A History of the Council of Trent, Volume I: The Struggle by Hubert Jedin

By Hubert Jedin

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3 R. G. Villoslada, La Universidad de Paris durante los estudios de Francisco de Vitoria 1507- 1522 (Rome 1 93 8), pp. 92, 1 5 6 f. , 1 72 f. 4 For what follows, see H. Bressler, Die Stellung der deutschen Universitaten zum Basler Konzil, zum Schisnza und zur deutschen Neutralitiit (Leipzig 1 885); G. Kauf­ mann, Geschichte der deutschen Universitiiten, VOL. II (Stuttgart 1 896), pp. 442-68. Both these works need to be supplemented by further research. 5 R . T. A . , VOL. xv, pp. 43 4-47; VOL. XVI, pp.

In these circumstances the Council's duty is to establish the fact and to initiate the election of a successor. Not a trace of the conciliar theory, yet a Council is planned ! Savonarola's famous letters to princes never got beyond the stage of mere projects. He never made a serious attempt to summon a Council in the hope of averting his own fate with its help . 2 In the late autumn of the same year 1 498 two envoys of the King of Portugal arrived in Rome for the purpose of remonstrating with Alexander VI on his personal conduct, his nepotism, and the simoniacal practices that went on under his very eyes.

Even before this step the Council had begun to exploit in goo d earnest yet another axiom of conciliar theory, namely that the reform of the Church must be brought about by curtailing papal administrative powers. The abrogation (in the twenty-first session) of annates and the curial taxes dep rive d the Pope of one of h i s main sources of income while leaving him no compensation. In the twenty-third session the Council abro gate d reservations and decreed a reform of the College of Cardinals. At a later date the Council of Trent reverted to the stioulations of this decree with regard to the number, composition and filling-up of the College in nearly every one of its own proposals for a reform.

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