King Henry VIII And The Catalysts Of The English Reformation

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The catalyst of the English Reformation was quite different than that which occurred in the European mainland. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others, driven by theological convictions birthed in the universities, sought moral, spiritual, and theological reform within the Catholic Church; the English Reformation on the other hand, began in state affairs, more specifically with “the problem of succession to the royal throne.” In an effort to keep ties with Spain strong and to retain the widow’s fortune, Henry VII arranged for his son Henry VIII to marry his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon. Since Cannon law prohibited such a union, and according to William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, “the will of God himself “ was against it, a papal dispensation was secured and Henry VIII was betrothed to Catherine. Soon after, when Henry VI became ill and his queen died, both the nation and king alike wondered if such events were “divine judgment”, leading some to question, “Was it in the pope’s power to permit what God had forbidden?” King Henry VIII, after hearing about his father’s misfortune and the unrest of the people, admitted his own discontentment with the idea of to make Catherine his wife; however, After the death of Henry VI, stirred by his “virtuous decision” given to his father, Henry VIII married Catherine. After fifteen years of marriage, Henry VIII decided to divorce Catherine. According to Richard Rex, there are two reasons historians suggest for Henry’s
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