Definitions of Counter Reform

Counter Reform

The idea of counter -reform is used to name an action that is opposed to a reform that was carried out previously. The reforms, on the other hand, are changes that are made with the intention of improving or updating something.

Let’s see some example sentences: “The new government intends to develop a counter-reform of the educational system after the modifications established by the previous administration”, “The opposition presented a project of counter-reform of the retirement law”, “According to various surveys, the counter-reform of the prepaid medicine market is rejected by a large part of the population”.

According to, a counter-reform, therefore, is developed with the aim of reversing a series of modifications that have been carried out previously. The president of a country, to cite one case, can carry out a tax reform, promoting changes that benefit certain sectors and, simultaneously, affect the interests of others. When said president leaves power and is succeeded by a leader from another political party, the new president decides to implement a counter-reform, once again changing the tax laws to once again alter the benefit/loss scheme.

If the concept of counter-reformation is written with an initial capital letter (Counter -Reformation), it alludes to the movement that opposed the Reformation. It should be remembered that the Reformation was the initiative that began in the sixteenth century, being promoted by Martin Luther in Germany, and that led to the creation of the Protestant Churches.

The Counter -Reformation, therefore, was the response that the Catholic Church developed to minimize the impact of Protestantism. Through this movement an ecclesiastical restructuring took place and changes were introduced in the liturgy of this religion.

The Church had been weakened by the Reformation of Martin Luther, and for this reason he decided to carry out his Counter-Reformation. It all began in the year 1545 with the Ecumenical Council of Trent and lasted until the end of the Thirty Years War, in the year 1648; any act developed to deal with Protestantism since then falls into the category of anti- Protestantism.

The Counter-Reformation was intended to give the image of the Church a “breath of fresh air”, and for this it had to reduce by all means the influence of Protestant doctrines. It is possible to notice five fundamental aspects on which the Church focused to carry out her plan:

* the doctrine. What better way to fight one school of thought than an opposite one? In fact, it is precisely what the Protestants had done in the first place;

* they founded several seminaries, houses in which they provided formation to people of all ages, as part of a restructuring plan of the Catholic Church;

* modified religious orders to return to their traditional forms;

* began to monitor spiritual movements, trying to focus on piety as the basis of life and a close relationship with Christ through the mediation of a priest ;

* They created and managed the Roman Inquisition, an organization that had the objective of persecuting the behaviors of Protestantism.

According to the point of view, the Counter-Reformation was not substantially different from the objectives that the Protestant Reformation had pursued, at least if we focus on the fact that both had the purpose of renewing the Church. Of course, if we look at the merely theological aspects, it is undeniable that they are opposing movements.

The Counter-Reformation divided, so to speak, the Catholic faith into two well-defined paths: the idea promoted by Paul IV that God related to us through punishment and that we should fear him; the one spread by people like Teresa de Jesús, Ignacio de Loyola and Juan de la Cruz, among others, who lived their religious experience based on piety.

Counter Reform