The Catholic Reformation

The Catholic Reformation

The Catholic Reformation

The Catholic Reformation

Excerpt

In his brief Foreword the author deems it imperative to call attention to the obvious impossibility of dealing in a single volume with every phase and circumstance of so vast and momentous a movement as the Catholic Reformation. Yet the prime value of his work consists in the fact that he has made available, for Catholics and non-Catholics alike, an adequate and readable record of the characteristic features of this important event, whose duration extended from the fifteenth on to the seventeenth century.

Few indeed would have the leisure or the patience to search through piled-up volumes for the information amply conveyed for their purpose in the chapters of this scholarly work. What they seek above all to learn is the nature, spirit, and ultimate result of this most significant movement whose importance in history, whether religious or secular, can hardly be overestimated. But what lends its particular value to this volume is the candor of its presentation combined with equal thoroughness of research.

In fact it is a lesson by itself to learn how profoundly the results of religion become calculable and visible, not merely in the arts, the architecture, and the very conventions of mankind, but no less in the progress of industry and the tilling of the soil. The latter in particular is evidenced especially in the case of retarded peoples under the influence, material as well as spiritual, of the Church's undaunted missionaries. Stress, however, is rightly laid by the author upon the magnificent results achieved in education, and this in every truest sense that could make of it a beneficient power for the progress of mankind.

Whatever was humanly wrong on the part of any of the Church's prelates, clergy, and the laity; whatever clamored for reformation in regard to any of her members; whatever demanded in any place . . .

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