Luther And Henry VIII

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Luther and Henry VIII’s motives for reform sprung from entirely different sources. Luther disagreed with the Catholic church over the doctrine that allowed the selling of indulgences to lay people. After study of the Scriptures, Luther decided that salvation was achieved not by indulgences or even good works, but only by faith alone. Henry VIII’s reasons for his break with the church came from his desire to divorce his wife at the time, Catherine, and marry Anne Boleyn. He asked Pope Clement VII to announce that the king’s previous marriage to Catherine of Aragon was invalid. When Pope Clement refused, Henry contemplated splitting from the church solely to fulfill his matrimonial problems. His decision was then solidified by a desire to…show more content…
Luther’s first step was to attempt reform within the Catholic church was posting “The 95 Theses on the Power of Indulgences” on the door of the church of Wittenberg to directly protest the selling of indulgences. Condemning indulgences was, in fact, condemning the pope, and his authority to grant pardons to the Catholics. Opposing indulgences was not the end of opposing the pope, however, when the pope sent Luther a letter telling him to take back his words or be excommunicated, Luther burned the letter publicly. Eventually when Luther was excommunicated, he continued to spread his heretical ideas especially through his writings, some of which included “On Christian Liberty” which led the peasant class to believe Lutheranism would lift their oppression and “An Appeal to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation” which invited Christian princes to take over the wealth of the German monasteries. Luther needed the support of the masses to bring about his reform. This differed greatly from King Henry VIII’s course, which only required administrative power. Henry VIII put two bills through Parliament. One, the Act in Restraint of Appeals, indicated that all the Church of England was under the king’s jurisdiction and no one could appeal to the Pope. Like Luther, Henry VIII denounced the authority of the papacy. The second act, the Supremacy Act, set up the king as the supreme head of the church that all English clergy had to swear to. With Parliament at his command, King Henry could order England’s religion to change and it would. These actions separate him from the campaign involved in Luther’s
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