Taking the example from the Scriptures, Seripando revived the image of the bishop as most of all being a pastor and teacher.
This set him apart from most of his colleagues of the 16th century, and pointed ahead to the ideal of a bishop that he would promote at the Council of Trent.
Seripando lived in his diocese, which was not a common practice at the time.
He embarked on a reform program to renew the spiritual life of Salerno and to correct the abuses that plagued the faithful and the clergy.
A few years later in 1561, Pope Pius IV made him a cardinal and the second legate of the Pope in attendance at the Council of Trent.
Upon the death of Cardinal Gonzaga, he became the president of the same Council.
Seripando had participated in the Council of Trent from the beginning by virtue of his position as Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine.
He was involved in the discussions of the Council as a noted theologian and one knowledgeable about the teachings of Saint Augustine.
During the first period of the Council he was entrusted with the task of preparing an outline of current errors and deviations being diffused about the Bible.
Seripando was also the principal voice in defence of the rights of members of religious orders to preach in their own churches without the consent of the local bishop.
Later, during the fifth session, he was instrumental in the decree on the reading of the Bible and preaching.
Like Seripando, many others at the Council of Trent sought to restore the pastoral dimension of the episcopate, and they emphasised the spiritual duties of bishops to their flocks.
Bishops could not properly attend to their charges if they did not reside in their diocese. Why was this issue of such importance?
In the latter half of the 1540s more than 80 bishops resided in Rome.
That number jumped to 113 in 1556 and, on the eve of the third period of Trent, more than 70 bishops were living in Rome away from their dioceses.
Similar conditions of episcopal absenteeism existed throughout Europe.
Most bishops had little difficulty obtaining Roman permission to live away from their dioceses.
During the plenary session of the Council on 21st June 1546, however, Seripando declared, "Absolutely no impediment exists that can excuse the non-residence of a bishop in his diocese."
On this issue, history was to show that Seripando and his colleagues did not win this contest.
At the Council of Trent, Seripando helped draft the decree on original sin and justification.
Because of the great amount of Reformation dissent about the theology of justification, the Council members took great pains in attempting to determine what Augustine thought on the matter.
This had been a controversial question ever since Martin Luther (and John Calvin) had adopted the harshest position of Augustine, which the Catholic Church had never accepted.
Seripando using his own insights and scholarship in theology. He proposed his doctrine of double justice about justification, which attempted to incorporate both the Catholic Church and of Martin Luther.
His attempt was, however, rejected by both Martin Luther and the Council of Trent.
The eventual decree of the Council of Trent about justification adhered to the purest style of both the Apostle Paul and Augustine of Hippo.
(Continued on the next page.)