Session XI – Which is the first celebrated under the Supreme Pontiff, Julius III, on the first day of May, 1551
In order to put an end to the religious dissensions which for a long time have prevailed in Germany to the disturbance and scandal of the entire Christian world, it appears good, opportune and expedient to us, as also to our most dearly beloved son in Christ, Charles, ever august Emperor of the Romans, who has made this known to us by his letters and ambassadors, to bring back to the city of Trent the holy ecumenical and general council convoked by our predecessor, Pope Paul III, of happy memory, and begun, conducted and continued by us, who then enjoyed the honor of the cardinalate and, conjointly with two other cardinals of the holy Roman Church, presided in the name of our predecessor in the council, in which several public and solemn sessions were held and several decrees promulgated on the subjects of faith and reform, and also many other things relating to both subjects were examined and discussed. We, therefore, to whom, as reigning sovereign pontiff, it belongs to convoke and direct general councils, that we may, to the praise and glory of Almighty God, procure the peace of the Church and the increase of the Christian faith and of the orthodox religion, and may, as far as we are able, consider with paternal solicitude the tranquillity of Germany, a province which in times past was second to none in Christendom in cultivating true religion and the teaching of the holy councils and the holy Fathers, and in exhibiting due obedience and reverence to the supreme pontiffs, the vicars on earth of Christ our Redeemer, hoping that by the grace and bounty of God it will come about that all Christian kings and princes will approve, favor and aid our just and pious wishes in this matter, by the bowels of the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, exhort, command and admonish our venerable brethren the patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, our beloved sons the abbots and each and all of the others who by right, custom or privilege ought to be present at general councils, and whom our predecessor in his letters of convocation and in any others made and published with regard to this matter wished to be present at the council, to convene and assemble in the same city of Trent, since the lawful impediment no longer exists, and to apply themselves without delay to the continuation and prosecution of the council on the next first of May, which day we, after mature deliberation, of our own certain knowledge, with the plenitude of Apostolic authority, and with the advice and consent of our venerable brethren, the cardinals of the holy Roman Church, appoint and set aside for the resumption and continuation of the council in the state in which it now is. We shall make it our special care that our legates will be in the city at the same time, through whom, if on account of our age, state of health and the demands of the Apostolic See we shall be unable to be present personally, we shall under the guidance of the Holy Ghost preside over the Council; any translation and suspension of the council and any other things whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding, and especially those things which it was the will of our predecessor should not create any obstacles, as expressed in his letters aforesaid, which, with each and all of restrictions and decrees therein contained, we wish and decree to remain in force, and so far as there is need we hereby renew them; declaring, moreover, null and void whatever may be attempted knowingly or unknowingly by any person or by any authority to the contrary. Let no one, therefore, infringe this our letter of exhortation, or with foolhardy boldness go contrary to it. But if anyone shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will incur the indignation of Almighty God and of His blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. Given at Rome at St. Peter’s in the year 1550 of our Lord’s incarnation, on the fourteenth of December, in the first year of our pontificate.
M. Cardinal Crescen. Rom. Amasaeus.
Does it please you, for the praise and glory of the holy and undivided Trinity, Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost, for the increase and exaltation of the Christian faith and religion, that the holy, ecumenical and general Council of Trent be, in accordance with the form and tenor of the letters of our most holy Lord, resumed, and that further matters be proceeded with?
They answered: It pleases us.
Does it please you that the next session be held and celebrated on the following first of September?
They answered: It pleases us.