The Church of England — страница 2

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formal blessing of Pope Alexander II, invaded England. After seizing the English Crown, William replaced all but one of the English bishops with Norman bishops loyal to Rome. The CHURCH OF ENGLAND was to remain under Papal jurisdiction for nearly 500 years, until the reign of King Henry VIII. 2. Reformation of Church England in the sixteenth century was a land of contrasts. Much less urban than either Germany or the Netherlands, it nevertheless possessed a thriving international trade centre in London and in Oxford and Cambridge, two universities of outstanding reputation. The universities, in fact, would play a significant role in the early campaigns against Luther. Henry VIII turned to their finest theologians for arguments allowing him to enter the lists against the growing

threat of Lutheran heresy. This initiative would earn him from a grateful Pope the coveted title, Defender of the Faith. The progress of the Reformation in England was closely bound up with Henry's personal affairs. His increasing desperation to secure release from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon forced him to contemplate radical steps that went very much against the grain of his own instinctive theological conservatism. Henry VIII It was the only Henry’s chance to go outside the boundaries of the orthodoxy. Until this event, Henry had never questioned the Pope’s authority or the validity of the Bible passage, it banned the marriage of a brother- and sister-in-law. It was as early as the end of 1529 that Henry first considered a complete dissociation from the Roman

church. Henry forced Wolsey to retire, as his entire foreign policy had collapsed and he was now of no help to the King. In July of 1531, Henry sent Catherine to Ampthill, never to see her again. He took back her royal jewels and gave them to Anne. When Parliament reconvened in January, 1532, Henry ordered that no further funds would be transferred to Rome, but hinted to the Pope that the money would be restored if the annulment was passed. Meanwhile, most of the bishops had been persuaded that they would not lose any power or income if the English Church were to split from Rome. In March, the Convocation formally announced their readiness to separate: “May it please your Highness to ordain in the present Parliament that the obedience of your Highness and of the people be

withdrawn from the See of Rome.” On May 15, they printed a pledge to submit all its legislation to a new committee, formed of laymen and clergymen, called the “Reformation Parliament” and Convocation. This is where the Church of England was born. On January 15, 1533, Henry and Anne, who was four months pregnant, were married. However, the King still did not have his first marriage annulled. He submitted his request for annulment to the new Convocation, led by Thomas Cranmer. On May 23, Cranmer declared Henry and Catherine’s marriage to be unlawful and void. Five days later, he pronounced Henry and Anne legally wed. On May 31, 1533, Anne was coronated as Queen of England. Although the King and new Queen rejoiced, the silence from the crowd at the coronation spoke for much

of England. Pope Clement excommunicated the King, stating that the new marriage was null, and that any children would be illegitimate. On September 7 Elizabeth was born. Henry swiftly transformed the English Church by passing various Acts through Parliament. In March of 1534, The Act of Succession declared the marriage to Catherine invalid, and therefore Mary illegitimate. Elizabeth was named heir to the throne unless Anne produced a son. Royal commissioners rode through the countryside, stopping at every house, castle, monastery, and convent to exact oaths of loyalty to the King from every man and woman. Only a few refused; those that did were sent to the Tower of London to be put to death. On November 11, 1534, the Statute of Supremacy was passed by Parliament. This Act

announced that “… the king, our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England, called Anglicans Ecclesia”. And the King “…our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority” to do everything “most to the pleasure of Almighty God”. It was done to “… increase virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm” (pp. 97-98, Milton Viorst, The Great Documents of Western Civilization, NY, Barnes and Noble, 1965) Innovative from the first, the new Church simplified the liturgy, ensured it was in English rather than Latin and set it out in a new