England 1536-1540. Protestant/Catholic

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Act of Ten Articles and The 1st Injunctions

In 1536, the Ten Articles were produced as a formulary of the new Church's faith. These articles referred to just three sacraments - baptism, penance and the Eucharist - rather than the usual seven. This was radical at the time, but also confusing, and there was much debate over the 'missing' four sacraments of confirmation, ordination, marriage and last rites.

A month later, Thomas Cromwell's Injunctions (The 1st Injunctions) took a moderate stand against images in churches and against pilgrimages, and it also banned some holy days and saints' days. The issue of transubstantiation was not specifically mentioned, and the Lutheran concept of justification by faith alone was watered down. 

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The Bishops Book

In 1537, the 'Institution of a Christian Man'(also known as The Bishops Book) was a further attempt at a formulary of faith. It tried to deal with the questions of purgatory, and the status of the four missing sacraments in the Ten Articles - which were discovered, but now found to be lesser sacraments

The Bishops Book (1537) did not discuss transubstantiation and glossed over 'mass'. The status of Priests were understated and purgatory was phased out.The King intervened personally to ensure that the Bishop’s Book of 1537 reflected his vision of a reformed, purged, but theologically orthodox church.

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The Second Injunctions

1538- Matthew Bible. First official English translated Bible- a primarily protestant version.

In 1538 Cromwell issued further Injunctions (2nd set of Injunctions/ The Bible Injunctions) that required that all churches acquire a copy of the English Bible within 2 years. Cromwell's Injunctions also took a strong line against images, and centres of pilgrimage- it was actively discourged. Relics were removed from Churches as a rejection of purgatory.

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Act of Six Articles

In 1539 the Act of Six Articles returned the Church to unambiguous Catholic orthodoxy apart from papal supremacy. Amongst other things, transubstantiation and auricular confession were reaffirmed. Clerical marriage, which had crept in, was condemned, and vows of chastity were now held to be unbreakable. This was an embarrassment to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, whose marriage was an open secret at the time.

Protestants were punished for violating the Six Articles, while papists were punished for denying the royal supremacy.

Until Henry's death in 1547, the Act of Six Articles remained the basis of the Church's faith.

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