The Fifth Lateran Council sat from 1512 to 1517 under Popes Julius II and Leo X, the emperor being Maximilian I. Fifteen cardinals and about eighty archbishops and bishops took part in it. Its decrees are chiefly disciplinary. A new crusade against the Turks was also planned, but came to naught, owing to the religious upheaval in Germany caused by Luther.Preview This Lesson
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Pope Julius II’s goals had remained unchanged since the beginning of his papacy — to restore Papal territories and reassert Papal power. Concerned over the schismatic possibilities of the Pisan Council, French invasions and the possibility that his own Council would rise against him, Pope Julius kept strict control over the Lateran Council. It was the Pope that controlled the agenda, not the Cardinals or the Bishops.
Yet there were delegates such as Egidio da Viterbo, who urged the Council not to look to an army to save them but to use the weapons of the Church — “piety, devotion, honesty, prayers, offerings, the shield of faith, and the arms of light.” (from The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola by John C. Olin, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1969, page 50)
“Men must be changed by religion, not religion by men” (pg. 41) declared Egidio da Viterbo, the General of the Augustinian Order. Egidio spoke at the Fifth Lateran Council on May 3, 1512, in front of Pope Julius II, the cardinals and about one hundred Prelates urging reform:
When has the license to sin been more shameless? When has temerity in speaking, in arguing, in writing against piety been more common or more unafraid? When has there been among the people not only a greater neglect but a greater contempt for the sacred, for the sacraments, for the keys [of forgiveness of sins], and for the holy commandments?
…We beg you to see to it that the Christian princes are brought to peace and the arms of our kings turned against Mohammed, the public enemy of Christ, and that the fire of charity of the Church is not only not extinguished by these waves and storms, but that by the merits of the saving Cross and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which are jointly commemorated today, it is cleansed from every stain it has received and is restored to its ancient splendor and purity.
from The Catholic Reformation: Savonarola to Ignatius Loyola by John C. Olin, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1969, pages 52-53
Pope Julius II wanted reform — witness his determination to forbid simony during the next conclave. However, a papacy that was threatened with the Pisan schism could not reflect deeply on reform. During the seventh session on June 7, 1513, Cardinals Carvajal and Sansverino admitted their error in supporting the Pisan Council. They both agreed to support the Lateran Council.
During the next session, Louis XII, the French Ki... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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