TRENT

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TRENT ; a city of Tyrol (in Latin, Tridentum, called by the Italians Trento, and by the Germans Tricnt), formerly capital of a princely bishopric of the same name, sixtyfive miles northwest of Venice ; Ion. 11° # E.; lat.46° & N.; population, 9603. It is situated on the Adige, in a delightful valley among the Alps ; but its climate is subject to great extremes, being intensely cold in winter and hot in summer. It is surrounded with walls, and contains a cathedral, two other churches, an hospital, a gymnasium, and a lyceum or central school. The streets are tolerably wide and well paved, the houses generally old. The inhabitants are employed partly in the manufacture of silk, and partly in the culture of vines and tobacco. Trent is remarkable for a famous council, commenced in 1545, terminated Dec. 4, 1563, having continued, with more or less interruption, during eighteen years, (See the next article.) TRENT, COUNCIL OF. The reforma tion of the church, which had been the object of the councils of Constance and Basle, the policy of the popes would not suffer to be carried into execution. Pius II, iu .1460, forbade an appeal to a general council, and Julius II renewed this prohibition in 1512. But to such a council only could Catholic Christendom look for the accomplishment of its earnest wish for a thorough reformation of the church ; and, in the course of the German reformation, even the Protestant princes expressed their desire for suclji an assemblage of the clergy. The emperor Charles V urged it zealously. He found it a very effectual mode of alarming the pope, and curbing the Protestant princes, and thus controlling both parties, to persevere in demanding that a council should be convoked on German soil; for, whilst the pope justly feared the questions which might come under investigation, the German Protestants dared not, on account of the Catholic states, refuse at least to accept a proposal, which, in reality, was of importance only for the latter. Charles solemnly announced a council to the states at the diet of Augsburg, in 1530, and, in order to prevent his summoning it also, preparations for it were made in Rome. Accordingly, Clement VII, in that same year, decreed it, but without fixing the time ; and Paul III, his successor, appointed it to be held, May 27,1537, at Mantua, As the conditions offered by the duke of Mantua were not acceptable, the place was changed to Vicenza, and May 1,1538, was fixed upon, when, as no prelates arrived, it was again delayed till Easter, 1539 ; and, as neither France nor Germany consented to the place selected, it was again postponed to an indefinite period, in consequence of the resolutions of the diet of Ratisbon, in 1541. Paul summoned it again for Nov. 1, 1542, and showed his willingness to choose a German city by naming TRENT. His legates arrived there Nov. 22; but a war of the emperor with France gave occasion to another postponement to a more convenient time. Such a time the pope believed he had found amidst the preparations of Charles against the Protestants, and summoned the council to meet on March 15,1545. The cardinals Del Monte, Cervino della Croce, and Pole, arrived at Trent, at the appointed time, as presiding legates; but as the number of bishops (twenty) and envoys who followed was but. small, the time was spent in disputes about rank, and in pleasure excursions; the summer passed away, during which the prelates came and went, till at length, at the command of the pope, Dec. 13, 1545., the general council of Trent (Sacrosancia cecumenica et genercdis synodus Tridentina, prasidentibus legatis apostolicis, thus called in the papal brief) was solemnly opened, twentyfive bishops and some other prelates being present. In the succeeding confidential conferences, it was agreed that committees of bishops and doctors of theology should prepare the subjects to be treated in particular and general meetings (not public sessions of the fathers); the proposed decrees and canons should be decided by a majority of votes (the votes being reckoned, not by nations, as at Constance, but by heads); the public sessions in the cathedral, with mass and preaching, should be merely ceremonial acts, for publishing and confirming the resolutions that had been adopted. This method of voting by heads, of which the Italian prelates and the titular bishops (who were both on the side of the pope) formed the majority, and the circumstance that the committees were chosen and instructed by the legates, was sufficient to give a turn to the council according to the will of the pope, who had formed, at Rome, a particular assembly of cardinals to consult upon the affairs of the council. Add to this the vigorous, proud and domineering spiri of the cardinal Del Monte, entirely devoted to his master; his daily, nay, hourly correspondence with him by means ol an uninterrupted line of couriers, which brought to him, according to the changing resolutions of the pope, public and private directions for every aspect of affairs, and many other arrangements by which the Roman policy was able to influence the assembled prelates according to circumstances. Hence even the Italian bishops were heard to complain, that the council was not a free one. Princes and people expected from this union of holy men the abolition of abuses which had been long complained of, and an improvement of the church in its head and members, which would obviate the objections of the Protestants, and induce them to return to the bosom of the Car. ho lie church. The imperial envoys openly urged that this should be the chief object! of their labors; yet in the second and third sessions, Jan. 7 and Feb. 4, 1541), nothing was done except the reading of rules for the regulation of the fathers while at Trent, of exhortations to extirpate heretics, and of the Nicene creed. From the fourth to the eighth of April, when five archbishops and fortyeight bishops were already assembled, two decrees were enacted, in which the reception of the Apocrypha into the canon of the Holy Scriptures was taken,for granted; tradition was declared of equal authority with the Bible; the Latin translation of the Bible, known by the name of Vulgate, was received as authentic ; and the church was declared the only legitimate interpreter of them, v From these, as well as from the decrees of the fifth, sixth and seventh sessions, June 17,1546, Jan. 13, and March 3, 1547, on the doctrines of original sin, justification, and the seven sacraments, till then not confirmed by a statute of the church, it was evident that the pope and his legates had the intention of placing Catholicism in pointed contrast with the doctrines of Protestantism. To each of these decrees, several canons, that is, anathemas against those who dissented from them, were added. In order to pay some attention to the wishes of the nation, strenuously supported by the emperor, the legates added some decrees, for the purpose of reformation, to those intended merely for the settlement of doctrines. The duties of preachers, and the administration of the inferior offices, from the bishops downwards, were more suitably arranged, without, however, radically attacking the prevailing abuses. Even by these half measures, the legates feared they had yielded too much ; and, as the violent o contentions between the prelates and the clergy of various orders, the bold assertions and proposals of the imperial envoys and German bishops, made the course of the deliberations continually more doubtful, and a speedy vacancy of the papal chair was anticipated, the legates made use of the false rumor of a pestilence in Trent, and, in accordance with a power long since received from Rome, in the eighth session, March 11,1547, resolved upon transferring the assembly to Bologna, which was immediately followed by the departure of the Italian fathers. The solemn protestations of the emperor against, this measure compelled eighteen bishops, from his states, together with the bishop of Trent, cardinal Madruzzi, to remain in that city, whilst the legates, with six archbishops, thirtytwo bishops, and four generals of religious orders, contented themselves, at Bologna, in the ninth and tenth sessions, April 21 and June 2, with publishing repeated decrees of adjournment, witnout deciding further upon the subject of the council. The nominal council at Trent, in the mean time, held no session, and, as the emperor firmly refused to consider the assem bly at Bologna as a council, and as the bishops departed, one after another, the pope at length declared, in a bull of Sept. 17, 1549, the council adjourned. After his death, the cardinal Del Monte, Feb. 8, 1550, ascended the papal chair, under the name of Julius III, and formally announced, at the desire of the emperor, the reassembling of.the council of Trent in that very year. His legate, the cardinal Marcellus Crescentius, a man of a passionate temper, came with twTo nuncios to Trent, and opened the council, May 1, 1551, with the eleventh session. This second period commenced with little splendor, on account of the small number of prelates present; and even when the influence of the emperor had brought together the German archbishops, besides many Spanish, Italian and German bishops, in all sixtyfour prelates, yet, on account of the deficiency of theologians, only the subjects of future deliberations could be decided upon in the twelfth session, Sept. 5,1551. France kept back its bishops, as in the first period of the council, and presented, in this session, protestations against the continuation of it, by its envoy, James Amyot, on account of the then existing political contentions between king Henry and the pope. Nevertheless, the fathers proceeded in theii work. The Jesuits Lainez and Saline ron, who had been sent as papal theologians, had a decisive influence upon the decrees, which now, laying aside scholastic differences, were briefly and precisely drawn up respecting the Lord's supper, penance, and extreme unction, and were published, the first with eleven canons, in the thirteenth session, Oct. 11, the two last, with nineteen canons, in the fourteenth session, Nov. 15. They added to this two degrees of reformation on the jurisdiction of the bishops, in which the limits of the episcopal authority, and the causes admitting of appeal to the pope, were determined, encroachments in foreign dioceses, and abuses in exercising the rights of patronage, and in the dress of the clergy, were prohibited; and the privileged ecclesiastical bodies, universities, monasteries, hospitals, &c, were exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishops. The canons, connected with the dogmatic decrees, contained only sentences in condemnation of the opinions of Luther and Zuinglius ; and yet the pope had invited the Protestants, by several nuncios, to take part in this act of the council, as the emperor insisted on their admission. Some envoys of the Protestant powers appeared, indeed, at Trent; those of Brandenburg in order to obtain from the pope the confirmation of prince Frederic in the archbishopric of Magdeburg, those of Wvirtemberg, and deputies from the cities of Upper Germany, to please the emperor, and perhaps also at the instigation of the elector, Maurice, whose own envoy arrived there Jan. 7, 1552, and obtained an audience Jan. 24, in a general assembly. To his extreme vexation, the cardinal legate was obliged to consent, that the Protestant theologians also should be heard, and provided with safe conducts. hi order to cut off every possibility of an agreement with the Protestants, lie had composed a decree on the consecration of priests, entirely in the spirit of Gregory VII; yet the emperor gained his object, and, in the fifteenth session, Jan. 25, this decree was not published, but only a postponement of the deliberations was resolved upon till the arrival of the Protestant divines. Under the imperial protection, the divines of Wiirtemberg and Upper Germany (from the cities) now also came to Trent, and the Saxons were already on their way thither, under the conduct of Melanchthon. These measures, however, were only a stratagem on the part of Saxony, in order to lull the emperor into security, as was soon evinced by the sudden commencement of hostilities on the part of the elector, Maurice, who forced the emperor to fly, and the members of the council to disperse. They resolved, accordingly, in the sixteenth session, April 8, upon its adjournment for two years, without having even commenced negotiations with the Protestants. Amidst these circumstances, of the greatest disadvantage for the authority of the pope, the treaty of Passau, and the religious peace of Augsburg, were concluded, and two Catholic princes, the Roman king Ferdinand, and the duke of Bavaria, even ventured, at their own risk, to grant to their Protestant subjects the privilege of the cup, though the council had refused them permission so to do. In France, the increasing power of the Protestants, threatened to, extort similar, and still greater privileges ; and. because pope Paul IV (1555-59) would hear nothing of any council held without the city of Rome, the French bishops thought of summoning a national synod, for the settlement of the religious disputes. Paul's successor, Pius IV, saw himself compelled, in 1560 and 1561, to reassemble the general council. Although the Protest tants did not accept the invitation, and the French government, rejecting the previous decrees of the council, demanded an entirely new and independent council, yet it was reopened, Jan. 8,1562, by six legates of the pope, under the presidency of the cardinal, prince Hercules Gonzaga, of Mantua, with 112 bishops, mostly Italians, four abbots, and four generals of religious orders. In the eighteenth session, Feb. 26, a decree was merely published for preparing an index of prohibited books; but, in the nineteenth, May 4, and in the twentieth, June 14, it was again resolved to delay the publication of new decrees. This delaying was a common means of the Roman policy to avoid opposition ; for France, as well as the emperor and Bavaria, repeated their propositions for the reformation of the church, and for the admission of the laity to the cup in the Lord's supper, the marriage of the priests, and a revision of the laws concerning forbidden meat; and, besides, all the bishops, except those from Italy, agreed in the opinion so odious to the pope, that the episcopal power and rights were not of papal but of divine origin. But, in consequence of the majority of the Italian bishops, the results of the votes were always in favor of the views of the Roman court. Thus there were passed, in the twentyfirst and twentysecond sessions, July 16 and Sept. 17, 1562, the decrees respecting the celebration of the Lord's supper, and the sacrifice of mass, allowing preparatory explanations in the vernacular languages; but the laity were referred to the pope, as respected their demand for the cup in the Lord's supper. In these sessions, there were present 230 prelates, besides the ambassadors of the Catholic courts; and the number was increased, Nov. 13, by the arrival of the cardinal of Lorraine, with fourteen bishops, three abbots and eighteen theologians, from France, who not only gave new strength to the opposition, but also proposed thirtyfour articles of reformation, which could not but be exceedingly offensive to the Papal party. This party, therefore, resorted again to delays, and postponed the next session from one month to another. Gonzaga, who was generally esteemed for his uprightness, but who was fettered in every step by the directions which he received from the Roman court, died meanwhile. March 2, 1563 ; and, in his place, the new legates Moroni and Stavageri presided, who amused the fathers with empty for malities and theological disputes, so that at length the imperial and French courts were convinced that no reformation of the church was to be expected from this . council, and still less a peace with the Protestants, who entirely rejected the council. Moreover, the cardinal of Lorraine was won over to the Papal party by secret promises of personal advantage; and, although the Gei'man, Spanish and French bishops had hitherto zealously maintained the divine origin of their power, yet, at length, either tired out by length of time, or influenced by intrigues, they consented to a decree respecting the consecration of the priests and the hierarchy, entirely in accordance with the views of the pope, which received public confirmation in eight canons, in the twentythird session, July 15, 1563. With equal pliability, they suffered to be passed, in the twentyfourth session, Nov. 11, the decree respecting the sacrament of matrimony, in twelve canons, in which the celibacy of the clergy was enjoined ; and, in the twentyfifth and last sessions, Dec. 8 and 4, the hastilycomposed decrees respecting purgatory, the worship of saints, relics and images, the monastic vows, indulgences, fasts, prohibition of certain kinds of food, and an index of prohibited books; the last of which, together with the composition of a catechism and breviary, was left to the pope. In the decrees of reformation, published in these last five sessions, which contained mostly insignificant or selfevident ordinances, or at. least the same repeated only with different words, provision was made for the removal of the prevailing abuses, for the conferment and administration of spiritual offices and sinecures, &c. The most useful, provision was that for founding seminaries for the education of the clergy, and the examination of those to be ordained. At the close of the last session,, the cardinal of Lorraine exclaimed, "Cursed be all heretics!" and the prelates joined in the cry, " Cursed, cursed !" so that the dome resounded with their imprecations. Thus ended the council of Trent, the decrees of which, signed by 255 prelates, perpetuated the separation of the Protestants from the Catholic church, and acquired, with the latter, the authority of a symbolical book. The pope confirmed them, Jan. 26,1564, in their whole extent. The chief object of this council, the gaining back of the Protestants to the Catholic church, was not attained, and the points of dissention between the Roman and the Greek VOL. XII. 29 churches were marked out so distinctly as to leave no hope of any future reconciliation. By its decrees, the Catholic doctrines were more exactly determined, and many abuses remedied, though the worst and most pernicious were left. These decrees were received without limitation in Italy, Portugal and Poland; in the Spanish dominions they were restricted by the statutes of the kingdom ; in France, Germany and Hungary, on the contrary, they met with an opposition which gradually resulted in a silent approbation of the doctrinal decrees on the part of the Catholics, but has always prevented the reception of the decrees of reformation, as irreconcilable with many laws of the respective countries, although the real improvements ordained were cheerfully received and put in execution. For the explanation and interpretation of the decrees of this council, Sixtus V, in 1588, instituted a council of cardinals, the continuation of which was found necessary by his successors. The works which have been written in support of, and opposition to, the council of Trent, the last that has been held, are very numerous, and many exhibit great talent. During the sessions of the council, Calvin wrote his antidote against the council of Trent, and, in 1560, when pope Pius VII ordered the reassembling of the council, the Lutheran princes of Germany issued their Concilii Tmdentini decretis opposita Gravamina, and even down to recent times, works have continued to be written on it, though the notions of Protestants are now too well settled to induce them to spend much time in refuting its decrees. The fundamental error connected with this council was, that Catholics and Protestants could suppose it possible to reconcile their differences by means of a council, which could only bring them out in stronger relief. It was, in fact, the great mistake of the time to suppose that truth could be settled by religious disputations. But, though it is easy to see now that a union between the Catholics and Protestants was impossible, it was not easy to see it then ; and we can hardly blame men for wishing to produce harmony in Christendom. Even at a much later period, men like Leibnitz believed in the possibility of a reunion of the churches.