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6 Servitude to God and State

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Chapter Summary

Sarpi asserted in his Istoria del concilio Tidentino that it was a "very old custom in the Christian church" to use synods or councils as the means to "pacify controversies in religious matters and to reform the degenerated discipline". Sarpi argued that church councils became increasingly dependent on the popes and were eventually summoned for different reasons than had earlier been the case: no longer in order to conciliate religious controversies, but in order to placate conflicts that took place "between the popes and Christian princes". Sarpi's critique pointed towards Musso's attempt to preserve and strengthen the pope's aura of divinity by associating God's fiat lux with a kind of papal luminosity. The Protestant reformation gave unprecedented strength to an otherwise traditional set of criticisms, which emphasized the corruption, secularization and abuse of power within the Church of Rome.

Keywords: Christian church; God's fiat lux; Rome; Sarpi's critique



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