Henry’simmediate problem in the 1520s was the lack of a male heir. After eighteen years of marriage, he had onlya sickly daughter and an illegitimate son. His queen, Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536), after four earlierpregnancies, gave birth to a stillborn son in 1518.
By 1527, when she was forty-two, Henry hadconcluded that she would have no more children. His only hope for the future of his dynasty seemed to be a new marriagewith another queen. This, of course,would require an annulment of his marriage to Catherine. In 1527, he appealed to the pope, asking forthe annulment. Normally, the requestwould probably have been granted; the situation, however, was not normal. Catherine had first been the wife of Henry’sdeceased brother Arthur.
Her marriage toHenry had required a papal dispensation, based on her oath that the firstmarriage had never been consummated. Now Henry professed concern for his soul,tainted by living in sin with Catherine for eighteen years. He also claimed that he was being punished,citing a passage in the Book of Leviticus, which predicted childlessness forthe man who married his dead brother’s wife. The pope was sympathetic and certainly aware of an obligation to Henry,who for his verbal attacks against Luther had been named “Defender of theFaith” by a grateful earlier pontiff; but granting the annulment wouldhave been admission of papal error, perhaps even corruption, in issuing thedispensation. Added to the Lutheranproblem, this would have been doubly damaging to the papacy.Part of Henry’s argument for the annulment of he and Catherineis rooted in Leviticus. Henry used this passage to claimthat his marriage, despite a papal dispensation, was immoral, “Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife:it is thy brother’s nakedness” (Leviticus 18:6).
According to the Bible, it is against theseventh commandment to have sexual relations with a family member, which he andCatherine were, technically, as they were in laws; however, officially, theywere not because of the papal dispensation they had received. Therefore, Leviticus 18:6 does not apply toHenry’s situation. The second part ofHenry’s Leviticus argument is a claim that he has been living in sin as aresult of his intimate relationship with his wife, “If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act ofimpurity; he has dishonored his brother. They will be childless” (Leviticus20:21). ThisBible verse substantially worried King Henry, as he believed this was thereason for his dilemma. His inability toproduce a male heir with Catherine was asserted to be a “divine judgment”resulting from Catherine’s apparent consummation of her previous marriage toHenry’s brother.
The argument of HenryVIII is not valid Pope Julius II had granted the papal dispensation forCatherine and Henry’s impediment of affinity on the basis that Catherine hadnot consummated her previous marriage to Arthur, Henry’s deceased brother.ADD A SENTENCE OR TWO HERE….. On March 7, 1530, Pope Clement VII issued the following bull:…Bull, notifying that on the appeal of queen Katharine from the judgment of theLegates, who had declared her contumacious for refusing their jurisdiction asbeing not impartial, the Pope had committed the cause, at her request, toMaster Paul Capisucio, the Pope’s chaplain, and auditor of the Apostolicpalace, with power to cite the King and others; that the said Auditor,ascertaining that access was not safe, caused the said citation, with aninhibition under censures, and a penalty of 10,000 ducats, to be posted on thedoors of the churches in Rome, at Bruges, Tournay, and Dunkirk, and the townsof the diocese of Terouenne (Morinensis). The Queen, however, having complainedthat the King had boasted, notwithstanding the inhibition and mandate againsthim, that he would proceed to a second marriage, the Pope issues thisinhibition, to be fixed on the doors of the churches as before, under thepenalty of the greater excommunication, and interdict to be laid upon thekingdom. Bologna, 7 March 1530, 7 Clement VII. (LP iv.
6256)This was Pope Clement VII’s reactionto Kings Henry VIII’s disobedience to God’s Law. Catherine of Aragon hadnotified the Pope that King Henry VIII was persistent to marry Anne Boleyn, aProtestant. The Pope reacted bythreatening excommunication. This attempt failed. KingHenry VIII tried endlessly to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
Continuing his efforts to prove this outcome,he went as far as even sending his men to universities to acquire proof thathis first marriage was opposed to God’s law. This was not Henry’s first attempt. On April 13, 1528, a papal bull appointed Cardinal Wolsey as the Pope’sproxy “to take cognizance of all matters concerning the King’s divorce” (Parenthetical Reference). The Pope appointed Cardinal Lorenzo Campeggioas his papal legate in June to prepare for the upcoming divorce hearing.This had all raised from early 1528 when CardinalThomas Wolsey, Henry VIII’s right-hand man, had written to Pope Clement VIIconcerning Henry VIII’s demand that the case for an annulment of his marriageto Catherine of Aragon be decided in England by Wolsey and a visiting papallegate, who would act with the full authority of the Pope. OnDecember 8, 1528, Cardinal Campeggio arrived in London, but Eric Ives explainedhow his “powers were not complete” which necessitated “further wearisome andunsatisfactory negotiation with the papal Curia” (ParentheticalReference). This wasintentionally done in order to stall the proceedings. Thereby making things worse for Henry VIIIand Wolsey when Catherine of Aragon produced Pope Julius II’s dispensation forher to marry Henry.
This caused a flawand further delayed the case. In themeantime, Catherine was advised by Campeggio to join a convent; this wouldallow the marriage to be annulled easily. However, Catherine would not agree to this as she proclaimed herself tobe Henry’s true wife and queen, thus forbidding to taking the veil. Henry VIII and Wolsey then played dirty,threatening Catherine with separation from her daughter Mary if she would notobey the King. With the support of the people, like John Fisher (Bishop ofRochester), Archbishop Warham, and Cuthbert Tunstall (Bishop of London),instead of submitting to the King, Catherine fought back by appealing to Romeagainst the authority of Wolsey and Campeggio to try the case at a LegatineCourt.
Campeggiocould only stall for so long and formal proceedings finally began on May 31,1529, at the Legatine Court at Blackfriars. On the 21st of June, Catherine of Aragon gave what David Starkey calls”the speech of her life” (Parenthetical Reference). She approached her husband, kneltat his feet, and gave the following speech in slightly broken English:Sir, I beseech you for all the lovethat hath been between us, and for the love of God, let me have justice. Takeof me some pity and compassion, for I am a poor woman, and a stranger born outof your dominion. I have here no assured friends, and much less impartialcounsel… Alas! Sir, wherein have I offended you, or what occasion ofdispleasure have I deserved?… I have been to you a true, humble and obedientwife, ever comfortable to your will and pleasure, that never said or did anythingto the contrary thereof, being always well pleased and contented with allthings wherein you had any delight or dalliance, whether it were in little ormuch. I never grudged in word or countenance, or showed a visage or spark ofdiscontent. I loved all those whom ye loved, only for your sake, whether I hadcause or no, and whether they were my friends or enemies.
The twenty years or more,I have been your true wife and by me ye have had divers children, although ithath pleased God to call them out of this world, which hath been no default inme… When ye had me at first, I take God to my judge; I was a true maid, withouttouch of man. In addition, whether it be true or no, I put it to yourconscience. If there be any just cause by the law that ye can allege against meeither of dishonesty or any other impediment to banish and put me from you, Iam well content to depart to my great shame and dishonour.
And if there benone, then here, I most lowly beseech you, let me remain in my former estate…Therefore, I most humbly require you, in the way of charity and for the love ofGod – who is the just judge – to spare me the extremity of this new court,until I may be advised what way and order my friends in Spain will advise me totake. And if ye will not extend to me so much impartial favour, your pleasurethen be fulfilled, and to God I commit my cause!” In this speech, Catherine also reminded Henrythat his father, “The Second Solomon”, and her father, had considered “themarriage between you and me good and lawful. (ParentheticalReference)In this speech, Catherine alsoreminded Henry that his father, “The Second Solomon,” and her father, hadconsidered “the marriage between you and me good and lawful.” She ended her speech still on her knees,though Henry had tried to raise her up twice during her speech. Shethen asked for the King’s permission to write to the Pope to defend her honor,which he granted. Catherine thencurtseyed and instead of walking back to her seat walked straight out of court,ignoring the crier who called for her to return to her seat.
As her receiver general, Griffin Richards,told her that she was being called back, Catherine was heard to reply, “On, on.It makes no matter, for it is no impartial court for me, therefore I will nottarry. Go on.” And with that she left the Legatine Court. ADD SENTENCE HERE.Continuingon from here, King Henry VIII tried to prove that Catherine had consummated hermarriage to his brother, Arthur. However,Catherine had already signed protestations of her virginity and Bishop JohnFisher shocked the court in his defense of Catherine’s virtue, quoting from theBook of Matthew and saying: QuosDeus conjunxit, homo non separet. ‘What therefore God has joined together, letnot man put asunder.
‘ And, for as much as this marriage was made and joined byGod to a good intent, I say that I know the truth; which is that it cannot bebroken or loosed by the power of man.” He then said that he was so convinced ofCatherine’s cause that he would lay down his life for it. (Which, of course, hedid in the end when he was tried and executed by Henry in 1535.
This was thereason he was martyred and future canonized).ANALYZE QUOTE. This prompted Henry VIII to then send Wolsey and Campeggioto see Catherine.
They tried to bully her into complying, but wereunsuccessful. Without her knowledge, on July 13th, Pope Clement approvedCatherine’s appeal. Unfortunately, shewas not to hear of this for some time. So,with her hopelessness, Campeggio tried another tactic on her behalf. Thus, in July 1529, he announced that thecourt would adjourn until October for a summer recess due to the fact that itwas “reaping and harvesting” time in Rome, a time when courts did not sit (Parenthetical Reference).
This made King Henry VIII furious, but,nonetheless, the Legatine Court was suspended. Furthermore, not conjugating again when the news reached England thatCatherine’s appeal had been successful. Henry, who was certain that the court would pass sentence and rule inhis favor, was distraught over this.InFebruary 1531, these events led Henry VIII to claim the title of “SoleProtector and Supreme Head of the Church of England” (ParentheticalReference). However, he had tocompromise by adding “as far as allowed by the law of Christ, Supreme Head ofthe same” (Parenthetical Reference). This addition extracted from Parliament theauthority to appoint bishops; thus designating his willing tool, ThomasCranmer, as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Inreturn, this paved the way for the break with Rome and for the annulment ofHenry’s marriage to Catherine finalized by May of 1533. Thus allowing Henry VIII to marry Anne Boleynin a secret ceremony in January 1533, shortly before Anne’s coronation. Henry and the Church began to stumble on tothe edge of schism. Any conflict withRome was in accord with national pride and often expressed in traditionalresentment against Roman domination.
Late medieval English kings had challenged the papacy over Churchappointments and revenues. More than acentury and a half before Luther, an Oxford professor named John Wycliffe haddenounced the false claims of popes and bishops. In more recent times, English Christianhumanists, including Sir Thomas More, had criticized the artificialities ofCatholic worship. Thus, when the popedelayed making a decision, Henry was relatively secure in his support at home.
KingHenry’s ambitions to gain control truly began when the pope threatened excommunication. This gave Henry the encouragement heneeded. He passed one act forcing all to recognize the childrenof his new marriage as heirs to the throne. Then, he passed another making him the “supreme head” of thechurch in England. He dissolved monasteries, redistributing theirproperty to his nobles to reinforce their loyalty. Monks who resisted were executed and themoney from their treasuries went into his coffers.Still,in an era of Reformation, his church reforms were conservative. He appeared to want a Catholic Church—justone that was always loyal to him and to England.
“I do not choose anyone to have it inhis power to command me, nor will I ever suffer it,” he once said (Parenthetical Reference). So, while he broke from Rome, he continuedto uphold transubstantiation and demanded clerical celibacy. Parliament also ended all payments ofrevenues to Rome. Now, having littlechoice, Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry, making the breach official onboth sides. England’sbreak from Rome happened in stages, beginning with the March 1532 Act inRestraint of Annates, thus being the first legal part of the process.
This act limited annates—payments fromchurches to Rome—down to 5%. In 1534,annates were abolished completely in the Act in Absolute Restraint ofAnnates. The 1533 Act in Restraint ofAppeals began the process of transferring the power of the Church in Rome toHenry VIII and his government, and is considered the starting point of theEnglish Reformation. All appeals to thePope were prohibited and the King was made the final authority on all matters. Through the Act of Supremacy of 1534, the King made himselfthe “supreme head” of the Church of England in place of thePope. After this dramatic move, KingHenry dissolved England’s monasteries, destroyed Roman Catholic shrines, andordered the Great Bible (in English) to be placed in all churches. However, Henry allowed few doctrinal changesand very little changed in the religious life of the common Englishworshiper.
Under Henry VIII, the Churchof England maintained mostly Catholic traditions, with the exception of loyaltyto Rome.Amid an anti-Catholic campaign in the 1530s, Henry securedthe Anglican establishment, which became an engine for furthering royalpolicies, with the King’s henchmen controlling every function, from thebuilding of chapels to the wording of the liturgy. Former church revenues, including more than40,000 a year from religious fees alone, poured into the royal treasury. In 1539, Parliament completed its seizure ofmonastery lands, selling some for revenue and dispensing others to secure theloyalties of crown supporters. Meanwhile, Catholics suffered. Dispossessed nuns, unlike monks and priests, could find no place in thenew church and were often reduced to despair. One such nun, the famous “holy maid of Kent,”dared to rebuke the King publicly. As aresult, she was executed, as were other Catholic dissidents, including Henry’sformer chancellor, Sir Thomas More, and the saintly Bishop Fisher ofRochester.
Henry even forced hisdaughter, Mary, to accept him as head of the church and admit the illegality ofher parents’ marriage.The new English Church, however, brought little change indoctrine or ritual. The “SixArticles,” Parliament’s declaration of the new creed and ceremonies in1539, reaffirmed most Catholic theology, except papal supremacy. The way the Anglican Church deviated from the Catholic Church isthe root of the Anglican disbelief of papal supremacy.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is consideredthe highest ranking. However, he doesnot have authority over any of the churches outside his province; he has thesame authority as all the members ofthe Anglican Communion. Therefore, theAnglican Church rejects hierarchy while the Catholic Church embodies it, as aresult of the fashion in which the schism occurred.Thethirty-nine articles, written by ____ and included in the Book of Common Prayer,clarifies the rules of Anglicanism. Although Anglicanism is a derivative of Catholicism, the schism betweenthe two religions caused the appearance of certain Anglican rules, includingrule twenty-five: Those five commonly calledSacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted forSacraments of the Gospel, being like they havegrown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles..
.This directive is theoutcome of the way Anglicanism was formed. This religion, unlike that of the Catholic Church, believes in only twosacraments—Baptism and Communion. The “reasoning”behind this is that the Apostles taught the disciples about the other fivesacraments—Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction—andAnglicans consider the Apostles as “corrupt” because they are recognizedleaders of the Catholic Church, one of them, Peter, was even the first Pope ofthe Catholic Church. As a result of theway the schism occurred, Anglicanism is so much against papal supremacy thatthey do not celebrate five of the seven sacraments because they were preachedby the Apostles.
Catherineof Aragon could never have known that her refusal to accept the annulment ofher marriage to King Henry VIII and with that by appealing to Rome for thePope’s support would lead to England breaking with her beloved church. Furthermore,proving that the papacy’s involvement and reinforcement paved the way for Henryto break away from Rome and the Catholic Church leading to the King’s creationof Anglicanism.Theearly church in England was a distinctive fusion of British, Celtic, and Romaninfluences. ADD SENTENCE HERE OR TAKE AWAY PREVIOUSSENTENCE.
Under King Henry VIII,in the 16th century, the Church of England broke from Rome, largely because Pope Clement VII refused to grantHenry an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Itwas not that King Henry VIII had a change of conscience regarding publishingthe Bible in English. His motives weremore sinister… ADD MORE HERE… but the Lord sometimes uses the evil intentions of mento bring about His glory.
KingHenry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wifeand marry his mistress. The Pope refused. King Henry responded by marrying hismistress anyway, (later having two of his six wives executed), and thumbing hisnose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from underRome’s religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of Stateto also be the new head of the Church. This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nortruly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England.King Henry VIII acted essentially as its “Pope.” His first act was to further defy the wishesof Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English, the first legalEnglish Bible, solely out of spite.
Henry’sbreak from Rome was fundamentally over control of the English Church. Although he instituted some Protestantmeasures during his reign. For example,he put English Bibles in all the churches. Additionally, despite the fact that he always supported his Protestant-leaningarchbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, Henry sided with Rome on key issues ofdoctrine and practice, “I do not choose anyone to have it in his power tocommand me, nor will I ever suffer it.”