Sunday, August 1, 2010
The Council of Trent
The council issued condemnations on what it defined as Protestant heresies and defined Church teachings in the areas of Scripture and Tradition, Original Sin, Justification, Sacraments, the Eucharist in Holy Mass and the veneration of saints. It issued numerous reform decrees. By specifying Catholic doctrine on salvation, the sacraments, and the Biblical canon, the Council was answering Protestant disputes. The Council entrusted to the Pope the implementation of its work; as a result, Pope Pius V issued in 1566 the Roman Catechism, in 1568 a revised Roman Breviary, and in 1570 a revised Roman Missal, thus initiating what since the twentieth century has been called the Tridentine Mass (from the city's Latin name Tridentum), and Pope Clement VIII issued in 1592 a revised edition of the Vulgate.
The Council of Trent, delayed and interrupted several times because of political or religious disagreements, was a major reform council and the most impressive embodiment of the ideals of the Counter-Reformation. It would be over 300 years until the next Ecumenical Council. When announcing Vatican II, Pope John XXIII stated that the precepts of the Council of Trent continue to the modern day, a position that was reaffirmed by Pope Paul VI.