What Factors Influenced the Creation of the Church of England (Anglican Church)?
In these colonies, Anglicanism also enjoyed the advantage of being the established, state-supported church, as it had been in England since the sixteenth century.
Securing an annulment and obtaining a papal dispensation to remarry was not an impossible request, however it made Henry anxious. But European politics launched a problematic factor; Catherine’s nephew was the Emperor Charles V. The Pope was being threatened by the Emperor and so could not grant Henry’s request. Henry decided then to remove the church in England from the control of foreign powers. Acts of Parliament were passed, Henry’s marriage was declared invalid, and he married Anne Boleyn. The Pope rapidly removed Henry. “To gain [a son], he separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church and so established the Protestant Reformation in England” . Henry took rising control of the church, suspending the monasteries and moving their riches to the crown and declared himself the head of the church in England. Henry ordered the English Bible located in all churches but stayed very conservative in matters of spiritual traditions. Henry was succeeded in 1547 by his son Edward VI. Edward had been well-informed by teachers with Protestant understanding. Throughout his reign the church was progressively more influenced by Lutheran and Calvinist tradition. In 1549, the first Book of Common Prayer, drawn up by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was certified. The Act of Uniformity made its use obligatory in all churches in England. This book has become the normative statement of Anglican theology and practice. The book was a compromise between traditionalists and reformers. In 1552, a second Book of Common Prayer was issued. It followed more Protestant ideologies. During the reign of Edward VI, many Articles were published to identify the position of the Church of England on a vast amount of issues. This was an attempt to define a connection between the Old Catholic ways and the new Calvinist reforms. The 42 Articles were proposed in 1552 and these were not accepted. However in 1559, during the reign of Elizabeth, the Thirty-nine Articles were accepted as a balanced statement of the Anglican position on certain uncertain issues. Edward was then succeeded by his half-sister Mary. As the daughter of Catherine of Aragon, Mary wanted to return England to the worship of the Roman Catholic Church. During Mary’s reign, many reformers were executed however on her death, her half-sister Elizabeth became Queen. She wished to restore stability to the country, while at the same time preserving England from foreign domination. The church then should retain its heritage but remain free of the rule of the Pope. The form of liturgy, the three-fold order of bishops, priest and deacons, the sacraments were all retained. But the differences were that services were in English, the reading of Scripture was encouraged, and clergy could marry. The third Book of Common Prayer was issued in 1559. The aim of the Elizabethan church was to bring stability to both church and state. The Church of England held together in one family a variety of views by avoiding narrow definitions. Richard Hooker, 1554-1600, was the apologist for the emerging Anglican position. The Anglican approach to theology, the balance of Scripture, tradition and reason was defined by his Treatise on the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. He saw the church as changing and adapting. The church structures its existence by looking at scripture and tradition in the light of reason and experience.
For example, college students who would like to be clergymen has reduced, there are lesser number of Americans who say that they believe in God, more and more people who say that they are religiously ‘unaffiliated’ in surveys and the decline in confidence associated with clergymen.
Others in the church view it as sacrilegious and blasphemous. While the debate continues, experts agree that the Church of England has paved the way for conversations about expanding gender and sexual-orientation roles within Christianity.
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