Rome Responds to the Reformation
Separating from Rome was not the central goal of each of the reformers. While some of them ended up far beyond the reach of the Roman Catholic Church, others remained faithful to Rome, even contributing to a new spirit of devotion.
Rome responded to the Reformation in part by tightening up its organization. A Council met in Trent between 1545 and 1563, but it admitted to no faults in the past, merely redefining traditional views.
Nationalism and the Roman Catholic Church
Rome was hit hardest by the growth of nationalist movements in Europe, and the rise of absolute rulers. In 1682, the French clergy declared that the pope and the church had no authority over the secular leaders.
In response to pressure from the secular governments of France, Portugal, and Spain, the Society of Jesus, with its absolute loyalty to the pope, was abolished in 1773. Following the Napoleonic Wars and the restoration of the old monarchies of Europe, the Jesuits were revived in 1814.
The French Revolution cut deeply into the power of the church with its enlightenment thinking, revolutionary politics, and egalitarian atmosphere. While Napoleon Bonaparte restored the church, he also used it to his own ends.