The Council of Trent: The Old or the New?

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1895 Words
Date:  2022-05-26

I have learned a lot about the history of Christianity, and how people's theologies have varied over a long time. I have learned a lot about Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, and how their beliefs were unique. What I find to be the most significant aspect that I have learned would be the reformations. While most people think of only one transformation, that being the catholic-protestant reformation, there were actually six reformations. First is the German Reformation, this reformation predominantly initiated by Martin Luther, and led to the schism within Western Christianity. The second reformation is the Swiss Reformation. This reformation instituted by Zwingli and was used to find a common theology throughout the entirety of Switzerland. Thirdly is the Radical Reformation. This reformation used the previous two transformations and went further to show a response to the corrupt Catholic Church. Fourthly is the English reform, which was where the English Church broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Catholic Church. The fifth reformation is the Catholic Reformation. This reformation is more of a revival, and it was initiated after the Council of Trent in response to the Protestant movement.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Thesis Statement

An extended period of corruption cases and issues resulted from people to believe that Catholic Church is a for-profit making rather than a place to praise and worship God. However, the dominion of the Catholics had given the power to other rulers of the temporal domain. However, they had a bigger say because of the advantage for the masses. The secular rulers gave the opportunity for corruption to thrive where the most disgraceful form of fraud that conducted in the church was indulgences. It is a reduction of the level of sequential penalty for the reason that a sin is committed and sacramentally forgiven so that the church would make revenue from selling the punishment. It was then a habit that penalties converted to money.

This discussion shall focus on the Council of Trent in the Roman Catholic Church, and the big question we beg to answer and to have an insight into is whether the Council of Trent made the Roman Catholic Church to be better or not? What was the effect or outcome of the reforms brought about by the Council? This discussion will provide answers to these questions.


Primarily what was the Council of Trent? The Council of Trent was like a committee and which exists up to date, and it was majorly involved in the Roman Catholic Church. The functions of the Council was to bring in reforms that maintained the sanctity of the Roman Catholic Church, and this brought about a lot of opposition in the 16th Century.

Certain leaders like Pope Clement VII did not prefer the existence of the Council. He believed that the council would acquire all the powers in the church and his fear was that there would come a time when the papal leadership in the church would no longer be recognized by the people because the council will have more powers and trust to the people.

Those leaders who supported the working of the council, for instance, Martin Luther, were of the view that the reforms to be proposed by the commission would be a recipe to end the oppression people faced especially in the church. The council however championed for the roles of the people in the church, it acted as a watchdog, or an oversight authority that will look up in the running of the church, and one of the vices that the council was against is corruption. It is important to note that even today the Council still runs in this capacity and my view based on the research and discussion that I will put forward, the Council of Trent made the Roman Catholic Church better.

The Council of Trent played a very significant role in the musical part of the Roman Catholic in the mid-16th Century. In this particular item which is music, the council wanted to restore the purity in the music that was played in church. At this time, there was a change in the structure of music, which was performed, and some aspects of secularity added in the music.

Assessment of Old versus New

Musicians and the artists were taking the songs of the church and later changing them by putting secular words to them. The holiness and the divine quality of the music were held to be infiltrated by melodies, words that were not holy bearing in mind that at this time, and even now the Roman Catholic churches value the sacred music and this sacred music were not played just anywhere but on special occasions.

Therefore, the Council noted that the musicians had put the secular articles and they vowed to correct this error. Looking at today's Catholic Church, the discipline, which had shown, and the procedure, which had valued in the church is an apparent effect the Council of Trent had on the Roman Catholic Church. Meaning, if there were no existence of such a council, the Catholic Church would not have acquired the glory it has today (Washburn, Christian, 66).

It can, therefore, concluded that to a specific measure, the Council of Trent was unable to efficiently have a reduced impact to the problems that were facing the Catholic Church for the reason that there was a prolonged delay before the council called. These acted as the most significant and fearful obstacle of the pope of Conciliarism. Another factor was due to the fear by Francis 1 of France who vehemently opposed the formation as he dreamed that I would strengthen holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Hughes & John, 99)

The long delay pointed out that the church did not have the requisite ability to address reforms, more so under the conditions that it was facing when the carrying out of the announcement was observed to be erratic. Therefore, they could not necessarily implement the desired changes that the church anticipated. It can consequently have inferred that the council reforms were not sufficient and they viewed as superficial. This argument can elaborate by the fact that the delay in permitted Protestantism to build up where Catholicism could not end but could only repair.

Moreover, the adjournment in time was essential in implementing the reforming actions, which therefore meant that the opposition was strengthening and that the council meeting was recurrently interrupted providing a hostile external environment for the meeting. These factors were promoted further by the rivalry between Emperor and Pope that resulted to the closure of the first council. The aftermath is that Pope Paul III took advantage of the situation that occurred to Trent moving the council to Bologna to avoid disaster, the pope incidentally did these to retain the management of Bologna (Mcginness &Frederick, 77-81). Nonetheless, the Emperor directed that his bishops should remain in the Trent. This portrays Tent to be inefficient since because the fundamental issues could not be settled because of the existing rivalry between the Emperor and the Pope. Low attendance amplified this scenario as a few Christendom bishops (74) were able to attend to the first organized council (MacCulloch & Diarmaid, 57-61). The weak presence points out that many people were not able to understand the importance and the significant role of the Council of Trent's role meaning that people assumed that it was inappropriate to solving the problems that they were facing showing the weaknesses of the council.

Considering the opposing arguments, they might be very convincing. The council is seen to have taken a better direction than the previous headship. Pope Paul III seems to be taking the Council at a good pace and compared to his achievements at that time, and no other institution could have had similar accomplishments that Pope Paul III had (Alberigo, Giuseppe & Michelson, 19-32). Paul had committed himself to reform the council by appointing nine-man committee cardinals. The committee emphasized on training for the priesthood and a growing concern over the Rome state specifically regions that the priest could act swiftly on. This depicts that the councils that existed before Trent insinuated that Trent had a definite agenda against deviation instead of repairing the break.

If the reforms were implemented or not, when defining what catholic improvements is brought about, it triggers a psychological effect that can best be viewed as a useful technique of dealing with problems that may arise when the church was instilling confidence and militancy indicating a mindset shift. A shift that suggests an increase in the level of trust in the leadership of the church courtesy of Trent. The change is evident in scenarios where the council passes more judgment compared to any of the preceding councils had moved, these shows that reforms essential and that is was implemented not disregarding the presence of interruptions. Nonetheless, this was not the only case; Trend had a vibrant agenda that the council defined its status against that of deviation that shows its strength and resilience in dealing with problems that are related to Catholic Church (Komonchak & Joseph, 61-77). It demonstrates how the church took the lead in the reforming process that brings about a sense of assurance with church continuity. It is this doctrinal precision that Protestantism lacked and therefore demonstrated that Trent was disapproving of the claims of the Protestants regarding the availability of reforms in the church. The ability to respond to deviation with high confidence, it intended that the opinions of the protestant in contradiction of church reforms were rendered irrelevant and the Council was dealing with fears posed by the Protestants.

The council reassures the ranking structures of Catholic churches through upholding of papal management criterion substantial that before and reaffirming bishops' power. Effective reforms were assured by the presence of a difference between the clergy and laity, putting more emphasis on societal control.


The church fathers at Tent did not alter the teachings of the Catholic in any way but clarified. They made significant reforms in the structure and leadership of the church. They assisted in culminating the exercise of pluralism and nepotism. The council also helped in reforming the leadership structure to a more effective where bishops are only allowed to control a single diocese and increased frequency to visit each parish in the diocese. Council of Tent has assisted in the implementation of education for the clergy including the institutionalization of a seminary at the diocese level.

Works Cited.

Alberigo, Giuseppe, and Emily Michelson. "From the Council of Trent to 'Tridentinism.'" From Trent to Vatican II, 2006, pp. 19-32., doi:10.1093/0195178068.003.0002.

Council of Trent | Definition, Summary, Significance. Retrieved from,5069.1.

Council of Trent: Reform and Controversy in Europe and beyond 1545-1700. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Gm, 2016.

Dirda, Michael. "Council of Trent:How and Why?" The Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2013,

Hughes, John C. Slade Gorton: a Half Century in Politics. Washington Secretary of State, 2011. pp. 99

Komonchak, Joseph A. "The Council of Trent at the Second Vatican Council." From Trent to Vatican II, 2006, pp. 61-77., doi:10.1093/0195178068.003.0004.

MacCulloch, Diarmaid. All Things Made New: the Reformation and Its Legacy. Oxford University Press, 2017. pp. 57-61

Mcginness, Frederick. "Council of Trent." Oxford Bibliographies Online Datasets, 2013, doi:10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0191. pg. 77-81

Washburn, Christian D. "The Council of Trent and Vatican I." Oxford Handbooks Online, May 2018, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199566273.013.46. pg. 66

Cite this page

The Council of Trent: The Old or the New?. (2022, May 26). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism