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Council of Trent - 1545 to 1563: Home

The Council of Trent was the council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1545 and 1563 at Trent in S Tyrol. Reacting against the Protestants, it reaffirmed traditional Catholic beliefs and formulated the ideals of the Catholic Reformation.


Welcome to the Council of Trent library research guide. Here you will find ways to access many different resources in this subject.


The 19th Ecumenical Council of the Church was summoned for the purposes of 1) reforming the Church, and 2) combating protestantism. 

Its main object was the definitive determination of the doctrines of the Church in answer to the heresies of the Protestants; a further object was the execution of a thorough reform of the inner life of the Church by removing the numerous abuses that had developed in it.

The Council of Trent helped to bring much-needed reform to the Catholic Church. It also refined the Church’s structure and marshalled its forces for the years ahead.

The Council of Trent defined what the Church would be for four centuries. Not until Vatican II, in the 1960s, did a major reexamination take place.


The Council of Trent consisted of 25 sessions between 1545 and 1563.  The council was convened in response to the Protestant Reformation, and codified many of the priciples that would guide the Church for the next 400 years.

Most of the primary texts and reference materials for the Council of Trent can be found in both Ireland and OSF libraries. To find these materials in books and periodicals, see tabs above.

Canons and Decress of Council of Trent / English Translation

A history of the Council of Trent by Jedin

Diaries, Letters, and Reports

This page lists personal reports (diaries, letters, reports, journals, etc.) recounting the Council itself.

Council of Trent discussing Justification

Digital Resources


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Betsy Polakowski
Cataloging / Serials Librarian

St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library

Off Campus Access


Online databases and electronic journals subscribed to by the UST Libraries are licensed for use by the St. Thomas community ONLY.  Because of this restriction, we need to verify that anyone accessing these databases is a current member of the St. Thomas community.



With his permission, we have "based" this guide on one done by Dustin Booher from the Catholic University of America. Thank you also for the help and counsel received from Dr. Christian Washburn who is a faculty member of The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.