The Dissolution Of The Manasteries Essay Research

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The Dissolution Of The Manasteries Essay, Research Paper Background to the Dissolution The Dissolution of the Monasteries and the events which followed, were all brought about as a direct result of the break with Rome. The reason for the break, lies simply in Henry?s frustration at his inability to secure a divorce form his wife Catherine of Aragon, and a blessing from the Pope for his new marriage to Anne Boleyn, although arguably, there was a need for reformation within the church. Prior to the break with Rome, the church was rife with pluralism, simony (one of the pope?s main failings) and breaches of the vows of celibacy. It is therefore clear that there were problems with the English church prior to the break, but although it was unpopular, many people including Henry

remained Catholic: ?A firm Catholic, he was keen to have papal approval, and the more unlikely this became, the more he was forced to question the Pope?s jurisdiction in England? [2] To accomplish a break, Henry needed some kind of justification, and he would also have to ensure that in implementing the break itself, he was not seen as supporting heresy and the Protestant reformation in particular. With the aid of advisor Thomas Cromwell, Henry aims to enact the break with Rome using statute authority; that of the king, lords and commons acting through parliament. ?A sequence of truly revolutionary acts of parliament now cut the bonds ? spiritual, legal, financial ? which linked the English church and state to Rome? [3] There were several main landmarks in the break with Rome,

the first of which was the act in restraint of appeals. This was a justification and definition of royal supremacy, and was grafted by Thomas Cromwell. It was the act of supremacy in 1534 however, that would prove to be Henrys greatest step forward in the break. It confirmed Henry?s headship of the church and explicitly reserved the crown the rights to the organizing and jurisdictional powers formerly held by the Papacy. By this, the crown would control the right o define the church?s teachings and doctrinal decisions, ultimately resulting in the downfall of the monasteries. As a result of Henry?s pressure on the English clergy in his attempts to convince the Pope to grant a divorce, the dissolution of the monasteries became an important and necessary task. By removing the Pope?s

most loyal supporters from England, Henry was severely limiting his power. In 1533, in stead of Anne Boleyn?s impending pregnancy, Thomas Cranmer, an archbishop, declared Henry?s marriage to Catherine invalid, (?the king must stop living in this sin with this woman who is not his wife? [4]) and married him to Anne Boleyn. ?The Act of Supremacy? then, established Henry as head of the Church of England, and marked the end of the Pope?s influence in his realm. Threatened by the Pope with excommunication, if he did not take Catherine back, all hopes of reconciliation with Rome were passed. Henry?s reformation was moving quickly.When henry VIII first initiated the dissolution of the Monasteries, he was facing criticism from various sides. It must be understood that in deciding the

validity of Henry?s claims for the dissolution, there are two sides to the argument. Protestant supporters of Henry?s actions, argue that after the 1530?s, all the monasteries were corrupt and a place where sinners lived in a luxury paid for by others. The reasons for monastic life they claimed, were based on a lie created by the Papacy, to strengthen its own position: In order to lessen the time a person spends in purgatory when they die, money must be donated to the church in order to save their soul. As a result of these false and morally corrupt claims on behalf of the Papacy, Protestants argued that the monasteries deserved to be dissolved, as the money they survived upon was gained under false pretences. Another factor that supports Henry?s argument for the dissolution,