Describe the efforts of the Council of Trent to reform the church in answer to the challenges posed by the Protestant reformers.

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The Council of Trent was a response to the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation, and it was fundamental in shaping the modern Roman Catholic Church.

Where it comes to matters of doctrine, the Council of Trent may have sought to clarify ambiguities and uncertainties within church teaching, but at the same time, it condemned many of the key doctrines and assumptions that drove the Reformation. For example, where Protestants such as Martin Luther had championed a vision of salvation based solely on faith, the Counter-Reformation stressed the dual importance of both faith and works. To the Protestant insistence on Sola Scriptura, the Counter-Reformation reaffirmed the importance of church tradition.

That being said, the Council of Trent also sought to address the abuses within the church. It banned the sale of indulgences and sought to curb much of the worldliness and corruption within the priesthood. In this sense, in particular, the Counter-Reformation can be said to have applied and even internalized those Reformation-era critiques, even while, on doctrinal matters, the Reformation was generally condemned.

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