The Catholic Reformation

The Catholic Reformation started around 1500. The religious ferment out of which Protestantism emerged was originally a ferment within the Catholic Church, not without. This was a definite revitalization of the church, progressively continuing to this day. There was a need to repeal Protestant attack, and in due course, to counter attack and recover the ground steadily being lost to Protestantism between the beginning of the Lutheran revolt and 1560. Moreover, it was a revival of deep mystical impulses and a corresponding increase in popular participation in religion, something it took years for the Protestants to discover.

The Catholic Reformation, in Protestant historical writing often called the counter-Reformation, was a positive spiritual renewal in its own right. It did not restore the medieval unity of Christendom, but it did preserve and reinvigorate fundamental Catholic beliefs and practice. The Catholic Reformation put aside the secular concerns and political ambitions that had dominated the papacy for generations and achieved a recovery of spiritual power. Among the positive forces: 1: strong medieval piety. 2: Christian humanism. 3: a revised scholasticism. 4: many of the abuses eliminated. Spain: a new quietistic mysticism and a renovated scholasticism. Their efforts to reform the church gathered momentum after 1517, and became in the 1530's a vast movement of spiritual, moral and ecclesiastical renewal, independent of Protestantism, and not necessarily directed against it.
[03, 30, 59, 68]

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