were the most effective of the new Catholic orders. An heir to the devotional, observantine, and legalist traditions, the Jesuits organized along military lines. The worldliness of the Renaissance church had no part in their new order. Loyola's masterwork Spiritual Exercises showed the emphasis of handbooks characteristic of Catholic reformers before the Reformation, reminiscent of devotionalism. The Jesuits became preachers, confessors to monarchs and princes, and humanist educators.[20]

According to the Adventist minister Le Roy Froom, Jesuits such as Francisco Ribera and Luis De Alcasar were forced to justify their position by the unflattering prophetic interpretations and epithets used by Protestant Bible scholars concerning the papacy. These Jesuits used two counter-interpretations of those same prophecies, Futurism and Preterism.[dubious ] These were devised to deflect the strength of Protestant Reformation teachings and to shift the use of the Antichrist and analogous prophecies away from the pope and out of the Middle Ages. It is said that Froom argued these methods left an enduring mark upon history.[20] Their efforts are largely credited[according to whom?] with stemming Protestantism in Poland, Bohemia, Hungary, southern Germany, France, and the Spanish Netherlands. Froom said,

In Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, England, and Scotland there had been simultaneous and impressive declarations by voice and pen that the Papacy was the specified Antichrist of prophecy. The symbols of Daniel, Paul, and John were applied with tremendous effect. Hundreds of books and tracts impressed their contention upon the consciousness of Europe. Indeed, it gained so great a hold upon the minds of men that Rome, in alarm, saw that she must successfully counteract this identification of Antichrist with the Papacy, or lose the battle.[21]

Jesuits participated in the expansion of the church in the Americas and Asia, by their missionary activity. Loyola's biography contributed to an emphasis on popular piety that had waned under political popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X. After recovering from a serious wound, he took a vow to "serve only God and the Roman pontiff, His vicar on Earth." The emphasis on the Pope is a reaffirmation of the medieval papalism, while the Council of Trent defeated conciliarism, the belief that general councils of the church collectively were God's representative on Earth rather than the Pope. Taking the Pope as an absolute leader, the Jesuits contributed to the Counter-Reformation church along a line harmonized to Rome.

Devotion and mysticism

The Battle of Lepanto
The Battle of Lepanto by Paolo Veronese.jpeg
ArtistPaolo Veronese
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions169 cm × 137 cm (67 in × 54 in)
LocationGallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy

The Catholic Reformation was not only a political and church policy oriented movement, but it also included major figures such as Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, and Philip Neri, who added to the spirituality of the Catholic Church. Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross were Spanish mystics and reformers of the Carmelite Order, whose ministry focused on interior conversion to Christ, the deepening of prayer, and commitment to God's will. Teresa was given the task of developing and writing about the way to perfection in her love and unity with Christ. Thomas Merton called John of the Cross the greatest of all mystical theologians.[22]

The spirituality of Filippo Neri, who lived in Rome at the same time as Ignatius, was practically oriented, too, but totally opposed to the Jesuit approach. Said Filippo, "If I have a real problem, I contemplate what Ignatius would do ... and then I do the exact opposite". As a recognition of their joint contribution to the spiritual renewal within the Catholic reformation, Ignatius of Loyola, Filippo Neri, and Teresa of Ávila were canonized on the same day, March 12, 1622.

The Virgin Mary played an increasingly central role in Catholic devotions. The victory at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was accredited to the Virgin Mary and signified the beginning of a strong resurgence of Marian devotions.[23] During and after the Catholic Reformation, Marian piety experienced unforeseen growth with over 500 pages of mariological writings during the 17th century alone.[24] The Jesuit Francisco Suárez was the first theologian to use the Thomist method on Marian theology. Other well-known contributors to Marian spirituality are Lawrence of Brindisi, Robert Bellarmine, and Francis of Sales.

The sacrament of penance was transformed from a social to a personal experience; that is, from a public community act to a private confession. It now took place in private in a confessional. It was a change in its emphasis from reconciliation with the church to reconciliation directly with God and from emphasis on social sins of hostility to private sins (called "the secret sins of the heart").[25]

Baroque art

The Catholic Church was a leading arts patron across much of Europe. The goal of much art in the Counter-Reformation, especially in the Rome of Bernini and the Flanders of Peter Paul Rubens, was to restore Catholicism's predominance and centrality. This was one of the drivers of the Baroque style that emerged across Europe in the late sixteenth century. In areas where Catholicism predominated, architecture[26] and painting,[27] and to a lesser extent music, reflected Counter-Reformation goals.[28]

The Council of Trent proclaimed that architecture, painting and sculpture had a role in conveying Catholic theology. Any work that might arouse "carnal desire" was inadmissible in churches, while any depiction of Christ's suffering and explicit agony was desirable and proper. In an era when some Protestant reformers were destroying images of saints and whitewashing walls, Catholic reformers reaffirmed the importance of art, with special encouragement given to images of the Virgin Mary.[29]

Decrees on art

The Last Judgment
Michelangelo, Giudizio Universale 02.jpg
Dimensions1370 cm × 1200 cm (539.3 in × 472.4 in)
LocationSistine Chapel, Vatican City

The Last Judgment, a fresco in the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (1534–1541), came under persistent attack in the Counter-Reformation for, among other things, nudity (later painted over for several centuries), not showing Christ seated or bearded, and including the pagan figure of Charon. Italian painting after 1520, with the notable exception of the art of Venice, developed into Mannerism, a highly sophisticated style striving for effect, that concerned many churchmen as lacking appeal for the mass of the population. Church pressure to restrain religious imagery affected art from the 1530s and resulted in the decrees of the final session of the Council of Trent in 1563 including short and rather inexplicit passages concerning religious images, which were to have great impact on the development of Catholic art. Previous Catholic councils had rarely felt the need to pronounce on these matters, unlike Orthodox ones which have often ruled on specific types of images.

The decree confirmed the traditional doctrine that images only represented the person depicted, and that veneration to them was paid to the person, not the image, and further instructed that:

... every superstition shall be removed ... all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust ... there be nothing seen that is disorderly, or that is unbecomingly or confusedly arranged, nothing that is profane, nothing indecorous, seeing that holiness becometh the house of God.

And that these things may be the more faithfully observed, the holy Synod ordains, that no one be allowed to place, or cause to be placed, any unusual image, in any place, or church, howsoever exempted, except that image have been approved of by the bishop ...[30]

Ten years after the decree Paolo Veronese was summoned by the Holy Office to explain why his Last Supper, a huge canvas for the refectory of a monastery, contained, in the words of the Holy Office: "buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities" as well as extravagant costumes and settings, in what is indeed a fantasy version of a Venetian patrician feast.[31] Veronese was told that he must change his painting within a three-month period – in fact he just changed the title to The Feast in the House of Levi, still an episode from the Gospels, but a less doctrinally central one, and no more was said.[32]

The number of such decorative treatments of religious subjects declined sharply, as did "unbecomingly or confusedly arranged" Mannerist pieces, as a number of books, notably by the Flemish theologian Molanus, Charles Borromeo and Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti, and instructions by local bishops, amplified the decrees, often going into minute detail on what was acceptable. Much traditional iconography considered without adequate scriptural foundation was in effect prohibited, as was any inclusion of classical pagan elements in religious art, and almost all nudity, including that of the infant Jesus.[33]

According to the great medievalist Émile Mâle, this was "the death of medieval art",[34] but it paled in contrast to the Iconclasm present in some Protestant circles and did not apply to secular paintings. Some Counter Reformation painters and sculptors include Titian, Tintoretto, Federico Barocci, Scipione Pulzone, El Greco, Peter Paul Rubens, Guido Reni, Anthony van Dyck, Bernini, Zurbarán, Rembrandt and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Church music

Reforms before the Council of Trent

The Council of Trent is believed to be the apex of the Counter-Reformation's influence on church music in the 16th century. However, the council's pronouncements on music were not the first attempt at reform. The Catholic Church had spoken out against a perceived abuse of music used in the mass before the Council of Trent ever convened to discuss music in 1562. The manipulation of the Credo and using non-liturgical songs was addressed in 1503, and secular singing and the intelligibility of the text in the delivery of psalmody in 1492.[35] The delegates at the council were just a link in the long chain of church clergy who had pushed for a reform of the musical liturgy reaching back as far as 1322.[36]

Probably the most extreme move at reform came late in 1562 when, instructed by the legates, Egidio Foscarari (bishop of Modena) and Gabriele Paleotti (archbishop of Bologna) began work on reforming religious orders and their practices involving the liturgy.[37] The reforms prescribed to the cloisters of nuns, which included omitting the use of an organ,[clarification needed] prohibiting professional musicians, and banishing polyphonic singing, were much more strict than any of the council's edicts or even those to be found in the Palestrina legend.[38]

Fueling the cry for reform from many ecclesial figures was the compositional technique popular in the 15th and 16th centuries of using musical material and even the accompanying texts from other compositions such as motets, madrigals, and chansons. Several voices singing different texts in different languages made any of the text difficult to distinguish from the mixture of words and notes. The parody mass would then contain melodies (usually the tenor line) and words from songs that could have been, and often were, on sensual subjects.[39] The musical liturgy of the church was being more and more influenced by secular tunes and styles. The Council of Paris, which met in 1528, as well as the Council of Trent were making attempts to restore the sense of sacredness to the church setting and what was appropriate for the mass. The councils were simply responding to issues of their day.[40]

Reforms during the 22nd session

The Council of Trent met sporadically from December 13, 1545, to December 4, 1563, to reform many parts of the Catholic Church. The 22nd session of the council, which met in 1562, dealt with church music in Canon 8 in the section of "Abuses in the Sacrifice of the Mass" during a meeting of the council on September 10, 1562.[41]

Canon 8 states that "Since the sacred mysteries should be celebrated with utmost reverence, with both deepest feeling toward God alone, and with external worship that is truly suitable and becoming, so that others may be filled with devotion and called to religion: ... Everything should be regulated so that the Masses, whether they be celebrated with the plain voice or in song, with everything clearly and quickly executed, may reach the ears of the hearers and quietly penetrate their hearts. In those Masses where measured music and organ are customary, nothing profane should be intermingled, but only hymns and divine praises. If something from the divine service is sung with the organ while the service proceeds, let if first be recited in a simple, clear voice, lest the reading of the sacred words be imperceptible. But the entire manner of singing in musical modes should be calculated not to afford vain delight to the ear, but so that the words may be comprehensible to all; and thus may the hearts of the listeners be caught up into the desire for celestial harmonies and contemplation of the joys of the blessed."[42]

Canon 8 is often quoted as the Council of Trent's decree on church music, but that is a glaring misunderstanding of the canon; it was only a proposed decree. In fact, the delegates at the council never officially accepted canon 8 in its popular form but bishops of Granada, Coimbra, and Segovia pushed for the long statement about music to be attenuated and many other prelates of the council joined enthusiastically.[43] The only restrictions actually given by the 22nd session was to keep secular elements out of the music, making polyphony implicitly allowed.[44] The issue of textual intelligibility did not make its way into the final edicts of the 22nd session but were only featured in preliminary debates.[45] The 22nd session only prohibited "lascivious" and "profane" things to be intermingled with the music but Paleotti, in his Acts, brings to equal importance the issues of intelligibility.[46]

The idea that the council called to remove all polyphony from the church is widespread, but there is no documentary evidence to support that claim. It is possible, however, that some of the Fathers had proposed such a measure.[47] The emperor Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor has been attributed to be the "saviour of church music" because he said polyphony ought not to be driven out of the church. But Ferdinand was most likely an alarmist and read into the council the possibility of a total ban on polyphony.[48] The Council of Trent did not focus on the style of music but on attitudes of worship and reverence during the mass.[49]


The crises regarding polyphony and intelligibility of the text and the threat that polyphony was to be removed completely, which was assumed to be coming from the council, has a very dramatic legend of resolution. The legend goes that Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525/26–1594), a church musician and choirmaster in Rome, wrote a mass for the council delegates in order to demonstrate that a polyphonic composition could set the text in such a way that the words could be clearly understood and that was still pleasing to the ear. Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli (Mass for Pope Marcellus) was performed before the council and received such a welcoming reception among the delegates that they completely changed their minds and allowed polyphony to stay in use in the musical liturgy. Therefore, Palestrina came to be named the "saviour of church polyphony". This legend, though unfounded, has long been a mainstay of histories of music.[50] The saviour-myth was first spread by an account by Aggazzari and Banchieri in 1609 who said that Pope Marcellus was trying to replace all polyphony with plainsong.[51] Palestrina's "Missa Papae Marcelli" was, though, in 1564, after the 22nd session, performed for the Pope while reforms were being considered for the Sistine Choir.

The Pope Marcellus Mass, in short, was not important in its own day and did not help save church polyphony.[52] What is undeniable is that despite any solid evidence of his influence during or after the Council of Trent, no figure is more qualified to represent the cause of polyphony in the Mass than Palestrina.[53] Pope Pius IV upon hearing Palestrina's music would make Palestrina, by Papal Brief, the model for future generations of Catholic composers of sacred music.[54]

Reforms following the Council of Trent

Johann Michael Rottmayr (1729): The Catholic faith defeats Protestant heresies; part of a fresco inside Karlskirche in Vienna
Johann Michael Rottmayr (1729): The Catholic faith defeats Protestant heresies; part of a fresco inside Karlskirche in Vienna

Like his contemporary Palestrina, the Flemish composer Jacobus de Kerle (1531/32–1591) was also credited with giving a model of composition for the Council of Trent. His composition in four-parts, Preces, marks the "official turning point of the Counter Reformation's a cappella ideal."[55] Kerle was the only ranking composer of the Netherlands to have acted in conformity with the council.[56] Another musical giant on equal standing with Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso (1530/32–1594) was an important figure in music history though less of a purist than Palestrina.[57] He expressed sympathy for the council's concerns but still showed favor for the "Parady chanson Masses."[58]

Despite the dearth of edicts from the council regarding polyphony and textual clarity, the reforms that followed from the 22nd session filled in the gaps left by the council in stylistic areas. In the 24th session the council gave authority to "Provincial Synods" to discern provisions for church music.[59] The decision to leave practical application and stylistic matters to local ecclesiastical leaders was important in shaping the future of Catholic church music.[60] It was left then up to the local church leaders and church musicians to find proper application for the council's decrees.[61]

Though originally theological and directed towards the attitudes of the musicians, the council's decrees came to be thought of by church musicians as a pronouncement on proper musical styles.[62] This understanding was most likely spread through musicians who sought to implement the council's declarations but did not read the official Tridentine pronouncements. Church musicians were probably influenced by order from their ecclesiastical patrons.[63] Composers who reference the council's reforms in prefaces to their compositions do not adequately claim a musical basis from the council but a spiritual and religious basis of their art.[64]

The Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, Charles Borromeo, was a very important figure in reforming church music after the Council of Trent. Though Borromeo was an aide to the pope in Rome and was unable to be in Milan, he eagerly pushed for the decrees of the council to be quickly put into practice in Milan.[65] Borromeo kept in contact with his church in Milian through letters and eagerly encouraged the leaders there to implement the reforms coming from the Council of Trent. In one of his letters to his vicar in the Milan diocese, Nicolo Ormaneto of Verona, Borromeo commissioned the master of the chapel, Vincenzo Ruffo (1508–1587), to write a mass that would make the words as easy to understand as possible. Borromeo also suggested that if Don Nicola, a composer of a more chromatic style, was in Milan he too could compose a mass and the two be compared for textural clarity.[66] Borromeo was likely involved or heard of the questions regarding textual clarity because of his request to Ruffo.

Ruffo took Borromeo's commission seriously and set out to compose in a style that presented the text so that all words would be intelligible and the textual meaning be the most important part of the composition. His approach was to move all the voices in a homorhythmic manner with no complicated rhythms, and to use dissonance very conservatively. Ruffo's approach was certainly a success for textual clarity and simplicity, but if his music was very theoretically pure it was not an artistic success despite Ruffo's attempts to bring interest to the monotonous four-part texture.[67] Ruffo's compositional style which favored the text was well in line with the council's perceived concern with intelligibility. Thus the belief in the council's strong edicts regarding textual intelligibility became to characterize the development of sacred church music.

The Council of Trent brought about other changes in music: most notably developing the Missa brevis, Lauda and "Spiritual Madrigal" (Madrigali Spirituali). Additionally, the numerous sequences were mostly prohibited in the 1570 Missal of Pius V. The remaining sequences were Victimae paschali laudes for Easter, Veni Sancte Spiritus for Pentecost, Lauda Sion Salvatorem for Corpus Christi, and Dies Irae for All Souls and for masses for the Dead.

Another reform following the Council of Trent was the publication of the 1568 Roman Breviary.

Calendrical studies

More celebrations of holidays and similar events raised a need to have these events followed closely throughout the dioceses. But there was a problem with the accuracy of the calendar: by the sixteenth century the Julian calendar was almost ten days out of step with the seasons and the heavenly bodies. Among the astronomers who were asked to work on the problem of how the calendar could be reformed was Nicolaus Copernicus, a canon at Frombork (Frauenburg). In the dedication to De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543), Copernicus mentioned the reform of the calendar proposed by the Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512–1517). As he explains, a proper measurement of the length of the year was a necessary foundation to calendar reform. By implication, his work replacing the Ptolemaic system with a heliocentric model was prompted in part by the need for calendar reform.

An actual new calendar had to wait until the Gregorian calendar in 1582. At the time of its publication, De revolutionibus passed with relatively little comment: little more than a mathematical convenience that simplified astronomical references for a more accurate calendar.[68] Physical evidence suggesting Copernicus's theory regarding the Earth's motion was literally true promoted the apparent heresy against the religious thought of the time. As a result, during the Galileo affair, Galileo Galilei was placed under house arrest, served in Rome, Siena, Arcetri, and Florence, for publishing writings said to be "vehemently suspected of being heretical." His opponents condemned heliocentric theory and temporarily banned its teaching in 1633.[69] Similarly, the Academia Secretorum Naturae in Naples had been shut down in 1578. As a result of clerical opposition, heliocentricists emigrated from Catholic to Protestant areas, some forming the Melanchthon Circle.

Major figures

See also


  1. ^ "Counter Reformation". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  2. ^ Der geschichtliche Ablauf der Auswanderung aus dem Zillertal. In: Zillertaler Auswanderer 1837. Abgerufen am 11. Oktober 2016.
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ "Counter-Reformation | religious history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  5. ^ ""Anniversary Thoughts" in America, 7 October 2002". Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  6. ^ Eastern Orthodox churches, following the Septuagint, generally include the deuterocanonical works with even a few additional items not found in Catholic Bibles, but they consider them of secondary authority and not on the same level as the other scriptures. The Church of England may use Bibles that place the deuterocanonical works between the protocanonical Old Testament and the New, but not interspersed among the other Old Testament books as in Catholic Bibles.
  7. ^ Swedish and English Translation of the Red Book
  8. ^ Bart de Groof, "Alexander Farnese and the Origins of Modern Belgium", Bulletin de l'Institut Historique Belge de Rome (1993) Vol. 63, pp 195–219.
  9. ^ Violet Soen, "Reconquista and Reconciliation in the Dutch Revolt: The Campaign of Governor-General Alexander Farnese (1578–1592)", Journal of Early Modern History (2012) 16#1 pp 1–22.
  10. ^ Geert H. Janssen, "The Counter-Reformation of the Refugee: Exile and the Shaping of Catholic Militancy in the Dutch Revolt", Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2012) 63#4 pp 671–692
  11. ^ Beales 2005, p. 14.
  12. ^ Richard R. Henderson; International Council on Monuments and Sites. U.S. Committee; United States. National Park Service (March 1989). A Preliminary inventory of Spanish colonial resources associated with National Park Service units and national historic landmarks, 1987. United States Committee, International Council on Monuments and Sites, for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, National Park Service. p. 87.
  13. ^ See Union of Brest in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia,
  14. ^ See text of the Treaty of the Union of Brest
  15. ^ Henri Daniel-Rops. "The Catholic Reformation". Taken from the Fall 1993 issue of The Dawson Newsletter. EWTN.
  16. ^ a b Michel Péronnet, Le XVe siècle, Hachette U, 1981, p 213
  17. ^ Michel Péronnet, p 214
  18. ^ "TheUersulines". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 March 2015. A religious order founded by St. Angela de Merici for the sole purpose of educating young girls
  19. ^ Philip Hughes (1957), A Popular History of the Reformation, 1960 reprint, Garden City, New York: Image Books, Ch. 3, "Revival and Reformation, 1495–1530", Sec. iii, "The Italian Saints", p. 86.
  20. ^ a b Froom, LeRoy (1950). The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers (DjVu and PDF). 1. p. 24.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, pp. 484, 485
  22. ^ "Ascent of Mount Carmel". John of the Cross. Image Books. 1958.
  23. ^ Otto Stegmüller: "Barock", In: Lexikon der Marienkunde, Regensburg 1967, 566
  24. ^ A Roskovany, conceptu immacolata ex monumentis omnium seculorum demonstrate III, Budapest 1873
  25. ^ John Bossy, "The Social History of Confession in the Age of the Reformation", Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (1975) Vol. 25, pp 21-38. in JSTOR
  26. ^ Hanno-Walter Kruft (996). History of Architectural Theory. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 93–107.
  27. ^ Helen Gardner; Fred S. Kleiner (2010). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage Learning. p. 192.
  28. ^ Arnold Hauser (1999). Social History of Art, Volume 2: Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque. Psychology Press. p. 192.
  29. ^ Irene Earls, Baroque Art: A Topical Dictionary (1996) pp 76-77
  30. ^ Text of the 25th decree of the Council of Trent
  31. ^ "Transcript of Veronese's testimony". Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  32. ^ David Rostand, Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, 2nd ed 1997, Cambridge UP ISBN 0-521-56568-5
  33. ^ Blunt Anthony, Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450–1660, chapter VIII, especially pp. 107–128, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), OUP, ISBN 0-19-881050-4
  34. ^ The death of Medieval Art Extract from book by Émile Mâle
  35. ^ K. G. Fellerer and Moses Hadas. "Church Music and the Council of Trent". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 4 (1953) in JSTOR. p. 576.
  36. ^ Leo P. Manzetti. "Palestrina". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (1928), in JSTOR. p. 330.
  37. ^ Craig A. Monson. "The Council of Trent Revisited." Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 55, No. 1 (2002), in JSTOR p 20.
  38. ^ Monson, p. 21.
  39. ^ Manzetti. 330.
  40. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 580–581.
  41. ^ Fellerer and Hadas, 576.
  42. ^ Monson. 9.
  43. ^ Monson. 10–11.
  44. ^ Monson. 12.
  45. ^ Monson. 22.
  46. ^ Monson. 24.
  47. ^ Manzetti. 331.
  48. ^ Monson. 16.
  49. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576.
  50. ^ Henry Davey, "Giovanni Pierluigi, da Palestrina", Proceedings of the Musical Association, 25th Sess. (1898–1899) in JSTOR p 53.
  51. ^ Davey, p 52.
  52. ^ Carleton Sprague Smith and William Dinneen. "Recent Work on Music in the Renaissance", Modern Philology, Vol. 42, No. 1 (1944), in JSTOR p 45.
  53. ^ Manzetti. 332.
  54. ^ Davey. 52.
  55. ^ Smith and Dinneen. 45.
  56. ^ Hugo Leichtentritt. "The Reform of Trent and Its Effect on Music". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 3 (1944). in JSTOR. p. 326.
  57. ^ Davey. 56.
  58. ^ Leichtentritt. 326.
  59. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576–577.
  60. ^ Monson. 27.
  61. ^ Lewis H. Lockwood. "Vincenzo Ruffo and Musical Reform after the Council of Trent". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 3 (1957), in JSTOR. p. 346.
  62. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 592–593.
  63. ^ Monson. 26.
  64. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576–594.
  65. ^ Lockwood. 346.
  66. ^ Lockwood, 348.
  67. ^ Lockwood, 362.
  68. ^ Burke, James (1985). The Day the Universe Changed. London Writers Ltd. p. 136.
  69. ^ Burke 1985, p. 149.

Further reading

  • Bireley, Robert. The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450–1700: A Reassessment of the Counter Reformation (1999) excerpt and text search
  • Dickens, A. G. The Counter Reformation (1979) expresses the older view that it was a movement of reactionary conservatism.
  • Harline, Craig. "Official Religion: Popular Religion in Recent Historiography of the Catholic Reformation", Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte (1990), Vol. 81, pp 239–262.
  • Jones, Martin D. W. The Counter Reformation: Religion and Society in Early Modern Europe (1995), emphasis on historiography
  • Jones, Pamela M. and Thomas Worcester, eds. From Rome to Eternity: Catholicism and the Arts in Italy, ca. 1550–1650 (Brill 2002) online
  • Mourret, Fernand. History Of The Catholic Church (vol 5 1931) online free; pp 517-649; by French Catholic scholar
  • Mullett, Michael A. "The Catholic Reformation (Routledge 1999) online
  • O'Connell, Marvin. Counter-reformation, 1550–1610 (1974)
  • Ó hAnnracháin, Tadhg. Catholic Europe, 1592–1648: Centre and Peripheries (2015) DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272723.001.0001
  • Ogg, David. Europe in the Seventeenth Century (6th ed. 1965). pp 82-117.
  • Olin, John C. The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola: Reform in the Church, 1495–1540 (Fordham University Press, 1992) online
  • Pollen, John Hungerford. The Counter-Reformation (2011) excerpt and text search
  • Soergel, Philip M. Wondrous in His Saints: Counter Reformation Propaganda in Bavaria. Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 1993
  • Unger, Rudolph M. Counter-Reformation (2006)
  • Wright, A. D. The Counter-reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-christian World (2nd ed. 2005), advanced

Primary sources


  • Bradshaw, Brendan. "The Reformation and the Counter-Reformation", History Today (1983) 33#11 pp 42–45.
  • Marnef, Guido. "Belgian and Dutch Post-war Historiography on the Protestant and Catholic Reformation in the Netherlands", Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte (2009) Vol. 100, pp 271–292.
  • Menchi, Silvana Seidel. "The Age of Reformation and Counter-Reformation in Italian Historiography, 1939–2009", Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte (2009) Vol. 100, pp 193–217.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 April 2019, at 06:42
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