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COUNTER-REFORM 261

the purple. After Henry's death this Cardinal, on whose mother, brother and friend Henry had avenged himself with the executioner's aid, laboured to effect the Catholic reform of England in a genuinely spiritual sense. A third name, that of Caspar Contarini, is most intimately associated with the Lutheran Reformation. He was a man of fine mind and of every virtue of character, who was descended from one of the oldest and richest families of Venice. Long since he had proved his worth in many ways as a writer of learned, sometimes philosophic treatises, as a holder of high state offices in his native re- public, and as an ambassador to the court of Charles V. He was still a layman when Paul III named him a cardinal. During the difficult theological discussions which marked the Reichstag of Regensburg in 1541, he worked in a spirit of irenic conciliation and was soon exposed to attacks from both sides to the scorn of Luther as well as to ac- cusations from some who were close to the Curia that he had betrayed the Church and assented to heretical teachings. The Counter-reform began to make progress. A commission to which Contarini also belonged was entrusted with the carefully planned work. To each of the nine members, the Pope sent directions which incorporated his desire for serious reform. *'We hope," he said, "that your election will help to restore the authority of Christ in our hearts and in our efforts an authority which had been forgotten by the laity and also by us who are of the clergy. May you be a physician for our malady. May you lead back the scattered sheep of Christ into the one fold. May you turn aside from our heads the wrath and vengeance of God, which we have deserved and which we see already coming down upon us/*

This memorandum of the commissioners also discussed in the same frank way the tasks confronting the Council that was soon to convene. Political and religious struggles, above all the French intrigues, de- layed for years its coming together as well as the choice of the city in which it was to meet. Finally, at the close of 1544, the bull Lcstare Jerusalem called it together; and during the same year it opened its sessions m the Cathedral of the ancient episcopal city of Trent. This Council, twice interrupted for longer periods, lasted almost two decades.

Before the Council met efforts to bring about a reunion in Germany


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