To learn about reforms made within the Catholic Church and steps taken by the Church to oppose the spread of Protestantism.
1 and 1/2 class periods
In this activity, students pretend it is 1545. Twenty-eight years have passed since Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The Reformation has spread to many countries in Europe, including Italy, the homeland of the Roman Catholic Church. This rapid growth of Protestantism greatly concerns Catholic leaders, and has prompted Pope Paul III to call a meeting known as the Council of Trent.
The pope has asked (each student) to deliver one of the opening day speeches when the council meets next week. He wants the speech to discuss two important matters: (1) measures that should be taken to check the spread of Protestantism, and (2) reforms which need to be made in order to strengthen the Catholic Church.
A list of twelve issues/questions that students' speeches should touch upon is provided.
Each class member's speech should include answers to all of the questions. In so doing, it will set the tone for the Counter Reformation.
Easy-to-follow Teacher Instructions are included.