Statue at the Reformation Monument in Worms that symbolizes the Diet of Speyer in 1529. Notice the hand raised in protest.
The term Catholic Reformation is problematic for several reasons. One must not assume that the Catholic Church engaged in reform only as a reaction to the protestant reformation. Cardinal Ximenes was engaged in reform in Spain prior to Lutherís program. John Wycliffe (1330-1384) and Jan Hus (1372-1415) dealt with many of the same issues that Luther addressed. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) also wrote against the Avignon Papacy. Additionally, the Council of Trent, the high-point of the Catholic Reformation, did not result in any significant changes to traditional Catholic doctrines.
Some have suggested that the term Catholic Reformation should refer to those aspects of the Catholic Church that were instituted to reform some problem areas within the church such as moral laxity and an uneducated clergy, but the term Counter-Reformation be used to describe actions that the Catholic Church took such as the Inquisition and the Index that were designed to squelch the Protestant Reformation.
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
In Praise of Folly
Way of Perfection by Teresa of Avila
Catechism of Trent
Council of Trent on Justification
God's Miraculous Tenderness Towards Us
Battle of Mohács
Diet of Speyer 1529
Council of Trent
MoreChronology of the Catholic Reformation
Catholic Reformation Links
Catholic Reformation Album
Hymns of the Catholic Reformation
Critiques of the Catholic Reformation
Catholic Reformation Quiz
© 2004 Mark Gstohl, PhD.