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History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution by Rev. James MacCaffrey

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maintain his power. He proclaimed himself the protector and champion
of Calvinism, and as such he could still count on the aid of the
northern provinces. Unfortunately, too, at the very time when the
success of his policy of mildness seemed assured, Requesens died
leaving it to his successor to complete his work.

Don Juan of Austria, the natural son of Charles V., who had won renown
throughout the world by his annihilation of the Turkish fleet at
Lepanto, was appointed in his place. Before his arrival the southern
and northern provinces had bound themselves together in the
Pacification of Ghent (1576). Don Juan was obliged to accept the terms
of the Pacification and to dismiss the Spanish troops before his
authority would be recognised. William of Orange, secure in the north,
determined to occupy the southern provinces, but his public profession
of Calvinism and the religious intolerance of his followers prevented
a combined national effort. The Catholic nobles of the Walloon
provinces objected to the Protestant campaign that was being carried
on in the name of liberty, and showed themselves not unwilling to come
to terms with Don Juan. The latter, only too glad to meet them half-
way, issued a very conciliatory decree (1577), which secured him the
support of many of the Catholic party, and partly by force, partly by
negotiation he succeeded in winning back much of what had been lost.

On the death of Don Juan (1578) Alexander Farnese, son of the former
regent Margaret of Parma, was appointed his successor. Being something
of a statesman as well as a soldier he lost no opportunity of
endeavouring to break the power of the Prince of Orange. He devoted a
great deal of his energies to the work of detaching the southern
provinces, which still remained Catholic, from the northern, which had
gone over to Calvinism. The intolerance of the Calvinists and their
open violation of the religious freedom guaranteed to all parties
tended to the success of his plans. During his term of office Belgium
returned its allegiance to Spain, and this step put an end to the
hopes entertained by the Calvinists of winning that country to their
side. Meanwhile the northern provinces were entirely in the hands of
William of Orange. In 1579 the five provinces Holland, Zeeland,
Friesland, Geldern, and Zutphen bound themselves together by a solemn
compact in the Union of Utrecht under the name of the United
Provinces, and practically speaking established a Dutch republic. They
agreed to make common cause in war and in peace, and appointed William
of Orange as Stadtholder for life. A short time later (1581) William
of Orange, notwithstanding all his proclamations regarding religious
liberty, forbade the public exercise of the Catholic religion, and
refused to allow the new Archbishop of Utrecht to take possession of
his See. In these circumstances nothing remained for the Pope except
to appoint a vicar-apostolic to take charge of the religious interests
of the Catholics, who formed two-fifths of the population of Holland,
but even the vicar-apostolic was soon banished from the country.

In 1584 William of Orange was assassinated, and his son Maurice was
appointed to succeed him. The English Government anxious to strike a
blow at Spain encouraged the Dutch to continue the war, and despatched
troops to their assistance. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada the
situation was much more favourable to the rebels, and at last in 1609
a twelve years' truce was concluded. On the expiration of the truce
the war was renewed without any very striking success on either side.
Finally in the Peace of Westphalia (1648) the independence of the
Dutch republic was acknowledged by Spain. From the very beginning of
the religious revolt in the Netherlands Calvinism was the sect most
favoured by the people, as is evidenced by the /Confessio Belgica/ in
1562. The University of Leyden decided in its favour, as did also the
Synods of Dordrecht in 1574 and 1618. The Catholic minority in Holland
were treated with the greatest severity, but in spite of all the
efforts to induce them to change their faith many of the districts
remained completely Catholic.

The Catholic provinces, which remained true to Spain and to the
Catholic Church, suffered very severely from the long-drawn-out
struggle, but despite the ravages of war they were soon the centre of
a great religious, literary and artistic revival. The University of
Louvain, founded in 1425, developed rapidly under the generous
patronage of the civil rulers. During the sixteenth century it was
recognised as an important centre of learning whither scholars flocked
not merely from the Low Countries but from all parts of Europe.
Throughout the Reformation struggle Louvain and Douay, the latter of
which was founded in 1562 by Philip II. to assist in stemming the
rising tide of Calvinism, remained staunch defenders of Catholic
orthodoxy, though the unfortunate controversies waged round the
doctrines of Baius and Jansenius did something to dim the glory of the
university to which both belonged. The Jesuits, too, rendered
invaluable service to religion and learning, particularly the men who
hastened to offer their services to Father van Bolland in his famous
/Acta Sanctorum/. Nor can it be forgotten that it was in these days
Catholic Belgium gave to the world the great Flemish school of
artists, amongst whom must be reckoned such men as Rubens, Van Dyck,
and Jordaens.

[1] Lacheret, /L'evolution religieuse de Guillaume le Taciturne/,

[2] Rachfal, /Margareta von Parma/, 1898.

[3] /Vita Ferdinandi Toletani, ducis Albani/, 1669.



For more than thirty years the new religious movement continued to
spread with alarming rapidity. Nation after nation either fell away
from the centre of unity or wavered as to the attitude that should be
adopted towards the conflicting claims of Rome, Wittenberg, and
Geneva, till at last it seemed not unlikely that Catholicism was to be
confined within the territorial boundaries of Italy, Spain, and
Portugal. That the world was well prepared for such an outburst has
been shown already,[1] but it is necessary to emphasise the fact that
the real interests of religion played but a secondary part in the
success of the Protestant revolt. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and Knox
may be taken as typical of the new apostles, and however gifted and
energetic these men may have been, yet few would care to contend that
either in their own lives or in the means to which they had recourse
for propagating their views they can be regarded as ideal religious

Protestantism owed its success largely to political causes, and
particularly in the case of Lutheranism to its acknowledgment of the
principle of royal supremacy. At its inception it was favoured by the
almost universal jealousy of the House of Habsburg and by the danger
of a Turkish invasion. If attention be directed to the countries where
it attained its largest measure of success, it will be found that in
Germany this success was due mainly to the distrust of the Emperor
entertained by the princes and their desire to strengthen their own
authority against both the Emperor and the people; in Switzerland to
the political aspirations of the populous and manufacturing cantons
and their eagerness to resist the encroachments of the House of Savoy;
in the Scandinavian North to the efforts of ambitious rulers anxious
to free themselves from the restrictions imposed upon their authority
by the nobles and bishops; in the Netherlands to the determination of
the people to maintain their old laws and constitutions in face of the
domineering policy of Philip II.; in France to the attitude of the
rulers who disliked the Catholic Church as being the enemy of
absolutism, and who were willing to maintain friendly relations with
the German Protestants in the hope of weakening the Empire by civil
war; in England, at first to the autocratic position of the sovereign,
and later to a feeling of national patriotism that inspired Englishmen
to resent the interference of foreigners in what they regarded as
their domestic affairs; and in Scotland to the bitter rivalry of two
factions one of which favoured an alliance with France, the other, a
union with England. In all these countries the hope of sharing in the
plunder of the Church had a much greater influence in determining the
attitude of both rulers and nobles than their zeal for reform, as the
leaders of the so-called Reformation had soon good reason to recognise
and to deplore.

Protestantism had reached the zenith of its power on the Continent in
1555. At that time everything seemed to indicate its permanent
success, but soon under the Providence of God the tide began to turn,
and instead of being able to make further conquests it found it
impossible to retain those that had been made. The few traces of
heresy that might have been detected in Italy, Spain, and Portugal
disappeared. France, thanks largely to the energy of the League and
the political schemes of Cardinal Richelieu, put an end to the
Calvinist domination. Hungary and Poland were wrested to a great
extent from the influence of the Protestant preachers by the labours
of the Jesuits. Belgium was retained for Spain and for Catholicity
more by the prudence and diplomacy of Farnese than by the violence of
Alva; and in the German Empire the courageous stand made by some of
the princes, notably Maximilian of Bavaria, delivered Austria,
Bohemia, Bavaria and the greater part of Southern Germany from

Many causes helped to bring about this striking reaction towards
Catholicism. Amongst the principal of these were the reforms initiated
by the Council of Trent, the rise of zealous ecclesiastics and above
all of zealous popes, the establishment of new religious orders,
especially the establishment of the Society of Jesus, and finally the
determination of some of the Catholic princes to meet force by force.
Mention should be made too of the wonderful outburst of missionary
zeal that helped to win over new races and new peoples in the East and
the West at a time when so many of the favoured nations of Europe had
renounced or were threatening to renounce their allegiance to the
Church of Rome.

[1] Chap. I.

(a) The Council of Trent.

Le Plat, /Monumentorum ad historiam concilii Tridentini
spectantium amplissima collectio/, 7 vols., 1781-5. Theiner, /Acta
genuina S. oecumenici Concilii Tridentini/, etc., 1874. /Concilium
Tridentinum Diariorum, Actorum, Epistularum, Tractatuum Nova
Collectio Edidit Societas Goerresiana/, vols. i., ii., iii.
(/Diariorum/), iv., v. (/Actorum/), 1901-14. Pallavicino, /Istoria
del Concilio di Trento/, 3 vols., 1664. Maynier, /Etude historique
sur le concile de Trent/, 1874. Mendham, /Memoirs of the Council
of Trent/, 1834. Marchese, /La riforma del clero secondo il
concilio de Trento/, 1883. Deslandres, /Le concile de Trente, et
la reforme du clerge/, 1906. /Canones et decreta sacrosancti
oecumenici concilii Tridentini/.

For more than a century and a half reform of the Church "in its head
and members" was the watchword both of the friends and the enemies of
religion. Earnest men looked forward to this as the sole means of
stemming the tide of neo-paganism that threatened to engulf the
Christian world, while wicked men hoped to find in the movement for
reform an opportunity of wrecking the divine constitution that Christ
had given to His Church. Popes and Councils had failed hitherto to
accomplish this work. The bishops had met at Constance and Basle, at
Florence and at Rome (5th Lateran Council), and had parted leaving the
root of the evil untouched. Notwithstanding all these failures the
feeling was practically universal that in a General Council lay the
only hope of reform, and that for one reason or another the Roman
Curia looked with an unfavourable eye on the convocation of such an
assembly. Whether the charge was true or false it was highly
prejudicial to the authority of the Holy See, and as a consequence of
it, when Luther and his followers appealed from the verdict of Leo X.
to the verdict of a General Council, they evoked the open or secret
sympathy of many, who had nothing but contempt for their religious
innovations. Charles V., believing in the sincerity of their offer to
submit themselves to the judgment of such a body, supported strongly
the idea of a council, as did also the Diets held at Nurnberg in 1523
and 1524.

The hesitation of Adrian VI. (1522-3) and of Clement VII. (1523-34) to
yield to these demands was due neither to their inability to
appreciate the magnitude of the abuses nor of their desire to oppose
any and every proposal of reform. The disturbed condition of the
times, when so many individuals had fallen away from the faith and
when whole nations formerly noted for their loyalty to the Pope
threatened to follow in their footsteps, made it difficult to decide
whether the suggested remedy might not prove worse than the disease.
The memory, too, of the scenes that took place at Constance and Basle
and of the revolutionary proposals put forward in these assemblies,
made the Popes less anxious to try a similar experiment with the
possibility of even worse results, particularly at a time when the
unfriendly relations existing between the Empire, France, and England
held out but little hope for the success of a General Council. As
events showed the delay was providential. It afforded an opportunity
for excitement and passion to die away; it helped to secure moderation
in the views both of the radical and conservative elements in the
Church; and it allowed the issues in dispute to shape themselves more
clearly and to be narrowed down to their true proportions, thereby
enabling the Catholic theologians to formulate precisely the doctrines
of the Church in opposition to the opinions of the Lutherans.

Clement VII. (1523-34), one of the de' Medici family, succeeded to the
Papacy at a most critical period in the civil and religious history of
Europe. The time that he spent at the court of his cousin, Leo X., and
the traditions of his family and of his native city of Florence made
it almost impossible for him to throw himself into the work of reform
or to adopt the stern measures that the situation demanded. Instead of
allying himself closely with Charles V. or Francis I. of France, or
better still of preserving an attitude of strict neutrality towards
both, he adopted a policy of vacillation joining now one side now the
other, until the terrible sack of Rome by the infuriated and half-
savage soldiery of Germany forced him to conclude an agreement with
the Emperor. During the earlier years of Clement VII.'s reign the
German people, Catholic as well as Lutheran, demanded the convocation
of a general or at least a national council, and their demands met
with the approval of Charles V. The naturally indolent temperament of
the Pope, the fear that the eagerness for reform might develop into a
violent revolution, and the danger that a council dominated by the
Emperor might be as distasteful to France and England as dangerous to
the rights and prerogatives of the Holy See, made him more willing to
accept the counsels of those who suggested delay. When peace was at
last concluded between the Pope and the Emperor (1529) Charles V. had
changed his mind about the advisability of a General Council, having
convinced himself in the meantime that more could be done for the
cause of peace in his territories by private negotiations between the
different parties.

It was only on the accession of Paul III. (1534-49) that a really
vigorous effort was made to undertake the work of reform. The new
Pope, a member of the Farnese family, was himself a brilliant
Humanist, a patron of literature and art, well known for his strict
and exemplary life as a priest, and deservedly popular both with the
clergy and people of Rome. His one outstanding weakness was his
partiality towards his own relatives, on many of whom he conferred
high positions both in church and state. In justice to him it should
be said, however, that the position of affairs in Rome and in Italy
made such action less reprehensible than it might seem at first sight,
and that he dealt severely with some of them, as for example, the Duke
of Parma and Piacenza, once he discovered that they were unworthy of
the confidence that had been reposed in them. He signalised his
pontificate by the stern measures he took for the reform of the Roman
Curia, by the appointment of learned and progressive ecclesiastics
like Reginald Pole, Sadoleto, Caraffa, and Contarini to the college of
cardinals, and by the establishment of special tribunals to combat

After a preliminary agreement with the Emperor, Paul III. convoked the
General Council to meet at Mantua in 1537; but the refusal of the
Lutheran princes to send representatives, the prohibition issued by
Francis I. against the attendance of French bishops, and the
unwillingness of the Duke of Mantua to make the necessary arrangements
for such an assembly in his territory unless under impossible
conditions, made it necessary to prorogue the council to Vicenza in
1538. As hardly any bishops had arrived at the time appointed it was
adjourned at first, and later on prorogued indefinitely. Negotiations
were, however, continued regarding the place of assembly. The Pope was
anxious that the council should be held in an Italian city, while
Charles V., believing that the Lutherans would never consent to go to
Italy or to accept the decrees of an Italian assembly, insisted that a
German city should be selected. In the end as a compromise Trent was
agreed upon by both parties, and the council was convoked once more to
meet there in 1542. The refusal of the Lutherans to take part in the
proposed council, the unwillingness of Francis I. to permit any of his
subjects to be present, and the threatened war between France and the
Empire, made it impossible for the council to meet. Finally, on the
conclusion of the Peace of Crepy (1544), which put an end to the war
with France, the council was convoked to meet at Trent in March 1545,
and Cardinals del Monte, Reginald Pole, and Marcello Cervini were
appointed to represent the Pope. When the day fixed for the opening
ceremony arrived, a further adjournment was rendered imperative owing
to the very sparse attendance of bishops. The First Session was held
on the 13th December 1545, and the second in January 1546. There were
then present in addition to the legates and theologians only four
archbishops, twenty-one bishops, and five generals of religious

These two preliminary sessions were given over almost entirely to a
discussion of the procedure that should be followed. In the end it was
agreed that the legates should propose to the council the questions on
which a decision should be given, that these questions should be
examined by committees of bishops aided by theologians and jurists,
that the results of these discussions should be brought before a full
congregation of the bishops, and that when a decision had been agreed
to the formal decrees should be promulgated in a public session. The
novel method of voting by nations, introduced for the first time at
Constance and Basle, was rejected in favour of individual voting, a
definitive vote being allowed only to bishops, generals of religious
orders and abbots (one vote to every three abbots). Procurators of
absent bishops were not allowed to vote, though later on a special
concession was made in favour of some German bishops detained at home
by the serious religious condition of their dioceses. The legates were
anxious that the dogmatic issues raised by the Lutherans should be
dealt with at once, while the Emperor was strongly in favour of
beginning with a comprehensive scheme of reform. By this time he had
made up his mind to put down his opponents in Germany by force of
arms, and he believed that if nothing were done in the meantime to
widen the breach the defeat of the Lutheran princes might make them
more willing to take part in the council. As a compromise it was
agreed that doctrine and discipline should be discussed
simultaneously, and, hence, at most of the public sessions two decrees
were published, one on matters of faith, the other on reform (/De

It was only at the 4th public session (8th April 1546) that the first
doctrinal decree could be issued. Since the Lutherans had called in
question the value of Tradition as a source of divine revelation, and
had denied the canonicity of several books accepted hitherto as
inspired, it was fitting that the council should begin its work by
defining that revelation has been handed down by Tradition as well as
by the Scriptures, of which latter God is the author both as regards
the Old Testament and the New. In accordance with the decrees of
previous councils a list of the canonical books of the Scriptures was
drawn up. Furthermore, it was defined that the sacred writings should
not be interpreted against the meaning attached to them by the Church,
nor against the unanimous consent of the Fathers, that the Vulgate
Version, a revised edition of which should be published immediately,
is authentic, that is to say, accurate as regards faith and morals,
and that for the future no one was to print, publish, or retain an
edition of the Scriptures unless it had been approved by the local

The next subject proposed for examination was Original Sin. The
Emperor showed the greatest anxiety to secure a delay, and at a hint
from him several of the Spanish bishops tried to postpone a decision
by prolonging the discussions and by raising the question of the
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. That the Fathers of Trent
were not opposed to this doctrine is clear enough from the decrees
they formulated, but the majority of them were of opinion that purely
domestic controversies among Catholic theologians should be left
untouched. In the fifth general session (17th June 1546) it was
defined that by his transgression of the commandment of God the head
of the human race had forfeited the sanctity and justice in which he
had been created, and had suffered thereby in both soul and body, that
in doing so he had injured not merely himself but all his descendants,
to whom Original Sin is transmitted not by imitation merely but by
propagation, that the effects of this sin are removed by the sacrament
of Baptism, necessary alike for adults and infants, and that the
concupiscence, which still remains in a man even after baptism has
produced its effects, is not in itself sinful. It was declared,
furthermore, that in the decrees regarding the universality of
Original Sin it was not intended to include the Blessed Virgin or to
weaken the binding force of the decrees issued by Sixtus IV. regarding
her Immaculate Conception.

The way was now cleared for the question of Justification.[1] This was
the doctrine on which Luther first found himself in disagreement with
the Church, and which he put forward in his sermons as the foundation
of his new gospel. The importance of the subject both in itself and in
the circumstances of the time cannot be exaggerated, nor can it be
contended that the Fathers at Trent failed to realise their
responsibilities or to give it the attention it deserved. Had they
done nothing else except to give to the world such a complete and
luminous exposition of the Catholic teaching on Justification their
meeting would not have been held in vain. In the 6th public session
(13th January 1547), at which there were present besides the legates,
ten archbishops, forty-two bishops, two procurators, five generals of
religious orders, two abbots and forty-three theologians, it was
defined that, though by the sin of Adam man had lost original justice
and had suffered much, he still retained free-will, that God had been
pleased to promise redemption through the merits of Jesus Christ, and
that baptism or the desire for baptism is necessary for salvation. The
decrees dealt also with the method of preparing for Justification,
with its nature, causes, and conditions, with the kind of faith
required in opposition to the confidence spoken of by the Reformers,
with the necessity and possibility of observing the commandments, with
the certainty of Justification, perseverance, loss of Grace by mortal
sin, and with merit. The 7th public session (3rd March) was given to
decrees regarding the Sacraments in general and Baptism and
Confirmation in particular.

Meanwhile the long-expected civil war had begun in Germany, and Europe
awaited with anxiety the result of a struggle upon which such
momentous interests might depend. Charles, supported by most of the
Catholic and not a few of the Protestant princes, overthrew the forces
of the Elector of Saxony and of Philip of Hesse (1547) and by his
victory found himself for the first time master in his own
territories. Coupled with rejoicing at the success of the imperial
arms there was also the fear in many minds that the Emperor might use
his power to overawe the Council, and force it to agree to
compromises, which, however useful for the promotion of unity in
Germany, might be subversive of the doctrine and discipline of the
Church and dangerous to the prerogatives of the Holy See. The
selection of Trent as the place of assembly for the council was never
very satisfactory to the Pope, but now in the changed circumstances of
the Empire it was looked upon as positively dangerous. An epidemic
that made its appearance in the city afforded an excellent pretext for
securing a change of venue, and at the 8th public session (11th March
1547) a majority of the members present voted in favour of retiring to
Bologna. The legates accompanied by most of the bishops departed
immediately, while the bishops who supported the Emperor remained at
Trent. For a time the situation was critical in the extreme, but under
the influence of the Holy Ghost moderate counsels prevailed with both
parties, and after a couple of practically abortive sessions at
Bologna the council was prorogued in September 1549. A few months
later, November 1549, Paul III. passed to his reward.

In the conclave that followed the cardinals were divided into three
parties, namely, the Imperial, the French, and the followers of the
Farnese family. By an agreement between the two latter Cardinal del
Monte was elected against the express prohibition of Charles V., and
took as his title Julius III.[2] (1550-5). He was a man of good
education, of sufficiently liberal views, and with a rather large
experience acquired as a prominent official in Rome and as one of the
legates at the Council of Trent. While acting in the latter capacity
he had come into sharp conflict with the Emperor, but as Pope he found
himself forced by the conduct of the Farnese family to cultivate
friendly relations with his former opponent. The alliance concluded
with the Emperor turned out disastrously enough owing to the French
victories in Italy during the campaign of 1552, and in consequence of
this Julius III. ceased to take an active part in the struggle between
these two countries. During the earlier years of his reign the Pope
took earnest measures to push forward the work of reform, patronised
the Jesuits, established the /Collegium Germanicum/ at Rome for the
use of ecclesiastical students from Germany, and succeeded in
restoring England to communion with the Holy See, but as time passed,
discouraged by the failure of his cherished projects, he adopted a
policy of /laissez-faire/, and like many of his predecessors laid
himself open to damaging though to a great extent unfounded charges of

Julius III. was anxious to continue the work of reform that had been
begun in Trent. In 1550 he issued a Bull convoking the council to meet
once more in Trent on the 1st May 1551. When the papal legates
attended at the time fixed for the opening of the council they found
it necessary owing to the small numbers present to adjourn it at first
till the 1st September, and later till the 11th October. On account of
the unfriendly relations existing between France and the Empire
regarding the Duchy of Parma, and to the alliance of the Pope and the
Emperor, the King of France would not permit the French bishops to
attend. The majority of the bishops present were from Italy, Germany,
and Spain. In the 13th public session (11th Oct. 1551), at which there
were present in addition to the legates, ten archbishops and fifty-
four bishops, decrees were passed regarding the Real Presence of
Christ in the Eucharist, Transubstantiation, the institution,
excellence and worship of the Eucharist, its reservation and the
conditions necessary for its worthy reception. In the 14th public
session (25th Nov. 1551) the council dealt with the sacraments of
Penance and Extreme Unction. In the meantime the Emperor was
negotiating with the Lutherans with the object of inducing them to
send representatives to Trent. Some of their procurators had arrived
already, amongst them being the well-known theologian and historian
John Sleidanus of Strassburg, but their demands, including the
withdrawal of the decrees contravening the articles of the Augsburg
Confession and the submission of the Pope to the authority of a
General Council, were of such an extravagant character that they could
not be entertained. While the subject was under consideration news
arrived that Maurice of Saxony had gone over to the side of the
Lutherans, that there was no army in the field to hold him in check,
that the passes of the Tyrol were occupied by his troops, and that an
advance upon Trent was not impossible. Many of the bishops took their
departure immediately, and in April 1552 against the wishes of a few
Spanish bishops the council was suspended for two years. As a matter
of fact close on ten years were to elapse before the work that had
been interrupted could be resumed.

On the death of Julius III. (1555) Marcellus II. succeeded, but his
reign was cut short by death (22 days). In the conclave that followed
Cardinal Pietro Caraffa, the first general and in a certain sense the
founder of the Theatines, received the required majority of votes
notwithstanding the express veto of the Emperor. He was proclaimed
Pope under the title of Paul IV.[3] (1555-9). During his life as an
ecclesiastic the new Pope had been remarkable for his rigid views, his
ascetic life, and his adherence to Scholastic as opposed to Humanist
views. As nuncio in Spain he had acquired a complete distrust of the
Spanish rulers, nor was this bad impression likely to be removed by
the treatment he received from the Austro-Spanish party when appointed
Archbishop of Naples. The conclusion of the religious peace of
Augsburg (1555) and the proclamation of Ferdinand I. were not
calculated to win the sympathy of Paul IV. for the House of Habsburg.
Hence, he put himself in communication with the Italian opponents of
Philip II. of Spain, and concluded an alliance with France. The French
army despatched to Naples under the leadership of the Duke of Guise
was out-manoeuvred completely by the Spanish Viceroy, the Duke of Alva,
who followed up his success by invading the Papal States and
compelling the Pope to sue for peace (1556). The unfriendly relations
existing between Paul IV. and Philip II. of Spain, the husband of
Queen Mary I., rendered difficult the work of effecting a complete
reconciliation between England and the Holy See. Owing to the
disturbed condition of Europe and the attitude of the Emperor and the
King of Spain, it would have been impossible for the Pope even had he
been anxious to do so to re-convoke the council. He would not so much
as consider the idea of selecting Trent or any German city as a fit
place for such an assembly, while the Austro-Spanish rulers were
equally strong against Rome or any other place in Italy. But of his
own initiative Paul IV. took strong measures to reform the Roman
Curia, established a special commission in Rome to assist him in this
work, stamped out by vigorous action heretical opinions that began to
manifest themselves in Italy, and presided frequently himself at
meetings of the Inquisition. He even went so far as to arrest Cardinal
Morone on a suspicion of heresy, and to summon Cardinal Pole to appear
before the tribunal of the Inquisition. By the Romans he had been
beloved at first on account of his economic administration whereby the
taxes were reduced considerably, but the disastrous results of the war
against Philip II. in Naples effaced the memory of the benefits he had
conferred, and he died detested by the people. After his death the
city was at the mercy of the mob, who plundered and robbed wholesale
for close on a fortnight before order could be restored.

In the conclave that followed the two great parties among the
cardinals were the French and the Austro-Spanish, neither of which,
however, was strong enough to procure the election of its nominee.
After a struggle lasting three months Cardinal Giovanni Angelo de'
Medici, who was more or less neutral, was elected by acclamation. He
was proclaimed under the title of Pius IV. (1559-65). The new Pope had
nothing of the stern morose temperament of his predecessor. He was of
a mild disposition, something of a scholar himself, inclined to act as
a patron towards literature and art, and anxious to forward the
interests of religion by kindness rather than by severity. He was
determined to proceed with the work of the council at all costs, and
as a first step in that direction he devoted all his energies to the
establishment of friendly relations with the Emperor Ferdinand I. and
with Spain. In all his schemes for reform he was supported loyally by
his nephew, Charles Borromeo, whom he created cardinal, and to whom he
entrusted the work of preparing the measures that should be submitted
to the future council.

When all arrangements had been made the Bull of re-convocation,
summoning the bishops to meet at Trent at Easter 1561, was published
in November 1560. Though not expressly stated in the document, yet it
was implied clearly enough that the assembly was not to be a new
council but only the continuation of the Council of Trent. This was
not satisfactory to France, which demanded a revision of some of the
decrees passed at Trent, and which objected strongly to the selection
of Trent as the meeting-place. The Emperor Ferdinand I. and Philip II.
expressed their anxiety to further the project of the Pope. Delegates
were sent from Rome to interview the Lutheran princes and theologians,
but only to meet everywhere with sharp rebuffs. In an assembly held at
Naumburg in 1561 the Lutherans refused to attend the council, unless
they were admitted on their own terms, while many of the Catholic
princes and bishops showed no enthusiasm to respond to the papal
convocation. When the legates arrived to open the council they found
so few bishops in attendance that nothing could be done except to
prepare the subjects that should be submitted for discussion.

It was only on the 15th January 1562 the first (17th) public session
could be held. There were present in addition to the legates, three
patriarchs, eleven archbishops, forty bishops, four generals of
religious orders, and four abbots. From the very beginning the legates
found themselves in a very difficult position owing to the spirit of
hostility against the Holy See manifested by some of the bishops and
representatives of the civil powers. At this session very little was
accomplished except to announce the formal opening of the council, to
fix the date for the next public session, and to prepare safe conducts
for the delegates of the Protestant princes. Similarly in the 18th
public session (25th February) no decrees of any importance could be
passed. Despite the earnest efforts of the presidents it was found
impossible to make any progress. Grave differences of opinion
manifested themselves both within and without the council. The
question whether bishops are bound to reside in their dioceses by
divine or ecclesiastical law gave rise to prolonged and angry debates.
Spain demanded that it should be stated definitely that the council
was only a prolongation of the council held previously at Trent, while
France insisted that it should be regarded as a distinct and
independent assembly. The Emperor put forward a far-reaching scheme of
reform parts of which it was entirely impossible for the legates to
accept.[4] At length after many adjournments the 21st public session
was held (16th July 1562), in which decrees regarding the Blessed
Eucharist were passed. It was defined that there was no divine law
obliging the laity to receive Holy Communion under both kinds, that
the Church has power to make arrangements about Communion so long as
it does not change the substance of the sacrament, that Christ is
really present whole and entire both under the appearance of bread and
under the appearance of wine, that infants, who have not come to the
use of reason, are not bound to receive Holy Communion because they
have been regenerated already by baptism. At this session there were
present six cardinals, three patriarchs, nineteen archbishops, and one
hundred and forty-eight bishops.

In the 22nd public session (17th Sept. 1562) decrees were published
concerning the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was laid down that in
place of the sacrifices and the priesthood of the Old Law Christ set
up a new sacrifice, namely the Mass, the clean oblation foretold by
the prophet Malachy (Mal. I., 11) and a new priesthood, to whom the
celebration of the Mass was committed, that the sacrifice of the Mass
is the same sacrifice as that of the Cross having the same high priest
and the same victim, that the Mass may be offered up for the dead as
well as for the living, that it may be offered up in honour of the
Saints, that though the faithful should be advised to receive Holy
Communion whenever they assist at Mass, yet private Masses at which
nobody is present for Communion are not unlawful, and that, though it
was not deemed prudent to allow the sacrifice to be offered up in the
vulgar tongue, it was the earnest wish of the council that priests
should explain the ceremonies of the Mass to the people especially on
Sundays and holidays. The question of allowing the laity to receive
the chalice was discussed at length, and it was decided finally to
submit it to the decision of the Pope. Pius IV. did, indeed, make a
concession on this point in favour of several districts in Austria;
but as the Catholics did not desire such a concession and the
Lutherans refused to accept it as insufficient the indult remained
practically a dead-letter, and later on was withdrawn.

The next session was fixed for November 1562 but on account of very
grave difficulties that arose a much more prolonged adjournment was
rendered necessary. During this interval the old controversies broke
out with greater violence and bitterness, and more than once it
appeared as if the council would break up in disorder; but the
perseverance, tact, and energy of the new legates, Cardinals Morone
and Navagero, strengthened by the prudent concessions made by the
Pope, averted the threatened rupture, and made it possible for the
Fathers to accomplish the work for which they had been convoked.
Cardinal Guise[5] (de Lorraine) accompanied by a number of French
bishops and theologians arrived at Trent in November 1562. His arrival
strengthened the hands of those Spanish bishops who were insisting on
having it defined that the obligation of episcopal residence was /de
jure divino/. The question had been adjourned previously at the
request of the legates, but with the advent of the discussion on the
sacrament of Orders further adjournment was impossible. Several of the
bishops maintained that the obligation must be /jure divino/, because
the episcopate itself was /de jure divino/. From this they concluded
that the bishops had their jurisdiction immediately from Christ, not
mediately through the Pope as some of the papal theologians
maintained. Consequently they asserted that the subordination of the
bishops to the Pope was not, therefore of divine origin, thereby
raising at once the whole question of the relations of a general
council to a Pope and the binding force of the decrees regarding the
superiority of a council passed at Constance and Basle.

At the same time danger threatened the council from another quarter.
The Emperor, Ferdinand I. had put forward a very comprehensive scheme
of reform. Some portions of this were considered by the legates to be
prejudicial to the rights of the Holy See, and were therefore rejected
by them after consultation with the Pope. Ferdinand annoyed by their
action asserted that there was no liberty at the council, that it was
being controlled entirely from Rome, and that the assembly at Trent
had become merely a machine for confirming what had been decreed
already on the other side of the Alps. At his request several of his
supporters left Trent and joined him at Innsbruck, where a kind of
opposition assembly was begun. Cardinal Morone, realising fully the
seriousness of the situation, betook himself to Innsbruck (April 1563)
for a personal interview with the Emperor. The meeting had the result
of clearing away many of the misunderstandings that had arisen, and of
bringing about a compromise. At the same time the Pope wrote a letter
pointing out that it was only reasonable that the Head of the Church,
not being present at the council, should be consulted by his legates
in all important matters that might arise.

Meanwhile the council was still engaged in discussing the authority of
the bishops. On the ground that the Fathers should define at one and
the same time both the rights of the bishops and the rights of the
Holy See Cardinal Guise, who represented the Gallican school of
thought, brought forward certain proposals highly derogatory to the
prerogatives of the Pope. In face of this counter-move the legates
were firm but conciliatory. They pointed out that the whole question
of the jurisdiction of the Holy See had been decided already by the
Council of Florence and that the decrees of Florence could not be
watered down at Trent. On this question the Italian bishops found
themselves supported by the vast majority of the Spanish, Austro-
German and Portuguese representatives; but in deference to the request
of the Pope, who wished that nothing should be defined unless with the
unanimous consent of the Fathers, and to the feelings of the French,
whose secession from the council was anticipated, it was agreed to
issue no decree on the subject. As the supreme authority of the Pope
had been recognised implicitly by the council[6] no definition was

As a result of the negotiations inside and outside the council it was
possible to hold the 23rd public session on the 15th July 1563. In
this it was defined that the priesthood of the New Law was instituted
by Christ, that there were seven orders in the Church about two of
which, the priesthood (/de sacerdotibus/) and the diaconate (/de
diaconis/) express mention is made in the Scriptures, that the bishops
who have succeeded to the place of the Apostles pertain especially to
the hierarchy and are superior to priests, that neither the consent of
the people nor of the civil power is necessary for the valid reception
of orders, and that bishops who are appointed by the authority of the
Roman Pontiff are true bishops.[7] The question whether the duty of
episcopal residence is /de jure divino/, about which such a protracted
and heated controversy had been waged, was settled amicably by
deciding that the bishops as pastors are bound by divine command to
know their flocks, and that they cannot do this unless they reside in
their dioceses. At this session there were present four cardinals,
three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops and one hundred and ninety-
three bishops.

Many of the bishops were anxious to return to their dioceses, and
nearly all of them hoped for a speedy conclusion of the council. The
Pope, the Emperor, and the King of France were in agreement, though
for different reasons, in endeavouring to dissolve the assembly as
soon as possible. The sacrament of Matrimony was next proposed for
discussion. The French party wished that marriages contracted without
the consent of the parents as well as clandestine marriages should be
declared invalid, but the council refused to make the validity of
marriage dependent upon parental consent. In deference to the wishes
of Venice, which stood in close relation to the Greeks, it was agreed
to define merely that the Church does not err when she states in
accordance with the apostolic and evangelic teaching that the bond of
marriage is not broken by adultery. In the 24th public session (11th
Nov. 1563) the decrees on Matrimony were proclaimed.

The greatest anxiety was displayed on all sides to bring the work to a
conclusion. The action of the papal legates in proposing that the
interference of Catholic rulers in ecclesiastical affairs should be
considered and if necessary reformed did not tend to delay the
dissolution. The princes were most anxious to reform the Pope and
clergy, but they were determined not to allow any weakening of their
own so-called prerogatives. In accordance with the general desire the
addresses were cut short, and so rapid was the progress made that the
last public session was held on the 3rd and 4th December 1563. The
decrees on Purgatory, on the honour to be paid to relics and images of
Saints and on Indulgences were passed. It was agreed, furthermore,
that in regard to fast days and holidays the usage of the Roman Church
should be followed, and that the Holy See should undertake the
preparation of a new edition of the missal and breviary. The decrees
that had been passed under Paul III. and Julius III. were read and
approved. The legates were requested to obtain the approval of the
Holy Father for the decisions of the council, and Cardinal Guise in
the name of the bishops returned thanks to the Pope, the Emperor, the
ambassadors of the Catholic nations, and to the legates. Finally the
Fathers subscribed their names to the acts of the council. There were
then present six cardinals, three patriarchs, twenty-five archbishops,
one hundred and sixty-seven bishops, and nineteen procurators.

The Council of Trent met in peculiarly difficult circumstances, and it
carried on its work in face of great opposition and disappointments.
More than once it was interrupted for a long period, and more than
once, too, it was feared by many that it would result in promoting
schism rather than unity. But under the Providence of God the dangers
were averted, the counsels of despair were rejected, the arms of its
enemies were weakened, and the hearts of the faithful children of the
Church throughout the world filled with joy and gratitude. It found
itself face to face with a strong and daily increasing party, who
rejected the authority that had been accepted hitherto without
difficulty, and who called in question many of the most cherished
doctrines and practices of the Catholic world. Without allowing
themselves to be involved in purely domestic disputes among Catholic
theologians or to be guided by the advice of those who sought to
secure peace by means of dishonourable compromises, the Fathers of
Trent set themselves calmly but resolutely to sift the chaff from the
wheat, to examine the theories of Luther in the light of the teaching
of the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church as contained in the
writings of the Fathers, and to give to the world a clear-cut
exposition of the dogmas that had been attacked by the heretics. Never
had a council in the Church met under more alarming conditions; never
had a council been confronted with more serious obstacles, and never
did a council confer a greater service on the Christian world than did
the 19th ecumenical council held at Trent (1545-63).

It was of essential importance that the council should determine the
matters of faith that had been raised, but it was almost equally
important that it should formulate a satisfactory scheme of reform.
Reform of the Church in its Head and members was on the lips of many
whose orthodoxy could not be suspected long before Luther had made
this cry peculiarly his own, the better thereby to weaken the loyalty
of the faithful to the Holy See. As in matters of doctrine so also in
matters of discipline the Council of Trent showed a thorough
appreciation of the needs of the Church, and if in some things it
failed to go as far as one might be inclined to desire the fault is
not to be attributed to the Popes or the bishops, but rather to the
secular rulers, whose jealousies and recriminations were one of the
greatest impediments to the progress of the council, and who, while
calling out loudly for the reform of others, offered a stubborn
resistance to any change that might lessen their own power over the
Church, or prevent the realisation of that absolute royalty, towards
which both the Catholic and Protestant rulers of the sixteenth century
were already turning as the ultimate goal of their ambitions.

The council struck at the root of many of the abuses that afflicted
the Christian world by suppressing plurality of benefices, provisions,
and expectancies, as well as by insisting that, except in case of
presentation by a university, nobody could be appointed to a benefice
unless he had shown that he possessed the knowledge necessary for the
proper discharge of his duty. It determined the method of electing
bishops, commanded them to reside in their dioceses unless exempted
for a time on account of very special reasons, to preach to their
people, to hold regular visitations of their parishes, to celebrate
diocesan synods yearly, to attend provincial synods at least once in
three years, and to safeguard conscientiously the ecclesiastical
property committed to their charge.

It put an end to abuses in connexion with the use of ecclesiastical
censures, indulgences, and dispensations, and ordained that all causes
of complaint should be brought before the episcopal court before being
carried to a higher tribunal. It made useful regulations concerning
those who should be admitted into diocesan chapters, defined the
relations between the bishop and his canons, and arranged for the
administration of the dioceses by the appointment of vicars-capitular
to act during the interregnum. It ordered the secular clergy to be
mindful always of the spiritual dignity to which they had been called,
not to indulge in any business unworthy of their sacred office,
condemned concubinage in the strongest terms, and commanded priests to
look after the religious education of the young, to preach to their
flocks on Sundays and holidays, and to attend zealously to the
spiritual wants of the souls committed to their charge.

The council recognised, furthermore, that the best method of securing
a high standard of priestly life was the careful training of
ecclesiastical students. Hence it ordained that in the individual
dioceses seminaries should be established, where those who were
desirous of entering the clerical state should live apart from the
world, and where they should receive the education and discipline
necessary for the successful discharge of their future obligations. It
put an end to many abuses of monastic life, suppressed questing for
alms, drew up rules for the reception of novices, gave the bishop
power to deal with irregularities committed outside the monasteries,
and subjected all priests both regular and secular to episcopal
authority by insisting on the necessity of Approbation for all who
wished to act as confessors. Finally, in order to apply a remedy
against the many scandals and crimes that resulted from secret
marriages, the Council of Trent laid it down that those marriages only
should be regarded as valid which should be contracted in the presence
of the parish priest of one of the contracting parties and two

On the conclusion of the Council of Trent Cardinal Morone hastened to
Rome with the decrees to seek the approval of the Pope. Some of the
Roman officials, who felt themselves aggrieved by the reforms, advised
the Pope to withhold his approval of certain decrees, but Pius IV.
rejected this advice. On the 26th January 1564 he issued the Bull of
confirmation, and set himself to work immediately to put the reforms
into execution. To assist him in this design he appointed a
commission, one of the ablest members of which was his own nephew,
Charles Borromeo, and he despatched representatives to the princes and
bishops to ensure their acceptance of the decrees. As an example to
others he established the Roman Seminary for the education of priests
for the city. All the princes of Italy received the decrees in a
friendly spirit and allowed their publication in their territories, as
did also the King of Portugal. Philip II. acted similarly except that
he insisted upon the addition of a saving clause "without prejudice to
royal authority." The Emperor Ferdinand I. hesitated for some time,
but at last he accepted them in 1566. In France very little opposition
was raised to the dogmatic decrees, but as several of the practical
reforms, notably those relating to marriages, benefices,
ecclesiastical punishments, etc., were opposed to civil law,
permission to publish them was refused.

A profession of faith based on the decrees of the Council of Trent and
of previous councils was drawn up by Pius IV. (13th Nov. 1564), and
its recitation made obligatory on those who were appointed to
ecclesiastical benefices or who received an academic degree as well as
on converts from Protestantism. The Catechism of the Council of Trent
(/Catechismus Romanus/)[8] was prepared at the command of Pius V. and
published in 1566. It is a valuable work of instruction, approved by
the highest authority in the Church, and should be in the hands of all
those who have care of souls.

[1] Hefner, /Die Enstehungsgeschichte des trienter
Rechtfertigungsdekrets/, 1909.

[2] Pastor, op. cit., v., Ciacconius, /Vitae et res gestae Pontificum
Roman/, 1677. (741-98).

[3] Bromato, /Storia di Paolo IV./, 1748.

[4] Kassourtz, /Die Reformvorschlage Kaiser Ferdinands I. auf dem
Konzil von Trient/, 1906.

[5] Guillemin, /Le Cardinal de Lorraine, son influence politique et
religieuse/, 1881.

[6] Denzinger, /Enchiridion/, 11th edition, 1908 (nos. 859, 903, 968,

[7] Op. cit., nos. 958-69.

[8] English translations by Donovan (1829), Buckley (1852), and Dr.
Hagan (1912).

(b) The Reforming Activity of the Popes.

Pastor, /Geschichte der Papste im Zeitalter der Renaissance und
der Glaubenspaltung/ (Eng. Trans. /History of the Popes/).
Ciacconius, /Vitae et res gestae Roman. Pontificum/, 1688. Ranke,
/Die Romischen Papste/ (vols. 37-39), 1894 (Eng. Trans., 1847).
Von Reumont, /Geschichte der Stadt Rom./, 3 Bde, 1867-70. Artaud
de Montor, /History of the Popes/, 1867. Theiner, /Annales
ecclesiastici/, etc., Rome, 1856.

The Council of Trent had accomplished the work for which it was
called. Though it failed to extinguish the rising flames of heresy or
to restore peace to the Christian world, it had swept away most of the
glaring abuses that had proved the main source of Luther's success,
and rendered impossible for the future any misunderstanding about the
doctrines that had been called in question. The Catholic Church,
purified by the severe trials through which she had passed, stood
forth once again active and united under the leadership of the
Successor of St. Peter, still face to face it is true with a powerful
opposition, but an opposition on which the disintegrating influence of
private judgment was already making itself felt. Thus the foundations
of the great Catholic Counter-Reformation were laid securely, and a
movement was begun which stayed the further advance of Protestantism,
secured the allegiance of individuals and nations that were wavering,
and won back many who had been seduced from the faith during the early
days of the religious upheaval.

But if the labours of the Fathers of Trent were to be productive of
the good results that might be anticipated, earnest, religious,
energetic Popes were required to give a lead to their spiritual
children, whose courage had been damped by over thirty years of almost
uninterrupted defeats, to put into force the valuable reforms that had
been planned with such minute care, and above all to make the court
and city of Rome an example for the princes and people of the world.
Here, again, the providence of God watching over His Church was
manifested in a striking manner. Pius IV. deserves to be remembered
with gratitude by all future generations for the part that he took in
bringing to a successful conclusion the Council of Trent in face of
almost insuperable difficulties, for having taken such energetic and
withal such prudent action to secure the acceptance of its decrees and
their reduction into practice, and for having given to Rome and to the
Catholic Church so gifted, so saintly, and so disinterested an
ecclesiastic as his nephew, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, St.
Charles Borromeo.

On the death of Pius IV. the conclave, mainly through the exertions of
Cardinal Borromeo, elected Cardinal Ghisleri, who took the title of
Pius V.[1] (1566-72) in memory of his predecessor. In his youth the
future Pope joined the Order of St. Dominic, and for years had acted
as professor of theology, master of novices, and prior. He was noted
specially for his simplicity and holiness of life, a holiness which it
may be remarked had nothing in common with the morose rigour of Paul
IV., for his humility, his love of silence and meditation, and for his
kindness towards the poor and the suffering. As a man of good
education and of conservative tendencies he was summoned to assist
Cardinal Caraffa, then president of the Holy Office, and when the
latter became Pope he was created cardinal and appointed Grand
Inquisitor. After his election Pius V. followed still the strict life
of fasting and prayer to which he had been accustomed as a Dominican
friar. He did not seek to create positions, or to carve out estates
from the papal territories for his relatives. Anxious to promote the
temporal as well as the spiritual welfare of the people in his
temporal dominions he took steps to see that justice was meted out to
poor and rich, banished women of loose character from the streets, put
an end to degrading amusements, enforced the observance of the Sunday,
and, backed by St. Charles Borromeo and the princes of Italy, he
changed the whole face of the capital and the country. Rome was no
longer the half-pagan city of the days of Leo X., nor yet did it
partake of the savage rigour of Geneva.

Pius V. was most anxious to enforce the decrees of Trent, and it was
for the accomplishment of this object that he had prepared for the
instruction of pastors the Catechism of the Council of Trent. In
compliance with the wishes of the bishops he published also a revised
edition of the Roman Breviary and of the Missal. With the Catholic
princes of Europe he maintained very friendly relations. He furnished
supplies to Charles IX. of France in his struggle with the Huguenots,
and to Philip II. of Spain in his wars against the Calvinists of the
Netherlands. He encouraged the Emperor, Ferdinand I., and Maximilian
of Bavaria to stand firm against the further encroachments of the
Lutherans, and sympathised actively with the unfortunate Queen of
Scotland. Having realised that Queen Elizabeth was lost hopelessly to
the Church and that she was making every effort to involve the whole
English nation in heresy, he directed against her a Bull of
excommunication and deposition. But though he endeavoured to cultivate
friendly relations with the Catholic rulers he had no intention of
abandoning the rights of the Church or of yielding in the slightest to
the increasing demands of the civil power. Against the wishes of some
of his advisers and to the no small annoyance of the Catholic princes
he republished the Bull, known as the /In Coena Domini/, because he
commanded that it should be read in all churches on Holy Thursday.

Like his great namesake Pius II. he had especially at heart the
defence of Europe against invasion by the Turk. Owing to the religious
controversies and the eagerness of some of the princes to ally
themselves with the Sultan the followers of Islam had grown bolder,
and had shown that they dreamed still of overcoming Western Europe and
of planting the crescent even in the very city of the Popes. Pius V.
appealed to the rulers of Europe to close up their ranks against their
common enemy. He granted generous subsidies to the Knights of Malta
and the rulers of Venice and Hungary upon whom the brunt of the
struggle must inevitably fall. When on the accession of Selim II. in
1570 the danger was pressing, the Pope succeeded in bringing about a
Christian confederacy composed of Spain, Venice, and the Papal States
with Don Juan of Austria in command of the Christian forces. For the
success of the enterprise the Pope ordered that public prayers and
particularly the Rosary should be recited in the churches throughout
the world. The decisive struggle between the two forces, as a result
of which the Turkish fleet was almost completely annihilated, was
fought in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday, 7th October 1571.[2] In memory
of this great victory the Pope instituted the Feast of the Holy Rosary
to be celebrated for ever on the first Sunday of October. While he was
engaged in making arrangements to follow up his success by driving the
Turks beyond the Bosphorus he was called to his reward. Even by his
contemporaries Pius V. was regarded as a saint. It is not to be
wondered at, therefore, that one hundred years after his death he was
beatified, and forty years later, in 1712, he was canonised formally
by Clement XI.

When the cardinals met in conclave, mainly by the intervention of
Cardinal Granvelle, viceroy of Philip II. in Naples, Cardinal
Buoncompagni was elected almost immediately, and proclaimed under the
title of Gregory XIII. (1572-85). He had been a distinguished student
and professor of law at the University of Bologna, where he had the
honour of having as his pupils many of the ablest ecclesiastics of the
age. Later on he was sent as confidential secretary to the Council of
Trent. On his return from this assembly he was created cardinal, and
appointed papal legate in Spain. At the time of his election to the
Papacy he had reached his seventieth year. As a young man his life was
not blameless from the point of view of morality, but after he became
a priest nothing could be urged against his conduct even by his worst
enemies. Though it must be admitted that he was not of such an ascetic
and spiritual temperament as his predecessor, he was a man of
irreproachable character, not over anxious to promote his own
relatives, and determined to strengthen the Catholic Church by raising
the standard of education and by appointing to the episcopate none but
the most worthy ecclesiastics. Hence he drew lavishly upon the funds
of the Holy See to erect Catholic Colleges in Rome and in several
countries of Europe. He founded the magnificent /Collegium Romanum/
for the education of students from all parts of the world, and placed
it under the administration of the Jesuits, in whom he reposed the
most signal confidence. As the circumstances that led to the
establishment of the /Collegium Germanicum/ had not improved, he
conferred on it more generous endowments, and united it later on with
the college which he had founded for the Hungarians. Owing to the
persecutions in England and Ireland and the suppression of
institutions for the education of the clergy, Gregory XIII. founded an
English College (1579) and provided funds for the erection of an Irish
College. The money intended for this latter institution was spent in
assisting the Irish in their wars against Elizabeth. In addition to
this, more than twenty colleges situated in various parts of Europe,
amongst them being the Scotch College at Pont-a-Mousson, owe their
origin in whole or in part to his munificence. He was, also, very
determined that none but the most worthy men should be appointed to
episcopal sees, and with this object in view he took pains to inquire
personally about the merits of distinguished ecclesiastics in each
country, and to prepare lists of them for use as vacancies might
arise. He was equally careful in the appointments which he made to the
college of cardinals. In order to keep touch with the progress of
affairs in Germany he established a nunciature at Vienna in 1581, and
another at Cologne in the following year. The results of this
experiment were so successful that in a short time nunciatures were
established in nearly all the Catholic countries.[3]

Like his predecessor he was determined to continue the war against the
Turks, but the circumstances were unfavourable in France and in the
Empire, while Venice and Spain, the former allies of the Holy See,
concluded peace with the Sultan. In England and Ireland neither by
peaceful measures nor by the expeditions fitted out by him in
connexion with the Desmond Rebellion was he able to achieve any
lasting results. His legates succeeded in inducing John III. of Sweden
to abjure heresy and to return to the bosom of the Catholic Church,
but, unfortunately, the conversion lasted only until political
circumstances demanded another change. In Russia his representatives
arranged a peace with Poland, and put an end for the time to any
active persecution of Catholicism within the Russian dominions.[4] In
all parts of Europe, where Catholic rulers found themselves in
difficulties, subsidies were sent by Gregory XIII. to their
assistance. Charles IX. in France, Philip II. of Spain, Austria, the
Knights of Malta, and the Catholics of England and Ireland shared
largely in his munificence.

He issued a new edition of the Roman Martyrology in 1584, and directed
that it should be used to the exclusion of all others. His predecessor
had appointed a committee of jurists to prepare a revised edition of
the Decrees of Gratian. He had been a member of that commission, and
as Pope he brought the work to a successful conclusion. But the
achievement for which he will be best remembered is undoubtedly the
Gregorian Calendar. The errors of the calendar had been noticed by
many, but how to correct them and prevent them for the future was the
problem that was still unsolved. Gregory XIII. appointed a body of
experts to examine the subject, the most prominent of whom were the
Jesuit Father Clavius and Cardinal Sirleto. The committee had the
advantage of having before them the papers of the Italian scientist,
Lilius, and the suggestions of the Catholic universities. In 1582 the
Gregorian Calendar was published, and was accepted generally in all
the Catholic countries of Europe. But for a long time the Protestant
countries, believing that nothing good could come from Rome, remained
attached to the old style. It was only in 1700 that the Gregorian
Calendar was accepted in Germany and Holland, and at a still later
period (1752) England consented to the change. The following year
Sweden followed suit, and by 1775 the use of the new calendar had
become general outside Russia and the other countries involved in the
Eastern schism, in which the old style is followed till the present

The immense sums expended by Gregory XIII. in endowing colleges and
subsidising Catholic sovereigns proved too great a strain on the
resources of the papal treasury. To raise funds the Pope was obliged
to increase the taxes, to impose tariffs on imports and exports, to
curtail the privileges of certain sections of his subjects, and to
recall many of the fiefs granted to feudal proprietors. These measures
led to grave discontent among all classes. Secret societies were
formed, in which the dispossessed nobles encouraged their poorer
followers to acts of violence. Robber bands led by some of the younger
barons made their appearance in all parts of the Papal States, so that
even in the very streets of Rome the lives of the papal officials were
not secure. Gregory XIII. was too old to cope with such a serious
situation. Before order could be restored he passed away leaving his
successor a very difficult task.

After a conclave lasting only four days Cardinal Felice Peretti,
better known as the Cardinal di Montalto, secured the required
majority of votes, and ascended the papal throne under the name of
Sixtus V.[5] (1585-90). He belonged to a very poor family in Italy,
had joined the Franciscans as a boy, and had risen from office to
office till at last in 1570 he was created cardinal. At the time of
his election he was practically unknown, partly because he was not a
scion of one of the leading families of Italy, partly, also, because
during the reign of Gregory XIII. with whom he was in disagreement he
lived a retired life, devoting himself almost completely to the
preparation of an edition of the works of St. Ambrose. Throughout the
Catholic world the news of his elevation was received with joy. He was
a man of strict life and tireless activity, more inclined to act than
to speak, unwilling to burthen his spiritual or temporal subjects with
new laws, but fully determined to enforce those already made, and
almost unchangeable in his views once his decision had been given.

The restoration of order in the Papal States and the suppression of
the robbers who terrorised peaceful citizens were the first work to
which he directed his attention. Nor was it long till the severe and
almost extreme measures he adopted, and in which he was supported by
the Italian princes, produced their effect. The bankrupt condition of
the papal treasury necessitated a close revision of the papal
finances, and so well did Sixtus V. succeed in this respect that he
was able to bequeath to his successor immense reserves. Though very
careful about expenditure for his own uses or on the papal court he
spent money freely on the erection and decoration of churches, and on
the improvement of the city of Rome. He extended the Vatican Library,
in connexion with which he established a new printing-press, provided
a good water supply (/Acqua Felice/), built the Lateran Palace,
completed the Quirinal, restored the columns of Trajan and Antoninus,
erected the obelisks of the Vatican, St. Mary Major, the Lateran and
Santa Maria del Popolo, and built several new streets to beautify the
city and to prevent congestion.

His administrative ability manifested itself in the establishment of
various congregations, to each of which was committed some particular
department of work in the administration of the Church and of the
Papal States. Hitherto most of this work had been done by the
/auditores/ or the /penitentiarii/ according as it belonged to the
external or internal forum, or else in consistories of the cardinals.
The idea of Sixtus V. was not entirely a novel one. The Congregation
of the Index (1571) and the Holy Office (1588) had been established
already, as also a commission to watch over the execution of the
decrees of the Council of Trent (1564). By the Bull, /Immensa Aeterni
Dei/[6] (11th Feb. 1588) Sixtus V. established fifteen different
congregations, the most important of which were the Congregation of
the Index, of the Inquisition, of the Signatura, of the Council of
Trent, of Rites and Ceremonies, and of Bishops and Regulars. By means
of these various bodies the work was done better and more
expeditiously without impairing in the slightest the authority of the
Pope. In 1586 he issued the Bull, /Postquam verus/ by which he fixed
the number of cardinals at seventy, namely, six cardinal-bishops,
fifty cardinal-priests and fourteen cardinal-deacons. He had prepared
and published a new edition of the Septuagint (1588) as a preparation
for the revised edition of the Vulgate, which was brought out later,
and was of so faulty a character that it was necessary to withdraw it
from circulation.

Sixtus V. had great hopes of inducing the princes of Europe to form an
alliance against the Turks, and, indeed, it was with a view to some
such struggle that he laid aside such immense reserves, but his hopes
were doomed to disappointment. In England no progress could be made,
more especially as the defeat of the Spanish Armada served only to
strengthen the throne of Elizabeth. The condition of affairs in France
was calculated to cause the Pope great anxiety. The murder of the
Catholic leaders and the alliance of Henry III. with the Calvinist
King of Navarre compelled the Pope to espouse warmly the cause of
Spain and the League. But towards the end of his reign Sixtus V. began
to realise that Spain's intervention in favour of the League was not
nearly so disinterested as it might seem, and that the aim of Spanish
statesmen was the union of the two countries in one great empire, an
event which, were it to come to pass, might be as dangerous for the
Holy See as for the succession of Henry of Navarre. He was, therefore,
more inclined to compromise than to fight.

After the death of Urban VII., Gregory XIV., and Innocent X., who
followed one another in rapid succession, a large number of the
cardinals, determined to put an end to the dominating influence of
Spain, put forward as the candidate of their choice Cardinal
Aldobrandini, whose election had been vetoed twice before by the
Spanish representatives. Notwithstanding the opposition of Spain they
succeeded in their effort, and Cardinal Aldobrandini was proclaimed
under the title of Clement VIII.[7] (1592-1605). The character of the
new Pope both as a man and an ecclesiastic was beyond the shadow of
reproach. He was the special disciple and friend of St. Philip Neri
who acted as his confessor for thirty years. As Pope his choice of a
confessor fell upon the learned and saintly Baronius whom he insisted
upon creating cardinal. His activity and zeal were manifested soon in
the visitation which he undertook of the churches and institutions of
Rome, and during the course of which he suppressed many abuses.

The situation in France was sufficiently delicate. Henry IV. was
beginning to recognise that notwithstanding his victories he could
never reign as a Calvinist over a united France. Clement VIII. was
very decidedly in favour of a solution that would put an end to the
war and would prevent France from degenerating into a Spanish
province. Hence as soon as the conversion of Henry IV. was proved to
be genuine the Pope acknowledged his title as king of France, and
exhorted French Catholics to receive him as their ruler. Such a course
of action was of necessity displeasing to Spain, but a few years later
the Pope had the happiness of putting an end to the struggle between
these two countries. During his term of office Clement VIII. founded
at Rome a national college for providing priests for the mission in
Scotland, issued a revised edition of the Vulgate (1598), of the
Breviary, the Missal, the Caerimonial and the Pontifical, and
instituted the /Congregatio de Auxilis/ to investigate the matters in
dispute between the Thomists and the Molinists. He presided personally
at many of its sessions though he never issued a definite sentence. It
was also during his reign that the infamous ex-monk Giordano Bruno was
condemned by the Inquisition, handed over to the secular power, and
burned at the stake (17th Feb. 1600). In his youth Giordano joined the
Dominicans, from which order he fled because definite charges of
heresy, the truth of which he could not deny, were brought against
him. Later on he was excommunicated by the Calvinists of Geneva and
the Lutherans of Germany, and refused permission to lecture by the
professors of Oxford when he visited that seat of learning. Many of
his writings are strongly anti-Christian, and some of them thoroughly
indecent. He was condemned to die solely on account of his denial of
the Divinity of Christ and other heretical views and not, as is said
by some, because he defended the Copernican system.[8]

Leo XI. succeeded, but survived his election less than a month. The
choice of the conclave then fell upon Cardinal Borghese who took as
his title Paul V.[9] (1605-21). He had been a distinguished law
student of Bologna and Padua, a papal legate in Spain, and under
Clement VIII. cardinal-vicar of Rome. He was a man of great energy and
zealous for the promotion of religion. During his reign he canonised
St. Charles Borromeo and issued a decree of beatification in favour of
Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Philip Neri, provided generous
subsidies for the advancement of the missions, endeavoured to bring
about a re-union with some of the separated religious bodies of the
East, and spent money freely on the decoration of the Roman churches,
notably St. Peter's, which he had the honour of completing. Like his
predecessors he was desirous of continuing the war against the Turks,
but the state of affairs in western Europe rendered such a scheme
impossible of realisation. With France and Spain he preserved friendly
relations, tried to put an end to the rivalries that weakened the
House of Habsburg and the Catholic cause in the Empire, and despatched
supplies of both men and money to the assistance of Ferdinand II. in
his struggle with the Protestants. He wrote to James I. of England
(1606) congratulating him on his accession and his escape from death
and asking for toleration of the Catholic religion, in return for
which he promised to induce the Catholics to submit to all things not
opposed to the law of God. The reply of the king to this overture was
the well-known Oath of Allegiance, that led to such ugly controversies
among the Catholic body.

As an earnest student of canon law Paul V. was too inclined to
maintain all the rights and privileges of the Church as they were
expounded in the decretals of the Middle Ages. This attitude of mind
brought him into a prolonged and inglorious conflict with the republic
of Venice. This latter state, regardless of the /privilegium fori/
imprisoned two clerics without reference to the ecclesiastical
authorities, and about the same time gave great offence by passing
laws rendering it difficult for the Church to acquire ownership of
landed property, to build new churches or monasteries, or to found new
religious orders or societies. Paul V. lodged a solemn protest against
these innovations. When his demands were not complied with he issued a
sentence of excommunication against the Doge, Senate, and Government,
and later on he placed Venice under interdict (1606). The quarrel was
so bitter that at one time it was feared that it might end in
separating the republic from the centre of unity. Cardinals Baronius
and Bellarmine entered the lists in defence of the Pope, while the
notorious ex-Servite, Paul Sarpi[10] (1552-1623), undertook to reply
to them on behalf of Venice. The government forbade the promulgation
of the interdict, and threatened the most severe punishment against
all clergy who should observe it. With the exception of the Jesuits,
Capuchins, and Theatines who were expelled, the clergy both secular
and regular took no notice of the interdict. It was feared that in the
end the issues could be decided only by war in which Spain was
prepared to support the Pope, but through the friendly intervention of
Henry IV. of France peace was concluded without any very decisive
victory on either side (1607). The clergy who were expelled for
obeying the interdict were allowed to return except the Jesuits. These
latter were permitted to settle in Venice again only in 1657.

On the death of Paul V. Cardinal Ludovisi ascended the papal throne
under the title of Gregory XV. (1621-23). The new Pope had been
educated by the Jesuits, and had risen rapidly in the service of the
Church. At the time of his election he was old and infirm, but by the
appointment of his nephew Ludovico to the college of cardinals he
secured for himself an able and loyal assistant. To put an end to
several abuses that had taken place in connexion with papal elections
he published the Bull, /Decet Romanum Pontificem/ (1622), in which
were laid down minute regulations about conclaves, the most important
of which were that the cardinals should vote secretly, that they
should vote only for one candidate, and that no elector should vote
for himself.[11] In providing funds for the assistance of the Catholic
missions Gregory XV. was very generous as was also his cardinal-
nephew. The success of the missionaries had been so great, and the
conditions of the various countries in which they laboured so
different, that proper supervision of the new provinces of the Church
was by no means easy. Gregory XIII. and Clement VIII. had appointed
commissions to look after the spiritual wants of particular districts,
but it was reserved for Gregory XV. to establish a permanent
congregation, /De Propaganda Fide/ (Bull, /Inscrutabili/, 1622) to
superintend the entire field of Catholic missions. He had the honour,
too, of canonising St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, and St.
Philip Neri, and of approving the foundation of several new religious

During the Thirty Years' War he afforded every possible assistance to
Ferdinand II., and helped to secure the Palatinate for Maximilian of
Bavaria on the expulsion of Frederick. In return for this favour
Maximilian presented the Pope with a goodly portion of the library of
Heidelberg. By the judicious interposition of Gregory XV. war was
averted between Spain and Austria on the one side and France, Venice,
and Savoy on the other regarding the possession of the Valtelline,
while in England, though the Spanish Match which he favoured was
broken off, he succeeded in securing some respite for the persecuted

In the conclave that followed upon the death of Gregory XV. Cardinal
Barberini received the support of the electors and was proclaimed Pope
as Urban VIII. (1623-44). The new Pope was a man of exemplary life
whose greatest fault was his excessive partiality towards his
relatives, though it must be said that some of the relatives on whom
he bestowed favours were by no means unworthy of them. As a native of
Florence he seems to have caught up something of the spirit of
classical learning for which that city had been so renowned, as was
shown unfortunately too clearly in the Breviary that he published in
1632. He issued the Bull, /In Coena Domini/ in its final form, founded
a national college in Rome for students from Ireland, and issued a
series of strict and minute regulations on canonisation and
beatification, many of which remain in force till the present time.
The interests of the foreign missions were specially dear to the heart
of Urban VIII. To provide a supply of priests for them he established
the celebrated /Collegium Urbanum/ (1627), and established there a
printing-press for the use of the missionaries. He reduced the number
of holidays of obligation, opened China and Japan, till then reserved
for the Jesuits, to all missionaries, and forbade slavery of
whatsoever kind in Paraguay, Brazil and the West Indies.

For many reasons the political policy of Urban VIII. has been
criticised very severely. Too much money was wasted by him in
fortifying the Papal States and on the disastrous war with the Duke of
Parma (1641-44). He has been blamed also for his failure to support
Ferdinand II. more energetically during the Thirty Years' War, but in
reality this hostile view is based largely on a distorted view of the
war itself and of the policy of the Pope. It is not true that the Pope
sympathised with Gustavus Adolphus or that he grieved over his death.
Neither is it true that he procured the dismissal of Wallenstein from
the imperial service. It is a fact undoubtedly that he did not take
energetic measures to prevent the French from assisting the Protestant
princes and the Swedes against the Emperor, but it remains to be
proved that any remonstrances from the Pope, however strong, would
have proved effectual in the circumstances. In the later stages at any
rate the war could not be regarded at first sight as a religious one,
but at the same time it is to be regretted that Urban VIII. did not
recognise that the triumph of the enemies of the Emperor meant a
triumph for Lutheranism. In the war between Spain and Portugal
consequent upon the proclamation of the Duke of Braganza he
endeavoured to preserve an attitude of neutrality by refusing to
appoint to episcopal sees in Portugal the candidates presented by the
new king. The policy of Urban VIII. in regard to England and Ireland
will be dealt with under these countries.

When the conclave met to elect a successor to Urban VIII. it was soon
discovered that some of the cardinals wished to elect a Pope friendly
to Spain, wile others favoured a pro-French Pope. At length, as
neither party was sufficiently strong to ensure the required majority
for its nominee, a more or less neutral candidate was found in the
person of Cardinal Pamfili who took the title of Innocent X. (1644-
55).[12] He was a man of advanced years, who had served in many
offices with success, and who possessed many of the qualifications
required in a good ruler of the Church. Unfortunately, his flagrant
nepotism did him much harm and gave occasion to ugly rumours utterly
devoid of truth. Finding the papal treasury empty after his election
and believing that the relatives of the late Pope were responsible for
this, he took steps to secure a return from them; but they fled to
France, where they placed themselves under the protection of Cardinal
Mazarin, who succeeded in bringing about a reconciliation. Innocent X.
restored order in the Papal States, punished the Duke of Parma for his
crimes, especially for his supposed connexion with the murder of the
Bishop of Castro, and maintained friendly relations with Venice, which
he assisted against the Turks. He was deeply pained by the terms of
the Peace of Westphalia (1648) against which his representatives had
protested in vain, and which he condemned in the Bull, /Zelus Domus
Dei/ published in November 1648.

[1] /Catena, Vita del gloriossisimo Papa Pio V./, 1587. Gabutius, /De
Vita et rebus gestis Pii V./, 1605. Antony, /Saint Pius V./, 1911.
Grente, /Saint Pie V./, ("/Les Saints/"), 1914.

[2] Julien, /Papes et Sultans/, 1880. De la Graviere, /La Guerre de
Chypre et la bataille de Lepante/, 1888.

[3] Pieper, /Zur Enstehungsgeschichte der standigen Nuntiaturem/,

[4] Pierling, /Gregoire XIII. et Ivan le Terrible/ (/Revue des Quest.
Histor./, 1886).

[5] Hubner, /Sixte-Quint/, 3 vols., 1870.

[6] /Bullar. Rom./, iv. 4, 392.

[7] Wadding, /Vita Clementis VIII./, Rome, 1723.

[8] McIntyre, /Giordano Bruno/, 1903.

[9] Bzovius, /Vita Pauli V./, 1625.

[10] Campbell, /Vita di Fra Paolo Sarpi/, 1875. /Irish Ecc. Record/
xv., 524-40.

[11] /Bullar. Romanum/ (xii., 662 sqq.).

[12] Chinazzi, /Sede vacante per la morte del papa Urbano VIII. e
conclave di Innocenzo X./, 1904.

(c) The Religious Orders and the Counter-Reformation.

Helyot, /Histoire des ordres monastiques religieux/, etc., 8
vols., 1714-19. Heimbucher, /Die Orden und Kongregationen der
Katholischen Kirche/, 1907-8. Mabillon, /Annales Ordinis Sancti
Benedicti/, 1703-39. Albers, /Zur Reformgeschichte des
Benediktiner-ordens im 16 Jahrhundert/ (/Stud. u-Mitteil/, 1900,
1901). Daurignac, /Histoire de la comp. de Jesus/, 1862.
Cretineau-Joly, /Histoire religieuse, politique et litteraire de
la comp. de Jesus/, 1859. Huber, /Der Jesuitenorden Duhr,
Jesuitenfabeln/, 1904. Abelly, /Vie de Ven. serviteur de Dieu,
Vincent de Paul/, 1891. Bougaud-Brady, /History of St. Vincent de
Paul, etc./, 1908. Boyle, /St. Vincent de Paul, and the
Vincentians in Ireland, Scotland, and England/, 1909.

The religious orders, like most other institutions of the age
preceding the Reformation, stood badly in need of re-organisation and
reform. Various causes had combined to bring about a relaxation of the
discipline prescribed by their holy founders, and to introduce a
spirit of worldliness, that boded ill both for the individual members
as well as for the success of the work for which these orders had been
established. The interference of outside authorities lay or
ecclesiastical in the appointment of superiors, the union of several
houses under one superior, the accumulation of wealth, the habitual
neglect of the superiors to make their visitations, and a general
carelessness in the selection and training of the candidates to be
admitted into the various institutions, were productive of disastrous
results. It is difficult, however, to arrive at a correct estimate as
to the extent of the evil, because the condition of affairs varied
very much in the different religious orders and in the different
provinces and houses of the same order. At all times a large
proportion of the religious of both sexes recognised and deplored the
spirit of laxity that had crept in, and laboured strenuously for a
return to the old ideals long before the Lutheran campaign had made it
necessary to choose between reform and suppression.

The Benedictines, who had done excellent work for the promotion of the
spiritual and temporal welfare of the people amongst whom they
laboured, suffered more than any other body from the interference of
lay patrons in the appointment of abbots, as well as from the want of
any central authority capable of controlling individual houses and of
insisting upon the observance of the rules and constitution. Various
efforts were made, however, to introduce reforms during the sixteenth
century. In France the most important of these reforms was that begun
in the abbey of St. Vannes by the abbot, Didier de la Cour.
Recognising the sad condition of affairs he laboured incessantly to
bring about a return to the strict rule of St. Benedict. His efforts
were approved by Clement VIII. in 1604. Many houses in France having
accepted the reform, it was resolved to unite them into one
congregation under the patronage of St. Maur, the disciple of St.
Benedict.[1] The new congregation of St. Maur was sanctioned by Louis
XIII. and by Pope Gregory XV. (1621). The Maurists devoted themselves
to the study of the sacred sciences, more especially to history,
liturgy and patrology, and set an example of thorough scholarship
which won for them the praise of both friends and foes. The names of
D'Achery, Mabillon, Ruinart, Martene, Thierry, Lami and Bouquet are
not likely to be forgotten so long as such works as the /Amplissima
Collectio Veterum Scriptorum/, /Thesaurus Anecdotorum/, /Gallia
Christiana/, /Histoire Litteraire de la France/, /De Re Diplomatica/,
/L'Art de verifier les dates/, the /Receuil des historiens des
Gaules/, etc., survive to testify to the labours and research of the
Congregation of St. Maur.[2]

The reform movement among the Dominicans had made itself manifest from
the days of Raymond of Capua (1390), who ordered that in every
province there should be at least one house where the rule of St.
Dominic might be observed in its original strictness. The success of
the reform varied in the different countries and even in the different
houses of the same province, but in the sixteenth century the general
tendency was undoubtedly upwards. The religious rebellion inflicted
serious losses on the order and led to the almost complete extinction
of provinces that once were flourishing; but the Spanish and
Portuguese discoveries in America and the spread of the missionary
movement opened up for the order new fields, where its members were
destined to do lasting service to religion and to win back in the New
World more than they had lost in the Old. Discipline among the
Cistercians, too, had become relaxed, but a general improvement set in
which led to the formation of new congregations, the principal of
which were the Congregation of the Feuillants approved by Sixtus V.
(1587), and of the Trappists, which take their name from the monastery
of La Trappe and owe their origin to the zealous efforts of the Abbot
de Rance (1626-1700).

The Franciscans were divided already into the Observants and the
Conventuals, but even among the Observants the deteriorating influence
of the age had made itself felt. Matteo di Bassi set himself in the
convent of Monte Falco to procure a complete return to the original
rule of St. Francis, and proceeded to Rome to secure the approbation
of Clement VII. In 1528 by the Bull, /Religionis Zelus/ the Pope
permitted himself and his followers to separate from the Observants,
to wear the hood (/cappuccio/, hence the name Capuchins[3]) which
Matteo claimed to have been the dress of St. Francis, to wear the
beard, to found separate houses in Italy, and to preach to the people.
Soon the Capuchins spread through Italy, and so popular did they
become that Gregory XIII. withdrew the regulations by which they were
forbidden to found separate houses outside of Italy. The new order
suffered many trials more especially after the apostasy of its vicar-
general Ochino in 1544, but with the blessing of God these
difficulties were overcome. The Capuchins rendered invaluable service
to religion by their simple straightforward style of preaching so
opposed as it was to the literary vapourings that passed for sermons
at the time, by their familiar intercourse with the poor whom they
assisted in both spiritual and temporal misfortunes, by their
unswerving loyalty to the Pope and by the work they accomplished on
the foreign missions, more especially in those lands which had once
been the glory of the Church but where religion had been extinguished
almost completely by the domination of the Saracen.

The revival was not confined, however, merely to a reform of the older
religious orders. The world had changed considerably since the
constitutions of these bodies had been formulated by their holy
founders. New conditions and new dangers necessitated the employment
of new weapons and new methods for the defence of religion.
Fortunately a band of zealous men were raised up by God to grapple
with the problems of the age, and to lay the foundation of religious
societies, many of which were destined to confer benefits on religion
hardly less permanent and less valuable than had been conferred in
other times by such distinguished servants of God as St. Benedict, St.
Dominic, and St. Francis of Assisi.

The Theatines, so called from Chieti (Theate) the diocese of Peter
Caraffa, had their origin in a little confraternity founded by Gaetano
di Tiene[4] a Venetian, who gathered around him a few disciples, all
of them like himself zealous for the spiritual improvement of both
clergy and people (1524). During a visit to Rome Gaetano succeeded in
eliciting the sympathy of Peter Caraffa (then bishop of Theate and
afterwards cardinal and Pope) and in inducing him to become the first
superior of the community. The institution was approved by Clement
VII. in 1524. Its founders aimed at introducing a higher standard of
spiritual life amongst both clergy and laity by means of preaching and
by the establishment of charitable institutions. The order spread
rapidly in Italy, where it did much to save the people from the
influence of Lutheranism, in Spain were it was assisted by Philip II.,
in France where Cardinal Mazarin acted as its patron, and in the
foreign missions, especially in several parts of Asia, the Theatines
won many souls to God.

The Regular Clerics of St. Paul, better known as the Barnabites from
their connexion with the church of St. Barnabas at Milan, were founded
by Antony Maria Zaccaria[5] of Cremona, Bartholomew Ferrari and Jacopo
Morigia. Shocked by the low state of morals then prevalent in so many
Italian cities, these holy men gathered around them a body of zealous
young priests, who aimed at inducing the people by means of sermons
and instructions to take advantage of the sacrament of Penance. The
order was approved by Clement VII. in 1533, and received many
important privileges from his successors. Its members worked in
complete harmony with the secular clergy and in obedience to the
commands of the bishops. They bound themselves not to seek or accept
any preferment or dignity unless at the express direction of the Pope.
In Milan they were beloved by St. Charles Borromeo who availed himself
freely of their services, and they were invited to Annecy by St.
Francis de Sales. Several houses of the Barnabites were established in
Italy, France, and Austria. In addition to their work of preaching and
instructing the people they established many flourishing colleges, and
at the request of the Pope undertook charge of some of the foreign

The founder of the Oblates was St. Charles Borromeo[6] (1538-84) who
was created cardinal by his uncle Pius IV., at the age of twenty-
three, and who during his comparatively short life did more for the
reform of the Church and for the overthrow of Protestantism than any
individual of his age. It was due mainly to his exertions that the
Council of Trent was re-convoked, and to his prudent advice that it
was carried to a successful conclusion. Once the decrees of the
Council had received the approval of the Pope St. Charles spared no
pains to see that they were put into execution not only in his own
diocese of Milan but throughout the entire Church. For a long time
personal government of his diocese was impossible as his presence in
Rome was insisted upon by the Pope; but as soon as he could secure
permission he hastened to Milan, where he repressed abuses with a
stern hand, introduced regular diocesan and provincial synods, visited
in person the most distant parts of the diocese, won back thousands
who had gone over to heresy in the valleys of Switzerland, and
defended vigorously the rights and the liberties of the Church against
the Spanish representatives. In all his reforms he was supported
loyally by the religious orders, more especially by the Jesuits and
the Barnabites, with whom he maintained at all times the most friendly
relations. At the same time he felt the need of a community of secular
priests, who while remaining under the authority of the bishop would
set an example of clerical perfection, and who would be ready at the
request of the bishop to volunteer for the work that was deemed most
pressing. he was particularly anxious that such a body should
undertake the direction of the diocesan seminary, and should endeavour
to send forth well educated and holy priests. With these objects in
view he established the Oblates in 1578, and the community fully
justified his highest expectations.

The Oratorians[7] were established by St. Philip Neri (1515-95) the
reformer and one of the patrons of Rome. He was a native of Florence,
who when still a young man turned his back upon a promising career in
the world in order to devote himself entirely to the service of God.
Before his ordination he laboured for fifteen years visiting the sick
in the hospitals, assisting the poorer pilgrims, and instructing the
young. He formed a special confraternity, and gathered around him a
body of disciples both cleric and lay. After his ordination they were
accustomed to hold their conferences in a little room (/Oratorium/,
Oratory) over the church of St. Girolmao. Here sermons and
instructions were given on all kinds of subjects, particularly on the
Sacred Scriptures, the writings of the Fathers, and the leading events
in the history of the Church. The society was approved by Gregory
XIII. (1575) under the title of the Congregation of the Oratory. It
was to be composed of secular priests living together under a rule,
but bound by no special vows. St. Philip Neri was convinced that the
style of preaching in vogue at the time was responsible in great
measure for the decline of religion and morality. Being a man of sound
education himself he insisted that his companions should devote
themselves to some particular department of ecclesiastical knowledge,
and should give the people the fruits of their study. Baronius, for
example, the author of the celebrated /Annales Ecclesiastici/, is said
to have preached for thirty years on the history of the Church. In
this way St. Philip provided both for sound scholarship and useful
instruction. Many branches of the Oratory were founded in Italy,
Spain, Portugal, and in the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South

Recognising the need for an improvement in the education and lives of
the French clergy and mindful of the benefits conferred on Rome by the
community of St. Philip Neri, the Abbe, afterwards Cardinal, Pierre de
Berulle determined to found an Oratory in Paris.[8] The Paris
Oratorians were a community of secular priests bound by no special
vows, but living under a common rule with the object of fulfilling as
perfectly as possible the obligations they had undertaken at their
ordination. The project received the warm support of Cardinal
Richelieu and was approved by Paul V. in 1613. At the time clerical
education in Paris and throughout France was in a condition of almost
hopeless confusion. The French Oratorians, devoted as they were
themselves to study, determined to organise seminaries on the plan
laid down by the Council of Trent, and to take charge of the
administration of such institutions. In philosophy the Oratory
produced scholars such as Malebranche, in theology Thomassin and
Morin, in Scripture Houbigant and Richard Simon, and in sacred
eloquence such distinguished preachers as Lajeune and Massillon. The
Oratorians survived the stormy days of the Jansenist struggle though
the peace of the community was disturbed at times by the action of a
few of its members, but it went down before the wild onslaught of the
Revolution. It was revived, however, by Pere Gratry in 1852.

The Brothers of Charity were founded by a Portuguese,[9] who having
been converted by a sermon of St. John d'Avila, devoted himself to the
relief of human suffering in every form. On account of his great
charity and zeal for souls he received the surname, St. John of God.
He gathered around him a band of companions who assisted him in caring
for the sick in the hospital he had founded at Granada. After his
death in 1550 the work that he had begun was carried on by his
disciples, whose constitutions were approved by Pius V. in 1572. Soon
through the generosity of Philip II. and of the Spanish nobles
hospitals were established in various cities of Spain, and placed
under the control of the Brothers of St. John of God. They were
invited by the Pope to open a house in Rome, and they went also to
Paris on the invitation of the queen (1601). At the time of the French
Revolution they had charge of forty hospitals, from all of which they
were expelled. The founder was canonised in 1690, and named as patron
of hospitals by Leo XIII. in 1898.

The Piarists or Patres Piarum Scholarum were founded by St. Joseph
Calazansa[10] (1556-1648), who had been vicar-general of the diocese
of Urgel in Spain, an office which he resigned in order to betake
himself to Rome. Here he began to gather the poorer children for
instruction, and as the teachers were unwilling to assist him unless
they were given extra remuneration, he opened a free school in Rome in
1597. The school was taught by himself and two or three priests whom
he had interested in the work. From these unpretentious beginnings
sprang the society of the Fathers of the Pious Schools. The object of
the society, which was composed of priests, was the education of the
young both in primary and secondary schools. The society was approved
by Paul V., and established finally as a recognised institution by
Gregory XV. (1621). It spread rapidly into Italy, Austria, and Poland.
Somewhat akin to the Piarists were the Fathers of Christian Doctrine,
founded by Caesar de Bus for the purpose of educating the young. The
society was composed of priests, and received the approval of Clement
VIII. in 1597. Later on it united with the Somaschans, who had been
established by St. Jerome Aemilian with a similar purpose, but on
account of certain disputes that arose the two bodies were separated
in 1647.

The Brothers of the Christian Schools were founded by John Baptist de
la Salle[11] (1651-1719). The founder was a young priest of great
ability, who had read a distinguished course in arts and theology
before his ordination. Having been called upon to assist in conducting
a free school opened at Rheims in 1679 he threw himself into the work
with vigour, devoting nearly all his energies to the instruction of
the teachers. These he used to gather around him after school hours to
encourage them to their work, to suggest to them better methods of
imparting knowledge and generally to correct any defects that he might
have noticed during the course of his daily visits to the schools. In
this way he brought together a body of young men interested in the
education of the children of the poor, from which body were developed
the Brothers of the Christian Schools. At first he intended that some
of the congregation should be priests, but later on he changed his
mind, and made it a rule that none of the Brothers should become
priests, nor should any priest be accepted as a novice. For a long
time the holy founder was engaged in an uphill struggle during which
the very existence of the institute was imperilled. Distrusted by some
of the ecclesiastical authorities, attacked by enemies on all side,
deserted by a few of his own most trusted disciples, a man of less
zeal and determination would have abandoned the project in despair.
But de la Salle was not discouraged. He composed a constitution for
his followers, and in 1717 he held a general chapter, in which he
secured the election of a superior-general. From this time the
Institute of Christian Brothers progressed by leaps and bounds. The
holy founder of the society was a pioneer in the work of primary
education. In teaching, in the grading of the pupils, and in
constructing and furnishing the schools new methods were followed;
more liberty was given in the selection of programmes to suit the
districts in which schools were opened; normal schools were
established to train the young teachers for their duties, and care was
taken that religious and secular education should go forward hand in
hand. The society spread rapidly in France, more especially after it
had received the approval of Louis XV., and had been recognised as a
religious congregation by Benedict XIII. (1725). During the Revolution
the society was suppressed, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools
suffered much rather than prove disloyal to the Pope. In 1803 the
institute was re-organised, and since that time houses have been
opened in nearly every part of the world. John Baptist de la Salle was
canonised by Leo XIII. in 1900.

The Congregation of the Priests of the Mission, better known as
Lazarists from the priory of St. Lazare which they occupied in Paris,
and as Vincentians from the name of their founder, St. Vincent de
Paul, was established in 1624. St. Vincent was born at Pouy in Gascony
in 1576, received his early education at a Franciscan school, and
completed his theological studies at the University of Toulouse, where
he was ordained in 1600. Four years later the ship on which he
journeyed from Marseilles having been attacked by Barbary pirates, he
was taken prisoner and brought to Tunis, where he was sold as a slave.
He succeeded in making his escape from captivity (1607) by converting
his master, a Frenchman who had deserted his country and his religion.
He went to Rome, from which he was despatched on a mission to the
French Court, and was appointed almoner to queen Margaret of Valois.
Later on he became tutor to the family of the Count de Gondi, the
master of the French galleys. During his stay there St. Vincent found
time to preach to the peasants on the estate of his employer, and to
visit the prisoners condemned to the galleys. The splendid results of
his labours among these classes bore such striking testimony to the
success of his missions that St. Vincent was induced to found a
congregation of clergymen for this special work. Something of this
kind was required urgently in France at this period. The absence of
seminaries and the want of any properly organised system of clerical
education had produced their natural consequences on the clergy. In
the country districts particularly, the priests had neither the
knowledge nor the training that would enable them to discharge their
sacred functions. From this it followed that the people were not
instructed, and the sacraments were neglected.

By opening a house in Paris in 1624 St. Vincent took the first
practical step towards the foundation of a religious congregation,
that was destined to renew and to strengthen religion in France. Later
on the society received the sanction of the Archbishop of Paris,[12]
and of Louis XIII., and finally it was approved by Urban VIII. in the
Bull, /Salvatoris Nostri/, dated 12th January 1632. In the same year
St. Vincent took possession of the priory of St. Lazare placed at his
disposal by the canons regular of St. Victor. The Congregation of the
Mission was to be a congregation of secular clergymen, bound by simple
religious vows. Its principal work, besides the sanctification of its
own members, was to give missions to the poor particularly in country
districts, and to promote a high standard of clerical life. The
bishops of France were delighted with the programme of the new
congregation. Invitations poured in from all sides on the disciples of
St. Vincent asking them to undertake missions, and wherever they went
their labours were attended with success. As a rule St. Vincent
established a confraternity of charity in the parishes that he visited
to help the poor and above all to look after the homeless orphans.[13]

It was not long until he discovered that, however successful his
missions might be, they could effect little permanent good unless the
priests in charge of the parishes were determined to continue the work
that had been begun, and to reap the harvest which the missioners had
planted. At that time there were no seminaries in France, so that
candidates for the priesthood were ordained on the completion of their
university course without any special training for their sacred
office. At the request of some of the bishops St. Vincent determined
to give retreats to those who were preparing for Holy Orders. At first
these retreats lasted only ten days, but they were productive of such
splendid results that they were extended to several months. Finally
they led to the establishment of clerical seminaries, of which
institutions St. Vincent and his associates took charge in several of
the dioceses of France. Before his death they had control of eleven
French seminaries; and at the time of the Revolution fully one-third
of the diocesan seminaries were in the hands of his disciples.[14] By
means of retreats for the clergy, and spiritual conferences organised
for their improvement St. Vincent kept in close touch with those whom
he had trained, and afforded them an opportunity of renewing their
fervour and completing their education.

It was fortunate for France that God had raised up a man so prudent
and zealous as St. Vincent to be a guide to both priests and people
during the difficult times through which the country was then passing.
From without, danger threatened the Church on the side of the Huguenot
heretics, and from within, Jansenism and Gallicanism bade fair to
captivate the sympathy of both clergy and people. At first St. Vincent
was on friendly terms with the Abbot de St. Cyran, the leader of the
Jansenists in France, but once he realised the dangerous nature of his
opinions and the errors contained in such publications as the
/Augustus/ of Jansen and the /Frequent Communion/ of Arnauld he threw
himself vigorously into the campaign against Jansenism. At court, in
his conferences with bishops and priests, in university circles, and
in the seminaries he exposed the insidious character of its tenets. At
Rome he urged the authorities to have recourse to stern measures, and
in France he strove hard to procure acceptance of the Roman decisions.
And yet in all his work against the Jansenists there was nothing of
the bitterness of the controversialist. He could strike hard when he
wished, but he never forgot that charity is a much more effective
weapon than violence. In his own person he set the example of complete
submission to the authority of the Pope, and enjoined such submission
on his successors. St. Vincent died in 1660. His loss was mourned not
merely by his own spiritual children, the Congregation of the Mission
and the Sisters of Charity, but by the poor of Paris and of France to
whom he was a generous benefactor, as well as by the bishops and
clergy to whom he had been a friend and a guide. To his influence more
than to any other cause is due the preservation of France to the
Church in the seventeenth century.

But the work of the Congregation of the Mission was not confined to
France. Its disciples spread into Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland,
Ireland, and England. They went as missionaries to Northern Africa to
labour among the Barbary pirates by whom St. Vincent had been
captured, to Madagascar, to some of the Portuguese colonies in the
East, to China, and to the territories of the Sultan. At the
Revolution most of their houses in France were destroyed, and many of
the Vincentians suffered martyrdom. When the worst storms, however,
had passed the congregation was re-established in France, and its
members laboured earnestly in the spirit of its holy founder to
recover much of what had been lost.

The founder of the Sulpicians was Jean Jacques Olier[15] (1608-57) the
friend and disciple of St. Vincent de Paul. Impressed with the
importance of securing a good education and training for the clergy,
he and a couple of companions retired to a house in Vaugirard (1641),
where they were joined by a few seminarists, who desired to place
themselves under his direction. Later on he was offered the parish of
St. Sulpice, then one of the worst parishes in Paris from the point of
view of religion and morality. The little community of priests working
under the rules compiled by Olier for their guidance soon changed
completely the face of the entire district. House to house visitations
were introduced; sermons suitable to the needs of the people were
given; catechism classes were established, and in a very short time
St. Sulpice became the model parish of the capital.

In 1642 a little seminary was opened and rules were drawn up for the
direction of the students, most of whom attended the theological
lectures at the Sorbonne. Priests and students formed one community,
and as far as possible followed the same daily routine. During their
free time the students assisted in the work of the parish by visiting
the sick and taking charge of classes for catechism. At first Olier
had no intention of founding seminaries throughout France. His aim was
rather to make St. Sulpice a national seminary, from which young
priests might go forth properly equipped, and qualified to found
diocesan institutions on similar lines if their superiors favoured
such an undertaking. But yielding to the earnest solicitations of
several of the bishops he opened seminaries in several parts of
France, and entrusted their administration to members of his own
community. The first of these was founded at Nantes in 1648. During
the lifetime of the founder a few of the Sulpicians were despatched to
Canada, where they established themselves at Montreal, and laboured
zealously for the conversion of the natives. Like St. Vincent, the
founder of the Sulpicians worked incessantly against Jansenism, and
impressed upon his followers the duty of prompt obedience to the
bishops and to the Pope, lessons which they seem never to have
forgotten. The Sulpicians according to their constitution are a
community of secular priests bound by no special religious vows.

The religious order, however, that did most to stem the advancing tide
of heresy and to raise the drooping spirits of the Catholic body
during the saddest days of the sixteenth century was undoubtedly the
Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola.[16] By birth St.
Ignatius was a Spaniard, and by profession he was a soldier. Having
been wounded at the siege of Pampeluna in 1521 he turned his mind
during the period of his convalescence to the study of spiritual
books, more particularly the Lives of the Saints. As he read of the
struggles some of these men had sustained and of the victories they
had achieved he realised that martial fame was but a shadow in
comparison with the glory of the saints, and he determined to desert
the army of Spain to enrol himself among the servants of Christ. With
the overthrow of the Moorish kingdom of Granada fresh in his mind, it
is not strange that he should have dreamt of the still greater triumph
that might be secured by attacking the Mahomedans in the very seat of
their power, and by inducing them to abandon the law of the Prophet
for the Gospel of the Christians. With the intention of preparing
himself for this work he bade good-bye to his friends and the
associations of his youth, and betook himself to a lonely retreat at
Manresa near Montserrat, where he gave himself up to meditation and
prayer under the direction of a Benedictine monk. The result of his
stay at Manresa and of his communings with God are to be seen in the
/Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius/, a work which in the hands of
his disciples has done wonders for the conversion and perfection of
souls, and which in the opinion of those competent to judge has no
serious rivals except the Bible and the Imitation of Christ. From
Manresa he journeyed to the Holy Land to visit its sacred shrines, and
to labour for the conversion of the Infidel conquerors, but having
found it impossible to undertake this work at the time he returned to

Realising that his defective education was a serious obstacle to the
establishment of the religious order that he contemplated, he went to
work with a will to acquire the rudiments of grammar. When this had
been accomplished successfully he pursued his higher studies at
Alcala, Salamanca, and Paris, where he graduated as a doctor in 1534.
But while earnest in the pursuit of knowledge he never forgot that
knowledge was but a means of preparing himself for the accomplishment
of the mission to which God had called him. While at Paris he gathered
around him a group of students, Francis Xavier, Lainez, Salmeron,
Bodadilla, Rodriguez and Faber, with which body Lejay, Codure and
Broet were associated at a later period. On the feast of the
Assumption (1534) Ignatius and his companions wended their way to the
summit of Montmartre overlooking the city of Paris, where having
received Holy Communion they pledged themselves to labour in the Holy
Land. Having discovered that this project was almost impossible they
determined to place themselves at the disposal of the Pope. In Rome
Ignatius explained the objects and rules of the proposed society to
Paul III. and his advisers. In September 1540 the approval of the Pope
was obtained though with certain restrictions, which were abolished in
1543, and in the following year Ignatius was elected first general of
the Society of Jesus.

St. Ignatius had the greatest respect for the older religious orders,
the Benedictines, the Dominicans, and the Franciscans, to all of which
he was deeply indebted; but he believed that the new conditions under
which his followers would be called upon to do battle for Christ
necessitated new rules and a new constitution. The Society of Jesus
was not to be a contemplative order seeking only the salvation of its
own members. Its energies were not to be confined to any particular
channel. No extraordinary fasts or austerities were imposed, nor was
the solemn chanting of the office or the use of a particular dress
insisted upon. The society was to work "for the greater glory of God"
in whatever way the circumstances demanded. On one thing only did St.
Ignatius lay peculiar emphasis, and that was the absolute necessity of
obedience to superiors in all things lawful, and above all of
obedience to the Pope. The wisdom of this injunction is evident enough
at all times, but particularly in an age when religious authority,
even that of the successor of St. Peter, was being called in question
by so many. Members of the society were forbidden to seek or accept
any ecclesiastical dignities or preferments.

The constitution[17] of the Society of Jesus was not drawn up with
undue haste. St. Ignatius laid down rules for his followers, but it
was only when the value of these regulations had been tested by
practice that he embodied them in the constitution, endorsed by the
first general congregation held in 1558. According to the constitution
complete administrative authority is vested in the general, who is
elected by a general congregation, and holds office for life. He is
assisted by a council consisting of a representative from each
province. The provincials, rectors of colleges, heads of professed
houses, and masters of notices are appointed by the general, usually,
however, only for a definite number of years, while all minor
officials are appointed by the provincial. The novitiate lasts for two
years during which time candidates for admission to the order are
engaged almost entirely in prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading.
When the novitiate has been completed the scholasticate begins.
Students are obliged to read a course in arts and philosophy and to
teach in some of the colleges of the society, after which they proceed
to the study of theology. When the theological course has been ended
they are admitted as coadjutors or professed members according to
their ability and conduct. Between these two bodies, the coadjutors
and the professed, there is very little difference, except that the
professed in addition to the ordinary vows pledge themselves to go
wherever the Pope may send them, and besides, it is from this body as
a rule that the higher officials of the order are selected. Lay
brothers are also attached to the society.

When the Society of Jesus was founded, Protestantism had already made
great strides in Northern Europe, and though the Latin countries were
not then affected no man could foresee what change a decade of years
might bring. St. Ignatius adopted the best precautions against the
spread of heresy. While he himself remained in Rome engaged in
organising the members of his society and in establishing colleges and
charitable institutions, he sent his followers to all parts of Italy.
Bishops availed themselves freely of their services as preachers and

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