Success Of The Catholic Reformation


Throughout the 1500s there were many historical events that happened that could be debated as to whether or not these events were a success or a failure. One historical event that happened was the Protestant Reformation in 1517. It started with Martin Luther writing his 95 theses and stapling it to the doors of the Catholic Church. This led to the religion of Protestantism. The new religion and the 95 theses led to the Catholic Reformation because the Catholics wanted to be more superior than the Protestants. In 1545 the Catholic Counter-Reformation occurred. It ultimately was a success because of the Council of Trent, the improvement of education of priests, and changes regarding unfair Church practices.

The Council of Trent was one of the reasons the Catholic Counter-Reformation was a success.  This happened around the time that Martin Luther started to form Protestantism after being excommunicated from the Catholic Church for writing the 95 theses. After that, the church started to fall. The Church regained its power in 1545 when the Council of Trent was introduced. “The pontificate of Paul II marks the turning point in the Catholic reaction. Under him the council of Trent was at last opened; the new orders, especially the Jesuits, were formed”... (Doc B) This quote shows the Church was desperate to keep the Catholic religion alive, so they created the Council of Trent. People were angry with the Church because of the selling of indulgences. The most important thing for the Church is its followers, so they introduced the council to keep people from leaving.

The improved education of priests was another reason that the Catholic Reformation was a success.  Before the change, the Priests told people that God was above all things. Instead, they are taught a more human positive view and they made it more rigorous and demanding to become a priest. “At once vigorous steps were undertaken to reform the training of the priesthood.” They are also doing more “ancient liberal arts as a propaganda now were expanded and the easy-going methods of medieval schools abandoned. Further, such educational preparation was coupled with spiritual training in a new institution, the clerical seminary, which combined some of the best ideas of the former school with the practices of monasteries”...(doc B) This quote shows the improvements being made to the church and what they are trying to do to make it better for the people. 

Finally, changes regarding unfair Church practices added to the success of the Catholic Reformation. the Church changed many of its ways that were unfair or unequal toward the parishioners. For a few instances, “The popes ended their nepotism” (Doc E) The confessions box was made illegal, “the priest was no longer tempted by the occasional beauty of his penitents.” (Doc E),  most of the time indulgences were of charity most of the time rather than for the church to keep the money from the indulgences,  “the Catholic clergy set out to recapture the mind of the youth and the allegiance or power.” (Doc E) And “the sons of the Church with singular devotion went forth to win new people to the faith.” (Doc F) These were just some of the examples that the Catholic Church did to improve after the Catholic Reformation. 

In 1545 the Catholic Counter-Reformation occurred, it was a success due to the Council of Trent, improved education of priests, and changes regarding unfair Church practices.  

Thereby, the Catholic Reformation was a major success because the Council of Trent came out of it, they changed the way priests were being taught and changed many other things such as indulgences, nepotism, and so many more. These changes helped the Catholic Church become the Church it is today.

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