Interim of Augsburg | Free Online Biblical Library

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Interim of Augsburg

1548. The attempt by the emperor Charles V* to establish religious unity in Germany. His sympathies were with the Roman Catholic Church, but the strength of the Protestant cause, openly manifested in the League of Smalcald,* could not be ignored. After the defeat of the Protestant princes in the Smalcald War, Charles felt that he could impose some measure of religious uniformity and drew up the Interim, which was to be a provisional arrangement until the Council of Trent* had completed its work of investigating possible reforms. In the Interim Charles sought to reimpose the Roman Catholic hierarchy on the German Church and to reestablish the old fasts, feasts, and ceremonies. To allay the discontent of the Protestants, he introduced certain external reforms, permitting the marriage of the clergy and the giving of the cup to the laity in the Lord's Supper. Inevitably such a compromise satisfied no one; force of arms in the person of Spanish troops was needed to compel the Protestants in particular to accept it. The reaction to this compulsion led to the defeat of Charles and to the Peace of Augsburg* in 1555, when each state was given liberty to choose the creed which it would adopt-Lutheran or Roman Catholic.