Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

items tagged with catholic church


12 May 2017

Recommended Resources

by the editors | Issue 122


costly love coverRead about the Catholic Reformation in general in Outram Evennett, The Spirit of the Counter-Reformation (1968); John Olin, Catholic Reform from Cardinal Ximénes to the Council of Trent, 1495–1563 (1990); Marc Forster, The Counter-Reformation in the Villages (1992) and Catholic Revival in the Age of the Baroque (2001); Martin D. W. Jones, The Counter Reformation (1995); Robert Bireley, The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450–1700 (1999); David Luebke, ed., The Counter Reformation (1999); A. D. Wright, The Early Modern Papacy (1999) and...

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12 May 2017

Remaking the world

by Edwin and Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 122

Gian Pietro Carafa (1476–1559)

Pope Paul IVOF THE MAN who became Pope Paul IV, a later writer said, “How so austere a person could be chosen pope was a mystery to everyone, especially to himself.” A member of a wealthy Neapolitan noble family, his uncle, cardinal and diplomat Oliviero Carafa (1430–1511), mentored him from a young age. Gian Pietro tried to join the Dominicans as a teenager, but his family objected. However he soon became a priest and was introduced into the papal court.

[Pope Paul IV; Wikipedia ]

When Gian Pietro was about 30, Oliviero...

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12 May 2017

A renewed and global faith

by Thomas Worcester, S.J. | Issue 122

Entombment of Christ by CanoIMAGINE A CONFESSIONAL: the rows of little doors; the dark ornate wood; the screens that hide the confessor from the penitent. Whether you’ve knelt inside one on a Saturday afternoon or merely seen one as a tourist or in a movie, they represent the Catholic Church in the minds of many. And until the Council of Trent, they didn’t exist. 

i do confess

Confessionals were created after Trent for women penitents, lest their confession of sexual sins be impeded by the awkwardness of speaking face to face with a man. (Later the confessional box...

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12 May 2017

The Persistent Council

by Martin J. Lohrmann | Issue 122

Pope Paul IIITHREE AND ONE HALF YEARS after its opening was first announced, a little over three years after bishops began trickling in, two years after it was suspended, one year after it was convoked again (producing a new trickle of bishops), and 10 months after its announced opening date, at 9:30 in the morning on December 13, 1545, the Council of Trent actually began. Four hundred bishops assembled in the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, sang the hymn “Come, Holy Spirit,” heard a reading of the papal bull Laetere, Jerusalem (1544) and a sermon, and...

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12 May 2017

Picturing saints

by Virginia C. Raguin | Issue 122

Teresa's ecstacyIN THE WAKE of the Protestant Reformation, what piety looked, smelled, sounded, and tasted like varied depending on where you were. 

In Germany Luther’s reform had challenged the hierarchical structure of the Roman Church, with its privileged priesthood, sacraments, and the language of Latin for church services. Consequently while Lutherans kept a role for music and religious art, they rejected the saints as intercessors, the priesthood as a special class, and Latin as the language of worship. At the same time, more radical resistance to...

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12 May 2017

The road not taken

by Edwin Woodruff Tait | Issue 122

MargueriteLUTHER’S TEACHINGS SPREAD like wildfire in the 1520s throughout Europe, attracting sympathetic, enthusiastic readers. From 1523 on they also created martyrs; both civil and religious authorities responded with violence to the threat to religious stability. 

[Marguerite of Navarre; Wikipedia ]

These early martyrs were not yet known as “Protestants,” a term first used in 1529 for German princes who protested an imperial order to stop making religious changes. Catholic opponents called anyone sounding even remotely like Luther a “Lutheran.” The...

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12 May 2017

Lorenzo Scupoli Speaks

by Lorenzo Scupoli | Issue 122

THIS CRUCIFIED LORD … is a book that I give you to read. You will be able to draw from it the true portrait of every virtue. Because it is the book of life, it not only instructs the intellect with words but also inflames the will with living example. All the world is full of books, but … all of them taken together cannot so perfectly teach the way to acquire all virtues as the contemplation of a crucified God.

You know, daughter, that there are some who spend many hours weeping over the passion of our Lord, considering His patience, and...

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12 May 2017

Helping souls

by Katie M. Benjamin | Issue 122

Ignatius in armorSEVERELY INJURED BY A CANNONBALL that had wounded both his legs, the young Spanish man knew his military career was over. In spite of the doctors’ dire predictions, he had survived surgery (no easy feat in a pre-anesthesia era) and was now learning to walk again. 

This young man, of wealthy birth and luxurious tastes, had once longed only for battle and tales of chivalry, but he now had a growing interest in spiritual things; he was beginning to pray and meditate, desiring to follow God. He would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, he decided.

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11 May 2017

Editor’s Note

by Jennifer Woodruff Tait | Issue 122

As the art staff and I were choosing the (amazing) pictures for this issue, we noticed a theme. Red. Lots of it. Mostly in the vestments of Catholic cardinals, whose stories thread through the following pages. Not every Catholic reformer was a cardinal, and not every cardinal was a reformer. But as we sorted through portraits and altar panels, sculptures and ceiling frescoes, I saw red, in a very good way: a tangible indicator of the vibrancy of the people and events we are unveiling.

I’m deep in the sixteenth century by now, after three...

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11 May 2017

Letters to the Editor

by readers and the editors | Issue 122


Our readers send good ideas

Have you ever considered an issue on groups who have observed the seventh-day Sabbath over the centuries? —John Lemley, Vancouver, WA

I would be interested in a magazine devoted to the Shroud of Turin and Sudarium of Oviedo.
Brian Huffmann, Clayton, NC

We appreciate the ideas that are sent in and add many to our list of potential issues (which is quite long—we have ideas to keep us going for many years!).

And they also send us love 

Dear CHI Team, please allow me to thank you for the tremendous job you are...

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15 Aug 2005

A Church Reborn

by Felix Wilfred | Issue 87

"INDIA, your children will be the ambassadors of your salvation,” said Pope Leo XIII in 1886. Pope Leo’s farsighted prediction reveals a deeper assumption that has proven true again and again: No Christian tradition can thrive in India until the Indian people make it their own.

Through the work of pioneering Jesuit missionaries such as Francis Xavier, Roberto de Nobili, and Constanzo Beschi, Catholic Christianity had begun to strike its roots in Tamil Nadu, the southern part of the country, from the 16th to the 18th century. But in the late...

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28 Feb 1996

Carrots and Sticks

by Bernard Hamilton | Issue 49

THE MEDIEVAL CATHOLIC CHURCH did not think toleration of doctrinal error a virtue, and it took decisive steps to correct heresy when it appeared.

Persuade Them to Remain

First, the church supported Christian groups that remained loyal to Rome while living out some radical practices of heretics, practices that were both biblical and effective at reforming the church (which was one concern of many dissenters).

Francis of Assisi (1182–1226), for example, shared many of Valdes’s ideals; Francis encouraged people to lead lives of Christian...

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30 Nov 1995

Catholic Counterpoint

by Dennis Martin | Issue 48

Most of us know about the English Reformation from the writings of those who triumphed, the Protestants. But to understand the English Reformation fully, we must also ask, what was it like to be a Catholic during this time of religious turmoil?

The question becomes more important because recent scholars of the English Reformation have argued that the English Catholic church was not as corrupt—nor the Protestant Reformation as pure-as many people believe.

To gain a broader grasp of this turbulent time,  Christian History invited Catholic...

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30 Nov 1987

The Church That Tyndale Fought

by the Editors | Issue 16

CORRUPTION IN THE CHURCH has existed as long as there have been people in it (consider, for example, both Peter’s denials and Judas’s greed), but widespread corruption and resistance to the truth were especially acute during Tyndale’s day.

For decades after the election of Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI in 1492, the papacy was, in the words of Roman Catholic historian Father Bede Jarrett, “little else than a small Italian princedom ruled by some of the least reputable of the Renaissance princes.”

The great Roman Catholic historian, Dr....

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15 Feb 2000

Globalism: John Paul II

by Richard John Neuhaus | Issue 65

IN OCTOBER, 1978, Karol Wojtyla, the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, was elected the first Slav pope in history and the first non-Italian since the sixteenth century. He took the name John Paul II, and many observers believe he will be known in history as “John Paul the Great,” much as Christians refer to the fifth and sixth century popes, Leo the Great and Gregory the Great.

Secular writers tend to see his greatness chiefly in the part he played in the end of the empire of Soviet communism. During World War II, when Joseph Stalin...

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15 Feb 2013

Brothers and Sisters of Charity

by Kevin Schmiesing | Issue 104

"At the time being, the condition of the working classes is the pressing question of the hour.”

It was not Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, or even Karl Marx who penned that sentence. It was Pope Leo XIII in “On Capital and Labor” (Rerum Novarum, 1891), an encyclical (papal letter) inaugurating a series of documents we now refer to as “modern Catholic social teaching.” As industrialization and urbanization came to the Christian West, the churches of Europe and the Americas felt compelled to respond to the new problems of an industrial world.


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