The 19th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church was held in the city of Trent from 1545 to 1563. Its main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the Protestant heresies. A second object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing numerous abuses that had developed. The result was an all-embracing system of theology, ethics, Christian behavior, religious practice, liturgy, organization, and Roman centralization. The second Vatican Council was convened by Pope John XXIII between 1962 and 1965. It marked a fundamental shift towards the modern Church, and many of the rules and practices established in the 16th century at Trent collapsed and were replaced. Among these were rigorous seminary training for priests, the practice of frequent confessions, fostering of Marian devotion, emphasis on the indissolubility of marriage, restrictions on lay ministry, and many others. In this book, a team of Catholic scholars offers a close examination of the full nature and scope of these changes. Each contributor offers an impartial investigation of a particular issue. Included are chapters on such topics as scripture and tradition, priestly formation, women, popular devotion, canon law, church music, marriage, and the universal catechism.
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