Essay about The Council of Trent: The Thirteenth Session

2476 Words Oct 4th, 2013 10 Pages
The 16th century was an exciting time of economic and political growth and exploration. The Renaissance, which sparked Humanism, prompted intellectual growth, which stimulated critical questions on topics such as the church fathers, and scripture that gave a completely new approach to looking at the Bible. The birth of the European Reformation (or Protestantism) is often marked by Martin Luther’s posting of The Ninety-Five Theses on October 31, 1517 protesting the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences. Luther’s initial intent was not to separate and divide the Holy Mother Church, but to reform ill practices and corruption. However, his good intention grew into a great schism in the Church as doctrinal and canonical differences were …show more content…
He was committed to reform but did not desire reconvening of the council. In 1559, Pope Pius IV succeeded Pope Paul IV; unlike his predecessor, Pope Pius IV did indeed desire the council to complete its work. In 1562-1563, the council met. By this time, many of the original leaders to the council had died. This council was a new generation and energetically completed the unfinished agenda from 1545 during its third session. In addition, they reaffirmed the work of earlier sessions and issued a long series of decrees and canons regarding both institutional and theological reforms. In 1564, Pope Pius confirmed the decrees and canons from the Council of Trent. The importance of this council cannot be overstated. Its decrees on institutional reform are, perhaps in some cases, as significant as its decrees on theological issues. The Council of Trent became known as the Counter-Reformation, or Catholic Reformation. The decrees from this council provided vigorous expressions to the Catholic doctrines of grace and sacraments. It provided the Church with greater unity by clearly defining four major, critically disputed areas of Catholic theology: 1) the authority of scripture and tradition; 2) the doctrine of justification by faith; 3) the nature of the church and its ministry; and 4) the theology of the sacraments.
Concerning the sacraments in general, the thirteenth session of the Council of Trent followed the medieval tradition by

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