Thursday, July 12, 2007

Theological Loopholes

Anne Barbeau Gardiner draws some amazing comparisons between our own time and the days of Henry VIII. She writes:

In 1528 Henry VIII suddenly claimed that he was "tormented in conscience" about his 20-year marriage to Queen Catherine and, according to Dr. Harpsfield, believed "he had lived all this while in detestable and abominable adultery." He wanted a speedy divorce, so as to marry Anne Boleyn, but the Queen appealed to Pope Clement, causing delay. At this point, Henry turned to the European universities, hoping to use them against the Pope. In turn, the Queen asked Bishop John Fisher -- the only bishop in England brave enough to stand up to Henry -- to be her advocate. Fisher spent two years in investigation and came to the conclusion that Henry would never have sought a divorce, "if lechery had not embraced the attempt" and "if covetousness of the goods and lands of the church" had not "furthered the said attempt." The charge of greed also applies to the prostitute-theologians who took pay to justify Henry's divorce. Share

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

*Shakes head* Greed, bribery, money, corruption--what a lethal mix!
I've seen the consummation question of Katherine and Arthur's marriage treated with skeptism, ie the possibility that Katherine lied about their wedding night. As noted Henry VIII had been in adulterous behavior (not uncommon for kings at the time)prior to Anne Boleyn and Katherine had turned a blind eye for most of the time. Is there any wonder that none of the European sovereigns recognized Anne Boleyn as Queen?