The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent


What you need to know about the great Council of Trent.

In three separate sessions, from 1545 to 1564, the Fathers of the Church met in Ecumenical Council at a small town in the Austrian Tyrol, named Tridentum – in English, Trent. That meeting – the Council of Trent – produced a large number of canons and decrees, condemned the errors of the Protestant Reformation/Revolution, and shown as a beacon to all the world. Of the twenty Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church, the Council of Trent is universally regarded as the greatest – in the scope of its discussion, in the number of its pronouncements, and in the extent of its influence. Spanning the pontificates of five popes and promulgated by Pope St. Pius V (1566-1572), the Council of Trent made pronouncements on justification, the Blessed Eucharist, the nature of the Mass, transubstantiation, the sacraments of Penance, Extreme Unction, Marriage and Holy Orders, and numerous other topics of doctrine and discipline. Among these were confirmation of the Nicene Creed, the authenticity of the Latin Vulgate Bible and the canonicity of all and only the books contained therein, definition of the doctrine of Original Sin, affirmation of the doctrine of Purgatory and the invocation of the saints and veneration of them and their relics, and the nature and application of indulgences. The Council also called for the revision of the Breviary, publishing of a formal catechism (The Catechism of the Council of Trent), and the standardization of the Roman Missal, all of which were accomplished by St. Pius V.

The reissuance at this time of The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent translated by Father Schroeder will serve to enlighten our generation of Catholics as to the wonders of this council and to demonstrate how clearly and how, for all time, the Church makes her official pronouncements.



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