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Council of Trent
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Whereas, in pursuance of the decrees made in the last Sessions, this holy and universal Synod has, during these days, most accurately and diligently treated of the things which relate to the most holy sacrifice of the mass, and to the sacrament of order, with the view that, in the Session held on this day, It might publish, as the Holy Ghost should have suggested, decrees on these subjects, and on the four articles concerning the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, which had been finally deferred to this Session ; and whereas it was thought that, in the interim, there would have presented themselves at this sacred and holy Council those who call themselves Protestants, for whose sake It had deferred the publication of the said articles, and to whom It had given the public faith, or a safe-conduct, that they might come freely and without any hesitation; nevertheless, seeing that they have not as yet come, and the holy Synod has been petitioned in their name, that the publication which was to have been made on this day, be deferred to the following Session, an assured hope being held out that they will certainly be present long before that Session, upon receiving in the meanwhile a safe-conduct in a more ample form :-The same holy Synod, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the same Legate and Nuncios presiding, desiring nothing more ardently than to remove, from amongst the noble nation of Germany, all dissensions and schisms touchingreligion,and to provide for its tranquillity, peace and repose; being ready, should they come, both to receive
them kindly, and to listen to them favourably, and trusting that they will come, not with the design of obstinately opposing the Catholic Faith, but of learning the truth, and that they will at last, as becomes those zealous for evangelical truth, acquiesce in the decrees and discipline of holy Mother Church; (this Synod) has deferred the next Session,--therein to publish and promulgate the matters aforesaid,--till the festival of St. Joseph, which will be on the nineteenth day of the month of March; in order that they may have sufficient time and leisure, not only to come, but also to propose, before that day arrives, whatsoever they may wish. And,- that It may take from them all cause for further delay, It freely gives and grants them the public faith,-or a safe-conduct, of the tenour and form hereafter set down. But it ordains and decrees, that, in the meantime, It will treat of the sacrament of matrimony,- and will give its decisions thereon, in addition to the publication of the above-named decrees, in the same Session, and will prosecute the subject of Reformation.
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