How did Henry VIII strengthen the Church of England?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

King Henry VIII sought to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, which was rejected by the Catholic Church. The situation forced him to break away from the Catholic Church by establishing the Church of England, which honored his divorce.

Henry strengthened the Church of England by shifting the center of power from the Papacy to the throne. He also instituted legal changes that protected and strengthened the Church of England. The Ecclesiastical Appeals Act of 1532 instituted by King Henry VIII eliminated the Pope’s authority on religious and other public matters. The King was made the supreme authority on issues previously handled by the Pope in Rome.

The King successfully sought the ratification of three articles, which protected the royal authority on religious matters in what is known as The Submission of the Clergy. The Church was required to obtain royal approval in making church laws. Existing laws were to be reviewed by a committee selected by the King. The King’s approval was also required in preserving the acceptable laws. The authority vested in the throne allowed King Henry VIII to dissolve the monasteries and acquire their assets. The move to dissolve the monasteries shifted loyalty from the Pope in Rome to the King and the Church of England.

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