The work of religious orders and individuals can be seen as instrumental towards the Catholic Reformation. Work of individuals, such as Cardinal Ximenez was vital. He regarded Spain as one large diocese and completely and successfully implemented reform. However it was the work of religious orders, such as the Jesuits that had the greater impact. The Jesuits led by example, proving to the world that it was possible to be both Catholic and devout. They spread Catholicism, ensuring its dominance in both neglected parishes vulnerable to Protestant ideas, and worldwide, as they travelled as far as South America and Asia. The Jesuits were renowned for their teaching, quickly gaining importance amongst influential figures. However their success is largely due to the support of various popes, and the confirmation they made towards reform should be credited to the Papacy as they provide the necessary funding. Although they were very important in the reformation movement, they implemented already decided doctrine and were more instruments, better yet agents of reform rather than key reformers themselves. Their effectiveness was more dependent on the area and how encouraged they were, operating to an agenda set by the Council of Trent.
Part 5 Part 7