What are three things Henry VIII of England changed about religion and why did he make these changes?

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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When King Henry VIII was denied a divorce by the Catholic authorities, he took it upon himself to break from the Roman Catholic Church and establish the Church of England.  While there was a lot of debate about what the rules and doctrines of the new church would be, it basically resembled the Roman Catholic Church when Henry died in 1547.  There were three key reforms that Henry VIII made.  First, the pope in Rome would no longer have any authority over the Church of England.  The king of England would be the supreme head of the church.  This act was backed by Parliament in 1534.  Secondly, Henry closed all of the monasteries of England and sold church property.  Henry looted all of the gold and silver of the monasteries for the royal bank and allowed his subjects to take much of the material wealth.  The third reform of Henry was to allow the publication of an English Bible and more people were granted access to read it than beforehand.  The reforms of Henry would be rescinded by his heir, but re-instituted by Elizabeth I (1558-1603.)  All of these reforms were motivated by self-interest as Henry wanted to be granted the divorce and he was able to secure much of the wealth that existed in the monasteries.  

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