The Counter-Reformation movement began as a result of strong opposition to the Roman Catholic Church by Martin Luther and the defiance of the Princes of Germany. Prior to the start of the movement, the Catholic Church had come under sharp criticism spearheaded by Martin Luther, who was himself once a Catholic monk.
The Counter-Reformation movement was started by the Catholic Church in order to manage the discontent and opposition the church was facing. Martin Luther, having established himself as an authority in religious matters, had succeeded in convincing many to view the Catholic Church as one that was not teaching the ways of the Bible, but rather advancing its own course.
This was met by the formation of the movement which enticed many people with promises of reform in the Catholic Church itself. Various decrees were established by the Council of Trent, in which harsh penalties including torture would be meted on anyone that dared oppose the church. Investigations, torture and church rules enforcement were carried out by an agency of obedience named the Roman Inquisition.
The Index of Forbidden Books was published in which was contained about 583 texts that were condemned by the Catholic Church. The texts, which included biblical translations and certain works of Luther, Calvin and Erasmus, were branded as heresy.