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Resistance, Negotiation, and Adjustment: Cathedral Clergy and the Tridentine Reform in Portugal

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image of Church History and Religious Culture

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, dioceses were centres of conflicts and struggles for power between bishops and the cathedral clergy. The dynamics of dioceses may be better understood by examining how the decrees of the Council of Trent were interpreted and applied in them. The main purpose of this paper is to study how the Portuguese cathedral chapters reacted to the application of the Tridentine decrees by their bishops. I show that the application of the decisions of Trent at the diocesan level was part of a rebalance of power that was taking place in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries within the Catholic Church.


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