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When the Protestant Reformation started, Roman Catholics felt the need to reform. They tried to use different plans during what is called, the Counter Reformation. First, the Catholic Bishops and cardinals held the Council of Trent where they established several doctrines to get rid of abuse in the Church. Many monarchies also reformed simply by being Catholic to keep the the faith going. Also, many other religious groups, like the Jesuits, reduced the spread of the Protestant Reformation.
Pope Paul III saw the need for reform to call together the Council of Trent. The assembly was composed of bishops and cardinals to make the Roman Catholic doctrine. The Council rejected any arrangements with the Protestants. They also confirmed the original Catholic teaching. For example, they stated that the Church’s interpretation of the Bible was final and any Christian who substituted his or her own interpretation was a heretic. They also said that Christians needed faith and good works for salvation. Third, the Bible and Church tradition were equally powerful authorities for guiding Christian life. Finally, they stated that indulgences were valid expressions of faith, but selling indulgences was banned. Priests at the time were not educated and could barely read so they made sure they trained and educated priests. Thanks to these reforms, the Church was found to be more honest and accurate.
Monarchies were important because they defended Catholicism. Most monarchies supported the Catholic church. One person who reformed was Henry VII. He wrote against Luther and his Protestant followers. Mary I tried to make England catholic, but ended up getting criticized by many. This caused her to persecute giving her the name “Bloody Mary.” Finally, Charles V exposed Luther of his charges of heresy. Unfortunately, Charles V was defending his empire against other people to keep him from being one the best counter reformers.
The final way Catholics defended their faith was with the help of religious groups dedicated to stopping the Protestants. The Jesuits and the Roman Inquisition were the main men for the job. The Roman Inquisition used vicious methods and admission of hearsay. The Jesuits established more civilized methods such as the use of education and missionaries. Their missionaries taught young men how to spread Catholicism. The missionaries traveled everywhere. Thanks to these groups, the spread of Protestantism was interrupted.
To conclude, the Roman Catholics defended their faith by reforming the church, hosting the Council of Trent, getting support from monarchies, and having religious groups help stop the Protestants. Even with all of these methods, Protestantism continues to exist in our world. But the Counter Reformation definitely affected our lives due to the fact that it is still one of the world’s leading religions.