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Colloquy of Poissy

1561. An assembly of French Roman Catholic prelates and Reformed Protestant theologians, ministers and laymen, convened by the regent and queen mother, Catherine de' Medici.* Since the Council of Trent* had been adjourned in 1552 and was, moreover, clearly not following a policy of compromise with Protestantism, Catherine hoped to achieve religious peace and unity for France by a national program of reform, doctrinal and disciplinary, by calling a national council of the Gallican Church. The papacy prevented such a council by reconvening the Council of Trent. But Catherine went ahead, giving her assembly the designation “colloquy.” As neither the Roman Catholic Church nor Calvinism was purely national, and as Catherine was also incapable of appreciating the depth of the doctrinal differences, this attempt at a political solution failed. Instead the Protestants gained an aura of royal acceptance, and religious passions were intensified, leading to open hostilities by 1562.