The third session of the Council of Trent started in 1562. The pope was Pius IV. By 1562 the Jesuits had become far more powerful in the Council and this was at a time in Europe when there was general chaos. Ferdinand, the brother of Charles V, still hoped for reconciliation with the Protestants;Charles IX of France supported this in an effort to stave off religious problems in France; Spanish bishops wanted the authority of the bishops to be declared superior to that of the pope and in this they were supported by Philip II of Spain. The Italian bishops at Trent would have none of this.


The third session declared:


·          clerical celibacy was upheld


·          communion in one kind for the laity was upheld


·          the veneration of images and relics was upheld


·          bishops were to ordain only suitable men to holy orders and to supervise their  moral life


·          clergy were to reside in their parishes and to perform regular duties.


·          a seminary was to be established in every diocese


This session put an emphasis on the quality of the clergy.


But the Council left the pope to decide on the revision of the Index, the compilation of the catechism and the revision of the Missal and the Breviary. This greatly extended the influence of the pope and it was the position of the pope that emerged victorious from the Council of Trent and the Council formally recognised the pope as Vicar of Christ on Earth. 


Also any reforms passed by Trent did not become church law until they were accepted (promulgated) by the pope. The ultimate authority the pope had was still his right to appoint bishops in the majority of Catholic countries (though not in Spain and France) and should a future Council be ordered to meet it would be flooded with Papal appointees who would progress only through the patronage of the pope. Hence by 1563, the pope was probably in a much stronger position than he had been in 1545.