The Council of Trent (1542-62), which had been convened by the Pope to help the Church respond to the upheaval of the Reformation, had, among other measures, decreed that there should be specialized institutes established for the proper training of priests. These had not existed before, strangely. There had been no standardized and little professional formation of the clergy. This was considered to be one of the weak points contributing to the failure of the Church to take part in the battle of the new ideas. The Penal Laws made it unthinkable, at least at first, to have these anywhere in Scotland, and so we looked to friendly parts of Europe to give us a home for these seminaries, as they were called.