The Catholic Reformation would not have succeeded without the Council of Trent, Do you agree? Free essay! Download now
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The Catholic Reformation would not have succeeded without the Council of Trent, Do you agree?
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DescriptionAssess the role of the sixteenth-century popes in reforming the Catholic Church
Assess the role of the sixteenth-century popes in reforming the Catholic Church. (Jan. 05)
Many answers may regard the papacy’s role in the Catholic Reformation as having been pivotal to its success, although some answers may want to focus on other contributing factors.
Other factors such as the Council of Trent, Jesuits and secular leaders may legitimately be considered.
Better answers may focus on the papacy, contrasting its limited role before Paul III (1534-49) with later very significant papal contributions (e.g. by Gregory XIII, Sixtus V).
‘The creation of the Jesuits was the most important development in the sixteenth-century Catholic Reformation.’ How far do you agree? (Jan. 05)
This question requires candidates to assess the work of the Jesuits in the 16th century.
This might be done via a comparison with other new religious orders (e.g. the Capuchins), the Council of Trent or certain individual popes.
The heart of the essay should be the Jesuits and what they had achieved/not achieved by 1600.
Better answers may focus on the Jesuits, contrasting the condition of the Catholic Church and faith before 1540 with the situation in 1600, and determining how far developments in the Catholic Reformation were due to their work.
To what extent had the Catholic Church been reformed effectively during the course of the sixteenth century? (Jan. 05)
Answers may look at the papacy, ecclesiastical institutions, the clergy, the spiritual condition of the laity.
Answers may compare the spiritual and moral condition of the Church, and its leadership, between 1500 and 1600.
How successful were the new orders, and perhaps the Jesuits in particular?
Did the Tridentine Decrees have any real impact on the ground in various parts of Catholic Europe by 1600?
The nature of evidence will be important here, assessing aspects such as, e.g.: the extent of heresy, prosecutions by the inquisition, reports of clerical abuses, the quality of popes, bishops and cardinals, visitation records, the variable rate of improvement in different states.
Assess the significance of any two turning-points in the development of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century. (Jan. 06)
Among turning-points chosen may be: the Lutheran affair and Protestant Reformation; the sack of Rome 1527; the pontificate of Paul III; the foundation of new orders, especially or solely the Jesuits; the publication of the Tridentine Decrees.
How particular moments of change are linked to the development of the Catholic Church will probably be the key to a successful answer.
To what extent did the Catholic Reformation achieve its aims in the course of the sixteenth century? (Jan. 06)
The main aims of the Catholic Reformation were:
to reform the ranks of corruption and restore the public’s confidence in the clergy
to counter Protestant movements, especially Lutheranism and Calvinism, and recover those who had defected
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