Was Henry VIII a Catholic or Protestant

I’ve started this thread to continue a discussion that was derailing this thread.

It was a period when England, France and the kingdoms that were to become Spain were constantly making alliances and then becoming enemies. At the time it suited Aragon and England to make an alliance and both were in favour of Henry and Catherine’s marriage. It required a dispensation. There is a strong case that this shouldn’t have been given. I don’t dispute Henry wanted rid of Catherine so he could marry someone else with whom he hoped to have a son. Aragon didn’t want Catherine or their kingdom shamed. Their current ally was France. Despite the fact there was a strong case that Henry and Catherine should never have been married the pope was persuaded by Aragon and its ally France not to declare the marriage was valid.

He was a Catholic who fell into the sin of schism (among others) and was therefore excommunicated.

I understand what you are saying here. I just think we can’t say definitively that Clement’s main motive was to keep peace with Charles. He had to consider canon law, not just the wishes of emperors and kings. I’m not really up on all the ramifications, but no doubt Clement had people in the Curia advising him, as did Henry his people and Charles his people. Between them all, they couldn’t settle the matter to Henry’s liking so he, along with England, was the loser in the temporal and spiritual realm. The latter because Henry would not submit to the decision, good, bad or indifferent. One of the marks of a good Catholic is obedience. We cannot know what would have happened in history if Henry had swallowed his pride, but it might have prevented the split we see between Canterbury and Rome that destroyed lives and a thriving Catholic culture.

We shouldn’t underestimate the role politics would have played. Henry and Catherine’s marriage was not a Harry met Sally love affair. It was a politically motivated marriage. I’m going to have to do some checking but I’m 99% sure that Henry and Catherine should never have married.

There’s no doubt that Henry wanted his marriage with Catherine dissolved because she hadn’t provided him with a son, which he desperately desired. Once she’d passed child-bearing age he had to find away to validly leave Catherine and contract a new marriage.

I can understand you wanting to believe that the pope wouldn’t be amenable to political pressure. Both then and at other times the Papacy has been coerced into making decisions by various secular powers.

It was the Holy Roman Emperor who brought the pressure to bear on Clement to persuade him to reach the decision he made. Again, I’ll have to do some checking but if I remember correctly the cardinal sent to England by Rome to investigate the matter did find that Henry and Catherine’s marriage was valid.

stop asking stupid questions

is the pope catholic?

why do you all waste your time on questions such as these?

this site is full of scam artists.

I believe he is.

If people want to discuss this topic it’s not a waste of time. If you don’t like this topic why post on it?

Please can you explain what you’re saying?


There’s been a good deal of poor history in the previous thread, which spawned this one. I don’t propose to go back and address the points, unless they come up again. But the issue of the dispensation Julius gave to permit Henry to marry Catherine I will expound a little on.

The fact that Catherine was the widow of Henry’s brother established an impediment to the nuptials between Henry and Catherine, which Henry VII (for a couple of reasons) was arranging. This was what as generally known as an impediment of affinity (of which there were many kinds and degrees). Because of this impediment, Julius II had issued a dispensation (the other side of a decree of nullity, removing a canonical impediment) permitting Henry to marry Catherine in the first place. When Henry, for reasons multiple and complex, was seeking to be able to marry Anne (again for multiple reasons, history being complex like that), he had to submit his *causa, *, his case, to the appropriate ecclesiastical authorities. This was a commonplace at the time, and a detailed and evolving system was set up to deal with this sort of situation, particularly involving marriages of state. Henry’s case maintained that the prohibition on marriages between persons in his and Catherine’s situation (the Levantical prohibition) was Scriptural, God’s law, not positive Church law, and thus was beyond a Pope’s power to dispense. There are impediments like that; no one can dispense to permit a son to marry his mother for example (canonically, an impediment of consanguinity in the first degree, direct). This meant that he was saying that Julius had made an error and the dispensation exceeded his authority (was ultra vires). In addition, Church rulings on whether the Levitical prohibition was natural or Divine law had varied over the years, Hence his case was not strong, on that account. But it was as strong was was customary in such dynastic cases, and likely was even stronger than he had claimed. Without going into technical details, Wolsey had suggested that an undispensed diriment impediment of the justice of public honesty lurked in Pope Julius’ dispensation for Henry to marry Catherine. This would avoid some of the political weaknesses in claiming that Julius’ original dispensation was faulty, in the specific manner Henry’s causa asserted. Henry ignored him; his causa was as good as was ordinarily found at his level of society and he fully expected to get his decree. But an Emperor trumps a King. And there was no way that, in the circumstances, Henry was going to get that decree of nullity. And he really had tried to play the game by the rules, fully expecting to get his decree. His *causa *was as strong as was customary; certainly stronger than that of his sister Margaret, who sought one shortly before Henry submitted his papers. Henry thought her case was so weak that he scolded her. She got the decree.

As I’ve hinted, there are a myriad of details involved in this story, and it’s been quite a while since I’ve rehearsed them here. Which is fine with me. But if there are other points I might address, I might do so. I consider Hank a fascinating train wreck.


H8 legalized theft

H8 made it legal to walk into any monastery and take anything you see.

The laws that H8 made have not being repealed by any parliamentary act.

I’m not disputing facts here, and I have no dog in the hunt. It matters little to me why Henry wasn’t given his annulment. I really don’t care about that–such matters I leave to those whose authority it is to decide them. What I’m saying is that if Henry had not been so stubborn and put his case in such a way as to be sure to make him sound condescending–as if he knew Scripture better than a pope, then things might have been very different. Even so, I would have thought he could have reapplied under the reasons Woolsey wanted to give. Perhaps he would have gotten his annulment. Whatever. He didn’t get it, he rebelled and thereby hangs a tail, as they say. :shrug: :slight_smile:

Every Bishop in the UK has to ask permission from the Queen to establish a new monastery in their Diocese.

The issue as Henry presented it in hiscausa had been ruled on various ways, over the years. A case in 1410 was particularly interesting. It was arguable that it was* ultra vires*. But, in the end, that was beside the point.


If they don’t then the Queen who is the protector of the faith can chop their heads off.

Yes. The title of the thread is “Was HVIII a Catholic or Protestant.” Well, I think the answer is he started out a Catholic but became a Protestant, even though he himself would have denied the definition.

An interesting side note to all this is the fact that before Henry had his fateful accident that nearly cost him his life he was quite agreeable and kindly. Afterwards, he became mean and capricious. If he hadn’t had that injury perhaps history would have been very different. We can only guess, but I truly believe it changed him into the monstrous tyrant of history.

and stick them on poles outside of parliment. The houses of freedom of speech.

Why is England so secular?
Because it protects its freedom of speech with laws that protect something that never needed protection.

Why do Englishmen never talk assertively about anything other than the whether?
Because they never want to talk about the past and always want to project their fears into the future.

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