In 1521 Martin Luther stood before the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms. In that same year Ignatius Loyala entered convalescence from an injury and soon had a spiritual conversion of sorts. Loyola subsequently formed the Society of Jesus, the greatest single force in Catholicism’s campaign to recapture the spiritual domains seized by Protestantism.
While the Catholic Church did not immediately respond to the Protestant challenge, when it finally did it called upon its spiritual warriors, the Jesuits. It convened a new, militant council; and it reformed the machinery of the papal office. Faced by the rebellion of almost half of Europe, Catholicism rolled back the tide of Protestantism until by the end of the sixteenth century Protestantism was limited roughly to the northern third of Europe, as it is today.
Some historians have interpreted the Catholic Reformation as a counterattack against Protestantism; others have described it as a genuine revival of Catholic piety with a few thoughts of Protestantism. The truth is that the movement was both a Counter Reformation, as Protestants insist, and a Catholic Reformation, as Catholics argue. Its roots run back to forces before Luther’s time, but the form it took was largely determined by the Protestant attack.
[tags]BlogRodent, Catholic-Reformation, Charles-V, church-history, ChurchRodent, Diet-of-Worms, history, Ignatius, Jesuits, Jesus, Martin-Luther, Protestantism, Reformation[/tags]