Henry VIII 's Act of Supremacy (1534)
Albeit the king's Majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England, and so is recognized by the clergy of this realm in their convocations, yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within this realm of England, and to repress and extirpate all errors, heresies, and other enormities and abuses heretofore used in the same, be it enacted, by authority of this present Parliament, that the king, our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme head in earth of the Church of England, called Anglicans Ecclesia; and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and commodities to the said dignity of the supreme head of the same Church belonging and appertaining; and that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offenses, contempts and enormities, whatsoever they be, which by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity, and tranquility of this realm; any usage, foreign land, foreign authority, prescription, or any other thing or things to the contrary hereof notwithstanding.
|[pic]| | | | | | |English History | | | | | | | | |The Act of Supremacy | | |The name "Act of Supremacy" is given to two separate acts of the English Parliament, one passed in 1534 and the other in| | |1559. Both acts had the same purpose; to firmly establish the English monarch as the official head of the Church of | | |England, supplanting the power of the Catholic pope in Rome. | | |1534 Act of Supremacy | | |Henry's actions in assuming for himself the mantle of ecclesiastical authority were tinged with self-interest. He had | | |sought in vain for papal approval for his divorce from Katherine of Aragon, and when it became clear that approval would| | |not be forthcoming, Henry took matters into his own hands. | | |The Act of Supremacy must be seen as part of a broader policy, though, one aimed at increasing the power of the English | | |monarch and decreasing the influence of Rome. To give him his due, Henry was probably sincere in his belief that the | | |Church of England was riddled with poor administration and had long since lost the right to act as an independent body. | | |(See our article on the Dissolution of the Monasteries)....
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