Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

COUNTER REFORMATION

A period of Catholic revival from 1522 to about 1648, better known as the Catholic Reform. It was an effort to stem the tide of Protestantism by genuine reform within the Catholic Church. There were political movements pressured by civil rulers, and ecclesiastical movements carried out by churchmen in an attempt to restore genuine Catholic life by establishing new religious orders such as the Society of Jesus and restoring old orders to their original observances, such as the Carmelites under St. Teresa of Avila (1515-82). The main factors responsible for the Counter Reformation, however, were the papacy and the council of Trent (1545-63). Among church leaders. St. Charles Borromeo (1538-84), Archbishop of Milan, enforced the reforms decreed by the council, and St. Francis de Sales of Geneva (1567-1622) spent his best energies in restoring genuine Catholic doctrine and piety. Among civil rulers sponsoring the needed reform were Philip II of Spain (1527-98) and Mary Tudor (1516-58), his wife, in England. Unfortunately this aspect of the Reformation led to embitterment between England and Scotland, England and Spain, Poland and Sweden, and to almost two centuries of religious wars. As a result of the Counter Reformation, the Catholic Church became stronger in her institutional structure, more dedicated to the work of evangelization, and more influential in world affairs.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Which American archbishops—if any—will receive red hats at the February conclave? December 23
A Blessed Christmas! December 23
Facing entrenched opposition, Pope Francis plows ahead on Vatican reform December 22
The cardinal who can't let go December 22
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17
Pope identifies 15 spiritual ‘sicknesses’ of the Curia CWN - December 22
Pope Francis's Christmas Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 8 hours ago