Henry VIII - Pre reformation church

Pre reformation church in England

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1. How did the protestant historian John Foxe want to portray the pre-reformation Catholic church?

2. Did the catholic church play a centeral role for the majority of people in England?

3. Why was the Catholic Church so inportant in the lives of ordinary people?

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1. eager to portary the Pre-reformation catholic church riddled in corruption and ready to collapse

2. Yes, the catholic chuch was crucial in both a spiritual and social sense

3. The church was a focal point of the local community. Common people showed their devotion through donations aswell as bequests in wills, monastic houses could gain a lot of wealth

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4. How far was the church in need of reform?

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  • Chuch were ravenous wolves, greedy, holy thieves taking money from everyones wages
  • '**** all rule, power, authority and obedience from Henry VIII to themselves'
  • not a parish church in England who does not have ornaments worthy of a cathedral 
  • Priests were engaged in unholy tasks of drunkedness, sex and gambeling (living sinful lives)
  • Parish clergy often ill educated unable to understand/read the Latin services
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5. What were the causes of dissatisfactio within the catholic church?

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  • Uneduacted Priests - some were uneducated unable to deliever services
  • Clerical Abuses - Pluralism (hold more than one clerical office) / nepotism (donating a clerical post to family member or friend)

          Thomas Wolsey set a fine example in this respect - was Archbishop of York whilst holding other bishoprics - used position to benifit illigitimate son - enormous wealth made hime target for anti-clerical sentiment.

  • Monks and Nuns - In N. still played an important role in eduation and caring for the poor - Some had grown extremely wealthy and some were living in a sate of disrepair with moral standards dropping
  • Benifit of the Clergy - members of the clergy who had committed serious crimes were able to escape trial in secualr courts - Richard Hunne challenged the church over the large fees he had been forced to pay to bury his innfant son, charge drew up charges of Heresy aganist him, Hunne was arrested - later foud Hung in cell, heigntened anticlerical sentiment
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6. What was the impact of Lutheranism in England?

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  • It had little impact outside Germany
  • In 1521 Henry penned a defence of Catholic orthodoxy in Defence of the seven sacrements - earned him title Defender of the Faith
  • Henry was anti-lutheran
  • Henry was attracted to radical thought that endorsed his imperial Kingship and headship of church and state - Willian Tyndale wrote the Obedience of the Cristian Church in 1528 that called on the King to head the church and lead reform
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7. Who opposed the Catholic Church in England before the Reformation?

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  • The Humanists - called for an improvement in the intellectual and moral standards of the clergy - included Key thinkers Erasmus - impact of humanists on ordinary people was minimal
  • The Lollards - Followers of John Wyclif whos programme for reform included a bible in English, closure of monasteries and secularisation of chuch property - communities were relativily few in number and did little to advance radical ideas during the Herican Reformation
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fantastic resource thank you!!



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