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Council of Trent

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  • SESSION THE THIRTEENTH
    • DECREE FOR POSTPONING THE DEFINITION OF FOUR ARTICLES TOUCHING THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST, AND FOR GIVING A SAFE-CONDUCT TO PROTESTANTS
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DECREE FOR POSTPONING THE DEFINITION OF FOUR ARTICLES TOUCHING THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST, AND FOR GIVING A SAFE-CONDUCT TO PROTESTANTS

The same holy Synod,-desiring to pluck out of the field of the Lord all the errors which like thorns have sprung up again on the subject of this most holy sacrament, and wishing to provide for the salvation of all the faithful, her daily prayers being devoutly offered up to Almighty God for this end,-amongst the other articles, relative to this sacrament, which have been treated of with the most diligent inquiry into Catholic truth; very many and most accurate conferences, according to


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the importance of the matters, having been held, and the sentiments also of the most eminent theologians having been ascertained; has likewise treated of these following: whether it be necessary to salvation, and be prescribed of divine right, that all the faithful of Christ receive the said venerable sacrament under both species. And; whether he who communicates under either species receive less than he who communicates under both. And; whether holy Mother Church hath erred, by communicating, under the species of bread only, the laity, and priests when not celebrating. And; whether little children also are to be communicated. But whereas those, of the most noble province of Germany, who call themselves Protestants, desire to be heard by the holy Synod upon these said articles before they are defined, and for this end have asked for the public faith from the Synod, that they may be allowed to come hither in safety, dwell in this city, speak freely and set forth their sentiments before the Synod, and afterwards depart when they please; this holy Synod,-although It has looked forward with great earnestness for many months past for their coming, nevertheless, as an affectionate mother that groaneth and travaileth, most ardently desiring and labouring after this, that, amongst those who bear the Christian name, there may be no schisms, but that, even as all acknowledge the same God and Redeemer, so may all say the same thing, believe the same, think the same,-trusting in the mercy of God, and hoping that the result will be that they may be brought back to the most holy and salutary concord of one faith, hope, and charity, (and) yielding to them herein, hath, as far as the said Synod is concerned, given and granted, according to their request; a public assurance and faith, which they call a safe-conduct, of the tenor which will be set down below; and for their sakes It hath postponed the definition of those articles to the second next Session, which, that they may conveniently be present thereat, It hath indicted for the festival of the conversion of Saint Paul, which will be on the twenty-fifth day of the month of January of the ensuing year. And It furthermore ordains, that the


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sacrifice of the mass, on account of the close connexion between the two subjects, shall be treated of in the same Session; and that meanwhile It will treat of the sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction in the next Session, which It hath decreed is to be held on the festival of Saint Catharine, virgin and martyr, which will be the twenty-fifth of November; and that at the same time, in both Sessions, the matter of reformation shall be proceeded with.




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