Analysis Of Henry Viii's Act Of Supremacy By Henry Viii

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Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy – Once King Henry VIII went forward with his marriage to Anne Boleyn and declared his previous marriage to Catherine of Aragon as annulled in spite of Pope Clement VII’s refusal to allow such an act, Henry VIII was excommunicated. The Act of Supremacy is Henry VIII’s response that was drafted a year after his excommunication in 1534. Parliament passed the act and thereby stated that the King of England is the “sovereign lord” over England and all in its domain, even the church. Along with functioning as the head and leader of the country, the King of England is also named as the head of the church, which is how the Church of England is born. What makes this document potent is the public and unashamed dismissal …show more content…
He and Parliament say that the desire for religious unity is the motivator behind the act and it centers on six articles. Firstly, transubstantiation of the Lord’s Supper is confirmed to be orthodox and true in that once consecrated, the elements cease to be bread and wine and are instead the literal body and blood of Christ. Secondly, administration of both elements of the Lord’s Supper to all people, namely the laity, is not deemed necessary. Thirdly, priests may not marry. Fourthly, men and women who make vows of chastity are encouraged/threatened to uphold those vows. Fifthly, private masses within the Church of England should continue. And sixth, auricular confession is necessary. If anyone should stand in opposition to any of the six points mentioned, they are to be tried and convicted based on the severity of their crime. For example, denial of transubstantiation is an automatic sentencing of heresy, punishable by burning. Preaching, teaching, and printing of any materials that contradict the laws of this document make one subject to imprisonment, forfeit of land and property, and even death as a felon with repeated offenses. The last half of the act is dedicated solely to what is referred to as the “commission” which is appointed based off of area and the responsibilities it holds in trying accused …show more content…
On the one hand, there are those who are reluctant to read the Bible at all. In response to this group, Cranmer cites the words of John Chrysostom in order to support his statement that the concept of Scripture being in the hands of the laity to study is not new. Cranmer reminds readers through Chrysostom’s words that the Holy Scriptures are every bit as important as the tools in which the lay-people use in their respective trades. Even if one does not understand what Scripture says, with the correct priorities in mind to humbly understand the will of God, a leader/teacher will be provided. On the other hand are those who read Scripture and in return use their questions and doubts gained from reading to stir up trouble. Gregory Nazianzene’s words are put to use here to combat this bad habit in making the point that Scripture must be read by people who read with the fear and reverence of God in their hearts and minds first. Reading the Bible without the proper mindset can be harmful, but that should not discourage people from attempting to study the Scriptures, in Cranmer’s

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