“The Anglican Church was founded on the blood of the innocent people, it is a cult rather than a church. King Henry founded the Anglican Church on the blood of an innocent woman… Anne or Catherine of Aragon… Whoever”
A Knight of St. Molumba told me when I went to his factory to look for a job, after I told him I am a Christian fellowshipping in the Anglican family. That was a blatant lie! For the record of it, the knight was not just misinformed, he was parading his hate for the Anglican Church.
I attended a seminary school, I was not thought the history of the Church. But the little time I spent in the library, I was able to make some research!
Many have argued that the Anglican Church was started by a Reverend Father who wanted to marry, others are of the view that Martin Luther started the Anglican Church. The most popular view is that king Henry started the Anglican Church! Who is right? NONE!
First of all, the name “Anglican” simply means “English Church”, it is not the name of a man neither is it associated with a man!
This post is not aimed to go deep into history, but I want to correct something here! Even before St Augustine came to Britain, Christianity was already thriving! The English church started far back even before England encountered Rome!
Christianity started in Britain in about 37AD, an account of the seventy disciples discovered at Mount Athos in 1854 listing Aristobulus as “bishop of Britain”. That means, when Jesus sent out Seventy Disciples, some actually came to Britain and evangelised it!
The first archaeological evidence and credible records showing a community large enough to maintain churches and bishops dates to the 3rd and 4th centuries, but it started from a small base: the British delegation to the 353 Council of Rimini had to beg for financial assistance from its fellows in order to return home.
It should be noted, that the English church used to be independent of the Roman Catholic Church. In 7th & 8th century, the churches in Scotland and Ireland copied the methods of the Roman Catholic Church. In the year 768, “Archbishop” Elfodd of “Gwynedd” finally convinced the Welsh to follow, although it was not until after the reign of Bernard that the bishop of St Davids was finally compelled to submit to the authority of Canterbury and the English church. So in truth, the authority of the Church of England was sub!mitted to the Papal see under compellable circumstances. The British Church started the revered Cambridge and Oxford universities in the 11th century. We must also note, the administrative authority of the British Church was handed over to the Papal see, not because there was a sense of spiritual seniority but because then, the Roman empire was the world power and they had a lot of influence!
Remember that Christianity in Britain dates as far back as 37AD but the arrival if Augustine was in 597AD. For more than a thousand years, the British Church remained in the care of the Pope.
Henry VIII was named Defender of the Faith (Fidei Defensor) for his opposition to Luther’s Reformation. He remained a devout Catholic. But his relationship with the Pope soon came to a brisk of collapse. Why? He was married to Catherine of Aragon whose nephew was beginning to conquer Rome! She was not able to bear him a living son! When he approached the Pope for divorce, the Pope was afraid to grant him such favours! Why? The Pope felt that Katherine’s nephew would not have it fair with him if he ever takes a decision against Katherine. Her nephew’s armies held Rome.
It however, prompted Henry to summon the Reformation Parliament and to invoke the statute of praemunire against the English church, ultimately leading to the 1532Submission of the Clergy and the 1534 Acts of Supremacy that established an independent Catholic Church of England. Even at that, Henry was against the Lutheran reformation! In fact, Henry wanted a Roman Catholic Church that is not headed by a Pope who could not grant him divorce.
Actually, Henry named himself head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, thereby supplanting the authority of His Holiness the Pope. However, the church he thought he was heading was the Roman branch of Christendom. He did it to secure a male heir, he hoped, through Ann Boleyn, by personally annulling his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, since now that he had named himself head of the Roman Catholic Church in England, he could do so. Not a nice guy, but not the founder of the Anglican church per se. As I understand it, he had Anne beheaded on trumped up charges of adultery (ergo treason against the King) because she was aiding and abetting the Protestant faction and he felt threatened.
In other words, there was more politics than religion going on here, but that does not make him a protestant or for that matter an Anglican. His daughter Mary returned the church to Rome. His son Edward swung very far into Protestantism, while his daughter Elizabeth drew back from the extremes she felt both Mary and Edward had gone to. Her successor (James Stuart) also had a hand. Tudor history is fascinating and very bound up with national goals and policies. In the bigger picture, “Christendom,” the one holy and catholic church, was slowly but surely becoming Europe, a group of nation states.
However, Anglican as Christians existed far back… So it is fallacy to argue that a Revered Father who wants to marry, Luther or even King Henry founded the Anglican Church. The Church started as far back as when the British Christianity started! No matter what have happened, no matter what will still happen… The English Church is as valid as any other Spirit filled Church!
I believe in the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church!
This information is based on a personal research of George Onyedika Nnadozie.
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