The Anglican Church and Henry VIII – Hughson

Henry VIIIThanks to Carol Brandor for recently drawing to our attention a 1922 paper written by Episcopal priest S.C. Hughson.  Misinformation on the role of the English king has been widespread over the decades and centuries.

ONE does not ordinarily go to the secular press for arguments on religious subjects, but one of the best points that has recently been made against the Roman Catholic gibe that Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church, was in a recent issue of the New York Times. A writer who signed himself "New Englander," called attention to the fact that this Roman Catholic charge involves the Roman Church herself in a deliberate policy of maintaining communion for more than a generation with a Church which she now holds to be man-made.

The study of the case shows that the English Church repudiated the Pope's, claim to universal authority in 1534. If the Anglican Church was founded by Henry, this was the year in which he must have founded it. Clement VII, who was Pope at the time, did not make the slightest effort to withdraw Catholics from the Church of England. If he believed that Henry had established a new Church in which grace could not be found, surely he must have initiated instantly an effort to secure, the Sacraments for England, or else stand convicted of the crime of allowing his spiritual children to go on receiving the false Sacraments of this Church. He made no protest whatever. He did not send a single priest to England to rescue the sheep from the false shepherds. He went calmly on, neglecting to the utmost the flock which he claimed God had committed to his pastoral care.

But this was not the worst of it. Clement died a few months later. Perhaps he did not have time to get the machinery of the Church into operation to attend to English affairs. But he was succeeded by Paul III, and surely the new Pope, in the first fervour of his high office would rouse himself ... Read the full paper.


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