The order of work followed a coherent pattern. It began with a “special congregation,” in which theologians and canons discussed the drafting of a particular decree. The fathers trained the public for these technical exhibitions. When they found themselves alone in a “general community,” they themselves debated the issue until they agreed on a final text. A “meeting” was a public meeting at which the text was read, formally voted and promulgated by decision of the Council. As it happened to have both a liturgical and a legal meaning, a session is always called in the cathedral or in another church. Between 1545 and 1563, the Council of Trent held 25 sessions, 17 of which were essential in the sense that they were opportunities for promulgation of definitions of education and reform laws, the rest being ceremonial issues. However, the actual end of the movement did not cause the theory to be breastfed. Sacrosancta`s teaching continued to flourish in academia, especially at the Sorbonne. Even those who refused Sacrosancta did not necessarily reject Frequens.
The two decrees had no doubt been intertwined in the minds of Constance`s fathers, but since the century had a distinction between them, it was often drawn by those who, while not agreeing to admit the constitutional superiority of the Council, believed that only a Council could bring careful reform. But there were other, rather obvious reasons for the collapse of the movement, including the tendency of the councils to argue with each other. For their part, the popes ignored Sacrosancta`s teaching and escaped the provisions of Frequens. In 1431, a council was convened in Basel, but it quickly coincided with the Pope, who had withdrawn from him and had convened a more docile assembly under his own presidency in Florence. The Hull Council met in Basel until 1449, when it dissolved into bitterly contested factions. After that, the Council`s rhetoric seemed increasingly hollow, especially when it was engaged by lay leaders who systematically referred to the threat of a Council as a means of influencing papal politics in Italy. Thus, the Council movement died of a prolonged death, its last sip came to Pisa in 1511, when the King of France, in union with a dissident minority of the College of Cardinals, inserted a council whose stated purpose was to deprive the pope, the king`s most bitter political enemy, of his office. This conciliabulum did not survive the French military returns the following year. The issue was also debated at the Reichstag of Augsburg in 1530, when Campegio again opposed a council, while the emperor declared himself in favour of one, provided that the Protestants were prepared to restore earlier conditions pending the Council`s decision.
Charles` proposal was approved by the Catholic princes, who wanted the assembly to meet in Germany. The emperor`s letters to his ambassadors in Rome on this subject led twice to the discussion of the matter among the cardinals specially appointed for German affairs. Although the opinions were different, the Pope wrote to the emperor that Charles could promise to convene a council with his approval, provided that the Protestants returned to the obedience of the Church. He proposed an Italian city, preferably Rome, as a meeting place. However, the emperor was suspicious of the pope and believed that Clement did not really want advice. In the meantime, the Protestant princes did not agree to abandon their teachings. Clement continued to face difficulties with a council, although Karl, in agreement with most cardinals, especially Farnese, del Monte and Canisio, repeatedly asked him to convene one as the only way to confuse religious quarrels.