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By Christopher F. Black

Christopher F. Black assesses the character and volume of church reform calls for inside sixteenth-century Italy, then concentrates on non secular society after the meant watershed of the Council of Trent (1546-63), during the 17th century. Black considers structural reform via dioceses and parishes, adjustments in parish existence, spiritual schooling, the pursuit of "good works", and makes an attempt at enthusiastic persuasion through church setting, paintings, track and festivities. debatable matters, the Inquisition's function and the stricter enclosure of nuns, obtain targeted cognizance.

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A like-minded Capuchin, Girolamo Galateo (1490-–1541), had died in a Venetian prison; for preaching on faith and works he had been tried by Carafa, sentenced to death by the Pope, but the Venetian Council of Ten had commuted 10 CHURCH, RELIGION AND SOCIETY IN EARLY MODERN ITALY this to imprisonment, then house arrest. But, he was rearrested when his Apologia (Bologna, 1541), called for the Venetian Republic to ‘return to the Word and to the truth of Sacred Scripture … [and to] defend that part of your crucified Christ and his Gospel and his Word’.

Modern Catholics have criticised or regretted this, but Hubert Jedin defended this approach, for creating a clear distinction from Protestants. Non-Tridentine policies, however encouraged the laity to participate in many other ceremonies and devotions, especially offices of the Virgin, and to confess and receive communion more often than the Tridentine minimum of Easter confession and communion. Confraternities promoted such lay participation. 13 Much debate focused on clandestine marriages: whether a marital agreement between a couple was a valid marriage, if the promises had been made secretly by them, without parental permission or public and legal recognition.

Confraternities promoted such lay participation. 13 Much debate focused on clandestine marriages: whether a marital agreement between a couple was a valid marriage, if the promises had been made secretly by them, without parental permission or public and legal recognition. The November 1563 decree canons resolved that marriage was a sacramental act performed by the couple concerned (as Adam and Eve had set the precedent). Provided they were physically able, and not barred by laws of consanguinity, their promises made a valid sacramental act in the eyes of God.

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