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In Roman Catholicism, efforts in the 16th and early 17th century to oppose the Protestant Reformation and reform the Catholic Church. Early efforts grew out of criticism of the worldliness and corruption of the papacy and clergy during the Renaissance. Paul III (r. 1534–49) was the first pope to respond, convening the important Council of Trent (1545–63), which reacted to Protestant teachings on faith, grace, and the sacraments, and attempted to reform training for the priesthood. The Roman Inquisition was established in 1542 to control heresy within Catholic territories, and the Jesuits under Ignatius de Loyola undertook educational and missionary work aimed at conversion or reconversion. Emperors Charles V and Philip II took military action against Protestant growth. Later popes of the Counter-Reformation included Pius V, Gregory XIII, and Sixtus V. Sts. Charles Borromeo, Philip Neri, John of the Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Francis de Sales, and Vincent de Paul were among the most influential reforming figures.
Variants of COUNTER-REFORMATION
Counter-Reformation or Catholic Reformation
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Counter-Reformation, visit Britannica.com.
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