The Info List - Counter-Reformation

The Counter- Reformation
(Latin: Contrareformatio), also called the Catholic Reformation
(Latin: Reformatio Catholica) or the Catholic Revival,[1] was the period of Catholic resurgence initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, beginning with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War (1648). Initiated to preserve the power, influence and material wealth enjoyed by the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
and to present a theological and material challenge to Reformation, the Counter- Reformation
was a comprehensive effort composed of five major elements:

Reactionary defense of Catholic sacramental practice Ecclesiastical or structural reconfiguration Religious orders Spiritual movements Political dimensions

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
Spanish mystics
and the French school of spirituality.[2] It also involved political activities that included the Roman Inquisition. 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.[2] Various Counter- Reformation
theologians focused only on defending doctrinal positions such as the sacraments and pious practices that were attacked by the Protestant reformers,[3] up to the Second Vatican Council in 1962–1965. One of the "most dramatic moments" at that Council was the intervention of Belgian Bishop Emil de Smedt when, during the debate on the nature of the Church, he called for an end to the "triumphalism, clericalism, and legalism" that had typified the Church in the previous centuries.[4] Key events of the period include: the Council of Trent
Council of Trent
(1545-1563); the excommunication of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
(1570) and the Battle of Lepanto (1571), both occurring during the pontificate of Pius V; the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
and the Jesuit China mission
Jesuit China mission
of Matteo Ricci under Gregory XIII; the French Wars of Religion; the Long Turkish War and the execution of Giordano Bruno
Giordano Bruno
in 1600, under Pope
Clement VIII; the trial against Galileo Galilei; 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.


1 Precursors 2 Council of Trent 3 Religious orders 4 Politics: the Netherlands 5 Spiritual movements 6 Baroque

6.1 Decrees on art

7 Church music

7.1 Reforms before the Council of Trent 7.2 Reforms during the 22nd session

7.2.1 Saviour-Legend

7.3 Reforms following the Council of Trent

8 Calendrical studies 9 Areas affected 10 Major figures 11 See also 12 Footnotes 13 Further reading

13.1 Primary sources 13.2 Historiography

14 External links

Precursors[edit] 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 Lateran V (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
Protestant Reformation
spread. Protestants decisively broke from the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
in the 1520s. The two distinct dogmatic positions within the Catholic Church
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. Historian Henri Daniel-Rops says:

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.[5]

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, Saint
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.[6] 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.[6] In Italy, the first congregation of regular clergy was the Theatines founded in 1524 by Gaetano and Cardinal Caraffa. This was followed by the Somaschi Fathers
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.[7] Council of Trent[edit] Main article: Council of Trent

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

Paul III
Paul III
(1534–1549) is considered the first pope of the Counter-Reformation,[2] 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 St. 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
Old Testament
Bible, which included the deuterocanonical works (also called the Apocrypha by Protestants) on a par with the 39 books customarily found in the Masoretic Text. This reaffirmed the previous Council of Rome and Synods of Carthage
Synods of Carthage
(both held in the 4th century AD), which had affirmed the Deuterocanon
as Scripture.[8] The Council also commissioned the Roman Catechism, which served as authoritative Church teaching until the Catechism of the Catholic Church
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, after all, 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 ( 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
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 (1513–1522), whose campaign to raise funds for the construction of St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica
by supporting use of indulgences served as a key impetus for Martin Luther's 95 Theses. The Catholic Church
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
Council of Trent
also gave bishops greater power to supervise all aspects of religious life. Zealous prelates, such as Milan's Archbishop
Carlo Borromeo
Carlo Borromeo
(1538–1584), later canonized as a saint, set an example by visiting the remotest parishes and instilling high standards. Religious orders[edit] 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
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,[9] the first order of women to be dedicated to that goal.[10] 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. 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.[11] According to Adventist minister Le Roy Froom, forced to self-justify their position by unflattering prophetic figures and epithets utilized by Protestant Bible
scholars of the Papacy,[clarification needed] Jesuits
Francisco Ribera
Francisco Ribera
and Luis De Alcasar utilized two counter-interpretations of these selfsame prophecies, Futurism and Preterism.[dubious – discuss] These were devised to deflect the strength of Protestant Reformation
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.[11] 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." — Leroy Froom, The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, page 484, 485

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
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
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. Politics: the Netherlands[edit] Further information: Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
and Eighty Years' War

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

When the Calvinists took control of various parts of the Netherlands in the Dutch Revolt, the Catholics led by Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
fought back. The king sent in Alexander Farnese as Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands
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.[12] 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% 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.[13] 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.[14] Spiritual movements[edit] Main articles: Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, and Francis de Sales

The Battle of Lepanto

Artist Paolo Veronese

Year 1571

Medium Oil on canvas

Dimensions 169 cm × 137 cm (67 in × 54 in)

Location Gallerie 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
John of the Cross
were Spanish mystics
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. Her publications, especially her autobiography The Life of Theresa of Jesus, had multiple effects. Thomas Merton
Thomas Merton
called John of the Cross
John of the Cross
the greatest of all mystical theologians.[15] An important clarification about the word "mystical" is necessary. When one considers its definition or the nature of "mysticism", a common misunderstanding exists that if one is to become a mystic they are required to seclude themselves physically from the outside world to have this kind of experience. Although such seclusion can, indeed, be the only apostolate (vocation) to which some are called to a life of prayer, there are others who have dual apostolates. In fact, John of the Cross himself served as both confessor/spiritual director within the confines of the cloistered communities that he and Teresa of Ávila worked vigorously to establish, but he also literally helped to build a number of those convents and monasteries. It is true that Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola
and Francis de Sales
Francis de Sales
were called to a more active spirituality or apostolate, but their vocations were not "the opposite" of Teresa of Jesus
and John of the Cross
John of the Cross
as this article previously indicated. Returning to Ignatius of Loyola, "to see God in all things" was a typical expression of Ignatius and a main theme of his Spiritual Exercises.[16] 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
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
Battle of Lepanto
in 1571 was accredited to the Virgin Mary and signified the beginning of a strong resurgence of Marian devotions.[17] During and after the Catholic Reformation, Marian piety experienced unforeseen growth with over 500 pages of mariological writings during the 17th century alone.[18] The Jesuit Francisco Suárez
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").[19] Baroque
art[edit] The Catholic Church
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[20] and painting,[21] and to a lesser extent music, reflected Counter- Reformation
goals.[22] The Council of Trent
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.[23] Decrees on art[edit]

The Last Judgment

Artist Michelangelo

Year 1537–1541

Type Fresco

Dimensions 1370 cm × 1200 cm (539.3 in × 472.4 in)

Location Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

The Last Judgment, a fresco in the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
by Michelangelo (1534–41), 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
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 ...[24]

Ten years after the decree Paolo Veronese
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.[25] 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.[26] 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, Saint
Charles Borromeo
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.[27] According to the great medievalist Émile Mâle, this was "the death of medieval art",[28] 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[edit]

Part of a series on


Ninety-five Theses


Arnold of Brescia
Arnold of Brescia
and Arnoldists Peter Waldo
Peter Waldo
and Waldensians Girolamo Savonarola John Wycliffe
John Wycliffe
and Lollardy William Tyndale Jan Hus
Jan Hus
and Hussites


Ninety-five Theses Diet of Worms Luther Bible Iconoclasm Magisterials Radicals

Contributing factors

Western Schism Avignon Papacy Bohemian Reformation Northern Renaissance Humanism Johann Reuchlin German mysticism Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg
and his printing press Erasmus Propaganda Art

Theologies of seminal figures

of Martin Luther Theology
of Huldrych Zwingli Theology
of John Calvin

Protestant Reformers

Martin Luther Philip Melanchthon Huldrych Zwingli John Calvin Martin Bucer Theodore Beza Heinrich Bullinger Peter Martyr Vermigli William Farel John Knox Roger Williams Thomas Müntzer Balthasar Hubmaier Andreas Karlstadt Menno Simons Thomas Cranmer Richard Hooker Many others

Major political leaders

Henry VIII of England Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I
of England Oliver Cromwell James VI and I William the Silent Gaspard II de Coligny Henry IV of France Jeanne d'Albret Stephen Bocskai Gabriel Bethlen Gustav II Adolf Frederick V, Elector Palatine Philip I of Hesse Frederick III, Elector of Saxony John Frederick I, Elector of Saxony

By location

Germany Switzerland (Geneva/Zürich) England Scotland Netherlands Czech Lands Slovakia Hungary Romania Slovenia Denmark–Norway and Holstein Sweden and Finland Iceland Estonia and Latvia Austria France Italy Poland-Lithuania Ireland

Political and religious conflicts

Thirty Years' War French Wars of Religion Eighty Years' War War of the Three Kingdoms German Peasants' War Wars of Kappel Schmalkaldic War


Catholic Church Council of Trent Anti-Protestantism Criticism of Protestantism Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor


Peace of Westphalia Rise of Pietism No end thesis


Day Reformation
Wall Lutheran commemorations Anglican commemorations


v t e

Reforms before the Council of Trent[edit] The Council of Trent
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
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.[29] 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.[30] Probably the most extreme move at reform came late in 1562 when, instructed by the legates, Egidio Foscarari (bishop of Modena) and Gabriele Paleotti
Gabriele Paleotti
(archbishop of Bologna) began work on reforming religious orders and their practices involving the liturgy.[31] 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.[32] 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.[33] 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
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.[34] Reforms during the 22nd session[edit] The Council of Trent
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.[35] 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."[36] 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.[37] The only restrictions actually given by the 22nd session was to keep secular elements out of the music, making polyphony implicitly allowed.[38] 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.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] The Council of Trent did not focus on the style of music but on attitudes of worship and reverence during the mass.[43] Saviour-Legend[edit] 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
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
(ca. 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.[44] 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.[45] 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.[46] 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.[47] Pope
Pius IV
Pius IV
upon hearing Palestrina's music would make Palestrina, by Papal Brief, the model for future generations of Catholic composers of sacred music.[48] Reforms following the Council of Trent[edit] 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."[49] Kerle was the only ranking composer of the Netherlands to have acted in conformity with the Council.[50] 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.[51] He expressed sympathy for the Council's concerns but still showed favor for the "Parady chanson Masses."[52] 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.[53] The decision to leave practical application and stylistic matters to local ecclesiastical leaders was important in shaping the future of Catholic church music.[54] It was left then up to the local church leaders and church musicians to find proper application for the Council's decrees.[55] 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.[56] 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.[57] 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.[58] 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.[59] 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.[60] 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.[61] 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 effects of the Council of Trent
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
Catholic Church
while preserving their Byzantine
tradition. Pope
Clement VIII
Clement VIII
received the Ruthenian bishops into full communion on February 7, 1596.[62] 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.[63] The Council of Trent
Council of Trent
brought about other changes in music: most notably developing the Missa brevis, Lauda and "Spiritual Madrigal" (Madrigali Spirituali). Calendrical studies[edit] 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
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
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
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.[64] 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, 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", and his opponents condemned heliocentric theory and temporarily banned its teaching in 1633.[65] Areas affected[edit] 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
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

Religious situation in Europe, late 16th & early to mid 17th century

Major figures[edit]

Leo X (1513–1521) Pius III
Pius III
(1503) Paul III
Paul III
(1534–1549) Julius III
Julius III
(1550–55) Paul IV
Paul IV
(1555–59) Pius IV
Pius IV
(1559–65) St. Pius V
Pius V
(1566–72) Gregory XIII
Gregory XIII
(1572–85) Sixtus V
Sixtus V
(1585–90) St. Philip Neri St. Ignatius of Loyola St. Teresa of Ávila St. John of the Cross St. Francis de Sales St. Charles Borromeo Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
(1527–1598) Mary I of England
Mary I of England
(1553–1558) Sigismund the Old of Poland
(1467–1548) Sigismund II Augustus of Poland
(1520–1572) Péter Pázmány
Péter Pázmány

See also[edit]

Anti-Protestantism Cologne War Corpus Catholicorum (series) Counter- Reformation
in Poland European wars of religion History of the Catholic Church League for Catholic Counter-Reformation Spanish Inquisition The Reformation
and art Second scholasticism


^ "Counter Reformation". Encyclopædia Britannica Online.  ^ a b c http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/140219/Counter-Reformation ^ "Counter- Reformation
religious history". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-05-11.  ^ "Anniversary Thoughts" in America, 7 October 2002. ^ Henri Daniel-Rops. "The Catholic Reformation". Taken from the Fall 1993 issue of The Dawson Newsletter. EWTN.  ^ a b Michel Péronnet, Le XVe siècle, Hachette U, 1981, p 213 ^ Michel Péronnet, p 214 ^ Eastern Orthodox
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
Church of England
may use Bibles that place the deuterocanonical works between the protocanonical Old Testament
Old Testament
and the New, but not interspersed among the other Old Testament
Old Testament
books as in Catholic Bibles. ^ "TheUersulines". Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 March 2015. A religious order founded by St. Angela de Merici for the sole purpose of educating young girls  ^ 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. ^ a b Froom, LeRoy (1950). The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers (DjVu and PDF). 1. p. 24.  ^ 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. ^ 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. ^ 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 ^ "Ascent of Mount Carmel". John of the Cross. Image Books. 1958.  ^ Ignatius of Loyola: Spiritual Exercises ^ Otto Stegmüller: "Barock", In: Lexikon der Marienkunde, Regensburg 1967, 566 ^ A Roskovany, conceptu immacolata ex monumentis omnium seculorum demonstrate III, Budapest 1873 ^ 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 ^ Hanno-Walter Kruft (996). History of Architectural Theory. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 93–107.  ^ Helen Gardner; Fred S. Kleiner (2010). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective. Cengage Learning. p. 192.  ^ Arnold Hauser (1999). Social History of Art, Volume 2: Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque. Psychology Press. p. 192.  ^ Irene Earls, Baroque
Art: A Topical Dictionary (1996) pp 76-77 ^ Text of the 25th decree of the Council of Trent ^ Transcript of Veronese's testimony ^ David Rostand, Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, 2nd ed 1997, Cambridge UP ISBN 0-521-56568-5 ^ 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 ^ The death of Medieval Art[permanent dead link] Extract from book by Émile Mâle ^ 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. ^ Leo P. Manzetti. "Palestrina". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 3 (1928), in JSTOR. p. 330. ^ Craig A. Monson. "The Council of Trent
Council of Trent
Revisited." Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 55, No. 1 (2002), in JSTOR p 20. ^ Monson, p. 21. ^ Manzetti. 330. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 580–581. ^ Fellerer and Hadas, 576. ^ Monson. 9. ^ Monson. 10–11. ^ Monson. 12. ^ Monson. 22. ^ Monson. 24. ^ Manzetti. 331. ^ Monson. 16. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576. ^ Henry Davey, "Giovanni Pierluigi, da Palestrina", Proceedings of the Musical Association, 25th Sess. (1898–1899) in JSTOR p 53. ^ Davey, p 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. ^ Manzetti. 332. ^ Davey. 52. ^ Smith and Dinneen. 45. ^ Hugo Leichtentritt. "The Reform of Trent and Its Effect on Music". The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 3 (1944). in JSTOR. p. 326. ^ Davey. 56. ^ Leichtentritt. 326. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576–577. ^ Monson. 27. ^ 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. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 592–593. ^ Monson. 26. ^ Fellerer and Hadas. 576–594. ^ Lockwood. 346. ^ Lockwood, 348. ^ Lockwood, 362. ^ See Union of Brest in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15130a.htm ^ See text of the Treaty of the Union of Brest ^ Burke, James (1985). The Day the Universe Changed. London Writers Ltd. p. 136.  ^ Burke 1985, p. 149.

Further reading[edit]

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 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[edit]

Luebke, David, ed. The Counter-Reformation: The Essential Readings (1999) excerpt and text search


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[edit]

The Catholic Counter- Reformation
in the 21st Century

v t e

History of Christianity

Centuries:1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st

Ministry of Jesus and Apostolic Age


Ministry Crucifixion Resurrection

Holy Spirit Leadership

Apostles Seventy disciples Paul the Apostle Council of Jerusalem

Great Commission New Testament

Background Gospels Acts Pauline epistles General epistles Revelation

Ante-Nicene Period

Judaism split Justin Martyr Ignatius Persecution Fathers Irenaeus Marcionism Canon Tertullian Montanism Origen

Late ancient

Constantine Monasticism Councils: Nicaea I Creed Athanasius Arianism Jerome Augustine Constantinople I Ephesus I Chalcedon

Eastern Christianity

Eastern Orthodoxy Church of the East Oriental Orthodoxy Chrysostom Nestorianism Iconoclasm Great Schism Fall of Constantinople Armenia Georgia Greece Egypt Syria Ethiopia Bulgaria Ottoman Empire Russia America

Middle Ages

Pelagianism Gregory I Celtic Germanic Scandinavian Kievan Rus' Investiture Anselm Abelard Bernard of Clairvaux Bogomils Cathars Crusades Waldensians Inquisition Scholasticism Dominic Francis Bonaventure Aquinas Wycliffe Avignon Papal Schism Bohemian Reformation Hus Conciliarism


Primacy development Papacy Timeline Lateran IV Trent Counter-Reformation Thomas More Leo X Guadalupe Jesuits Jansenists Xavier Monastery dissolution Wars Teresa Vatican I and II Modernism



Erasmus Five solae Eucharist Calvinist–Arminian debate Arminianism Dort Wars


Martin Luther 95 Theses Diet of Worms Melanchthon Orthodoxy Eucharist Book
of Concord


Zwingli Calvin Presbyterianism Scotland Knox TULIP Dort Three Forms of Unity Westminster


Timeline Henry VIII Cranmer Settlement 39 Articles Common Prayer Puritans Civil War


Radical Reformation Grebel Swiss Brethren Müntzer Martyrs' Synod Menno Simons Smyth


Revivalism English denominations Baptists Congregationalism First Great Awakening Methodism Millerism Pietism Neo- and Old Lutherans


Camp meeting Holiness movement Independent Catholic denominations Second Great Awakening Restoration Movement Jehovah's Witnesses Mormonism Seventh-day Adventist Adventism Third Great Awakening Azusa Revival Fundamentalism Ecumenism Evangelicalism Jesus
movement Mainline Protestant Pentecostalism Charismatics Liberation theology Christian right Christian left Genocide by ISIL

Timeline Missions Timeline Martyrs Theology Eastern Orthodoxy Oriental Orthodoxy Protestantism Catholicism

v t e

Catholic Church

Index Outline

History (Timeline)

Jesus Holy Family

Mary Joseph

Apostles Early Christianity History of the papacy Ecumenical councils Missions Great Schism of East Crusades Great Schism of West Age of Discovery Protestant Reformation Council of Trent Counter-Reformation Catholic Church
Catholic Church
by country Vatican City

index outline

Second Vatican Council

Hierarchy (Precedence)


Francis (2013–present)

conclave inauguration theology canonizations visits

Emeritus Benedict XVI (2005–2013)

Roman Curia College of Cardinals

Cardinal List

Patriarchate Episcopal conference Patriarch Major archbishop Primate Metropolitan Archbishop Diocesan bishop Coadjutor bishop Auxiliary bishop Titular bishop Bishop emeritus Abbot Abbess Superior general Provincial superior Grand Master Prior
(-ess) Priest Brother


Sister Monk Nun Hermit Master of novices Novice Oblate Postulant Laity


Body and soul Bible Catechism Divine grace Dogma Ecclesiology

Four Marks of the Church

Original sin


Salvation Sermon
on the Mount Ten Commandments Trinity Worship


Assumption History Immaculate Conception Mariology of the popes Mariology of the saints Mother of God Perpetual virginity Veneration


Natural law Moral theology Personalism Social teaching Philosophers


Baptism Confirmation Eucharist Penance Anointing of the Sick

Last rites

Holy orders Matrimony


Mary Apostles Archangels Confessors Disciples Doctors of the Church Evangelists Church Fathers Martyrs Patriarchs Prophets Virgins

Doctors of the Church

Gregory the Great Ambrose Augustine of Hippo Jerome John Chrysostom Basil of Caesarea Gregory of Nazianzus Athanasius of Alexandria Cyril of Alexandria Cyril of Jerusalem John of Damascus Bede
the Venerable Ephrem the Syrian Thomas Aquinas Bonaventure Anselm of Canterbury Isidore of Seville Peter Chrysologus Leo the Great Peter Damian Bernard of Clairvaux Hilary of Poitiers Alphonsus Liguori Francis de Sales Peter Canisius John of the Cross Robert Bellarmine Albertus Magnus Anthony of Padua Lawrence of Brindisi Teresa of Ávila Catherine of Siena Thérèse of Lisieux John of Ávila Hildegard of Bingen Gregory of Narek

Institutes, orders, and societies

Assumptionists Annonciades Augustinians Basilians Benedictines Bethlehemites Blue nuns Camaldoleses Camillians Carmelites Carthusians Cistercians Clarisses Conceptionists Crosiers Dominicans Franciscans Good Shepherd Sisters Hieronymites Jesuits Mercedarians Minims Olivetans Oratorians Piarists Premonstratensians Redemptorists Servites Theatines Trappists Trinitarians Visitandines

Associations of the faithful

International Federation of Catholic Parochial Youth Movements International Federation of Catholic Universities International Kolping Society Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement International Union of Catholic Esperantists Community of Sant'Egidio


Aid to the Church in Need Caritas Internationalis Catholic Home Missions Catholic Relief Services CIDSE

Particular churches (By country)

Church Eastern Catholic Churches: Albanian Armenian Belarusian Bulgarian Chaldean Coptic Croatian and Serbian Eritrean Ethiopian Georgian Greek Hungarian Italo-Albanian Macedonian Maronite Melkite Romanian Russian Ruthenian Slovak Syriac Syro-Malabar Syro-Malankara Ukrainian

Liturgical rites

Alexandrian Antiochian Armenian Byzantine East Syrian Latin

Anglican Use Ambrosian Mozarabic Roman

West Syrian

Catholicism portal Pope
portal Vatican City
Vatican City

Book Name Media

Category Templates WikiProject

v t e



Christ Jesus
in Christianity Virgin birth Crucifixion Resurrection Son of God


Church Creed Gospel New Covenant


Books Canon Old Testament New Testament


God Trinity

Father Son Holy Spirit

Apologetics Baptism Christology Ecclesiology History of theology Mission Salvation

History and tradition

Mary Apostles Peter Paul Fathers Early Constantine Ecumenical councils Augustine East–West Schism Crusades Aquinas Reformation Luther

Denomi- nations and traditions (list)


Adventist Anabaptist Anglican Baptist Calvinist Catholic Charismatic Evangelical Holiness Lutheran Methodist Pentecostal Protestant


Eastern Orthodox Oriental Orthodox (Miaphysite) Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
("Nestorian") Eastern Catholic Churches


Jehovah's Witnesses Latter Day Saint
movement Oneness Pentecostalism

Related topics

Art Criticism Culture Ecumenism Liturgy Music Other religions Prayer Sermon Symbolism

Category Christianity

Authority control

GND: 4019710-4 N