#1 Posted by sarahsdad (1088 posts) -

I was discussing religion with my wife this morning, and got on the topic of splinters of the Catholic church. It's been a long time since I took a history class, and even then it was mostly about the U.S. so forgive me if this seems like a really grade school question:

Did Henry VIII basically break from the Catholic church because he wanted a religion where it was OK for him to get a divorce?

#2 Edited by Fattony12000 (7404 posts) -
@sarahsdad said:

I was discussing religion with my wife this morning, and got on the topic of splinters of the Catholic church. It's been a long time since I took a history class, and even then it was mostly about the U.S. so forgive me if this seems like a really grade school question:

Did Henry VIII basically break from the Catholic church because he wanted a religion where it was OK for him to get a divorce?

Kinda basically yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Reformation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_VIII_of_England#Divorce_from_Catherine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England#Secession_from_Rome

#3 Posted by mercutio123 (471 posts) -

I'm probably wrong. But that's what my history teacher told me. Legend of a bloke

#4 Edited by leinad44 (512 posts) -

That's what I was told at school. Haven't researched the topic topic since though, it can just tbe simple answer.

#5 Edited by forkboy (1151 posts) -

Well, what he wanted from the Pope of the time was an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon (on some dodgy ground to do with it being unclean to lie with your brothers wife, & Catherine was Henry's brothers wife for a few months until he died). But she was the aunt of the current King of Spain & the HRE and he had a lot of pull with the pope, plus who knows what else led to him deciding to say no. Up until this point Henry was apparently a very devout Catholic, including writing some paper in defence of Papal Supremacy, but obviously he changed his mind. There's an argument made by some historians that he'd have possibly split off from Rome eventually anyway for purely political reasons (heck, you can even argue the annulment was for political reasons, he wanted a son to continue the dynasty as well as avoid another civil war, & Catherine wasn't giving him one. And it wasn't Henry shooting blanks, he had at least one bastard at this point) but it's obviously impossible to know.

Also worth adding that the confiscation of the monestaries really helped increase the royal bank account which probably eased the pain of splitting the Anglican communion from Rome. After the Pope had rejected the annulment he had the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Wolsely tried & found guilty of treason, & that added to his relationship with Anne Boleyn who was sympathetic to Lutheran teachings, a new group of Protestant advisers came in who ultimately sealed the split as about more than just a marriage, into an actual theological split.

#6 Posted by MattyFTM (14383 posts) -

It is more complicated than that, but if you want to boil it down to the simplest possible terms, yeah, that's basically what he did.

Moderator
#7 Edited by avantegardener (1125 posts) -

Also not quite fancying a life of endless guilt and penchant for cake fates and car boot sales, the decision was simple.

#8 Posted by Gatehouse (623 posts) -

Well, @forkboy, you just gave such a comprehensive answer, someone might think you were David Starkey.

#9 Posted by Scampbell (497 posts) -

A true feminist...

#10 Edited by Trilogy (2653 posts) -

I'm not from the UK (American duder), but I was taught that he bought into the protestant reformation because he wanted to divorce his wives for not giving him a son. Killing them was his other option, but it turns out that he would rather take a more clean method of wife disposal. Remember that Protestantism basically was a 180 from Catholicism in terms of tradition and practice.

Little did King Henry know that he was the one not giving up the Y chromosome. A mother can only give her X because she only has X to give. Imagine telling him that back then. You would of ended up with YOUR head rolling. But yea, as far as I was taught, that was the reason.

#11 Posted by sarahsdad (1088 posts) -

@trilogy said:

I'm not from the UK (American duder), but I was taught that he bought into the protestant reformation because he wanted to divorce his wives for not giving him a son.

Not sure how vital a piece that is, but thank you; I didn't realize that it was an existing splinter already, and he adopted (co-opted?) it.

#12 Posted by Xeiphyer (5604 posts) -

Yep basically. Better than having your wife *accidentally* die though.

#13 Posted by forkboy (1151 posts) -

Well, @forkboy, you just gave such a comprehensive answer, someone might think you were David Starkey.

Hah. I just read a lot. Although as a Scot I'm not nearly as interested in the Tudors as Starkey, my go to time period is Revolutionary Russia. All sorts of cool shit there. But as an atheist I still find the history of the church endlessly fascinating, so I do like reading up on that sort of thing, from the schism between west & east, the protestant reformation, the various heresies throughout history. It's good shit.

#14 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4740 posts) -

Yes.