Trent, the Council of (Concilium Tridentinunm)
Trent, The Council Of (Concilium Tridentinunm)
was held in Trent, a city of Tyrol, Austria, on the left bank of the Adige. It has a cathedral built entirely of marble in the Byzantine style. In the Church of St. Maria Maggiore are the portraits of the members of the council, which was held in this building. This council was first convoked June 2, 1536, by pope Paul III, to be held at Mantua, May 23, 1537. Subsequently, the duke of Mantua having refused to permit the assembling of the council in that city, the pope prorogued the meeting to November, without naming any place. Afterwards, by another bull, he prorogued it till May. 1538, and named Vicenza as the place of assembly; nominating in the meantime certain cardinals and prelates to look into the question of reform, who, in consequence, drew up a long report upon the subject, in which they divide the abuses needing correction into two heads:
1. Those concerning the Church in general.
2. Those peculiar to the Church of tome. When the time arrived, however, not a single bishop appeared at Vicenza; whereupon the pope again prorogued the council to Easter, 1539, and subsequently forbade its assembling until he should signify his pleasure upon the subject. At last, at the end of three years, in the year 1542. after much dispute between the pope, the emperor, and the other princes in the Roman communion as to the place in which the council should be holden, the pope's proposition that it should take place at Trent was agreed to; whereupon the bull was published, May 22, convoking the council to Trent on Nov. 1 in that year. Subsequently he named, as his legate in the council, cardinal John del Monte, bishop of Palestina; the cardinal-priest of Sainte-Croix, Marcellus Cervinus; and the cardinal-deacon Reginald Pole. However, difficulties arose, which caused the opening of the council to be further delayed, and the first meeting was not held until December, 1545. The great importance of this council in the history of the Reformation, and in Roman Catholic doctrine since, justifies an unusually full treatment of it here.
Session I (Dec. 13, 1545). When the council was opened there were present the three legates, four archbishops, and twenty-two bishops, in their pontifical vestments. Mass was said by the cardinal del Monte, and a sermon preached by the bishop of Bitonte; after which the bull given Nov. 19, 1544, and that of February, 1545, were read, and cardinal del Monte explained the objects which were proposed in assembling the council, viz. the extirpation of heresy, the re-establishment of ecclesiastical discipline, the reformation of morals, and the restoration of peace and unity.
On Dec. 18 and 22 congregations were held, in which some discussion arose about the care and order to be observed by prelates in their life and behavior during the council.
On Jan. 5 another congress was held, in which cardinal del Monte proposed that the order to be observed in conducting the business of the council should be the same with that at the last Council of Lateran, where the examination of the different matters had been entrusted to different bishops, who for that purpose had been divided into three classes; and when the decrees relating to any matter had been drawn up, they were submitted to the consideration of a general congregation; so that all was done without any disputing and discussion in the sessions. A dispute arose in this congregation about the style to be given to the council in the decrees. The pope had decreed that they should run in this form, "The Holy (Ecumenical and General Council of Trent, the Legates of the Apostolic See presiding;" but the Gallican bishops, and many of the Spaniards and Italians, insisted that the words "representing the Universal Church" should be added. This, however, the legates refused, remembering that such had been the form used in the councils of Constance and Basle, and fearing lest, if this addition were made, the rest of the form of Constance and Basle might follow, viz., "which derives its power immediately from Jesus Christ, and to which every person, of whatever dignity, not excepting the pope, is bound to yield obedience."
Session 11 (Jan. 7, 1546). — At this session forty-three prelates were present. Abul was read prohibiting the proctors of absent prelates to vote; also another, exhorting all the faithful then in Trent to live in the fear of God, and to fast and pray. The learned were exhorted to give their attention to the question how the rising heresies could be best extinguished. The question about the style of the council was again raised.
In the following congregation, Jan. 13, the same question was again debated. Nothing was settled in this matter, and they then proceeded to deliberate upon which of the three subjects proposed to be discussed in the council (viz. the extirpation of heresy, the reformation of discipline, and the restoration of peace) should be first handled. Three prelates were appointed to examine the procuration papers and excuses of absent bishops.
In the next congregation the deliberations on the subject to be first proposed in the council were resumed. Some wished that the question of reform should be first opened; others, on the contrary, maintained that questions relating to the faith demanded immediate notice. A third party, among whom was Thomas Campeggio, bishop of Feltri, asserted that the two questions of doctrine and reformation were inseparable, and must be treated of together. This latter opinion ultimately prevailed, but at the moment the sense of the assembly was so divided that no decision was arrived at.
In the congregation held Jan. 22, the party in favor of entering at once upon the subject of reform was much increased, but the three legates continued their opposition to their scheme. Subsequently, however, they proposed that they should always take into consideration together one subject relating to the faith and one relating to reform, bearing one upon the other.
On the 24th a curious dispute arose about the proper seal for the use of the council. Some desired that a new seal should be made; but the legates succeeded in having the seal of the first legate attached to the synodal letters.
Session III (Feb. 4, 1546). — In this session nothing was done except to recite the Creed, word for word.
In a congress held Feb. 22, the legates proposed that the council should enter upon the subject of the Holy Scriptures; and four doctrinal articles were presented, extracted by the theologians from the writings of Luther upon the subject of Holy Scripture, which they affirmed to be contrary to the orthodox faith.
1. That all the articles of the Christian faith necessary to be believed are contained in Holy Scripture; and that it is sacrilege to hold the oral traditions of the Church to be of equal authority with the Old and New Test.
2. That only such books as the Jews acknowledged ought to be received into the canon of the Old Test.; and that the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Epistle of James, the Second Epistle of Peter, the Second and Third Epistles of John, the Epistle of Jude, and the Apocalypse should be erased from the canon of the New Test.
4. That Holy Scripture is easy to be understood, and clear, and that no gloss or commentary is needed, but only the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
The first two articles were debated in the four following congregations. As to the first article, the congregation came to the decision that the Christian faith is contained partly in Holy Scripture and partly in the traditions of the Church. Upon the second article much discussion arose. All agreed in receiving all the books read in the Roman Church, including the Apocryphal books, alleging the authority of the catalogues drawn up in the councils of Laodicea and Carthage, and those under Innocent I and Gelasius I; but there were four opinions as to the method to be observed in drawing up the catalogue. One party wished to divide the books into two classes-one containing those which have always been received without dispute, the other containing those which had been doubted. The second party desired a threefold division: 1. Containing the undoubted books; 2. Those which had been at one time suspected, but since received; 3. Those which had never been recognized, as seven of the Apocryphal books, and some chapters in Daniel and Esther. The third party wished that no distinction should be made; and the fourth that all the books contained in the Latin Vulgate should be declared to be canonical and inspired.
The discussion was resumed on March 8, but not decided; the members, however, unanimously agreed that the traditions of the Church are equal in authority to Holy Scripture.
In the following congregation it was decided that the catalogue of the books of Holy Scripture should be drawn up without any of the proposed distinctions, and that they should be declared to be all of equal authority.
The authority of the Latin Vulgate (declared in the third article to be full of errors) came under consideration in subsequent congregations, and it was almost unanimously declared to be authentic. With regard to the fourth article, it was agreed that in interpreting Scripture men must be guided by the voice of the fathers and of the Church.
Session IV (April 8,1546). — Between sixty and seventy prelates attended this session. Two decrees were read: 1. Upon the canon of Scripture, which declares that the holy council receives all the books of the Old and New Test. as well as all the traditions of the Church respecting faith and morals, as having proceeded from the lips of Jesus Christ himself, or as having been dictated by the Holy Spirit and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continued succession; and that it looks upon both the written and unwritten Word with equal respect. After this the decree enumerates the books received as canonical 5 the Church of Rome, and as they are found in the Vulgate, and anathematizes all who refuse to acknowledge them as such. The second decree declares the authenticity of the Vulgate, forbids all private interpretation of it, and orders that no copies be printed or circulated without authority, under penalty of fine and anathema.
In another congregation the abuses relating to lecturers on Holy Scripture and preachers were discussed; also those arising from the non-residence of bishops. After this the question of original sin came under consideration, and nine articles taken from the Lutheran books were drawn up and offered for examination, upon which some discussion took place. Ultimately, however, a decree was drawn up upon the subject, divided into five canons.
1. Treats of the personal sin of Adam.
2. Of the transmission of that sin to his posterity.
3. Of its remedy, i.e. holy baptism.
4. Of infant baptism.
5. Of the concupiscence which still remains in those who have been baptized.
A great dispute arose between the Franciscans and Dominicans-concerning the immaculate conception of the Blessed Virgin. The Franciscans insisted that she should be specially declared to be free from the taint of original sin; the Dominicans, on the other hand, maintained that, although the Church had tolerated the opinion concerning the immaculate conception, it was sufficiently clear that the Virgin was not exempt from the common infection of our nature. A decree of reformation, in two chapters, was also read.
Session V (June 17, 1546). — In this session the decree concerning original sin was passed, containing the five canons mentioned above, enforced by anathemas. Afterwards the fathers declared that it was not their intention to include the Virgin in this decree, and that upon this subject the constitutions of pope Sixtus IV were to be followed, thus leaving the immaculate conception an open question.
In a congregation held June 18, they proceeded to consider the questions relating to grace and good works. Also the subject of residence of bishops and pastors was discussed. The cardinal del Monte and some of the fathers attributed the heresies and disturbances which had arisen to the non- residence of bishops, while many of the bishops maintained that they were to be attributed to the multitudes of friars and other privileged persons whom the pope permitted to wander about and preach in spite of the bishops, who, in consequence, could do no good even if they were in residence.
In the congregation held June 30, twenty-five articles, professedly drawn up from the Lutheran writings on the subject of justification, were proposed for examination. Some of these articles seem well to have merited the judgment passed upon them; thus, among others,
5. Declares that repentance for past sin is altogether unnecessary if a man lead a new life.
7. The fear of hell is a sin, and makes the sinner worse.
8. Contrition arising from meditation upon, and sorrow for, past sin makes a man a great sinner.
11. Faith alone is required; the only sin is unbelief; other things are neither commanded nor forbidden.
12. He who has faith is free from the precepts of the law, and has no need of works in order to be saved; nothing that a believer can do is so sinful that it can either accuse or condemn him.
13. No sin separates from God's grace but want of faith.
14. Faith and works are contrary to one another; to teach the latter is to destroy the former, etc. At this time the three ambassadors of the king of France arrived-viz. Durse, LigniBres, and Pierre Danez. The last mentioned delivered a long discourse, in the course of which he entreated the council to suffer no attack to be made upon the privileges of the kingdom and Church of France.
In a congregation held Aug. 20, the subject of justification was again warmly discussed, as well as the doctrine of Luther concerning free-will and predestination. Upon this latter subject nothing worthy of censure was found in the writings of Luther or in the Confession of Augsburg; but eight articles were drawn up for examination from the writings of the Zwinglians. Upon some of these there was much difference of opinion. By the advice of the bishop of Sinagaglia, the canons drawn up embodying the decrees of the council were divided into two sets — one set, which they called the decrees of doctrine, contained the Catholic faith upon the subjects decided; the others, called canons, stated, condemned, and anathematized the doctrines contrary to that faith. These decrees were mainly composed by cardinal SainteCroix, who bestowed infinite pains upon them; at least one hundred congregations were held upon the subject. Afterwards they returned to the consideration of the reform of the Church, and to the question about episcopal residence. Most of the theologians present, especially the Dominicans, maintained that residence was a matter not merely canonically binding, but of divine injunction. The Spaniards held the same opinion. The legates, seeing that the discussion tended to bring the papal authority and power into question, endeavored to put a stop to it.
Session VI (Jan. 13,1547). — In this session the decree concerning doctrine was read; it contained sixteen chapters and thirty-three canons against heretics.
These chapters declare that sinners are brought into a state to receive justification when excited and helped by grace, and, believing the word of God, they freely turn to God, believing all that he has revealed and promised, especially that the sinner is justified by the grace of God, given to him through the redemptions of Jesus Christ; and when, acknowledging their sinfulness and filled with a salutary fear of God's justice, yet trusting to his mercy, they conceive hope and confidence that God will be favorable to them for the sake of Jesus Christ, and thereupon begin to love him as the only source of all righteousness, and to turn from their sins through the hatred which they have conceived against them, i.e. through that repentance which all must feel before baptism; in sholt, when they resolve to be baptized, to lead a new life, and to follow the commandments of God.
After this the decree explains the nature and effects of justification, saying that it does not consist merely in the remission of sin, but also in sanctification and inward renewal. That the final cause of justification is the glory of God and of Jesus Christ and eternal life; the efficient cause is God himself, who, of his mercy, freely washes and sanctifies by the seal and unction of the Holy Spirit, who is the pledge of our inheritance; the meritorious cause is our Lord Jesus Christ, his beloved and only Son; the instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, without which no one can be justified; and, finally, the formal cause is the righteousness of God given to each, not that righteousness by which he Is righteous in himself, but that by which he makes us righteous; i.e. with which being endued by him, we become renewed in our hearts, and are not merely accounted righteous, but are made really so by receiving, as it were, righteousness in ourselves, each according to the measure given to us at the will of the Holy Spirit and in proportion to the proper disposition and co-operation of each. Thus the sinner, by means of this ineffable grace, becomes truly righteous, a friend of God, and an heir of everlasting life; and it is the Holy Spirit who works this marvelous change in him by forming holy habits in his heart-habits of faith, hope, and charity — which unite him closely to Jesus Christ and make of him a lively member of his body; but no man, although justified, is to imagine himself exempt from the observation of God's commandments. No man may dare, under pain of anathema, to utter such a rash notion as that it is impossible for ma man, even after justification, to keep God's commandments; since God commands nothing impossible, but with the commandment he desires us to do all that we can, and to seek for aid and grace to enable us to fulfill that which in our natural strength we cannot do.
The decree further teaches upon this subject that no man may presume upon the mysterious subject of predestination so as to assure himself of being among the number of the elect and predestined to eternal life, as if, having been justified, it were impossible to commit sin again, or, at least, as if falling into sin after justification, he must of necessity be raised again; that, without a special revelation from God, it is impossible to know who are those whom he has chosen. It also teaches the same of perseverance, concerning which it declares that he who perseveres to the end shall be saved; that no one in this life can promise himself an absolute assurance of perseverance, although all ought to put entire confidence in God's assistance, who will finish and complete the good work which he has begun in us by working in us to will and to do, if we do not of ourselves, fail of his grace.
Further, they who by sin have fallen from grace given, and justification, may be justified again when God awakens them; and this is done by means of the sacrament of penance, in which, through the merits of Jesus Christ, they may recover the grace which they have lost; and this is the proper method of recovery for those who have fallen. It was for the benefit of those who fall into sin after baptism that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of penance, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained. Hence it follows that the repentance of a- Christian fallen into sill after baptism is to be clearly distinguished from the repentance required at holy baptism; for it not alone requires him to cease from sin, and to view his vileness with horror— i.e. to have all humble and contrite heart-but it also implies the sacramental confession of his sin, at least in will, and the absolution of the priest, together with such satisfaction as he can make by means of fasting, alms-giving, prayer, etc. Not that anything that he can do can help towards obtaining the remission of the eternal punishment due to sin, which is remitted together with the sin by the sacrament of penance (or by the desire to receive that sacrament where it cannot be had), but such satisfaction is necessary to attain remission of the temporal penalties attached to sin, which are not always remitted in the case of those who, ungrateful to God for the blessing which they have received, have grieved the Holy Spirit and profaned the temple of God. This grace of justification may be lost, not only through the sin of infidelity, by which faith itself is lost, but also by every kind of mortal sin, even though faith be not lost.
These chapters were accompanied by thirty-three canons, which anathematize those who hold the opinions specified in them contrary to the tenor of the doctrine contained in the chapters.
Besides this decree, another was published in this session, relating to the Reformation, containing five chapters upon the subject of residence.
It renews the ancient canons against non-resident prelates, and declares that every prelate, whatever be his dignity, being absent for six months together from his diocese, without just and sufficient cause, shall be deprived of the fourth part of his revenue;. and that if he remain away during the rest of the year, he shall lose another' fourth; that if his absence be prolonged beyond this, the metropolitan shall be obliged, under pain of being interdicted from entering the church, to present him to the pope, who shall either punish him for give his church to a more worthy shepherd; that if it be the metropolitan himself who is in fault, the oldest of his suffragans shall, be obliged to present him.
The decree then goes on to treat of the reform of ecclesiastics, both secular and regular; of the visitation of chapters by the ordinary; and declares that bishops may not perform any episcopal function whatever out of their own dioceses without the consent of the bishop of the place.
Before the seventh session a congregation was held, in which it was agreed to treat in the next, place of the sacraments; and thirty-six articles, taken from the Lutheran books, were proposed for examination, after which thirty canons on the subject were drawn up— viz. thirteen on the sacraments in general, fourteen on baptism, and three on confirmation. They relate to their number, their necessity, excellence, the manner in which they confer grace, which they declared to be ex opere operato, i.e. that the sacraments confer grace upon all those recipients who do not, by mortal sin, offer a bar to its reception; e.g. grace is conferred by baptism upon infants, although they bring with them no pious affections. They also drew up a decree declaring that the sacraments ought always to be administered gratuitously.
After this the question of reformation was discussed; among other things, it was debated whether a plurality of benefices requiring residence is forbidden by the divine law.
Session VII (March 3, 1547). — In this session the thirty canons above noted relating to the sacraments were read, together with the accompanying anathemas. Among the thirteen on the sacraments in general were the following:
1. Anathematizes those who maintain that the seven sacraments were not all instituted by Jesus Christ.
3. Anathematizes those who maintain that any one sacrament is of more worth than another.
8. Anathematizes those who deny that the sacraments confer grace ex opere operato, i.e. by their own proper virtue.
9. Anathematizes those who deny that baptism, orders, and confirmation imprint an ineffaceable character.
10. Anathematizes those who maintain that all Christians, male and female, may preach God's word and administer the sacraments.
11. Anathematizes those who deny that the intention of the minister to do what the Church does is necessary to the effectual administration of the sacraments.
12. Anathematizes those who maintain that the sin of the minister invalidates the sacrament,
13. Anathematizes those who maintain that the minister may 'change the prescribed form.
Among the fourteen canons on baptism:
2. Anathematizes those who assert that real and natural water is not necessary in baptism.
3. Anathematizes those who maintain that the Church of Rome does not teach the true doctrine on the subject of baptism.
4. Anathematizes those who deny the validity of baptism conferred by heretics, in the name of the blessed Trinity, and with the intention to do what the Church does.
5. Anathematizes those who maintain that baptism is not necessary to salvation.
7. Anathematizes those who maintain that the baptized need only believe, and not keep the law of God.
10. Anathematizes those who maintain that sin after baptism is remitted by faith.
11. Anathematizes those who maintain that apostates from the faith should be again baptized.
12. Anathematizes those who maintain that no one ought to be baptized until he is of the age at which our. Lord was baptized, or at the point of death.
13. Anathematizes those who deny that baptized infants are not to be reckoned among the faithful.
14. Anathematizes those who maintain that persons baptized in infancy should, when they come of age, be asked whether they are willing to ratify the promise made in their name.
Secondly, the decree of reformation, containing fifteen chapters, relative to the election of bishops, pluralities, etc., was passed.
In a congregation which followed, the question of transferring the council to some other place was discussed, a report having been circulated that a contagious disease had broken out in Trent.
Session VIII (March 11, 1547). — In this session a decree was read transferring the council to Bologna, which was approved by about two thirds of the assembly; the rest, who were mostly Spaniards or other subjects of the emperor, strongly opposed the translation. The emperor complained much of the transfer of the council, and ordered the prelates who had opposed it to remain at Trent, which they did.
Session IX (April 21, 1547). — In the first session held at Bologna, the legates and thirty-four bishops were present. A decree was read postponing all business to the next session, to be held on June 2 ensuing, in order to give time for the prelates to arrive.
Session X (June 2, 1547). — At this session, however, there were but six archbishops, thirty-six bishops, one abbot, and two generals of orders present; the rest continuing to sit at Trent. It was deemed advisable to prorogue the session to Sept. 15 ensuing; but the quarrel between the pope and the emperor having now assumed a more serious aspect, the council remained suspended for four years in spite of the solicitations. made by the German bishops to the pope that the sessions of the council might continue.
In 1549, Paul III died, and the cardinal del Monte having been elected in his place, under the name of Julius III, he issued a bull, dated March 14, 1551, directing the re-establishment of the Council of Trent, and naming as his legates, Marcellus Crescentio; cardinal; Sebastian Pighino, archbishop of Siponto; and Aloysijus Lipomanes, bishop of Verona.
Session XI (May 1, 1551). — The next session was held at Trent, when cardinal Crescentio caused a decree to be read to the effect that the council was reopened, and that the next session should be held on Sept. 1 following—
Session XII (Sept. 1, 1551). — In this session, an exhortation was read in the name of the presidents of the council, in which the power and authority of ecumenical councils were extolled; then followed a decree declaring that the subject of the Eucharist should be treated of in the next session. Afterwards, the earl of Montfort, ambassador from the emperor, demanded to be admitted to the council, which was agreed to. James Amyot, the ambassador of Henry II of France, presented a letter from his master, which, after some opposition, was read; it explained why no French bishop had been permitted to attend the council. Afterwards, Amyot, on the part of Henry, made a formal protest against the Council of Trent, in which he complained of the conduct of Julius III.
In the congregation following, the. question of the Eucharist was treated of, and ten articles selected from the doctrine of Zwingli and Luther were proposed for examination.
1. That the body and blood of Christ are present in the Eucharist only in a figure, not really.
2. That the Lord's body is eaten, not sacramentally, but only spiritually and by faith.
3. That no transubstantiation takes place in the Eucharist, but a hypostatic union of the human nature of Christ with the bread and wine.
4. That the Eucharist was instituted for the remission of sins only.
5. That Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is not to be adored, and that to do so is to commit idolatry.
6. That the holy sacrament ought not to be kept; and that no person may communicate alone.
7. That the body of Christ is not in the fragments which remain after communion; but it is so present only during the time of receiving, and not afterwards.
8. That it is sin to refuse to the faithful the communion in both kinds.
9. That under one species is not contained the same as under both.
10. That faith alone is required in order to communicate; that confession ought to be voluntary, and that communion at Easter is not necessary.
In another congregation the question of reform was discussed, the subject of episcopal jurisdiction was brought forward, and a regulation drawn up concerning appeals. No appeal from the judgment of the bishop and his officials was allowed, except in criminal cases, without consulting with civil judgments; and even in criminal cases it was not permitted to appeal from interlocutory sentences until a definitive sentence had been passed. The ancient right of the bishops to give sentence in the provincial synods was not, however, restored. The power was left to the pope of judging by means of commissioners delegated in partibus.
Session XIII (Oct. 11, 1551). — The decree concerning the Eucharist was read Sept. 13, and was contained in eight chapters.
1. Declares that after the consecration of the bread and wine, our Lord Jesus Christ, very God' and very again, is verily, really, and substantially contained under the species of these sensible objects; that it is a sin to endeavor to put a metaphorical sense upon the words in which our Lord instituted the holy sacrament; that the Church has always believed the actual body and the actual blood, together with his soul and his divinity, to be present under the species of bread and wine after consecration.
3. That each kind, contains, the same as they both together do, for Jesus Christ is entire-under the species of bread, and under the smallest particle of that species, as also under the species of wine, and under the smallest portion of it.
4. That in the consecration of the bread and wine there is made a conversion and change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of our Lord's body, and a change of the whole substance of the wine into that of his blood, which change has been fitly and properly termed "transubstantiation."
5. That the worship of Latria is rightly rendered by the faithful to the holy sacrament of the altar.
8. That there are three modes of communication- (1) sacramentally, as in the case of sinners; (2) spiritually, as they do who receive only in will and by faith; (3) both sacramentally and spiritually, as they do who actually receive, and with faith and proper dispositions. To this decree there were added eleven canons, anathematizing those who held certain heretical doctrines on the subject of the holy Eucharist, and especially those contained in the ten articles proposed for examination in the congregation held Sept. 2.
Thus, can. 1 condemns the opinion contained in the first of those articles; can. 2, that contained in art. 3; can. 3, that contained in art. 9; can. 4, that contained in art. 7; can. 5, that contained in art. 4; can. 6, that contained in art. 5; can. 7, that contained in art. 6; can. 8, that contained in art. 2; can. 9, that contained in art. 10; can. lo condemns those who deny that the priest may communicate alone; and can. 11 condemns those who maintain that faith alone, without confession, is a sufficient preparation for the communion.' Afterwards, a decree of reformation, containing eight chapters, was read; the subject of it was the jurisdiction of bishops.
In a congregation held after this session, twelve articles on the subjects of penance and extreme unction were examined, taken from the writings of Luther and his disciples. In a subsequent congregation the decrees and canons upon the subject were brought forward, together with a decree in fifteen chapters on reform.
Session XIV (Nov. 25, 1551). — In this session the decree upon penance; in nine chapters, was read.
1. States that our Lord chiefly instituted the sacrament of penance when he breathed upon his disciples, saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," etc.; and the council condemns those who refuse to acknowledge that by these words our Lord communicated to his apostles and to their successors the power of remitting or retaining sins after baptism.
2. That in this sacrament the priest exercises the function of judge.
3. That the form of the sacrament, in which its force and virtue resides, is contained in the words of the absolution pronounced by the priest, "Ego te absolve," etc.; that the penitential acts are contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which are, as it were, the matter of the sacrament.
4. The council defines contrition to be an inward sorrow for, and hatred of, the sin committed, accompanied by a firm resolution to cease from it in future. With respect to imperfect contrition, called attrition, arising merely from the shame and disgracefulness of sin, or from the fear of punishment, the council declares that if it be accompanied by a hope of forgiveness, and excludes the desire to commit sin, it is a gift of God and 'a motion of the Holy Spirit; and that,' fair from rendering a man a hypocrite and a greater sinner, it disposes him (disponit) to obtain the grace of God in the sacrament of penance.
5. The decree then goes on to establish the necessity of confessing every mortal sin which, by diligent self-examination, can be brought to remembrance. With regard to venial sins, it states that it is not absolutely necessary to confess them, and that they may be expiated in many other ways.
6. As to the minister of this sacrament, it declares that the power of binding and loosing is, by Christ's appointment, in the priest only; that this power consists not merely in declaring the remission of sins, but in the judicial act by which they are remitted.
7. As to the reserved cases, it declares it to be important to the maintenance of good discipline that certain atrocious crimes should not be absolved by every priest, but be reserved for the first-order.
9. That we can make satisfaction to God by self-imposed inflictions, and by those which the priest prescribes, as well as by bearing patiently and with a penitential spirit the temporal sorrows 'and afflictions which God sends to us. In conformity with this decree, fifteen canons were published, condemning those who maintained the opposite doctrines. After this, the decree upon the subject of extreme unction, in three chapters, was read.
It stated that this unction was appointed by our Lord Jesus Christ as a true sacrament of the New Test.; that it is plainly recommended to the faithful by James, and that the use of it is insinuated by Mark. That the matter of the sacrament is the oil consecrated by the bishop, and that its form consists in the words pronounced when the unction is applied; that its effect is to wipe out the remains of sin, and to reassure and comfort the soul of the sick person by exciting within him a full confidence in God's mercy, and sometimes to restore the health of the body, when such renewed health can advantage the salvation of the soul. That bishops alone may administer this sacrament. That this sacrament ought to be given to those who are in danger of death; but that if they recover, they may receive it again. The council then agreed upon four canons on the subject, with anathemas.
1. Anathematizes those who teach that extreme unction is not a true sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ.
2. Anathematizes those who teach that it does not confer grace, nor remit sin, nor comfort the sick.
3. Anathematizes those who teach that the Roman rite may be set at naught without sin.
4. Anathematizes those who teach that the πρεσβύτεροι, of whom James speaks, are old persons, and not priests.
After this the question of reform came before them, and fourteen chapters upon the subject of episcopal jurisdiction were published.
1. Forbids the granting of dispensations and permissions by the court of Rome to the prejudice of the bishop's authority.
2. Forbids bishops in partibus infidelitum, upon the strength of their privileges, to ordain any one under any pretext without the express permission of, or letter dismissory from, the ordinary.
3. Gives bishops power to suspend clerks ordained without proper examination or without their license.
4. Orders that all secular clerks whatever, and all regulars living out of their monasteries, shall be always, and in all cases, subject to the correction of the bishop in whose diocese they are, notwithstanding any privileges, exemption, etc., whatsoever.
5. Relates to the conservators.
6. Orders all clerks, under pain of suspension and deprivation, to wear the habit suited to their order, and forbids them the use of short garments and green and red stockings.
7. Enacts that a clerk guilty of voluntary homicide shall be deprived of all ecclesiastical orders, benefices, etc.
8. Checks the interference of prelates in the dioceses of others.
9. Forbids the perpetual union of two churches situated in different dioceses.
10. Directs that benefices belonging to the regulars shall be given to regulars only.
11. Directs that no one shall be admitted to the religious life who will not promise to abide in the convent in subjection to the superior.
12. Declares that the right of patronage can be given only to those who have built a new church or chapel, or who endow one already built.
13. Forbids all patrons to make their presentation to any one but to the bishop, otherwise the presentation to be void.
In a congregation held Dec. 23 the sacrament of orders was considered, and twelve articles taken from the Lutheran writings were produced for examination. Subsequently eight canons were drawn up condemning as heretics those who maintained the following propositions:
1. That orders is not a true sacrament.
2. That the priesthood is the only order.
3. That there ought to be no hierarchy.
4. That the consent of the people is necessary to the validity of orders.
5. That there is no visible priesthood.
6. That unction is unnecessary.
7. That this sacrament does not confer the Holy Spirit.
8. That bishops are not by divine appointment nor superior to priests.
Session XV (Jan. 25,1552). — In this session a decree was read to the effect that the decrees upon the subject of the sacrifice of the mass and the sacrament of orders, which were to have been read in this session, would be deferred until March 19 under the pretence that the Protestants, to whom a new safe-conduct had been granted, might be able to attend.
In the following congregation the subject of marriage was treated of, and thirty-three articles thereon were submitted for examination.
The disputes which arose between the ambassadors of the emperor and the legates of the pope produced another cessation of the council. The Spanish bishops and those of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, as well as all who were subjects of the emperor, wished to continue the council; but those, on the other hand, who were in the interests of the court of Rome did all they could to prevent its continuance, and were not sorry when the report of a war between the emperor and Maurice, elector of Saxony, caused most of the bishops to leave Trent. In the meantime some Protestant theologians arrived, and urged the ambassadors of the emperor to obtain from the fathers of the council an answer to certain propositions, and to induce them to engage in a conference with them; both of which, however, the legates, upon various pretexts, eluded.
Session XVI (May 28,1552). — The chief part of the prelates having then departed, the pope's bull declaring the council to be suspended was read in this session. This suspension lasted for nearly ten years; but on Nov. 29,1560, a bull was published by Pins IV (who succeeded to the papacy: upon the death of Julius III, in 1555) for the reassembling of the council at Trent on the following Easter-day; but from various causes the reopening of the council did not take place until the year 1562.
Session XVII (Jan. 18, 1562). — One hundred and twelve bishops and several theologians were present. The bull of convocation and a decree for the continuation of the council were read; the words "proponentibus legatis" inserted in it passed in spite of the opposition of four Spanish bishops, who represented that the clause, being a novelty, ought not to be admitted, and that it was, moreover, injurious to the authority of ecumenical councils.
In a congregation held Jan. 27 the legates proposed the examination of the books of heretics and the answers to them composed by Catholic authors, and requested the fathers to take into their consideration the construction of a catalogue of prohibited works.
Session XVIII (Feb. 26, 1562). — In this session the pope's brief was read, who left to the council the care of drawing up a list of prohibited books. After this a decree upon the subject of the books to be prohibited was read, inviting all persons interested in the question to come to the council, and promising them a hearing.
In congregations held on March 2, 3, and 4, they deliberated about granting a safe-conduct to the Protestants, and a decree upon the subject was drawn up.
On March 11 a general congregation was held, in which twelve articles of reform were proposed for examination, which gave rise to great dispute and were discussed in subsequent congregations.
Session XIX (May 14,1562). — In this session nothing whatever passed requiring notice, and the publication of the decrees was postponed to the following session. Immediately after this session the French ambassadors arrived, and their instructions were curious, and to the following effect:
That the decisions which had taken place should not be reserved for the pope's approval, but that the pope should be compelled to submit to the decision of the council. That they should begin with the reform of the Church in its head and in its members, as had been promised at the Council of Constance, and in that of Basle, but never completed. That annates should be abolished; that all archbishops and bishops should be obliged to residence; that tie council should make arrangements with respect to dispensations, so as to remove the necessity of sending to Rome. That the sixth canon of Chalcedon should be observed, which prohibits bishops to ordain priests without appointing them to some specific charges, so as to prevent the increase of useless ministers, etc.
On May 26 a congregation was held to receive the ambassador of France. The Sieur de Pibrac, in the name of the king his master, in a long discourse, exhorted the prelates to labor at the work of reformation, promising that the king would, if needful, support and defend them in the enjoyment of their liberty.
Session XX (June 4,1562). — In this session the promoter of the council replied to the discourse delivered by Pibrac in the last congregation; after which a decree was read proroguing the session to July 16.
In the following congregation five articles upon the subject of the holy Eucharist were proposed for examination.
1. Whether the faithful are, by God's command, obliged to receive in both kinds?
2. Whether Jesus Christ is received entire under one species as under both?
3. Whether the reason which induced the Church to, give the communion to the laity under one kind only still obliged her not to grant the cup to any one?
4. Upon what conditions the cup should be permitted to any persons, supposing it to be advisable to grant it?
5. Whether the communion is necessary to children under years of discretion? The question about the obligation of residence was also again mooted; but the cardinal of Mantua objected to its discussion as entirely alien from the subject before them, promising, at the same time, that it should be discussed at a fitting season.
In subsequent congregations held from the 9th to the 23d of June the subject of the five articles was discussed.
In a congregation held July 14 the decree in four chapters on the communion was examined.
Session XXI (July 16,1562). — The four chapters on doctrine were read, in which the council declared:
That neither laymen nor ecclesiastics (not consecrating) are bound by any divine precept to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist in both kinds; that the sufficiency of communion in one kind cannot be doubted without injury to faith. Further, that the Church has always possessed the power of establishing and changing in the dispensation of the sacraments (without, however, interfering with essentials) according as she has judged to be most conducive to the honor due to the holy sacrament, and to the good of the recipients, taking into account the diversities of place and conjuncture that, although Jesus' Christ instituted and gave to his apostles the sacrament under two kinds, it is necessary to believe that under either kind Jesus Christ is received whole and entire; and that no diminution is experienced in any of the graces conveyed by the sacrament. Lastly, that children not arrived at years of discretion are not obliged to receive the Eucharist.
Four canons in conformity with this doctrine were then read:
1. Against those who maintain that all the faithful are under obligation to receive in both kinds.
2. Against those who maintain that the Church has not sufficient grounds for refusing the cup to the laity.
3. Against those who deny that our Lord is received entire under each species.
4. Against those who maintain that the Eucharist is necessary to children before they come to the exercise of their reason. Subsequently nine chapters on reform were read, having regard to the duties of bishops, education of clerks, etc.
A few days after this session the Italian bishops received a letter from the pope, in which he declared that he was far from wishing to hinder the discussion of the question concerning the nature of the obligation to residence; that he desired the council to enjoy entire freedom, and that every one should speak according as his conscience directed him; at the same time, however, he wrote to his nuncio, Visconti, bidding him take secure measures for stifling the discussion, and for sending it to the holy see for decision.
In the congregations held after the twenty-first session, the question was concerning the sacrifice of the mass; and all the theologians agreed unanimously that the mass ought to be regarded as a true sacrifice under the new covenant, in which Jesus Christ is offered under the sacramental species. One of their arguments was this, that Jesus Christ was priest after the order of Melchizedek; the latter offered bread and wine; and that, consequently, the priesthood of Jesus Christ includes a sacrifice of bread and wine.
In a congregation held about Aug. 18, the archbishop of Prague presented a letter from the emperor, in which he made earnest entreaties that the cup might be conceded to the laity. This delicate subject was reserved for special consideration in a subsequent congregation.
The decree on the subject of the sacrifice of the mass being now completed, the members began next to consider the subject of communion in both kinds. Three opinions principally prevailed among the prelates:
1. To refuse the 'cup' entirely;
2. To grant it upon certain conditions to be approved of by the council;
3. To leave the settlement of the matter to the pope.
The Spanish and Venetian bishops supported the first opinion. Among those who were inclined to grant the cup were cardinal Madrucio, the bishop of Modena, and Gaspard Capal, bishop of Leira. But among the strongest advocates for granting the petition was the bishop of the Five Churches, who implored the prelates to have compassion on the churches, and to pay some regard to the pressing entreaties of the emperor. On the other hand, the patriarchs of Aquileia and Venice, and the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, were in favor of refusing; the latter maintained that by giving way to them the people would be rather confirmed in the error of supposing that the body only of our Lord is contained under the species of bread, and the blood only under that of wine; that if they gave way now, other nations would require the same, and they would go further, and would next require the abolition of images, as being an occasion of idolatry to the people. Other bishops, supporting this opinion, reminded the assembly that the Church had been led to forbid the use of the cup from a fear lest the consecrated wine should be spilled or turn sour, and that the former accident could hardly be prevented when the holy sacrament was carried long distances and by bad paths. The archbishop of Rossano, the bishops of Cava, Almeria, Imola, and Rieti, with Richard, abbot of Preval, at Genoa, were also among those who spoke in favor of absolutely refusing the cup. On the eve of the twenty-second session a decree passed by which it was left to the pope to act as he thought best in the matter, the numbers being ninety-eight for the decree and thirty-eight against it. The discussion lasted altogether from Aug. 15 to Sept. 16.
Session XXII (Sept. 17, 1562). — One hundred and eighty prelates, with the ambassadors and legates, were present at this session. The doctrinal decree touching the sacrifice of the mass, in nine chapters, was published. It was to the following effect:
1. Although our Lord once offered himself to God the Father by dying upon the altar of his cross, in order to obtain thereby eternal redemption for us, nevertheless, since his priesthood did not cease at his death, in order that he might leave with his Church a visible sacrifice (such as the nature of man requires), by means of which the bloody sacrifice of the cross might be represented at the last supper, on the same night that he was betrayed, in the execution of his office as a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, he offered his body and blood to the Father under the species of bread and wine, and gave the same to his apostles; and by these words, "This do in remembrance of me," he commanded them and their successors to offer the like sacrifice, as the Catholic Church has always believed and taught.
2. As. the same Jesus Christ who once offered himself upon the cross with the shedding of his blood is contained and immolated without the effusion of blood in the holy sacrifice of the mass, this latter sacrifice is truly propitiatory, and that by it we obtain mercy and forgiveness; since it is the same Jesus Christ who was offered upon the cross who is still offered by the ministry of his priests, the only difference being in the manner of offering. And the mass may be offered, not only for the sins and wants of the faithful who are alive, but also for those who, being dead, are not yet made pure.
3. Although the Church sometimes celebrates masses in honor and ill memory of the saints, the sacrifice is still offered to God alone, for she only implores their protection.
4. The Church for many ages past has established the sacred canon of the mass, which is pure and free from every error, and contains nothing which is not consistent with holiness and piety, being in truth composed from our Lord's words, the traditions of the apostles, and the pious institutions of the holy popes.
5. The Church, in order the better to set forth the majesty of so great a sacrifice, has established certain customs-such as saying some things at mass in a low voice, others aloud; and has introduced certain ceremonies- as the benediction, lights, incense, ornaments, etc., after the tradition of the apostles.
6. Although it is to be desired that at every mass all the faithful should communicate, not only spiritually, but also sacramentally, nevertheless the council does not condemn private masses in which the priest only communicates, but, on the contrary, approves and authorizes them, for they are celebrated by the proper minister in behalf of himself and the faithful.
7. The Church has ordained that the priest shall mix water with the wine, because there is reason to believe that our blessed Lord did so, and because both blood and water issued from his side; which sacred mystery, by the use of this mixture, is remembered.
8. Although the mass contains much to edify the people, the fathers did not judge it right that it should be celebrated in the vulgar tongue, and the Roman Church has preserved the use; nevertheless, the clergy should at times, and especially on festivals, explain to the people some part of what they have read to them.
9. Anathematizes, in nine canons, all those who deny the affirmative of twelve of the thirteen articles proposed in the congregation following the twenty-first session, viz. the 1st, 3rd, 13th, and 4th, 2rd, 10th, 7th, 11th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 6th (which see). Then followed a decree concerning what should be observed or avoided in the celebration of mass:
Bishops were ordered to forbid, and abolish everything which had been introduced through avarice, irreverence, or superstition, such as pecuniary agreements for the first masses, and forced exactions made under the name' of alms; vagabond and unknown priests were forbidden to celebrate, also those who were notorious evil livers; no masses were to be said in private houses; all music of an impure and lascivious character was forbidden in. churches, and all Worldly conversation, profane actions, walking about, etc. Priests were forbidden to say mass out of the prescribed hours, and otherwise than Church form prescribed. It was also ordered to warn the people to come to church on Sundays and holidays at least. In the third place, the decree of reformation was read, containing eleven chapters:
1. Orders that all the decrees of the popes and the councils relating to the life, morals, and acquirements of the clergy should be in future observed, under the original and even greater penalties.
2. Enacts that bishoprics shall be given only to those persons who possess the qualifications required by the canons, and who have been at least six months in holy orders.
3. Permits bishops to appropriate the third part of the revenue of the prebends-in any cathedral or collegiate church for daily distributions.
4. Declares that no one under the rank of subdeacon shall have any voice in the chapter; that all the members shall perform their proper offices.
5. Enacts that dispensations extra curium (i.e. granted anywhere out of the court of Rome) shall be addressed to the ordinary, and shall have no effect until he shall have testified that they have not been obtained surreptitiously.
6. Treats of the care to be observed in proving wills.
7. Orders that legate's, numcios, patriarchs, and other superior judges shall observe the constitution of Innocent IV beginning "Romona," whether in receiving appeals or granting prohibitions.
8. Orders that bishops, us the delegates of the holy see, shall be the executors of all pious gifts, whether by will or otherwise; that to them it appertains to visit hospitals and other similar communities, except those under the immediate protection of the king.
9. Directs that those to whom the care of any sacred fabric is entrusted whether laymen or clerks, shall be held bound to give account of their administration yearly to the ordinary, unless the original foundation require them to account to any other.
10. Declares that bishops may examine notaries, and forbid them the exercise of their office in ecclesiastical matters.
11. Enacts penalties against those who usurp or keep possession of the property of the Church, and pronounces anathemas against them.
With respect to the concession of the cup to the laity, the council declared, by another decree, that it judged it convenient to leave the decision to the pope, who would act in the matter according as his wisdom should direct him.
In a congregation certain articles relating to the reformation of morals were discussed, and the theologians were instructed to examine eight articles on the subject of the sacrament of orders. This occupied many congregations, in one of which a large number" of the prelates, chiefly Spaniards, demanded that there should be added to the seventh canon, concerning the institution of bishops, a clause declaring the episcopate to be of divine right. An attempt was made to stifle the discussion, but John Fonseca, a Spanish theologian, among others entered boldly upon the subject, declaring that it was not, and could not be, forbidden to speak upon the matter. He maintained that bishops were instituted by Jesus Christ, and thus by divine right, and not merely by a right conferred by tile pope. The discussion of this question proved highly disagreeable at Rome, and the legates received instructions on no account to permit it to be brought to a decision. However, in subsequent congregations the dispute was renewed with warmth; in the congregation of Oct. 13, the archbishop of Granada insisted upon the recognition of the institution of bishops, and their superiority to priests, jure divino. The same view was taken in the following congregation by the archbishop of Braga and the bishop of Segovia; and no less than fifty-three prelates, out of one hundred and thirty-one present, voted in favor of the recognition of the divine institution and jurisdiction of bishops. According to Fr. Paolo, the number amounted to fifty-nine. The dispute was, however, by no means ended. On the 20th the Jesuit Lainez, at the instigation of the legates, delivered a powerful speech in opposition to the view taken by the Spanish bishops, denying altogether that the institution and jurisdiction of bishops were of divine right. However, powerful as was his speech, he was answered by the bishop of Paris so effectually that the legates, to their great discomposure, saw the views of the Spanish prelates gain ground. The latter then declared formally that unless their demand were granted, and the order and jurisdiction of bishops declared in the canon to be jure divino, they would thenceforth absent themselves from all the congregations and sessions.
In the meantime the cardinal of Lorraine arrived at Trent with several French prelates, and was received with honor. In a congregation held Nov. 23, he read the letter of the king of France to the council, in which he strongly urged them to labor sincerely to bring about a sound reformation of abuses, and to restore its pristine glory to the Catholic Church by bringing backs all Christian people to one religion. After the letter was finished the cardinal delivered a speech, strongly urging: the necessity of proceeding speedily with the work of reformation, in which he was followed by Du Ferrier, the king's ambassador, who spoke his mind freely.
All this time so little progress had been. made with the canons and decrees that when Nov. 26, the day fixed for holding the twenty-third session, arrived, it was found necessary to prorogue it. After this, in the following congregations, the subject of the divine right of bishops was again discussed, when the French bishops declared in favor of the views held by the Spaniards.
At the beginning of the year 1563 the French ambassadors presented their articles: of reformation under thirty-two heads. Their principal demands were as follows:
6. That no person should be appointed bishop unless he were of advanced age, and of good character and capacity.
7. That no curates should be nominated unless they were of good character and abilities.
9. That bishops, either personally or by deputy should preach on every Sunday and festivals, besides Lent and Advent.
10. That all curates should do the same when they had a sufficient audience.
12. That incapable bishops, abbots, and curates should resign their benefices, or appoint coadjutors.
14. That all pluralities whatever should be abolished, without any consideration of compatibility or incompatibility.
16. That steps should be taken to provide every beneficed clerk with a revenue sufficient to maintain two curates and to exercise hospitality.
17. That the gospel should be explained to the people at mass, and that after mass the priest should pray with the people in the vulgar tongue.
18. That the ancient decretals of pope Leo and Gelasins on communion in both kinds should be re-established.
19. That the efficacy of the sacraments should also be explained to the people before their administration.
20. That benefices should be conferred by bishops within six months; after which time they should devolve to the immediate superior, and so gradually to the pope.
21. That they should abolish, as contrary to the canons, all expectatives, regressions (returning to a benefice which has been once resigned), resignations, etc.
23. That simple priories should be reunited to the cure of souls, originally intended by the foundation, which had been separated from them, and assigned to perpetual vicars with miserable pittances.
27. That bishops should take in hand no matter of importance without the advice of their chapters; and that canons should be compelled to continual residence.
31. That no sentence of excommunication should be passed until three monitions had been issued, and then only for grievous faults. That bishops should be desired to give benefices rather to those who drew back from receiving than to such as sought for them.
32. That diocesan synods should be assembled at least once a year, provincial synods every three years, and general councils every ten years.
The pope, in order to elude the difficulty in which he was placed by the demand of the Spanish and French bishops that the divine right of bishops should be inserted in the seventh chapter, sent a form for the approval of the council, in which it was declared that "bishops held the principal place in the Church, but in dependence upon the pope." This, however, did not meet with approval, and, after a long contest, it was agreed to state it thus, that "they held the principal place in the Church under the pope," instead of in dependence upon him. However, a still warmer contest arose upon the chapter in which it was said that the pope had authority to feed and govern the Universal Church. This the Gallican and Spanish bishops would by no means consent to, alleging that the Church is the first tribunal under Christ. Accordingly, they insisted that the words universas ecclesias, "all churches," should be substituted for Universam Ecclesinam. The Gallicans even more strenuously denied that "the pope possessed all the authority of Jesus Christ," notwithstanding all the limitations and explanations which were added to it.
On Feb. 5 the legates proposed for consideration eight articles on the subject of marriage, extracted from so-called heretical books:
1. That marriage is not a sacrament instituted by God.
2. That parents may annul marriages contracted by their children clandestinely.
3. That a man may marry again during the life of his first wife, divorced on account of fornication.
4. That polygamy is allowed to Christians, and that to forbid marriages at certain seasons is a heathen superstition.
5. That marriage is to be preferred to the state of virginity.
6. That priests in the Western Church may marry, notwithstanding their vow.
7. That the decrees of consanguine down in Leviticus 18 are to be observed, and no others.
8. That the cognizance of causes relating to marriages belongs to the secular princes. These articles were discussed in several congregations. The sixth article came under consideration March 4; all agreed in condemning it as heretical, but they were divided upon the grounds of their opinion. The question was afterwards discussed whether it was advisable, under the circumstances of the times, to remove the restriction laid upon the clergy not to marry; this was in consequence of a demand to that effect made by the duke of Bavaria. Strong opposition was made to this demand, and many blamed the legates for permitting the discussion, and maintained that if this license were granted the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy would fall to pieces, and the pope be reduced to the simple condition of bishop of Rome, since the clergy, having their affections set upon their families and country, would be inevitably detached from that close dependence upon the holy see in which its present strength mainly consists.
In the meantime, the cardinal of Mantua had died, and the pope dispatched two new legates to the council cardinal Morone and cardinal Navagier. The French continued their importunities on the subject of reformation, and were as constantly put off upon one pretext or another by the legates, and, thus much time was wasted.
In a congregation held May 10, a letter from the queen of Scots was read, in which she expressed her sorrow that she had not one Catholic prelate in her dominions whom she could send to the council, and declared her determination, should she ever attain to the crown of England, to do all in her power to bring that kingdom, as well as Scotland, back to the Roman obedience.
All this time the contests about the institution and jurisdiction of bishops, and the divine obligation of residence, continued; and at last, in order to accommodate matters, and bring things to an end, it was resolved to omit altogether all notice of the institution of bishops and of the authority of the pope, and to erase from the decree concerning residence whatever was obnoxious to either party. They then fell to work upon the decree concerning the reformation of abuses.
Session XXIII (July 15, 1563). — At this session 208 prelates, besides the legates and other ecclesiastics, were present, with the ambassadors of France, Spain, Portugal, etc. The sermon was preached by the bishop of Paris, who seems to have contrived in it to give offence to all parties. After the sermon, the bulls authorizing Morone and Navagier to act as legates for the pope were read, together with the letters of the king of Poland, the duke of Savoy, and the queen of Scotland. Lastly, the decrees and canons drawn up during the past congregation were brought before the council. The decree upon the sacrament of orders, in four chapters, was read, and eight canons on the sacrament of orders were published, which anathematized,
1. Those who deny a visible priesthood in the Church.
2. Those who maintain that the priesthood is the only order.
3. Those who deny that ordination is a true sacrament.
4. Those who deny that the Holy Spirit is conferred by ordination.
5. Those who deny that the unction given at ordination is necessary.
6. Those who deny that there is a hierarchy composed of bishops, priests, and ministers in the Catholic Church.
7. Those who deny the superiority of bishops to priests, or that they alone can perform certain functions which priests cannot, and those who maintain that orders conferred without the consent of the people are void.
8. Those who deny that bishops called by the authority of the pope (qui auctoritate Romani pontificis assumuntur) are true and lawful bishops. After this the decree of reformation was read, containing eighteen chapters, on the residence of bishops, and on other ecclesiastical affairs.
In the following congregations the decrees concerning marriage were discussed, and it was unanimously agreed that the law of celibacy should be continued binding upon the clergy.
Moreover, twenty articles of reformation, which the legates proposed, were examined; and during the discussion letters were received from the king of France, in which he declared his disappointment at the meager measure of ecclesiastical reform proposed in these articles, and his extreme dissatisfaction at the chapter interfering with the rights of princes. Shortly after, nine of the French bishops returned home, so that fourteen only remained.
On Sept. 22 a congregation was held, in which the ambassador Du Ferrier spoke so warmly of the utter insufficiency of the articles of reform which the legates had proposed, and of their conduct altogether, that the congregation broke up suddenly in some confusion.
To fill up the time intervening before the twenty-fourth session, the subjects of indulgences, purgatory, and the worship of saints and images were introduced for discussion, in order that decrees on these matters might be prepared for presentation in the twenty-fifth session.
Session XXIV (Nov. 11, 1563). — In this session the decree of doctrine and the canons relating to the sacrament of marriage were read.
After establishing the indissolubility of the marriage tie by Holy Scripture, it adds that Jesus Christ by his passion, merited the grace necessary to confirm and sanctify the union betwixt man and wife. That the apostle means us to understand this when he says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Jesus Christ loved the Church;" and, shortly after, "This sacrament is great: I speak of Jesus Christ and the Church." Marriage, under the Gospel, is declared to be a more excellent state than that of marriage under the former dispensation, on account of the grace conferred by it, and that, accordingly, the holy fathers, councils, and universal tradition rightly teach us to reckon marriage among the sacraments of the new law. There are twelve canons, with anathemas, upon the subject.
1. Anathematizes those who maintain that marriage is not a true sacrament.
2. Anathematizes those who maintain that polygamy is permitted to Christians.
3. Anathematizes those who maintain that marriage is unlawful only within the degrees specified in Leviticus.
4. Anathematizes those who deny that the Church has power to add to the impediments to marriage.
5. Anathematizes those who maintain that the marriage tie is broken by heresy, ill-conduct, or voluntary absence on either side.
6. Anathematizes those who deny that a marriage contracted, but not consummated, is annulled by either of the parties taking the religious vows.
7. Anathematizes those who maintain that the Church errs in holding that the marriage tie is not broken by adultery.
8. Anathematizes those who maintain that the Church errs in separating married persons for a time in particular cases.
9. Anathematizes those who maintain that men in holy orders, or persons who have taken the religious vow, may marry.
10. Anathematizes those who maintain that the married state is preferable to that of virginity.
11. Anathematizes those who maintain that it is superstitious to forbid marriages at certain seasons.
12. Anathematizes those who maintain that the, cognizance of matrimonial causes does not belong to the ecclesiastical authorities.
After this a decree of reformation was published relating to the same sacrament, containing ten chapters.
1. Forbids clandestine marriages; orders curates to publish the names of the parties about to contract marriage on three consecutive festivals in church during the solemn mass; orders that two or three witnesses be present at the marriage, and declares all marriages to be null which are not solemnized in the presence of the clergyman of the parish, or of some other priest, having his permission or that of the ordinary.
2. Treats of the impediments to marriage, which were in some respects relaxed, i.e. the impediments to marriage between a godparent and godchild and the parents of the godchild was removed; also that between the person administering baptism and the person baptized, or his or her parents.
3 and 4. Also refer to the relaxation of the impeder.
5. Those who willfully contract marriage within the prohibited degrees are sentenced to be separated without any hope of obtaining a dispensation.
6. No marriage to be allowed between a ravisher and the woman ravished while she remains in his power; if, however, when at liberty, she consents, they may be married, the ravisher, and all aiding and abetting, to be nevertheless excommunicated.
7. Care to be used in permitting wanderers to receive the sacrament of marriage.
8. Fornicators, whether married or single, to be excommunicated, unless they will put away their mistresses after three monitions. The women, after three monitions, to be driven out of the diocese unless they obey.
9. Forbids all masters, magistrates, etc., under anathema, to compel those under their control to marry against their own inclinations.
10. Confirms the ancient prohibitions to celebrate marriages between Advent and Epiphany, and between Ash Wednesday and the octave of Easter. After this a decree containing twenty-one articles, upon the reform of the clergy was read, setting forth the duty of bishops to visit their dioceses; to preach in person or by deputy; relating to dispensations, sacraments, visitations, pluralities, etc.
Session XXV and last (Dec. 3 and 4, 1563). — At this session the decrees concerning purgatory, the invocation of saints, and the worship of images and relics were read.
1. Of Purgatory. Declares that the Catholic Church, following Holy Scripture and tradition has always taught, and still teaches, that there is a purgatory, and that the souls which are detained there are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful and by the sacrifice of the mass. Orders all bishops to teach, and to cause to be taught, the true doctrine on this subject.
2. Of the Invocation of Saints. Orders bishops and others concerned in. the teaching of the people to instruct them concerning the invocation of saints, the honor due to their relics; and the lawful use of images, according to the doctrine of the Church, the consent of the fathers, and the decrees of the councils; to teach them that the saints offer up prayers for men, and that it is useful to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers and help. It further condemns those who maintain that the saints in rest ought not to be invoked, that they do not pray for men, that it is idolatry to invoke them; that it is contrary to Holy Scripture, etc., and that their relics and their tombs ought not to be venerated.
On the subject of images, the council teaches that those of our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and of the saints are to be placed in churches; that they ought to receive due veneration, not because they have any divinity or virtue in them, but because honor is thus reflected upon those whom they represent. By means of these representations the people are instructed in the mysteries of the faith, and, by thus seeing the good deeds of the saints, are led to bless God, and endeavor themselves to do likewise.
The council then proceeds to anathematize all who hold or teach any contrary doctrine.
Lastly, in order to remedy abuses, it declares that if in any scriptural painting the Divinity is represented under any figure, the people should be warned that it is not intended that the Divinity can be seen by mortal eyes; further, that all things tending to superstition in the invocation of saints, the worship of their relics, and the right use of images should be done away with; that care should be taken not to profane the festivals of the saints, etc.; that no new miracles or relics should be admitted without the bishop's consent, and that any other abases should be rectified by the bishop and provincial council.
These decrees were followed by one of reformation, consisting of twenty- two chapters, which relate to the regular clergy. After this another decree, in twenty-one chapters, on general reformation, was read.
A decree was also published upon the subject of indulgences to this effect, that the Church, having received from Jesus Christ the power to grant indulgences, and having, through all ages, used that power, the council declares that their use shall be retained as being very salutary to Christian persons and approved by the holy councils. It then anathematizes all who maintain that indulgences are useless, or that the Church has no power to grant them. At the same time, it desires that the ancient custom of the Church be adhered to, and that they be granted with care and moderation, forbidding all trafficking in them.
Further, the council exhorted all pastors to recommend to the observance of all the faithful whatever had been ordered by the Church of Rome, established in this or in any one of the ecumenical councils, and to impress upon them especially the due observance of the fasts and festivals of the Church.
The list of books to be proscribed was referred to the. pope, as also were the catechism missal, and breviaries.
Then the secretary, standing tip in the midst of the assembly, demanded of the fathers whether they were of opinion that the council should be concluded, and that the legates should request the pope's confirmation of the decrees, etc. The answer in the affirmative was unanimous with the exception of three. The cardinal president Morone then dissolved the assembly amid loud acclamations.
In a congregation held on the following Sunday, the fathers affixed their signatures to the number of two hundred and fifty-five-viz. four legates, two cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops, one hundred and sixty-eight bishops, thirty-nine proctors, seven abbots and several generals of orders.
The acts of the council were confirmed by a bull bearing date Jan. 6, 1564. The Venetians were the first to receive the Tridentine decrees. The kings of France, Spain, Portugal, and Poland also received them in part; and they were published and received in Flanders, in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, in part of Germany, in Hungary, Austria, Dalmatia, and some part. of, South America, also among the Maronites. The Churches of England, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Greece, Syria, Egypt, etc., reject the authority of this council.
In France the Council of Trent is received generally as to doctrine, but not altogether as to discipline. Various regulations which were deemed incompatible with the usages of the kingdom, the liberties of the Gallican Church, the concordat, and the just authority of the king, were rejected (see Mansi, Concil. 14, 725; Landon, Manual of Councils, s.v.).
Literature. — The history of the Council of Trent was written chiefly by two able and learned Catholics — Fra Paolo Sarpi, of Venice, an almost semi-Protestant monk, Istoria del Concilio Tridentino (Lond. 1619; translations in French and German; Engl. transl. by Brent, ibid. 1676), in opposition to the papal court, and (against him) cardinal Sforza Pallavicino, Istoria del Concilio di Trento (Rome, 1656-57, 2 vols. fol.).
The canons and decrees of the council were first published by Paul Manutius (Rome, 1564), and often since in different languages. The best Latin edition is by Le Plat (1779), and by Schulte and Richter (Leips. 1853); and the best English edition is by Rev. J. Waterworth, with a History of the Council (Lond. 1848). The Catechism, an authorized summary of the faith drawn up by order of the council, appeared at Rome in 1566. The original acts and debates of the council, as prepared by its general secretary, bishop Angelo Massarelli (6 vols. large fol.), were deposited in the Vatican Library, and remained there unpublished for more than three hundred years, until they were brought to light, though only in part, by Aug. Theiner, in Acta Genuina SS. AEcum. Concilii Tridentini nunc primum integre edita (Lips. 1874. 2 vols.). The most complete collection of the official documents and private reports bearing upon the council is that of Le Plat, Monum. ad Histor. Cone. Trident. (Lovan. 1781- 87, 7 vols.). New materials were brought to light by Mendham (1834 and 1846) from the MS. history by cardinal Paleotto; by Sickel, Actensthücke aus osterreichischen Archiven (Vienna, 1872); and by Dr. Döllinger, Ungedruckte Berichte und Tagebücher zur Geschichte des Cone. von Trient (Nordlingen, 1876, 2 pts.). Among Protestant historians of the Council of Trent are Salig (1741-45, 3 vols.); Danz (1846); Buckley (Lond. 1852); and Bungener (Paris, 1854; Engl. transl. N. Y. 1855). On the Tridentine standards see Schaff, History of the Creeds of Christendom (1876), 1, 90 sq. See, in general, also Cunningham, Hist. Theol. (see Index); Hagenbach, Hist. of Doctrines (see Index); Mosheim, Eccles. Hist.
vol. 3 (Index). In particular see. The Council of Trent and its Proceedings (Presb. Board of Publication, Phila. 1835, 18mo); Pallavicino, Hist. du Cone de Trente (Montrouge, 1844, 3 vols. 8vo); Dupin, Hist. dui Conc. de Trente (Brussels, 1721, 2 vols. 4to); Salig, Vollst. Hist. des Tr. Cone. (Halle, 1741, 3 vols. 4to); Courayer. Hist. de la Reception du Cone. de Trente (Amst. 1756). SEE COUNCILS.