The Council of Trent
The Tenth Session

The canons and decrees of the sacred
and oecumenical Council of Trent
Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 70-3.

Hanover Historical Texts Project
Scanned by Hanover College students in 1995.
The page numbers of Waterworth's translation appear in brackets.

[Page 70]

Celebrated at Bologna on the second day of the month of June, MDXLVII.


Although this sacred and holy, oecumenical and general Synod hath decreed, that the Session which was to have been celebrated, in this illustrious city of Bologna, on the twenty-first day of the month of April last, on the subject of the Sacraments and of Reformation, in accordance with the decree promulgated in public Session in the city of Trent, should be deferred and prorogued to this present day, for certain reasons, and especially on account of the absence of some of the Fathers, who it was hoped would in a short time be present; wishing, however, even yet to deal kindly with those who have not come, the same sacred and holy Synod, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same cardinals of the holy Roman Church, and Legates of the Apostolic See, presiding therein, resolves and decrees, that the said Session, which It had decreed to celebrate on this the second day of the month of June of this present year 1547, be deferred and prorogued, and It doth hereby defer and prorogue it, to the Thursday after the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which will be the fifteenth of September next; for the expediting of the aforesaid and other matters; yet so, however, that the prosecution of the discussion and examination, as well of those things which relate to dogmas, as of those which regard reformation, shall not meanwhile be suspended; and that the said holy Synod freely may and can, at Its will and pleasure, even in a private congregation, abridge or prorogue the said term.

On the fourteenth day of September, MDXLVII, in a general Congregation held at Bologna, the Session, which was to have been held on the following day, was prorogued during the good pleasure of the sacred Council.

[Page 71]


Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the future memory hereof.

Whereas, in order to remove the dissensions touching our religion, which for a long time have prevailed in Germany to the disturbance and scandal of the whole Christian world, it seems good, opportune, and expedient,-as also our most dearly beloved son in Christ, Charles the Emperor of the Romans, ever august, has caused to be signified to us by his letters and ambassadors,-to bring back to the city of Trent, the sacred, oecumenical, (and) general Council indicted by our predecessor, Pope Paul III., of happy memory, and begun, regulated, and continued, by Us, who then enjoyed the honour of the Cardinalate, and conjointly with two other Cardinals of the holy Roman Church, presided in the name of our said predecessor, in the said Council, wherein several public and solemn Sessions were held, and several decrees promulgated as well on the subject of faith as of Reformation, and also many things relating to both subjects examined and discussed;-We,-unto whom, as Sovereign Pontiff for the time, it appertains to indict and direct general Councils,-that we may, unto the praise and glory of Almighty God, procure the peace of the Church and the increase of the Christian faith and of the orthodox religion, and may, as far as in us lies, consult with fatherly care for the tranquillity of Germany,-a province indeed which, in times past, was never second to any in Christendom, in cultivating true religion, and the doctrine of the sacred Councils and holy Fathers, and in exhibiting due obedience and reverence to the chief Pontiffs, the vicars on earth of Christ our Redeemer; hoping that, by the grace and bounty of God, all Christian kings and princes will approve of, favour and aid our just and pious wishes herein: We, by the bowels of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, exhort, require, and admonish our venerable brethren the patri-[Page 72]archs, archbishops, bishops, and our beloved sons the abbots, and all and each of the others, who of right, or custom, or privilege, ought to be present at General Councils, and whom our said predecessor, in his letters of indiction and any others soever made and published on this subject, willed to be present at the Council, to convene and assemble, where there is no lawful impediment, in the same city of Trent, and to apply themselves without any delay whatever to the continuation and prosecution of the said Council, on the next ensuing calends of May, which day we appoint, determine on, and assign, after mature deliberation, and of our own certain knowledge, and the plenitude of apostolic authority, and with the advice and consent of our venerable brethren the Cardinals of the said holy Roman Church, for resuming and prosecuting the said Council in the state wherein it now is. For We shall make it our special care, that, at the same time, in the said city, there be always present our Legates, through whom,-if we shall be unable, on account of our age, state of health, and the necessities of the Apostolic See, to be personally present,-we shall, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, preside over the said Council; any translation and suspension of the said Council, and any other things whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding, and especially those things which it was the will of our predecessor should not create any obstacle, as expressed in his letters aforesaid, which, with all and each of the clauses and decrees therein contained, we will and decree to continue in force, and we do, as far as there is need thereof, hereby renew them; declaring moreover null and void whatsoever may be attempted, wittingly or ignorantly, by whatsoever person, or by whatsoever authority, against these presents. Let no one, therefore, infringe this our letter of exhortation, requisition, monition, statute, declaration, renewal, will, and decree, or with rash daring go contrary thereunto. But if any one shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God, and of His blessed apostles, Peter and Paul.

[Page 73] Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year MDXLVIII of our Lord's Incarnation, on the eighteenth of the calends of December, in the first year of our Pontificate.


The Council of Trent
Hanover Historical Texts Project
Hanover College Department of History