Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent/Session X/Resumption of the Council of Trent

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Julius, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the future memory hereof.

Whereas, in order to remove the dissensions respecting our religion, which for a long time have prevailed in Germany, not without the disturbance and scandal of the whole Christian world, it seems good, opportune, and expedient, as also our most dearly beloved son in Christ, Charles the emperor of the Romans, ever-august, has caused to be signified to us by his letters and ambassadors, that the sacred, œcumenical, general council indicted by our predecessor, Pope Paul III., of happy memory, and begun, ordered, and continued by us, who then occupied the honour of the cardinalate, and jointly with two other cardinals of the holy Roman Church, presiding in the name of our said predecessor in the said council, wherein several public and solemn sessions were held, and several decrees promulgated as well on the subject of faith as of reformation, and also many matters pertaining to both subjects examined and discussed—should be brought back to the city of Trent: We, unto whom, as Sovereign Pontiff for the time, it appertains to indict and direct general councils, that, unto the praise and glory of Almighty God, we may procure the peace of the Church, and the increase of the Christian faith, and of the orthodox religion, and may, as far as lies in us, consult with fatherly care for the tranquillity of Germany, which province indeed, in times past, was never second to any in Christendom in cultivating true religion, and the doctrine of the sacred councils and holy fathers, and in exhibiting due obedience and reverence to the sovereign pontiffs, the vicars on earth of Christ our Redeemer; hoping that, through the grace and kindness of God, aU Christian kings and princes will approve of, favour, and aid our just and pious wishes in this matter: "We, by the bowels of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, exhort, require, and admonish our venerable brethren the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, and our beloved sons the abbots, and all and each of the others, who of right, or custom, or privilege, ought to be present at general councils, and whom our said predecessor, in his letters of indiction, and in any others soever drawn up and published on this subject, willed to be present at the council, to convene and assemble together, lawful impediment being wanting, in the same city of Trent, and to apply themselves without any delay whatever to the continuation and prosecution of the said council, on the next ensuing calends of May,[1] which day we ordain and declare, after mature deliberation previously, and of our own certain knowledge, and the plenitude of apostolic authority, and with the advice and consent of our venerable brethren the cardinals of the said holy Eoman Church, for resuming and prosecuting the said council in the state wherein it is now found. For we shall take especial care, that, at the same time, in the same city, our legates be always present, through whom, if we shall be unable, on account of our age and state of health, and the necessities of the Apostolic See, to be personally present, we shall, under the direction of the Holy Ghost, preside over the said council; any translation and suspension of the said council, and any other things soever to the contrary notwithstanding, and especially those things which it was the will of our same predecessor should not cause any obstacle, as expressed in his letters aforesaid, which, with all and each of the clauses and decrees contained therein, we will and decree to continue in their own force, and we do, as far as there is need thereof, hereby renew them; declaring, nevertheless, null and void whatsoever may chance to be attempted, wittingly or ignorantly, by whatsoever person, or by whatsoever authority, against these [presents]. Let it be lawful for no one, therefore, to infringe this our letter of exhortation, requisition, monition, statute, declaration, renewal, will, and decrees, or with rash daring to go contrary thereunto. But if any one shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of His blessed apostles Peter and Paul. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year 1548[2] of our Lord's Incarnation, on the 18th of the calends of December,[3] in the first year of our Pontificate.

M. Cardinal Crescen.
Rom. Amasæus.

  1. May 1st.
  2. MDLXVIII. in the Leipsic edition I use, is evidently a typographical error.
  3. November 14th.