The Counter Reformation was a movement aimed at converting churches back to Roman obedience. This reformation was in response to the Protestant Reformation, which stemmed primarily from the teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin.
The Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was started by individuals, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who questioned papal authority and the church's power over the practice of Christianity. Protestants wanted religious authority to come from the Bible itself, not churches and their traditions. This shift in thinking was partly due to Renaissance's emphasis on thinking outside the norm and the effects that had on the population.
While the church was slow to respond to the Protestant Reformation, the Counter-Reformation began with the Council of Trent in 1545.