I don't want to condone Henry VIII's bad decisions... help?

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Irish Heart, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    As you may have read in my introductory thread, I'm leaning toward the idea of becoming Anglican, but being a bit of a late Plantagenet/Tudor nerd, something pops into my mind that I'm a bit uncomfortable with.

    Even though I realize the church has changed a great deal through the centuries, I still hearken back to the idea that Henry VIII created this denomination because the Pope wouldn't let him have his way. I feel, therefore, that willingly becoming Anglican (as opposed to be born into the faith) may essentially be condoning the late king's actions in setting aside Catalina de Aragon, even though she was faultless. (If you ignore Salic primogeniture and the whole "was she a virgin" issue, that is.)


    How do all of you stand on the issue?
     
  2. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    I'll give this one a go!

    It is a polemical weapon, isn't it, to point to that infamous episode and say that our church was ushered in by such infamy.

    However that was not a defining moment for the church, insofar as its identity. As you'll see in the Apology, the identity of the church at the break quickly became defined as the bulwark of true orthodoxy.

    Moreover, since we don't believe that the standing of the church rests on the sin or righteousness of its temporal head or its clergy, we are not theologically troubled by this.

    I don't know that I've answered this to satisfaction. Both us and the other denominations (e.g. the Catholics) have infamous dealings of their heads in their history. Ultimately this doesn't necessarily invalidate them as truly part of the visible church. I would take care to be reminded that Donatism was put down many centuries ago!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
  3. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    I don't mean to say that the church is in any way tainted because of that...I'm more concerned about appearing that I approve of the actions of a total nutter. :p
     
  4. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    Right. As for that, we are not condoning that sin at all, just as Roman Catholics don't condone the multitude of infamous sins commited by those that have occupied the seat of Peter.
     
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  5. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    HA! I was just about to say "you could write a book about that", but someone probably has!
     
  6. Classical Anglican

    Classical Anglican Active Member Anglican

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    Jewel has a special section where he covers the track record of the Popes! I think you'll like it!
     
  7. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think it matters all that much--all religious traditions start somewhere and for many different reasons--usually in opposition to some doctrine, personality, or practice. All that stuff with Henry VIII happened a long time ago. And the Anglian traditions have passed through many transitions--and continue to do so. If you find a parish where you can comfortably worship the Trinity, then that is that.
     
  8. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    There's the second little fact about me...I've always been curious what the inside of my local Anglican church looks like. (It seems like they're quite often offering meals or doing good deeds, so that's a start!)
     
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  9. Spherelink

    Spherelink Active Member

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    Henry VIII lived and died a Roman Catholic. Until the nineteenth century it was common for princes and nations to snub the popes and ignore their opinions. The Decrees of Trent were not allowed to be published in France until (again) the nineteenth century, and the Sorbonne actively burnt Jesuit books and condemned pro-Papal theories of church government. The theory of Henry VIII as a reformed catholic (Anglican) is based on little more than roman propaganda. It was Anne Boleyn who truly championed the Gospel, and after her Jane Seymour, two of Henry's unfortunate wives whose legacy (together with our Archbishop) survived into the reign of Edward VI, and it was then that the Reformation (of the Church, not a new Church) began.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  10. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    Anne Boleyn was (supposedly) Lutheran, not Anglican.

    ===

    By the way: coming in here with an attitude is not a good way to win friends and influence people; especially people who are thinking of converting your way!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    "The Bad Popes" by ER Chamberlin is a great one.
     
  12. Irish Heart

    Irish Heart New Member

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    Fortunately, it's an old book, so I should be able to get a copy rather inexpensively. Thank you for the recommendation!
     
  13. zimkhitha

    zimkhitha Active Member

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    Is it accurate though to say Henry VIII started the Anglican Church. Wesley's followers started the Methodist Church....the 2 seem worlds apart as far as similarity is concerned.
     
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  14. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    henry got the ball rolling, but unlike wesley, the end product if the church he "started" bears little resemblance to his own theology.
     
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  15. Onlooker

    Onlooker Active Member

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    My own view is that someone else got the ball rolling, in the third at least — possibly in the first — century. Henry just organised the split from Rome.
     
  16. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There are at least 11 references to the Church in Britain before the third century this according to the early fathers. The ancient church, was according to the Celtic Historian Nennius brought to Britain by AD 40 the English; whilst the English Church was accorded pre eminence at all the General Councils held between was
     
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  17. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I shouldn't think Queen Ann was a Lutheran, certainly,if she were Henry wouldn't have gone to all that trouble just to get rid of her, Lutheranism was classed as a heresy and the end game with that was ,in those days, Burning. Also Henry, had written against Lutheranism. He'd have encouraged her to change, at least.Last Lutherans were executed in about, 1611 .

    Regarding the split from Rome?
    It was not Henry's doing, though he was involved in it.. It was the Bishop of Rome who initiated the split! The Pope did not only refuse Henry an annulment, but caused King Henry to be a laughing stock through out Europe by refusing to return the bribe , in a moment of fear the Roman Bishop refused to accede to Henry's request,
    to change queens. Henry,the scholar, pointed out in a fit of pique that the Bishop of Rome had no authority to exercise his powers outside his own territory as it went against the Canons of the Catholic Church for a bishop to do such a thing. This was an enormous embarrassment for the Bishop who was having trouble with the European clergy. It was not whilst 1671, that he split from the Church in England.
     
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  18. seagull

    seagull Active Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much. It's an old ploy used by certain RCs to try to discredit us (and sometimes "Protestants" in general). In fact Henry VIII was if anything anti-Protestant and persecuted them (eg the Windsor Martyrs). The real founder of the CofE was Elizabeth I, who succeeded a Roman Catholic monarch.
     
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  19. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think that depends on how one defines the term "Protestant." I am currently reading the early formularies of the English Reformation, namely, the Ten Articles, the Bishop's Book, and the King's Book, all of which were promulgated during Henry's reign. By Roman Catholic standards, Henry was certainly not Catholic, yet by the standards of Luther and Calvin he was no Protestant. In these earliest works, one can see the reformed Catholicism which Henry and the English Bishop's were espousing. It was after Henry's death that the radical reformers gained ascendancy and pushed a program more in line with what was transpiring on the continent.
     
  20. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    perhaps by tridentine standards but Trent hadnt happened yet.