Why did Henry VIII want to change England's religion?

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Although there were multiple reasons why Henry VIII wanted to change the church, perhaps his primary goal was to gain the power to divorce and remarry without needing the approval of the Vatican.

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King Henry VIII separated from the Roman Catholic Church and founded the Anglican Church (Church of England) because Pope Clement VII refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had not borne Henry an heir, to Henry's dismay. He wanted to divorce Catherine so he could marry Anne Boleyn, Catherine's lady-in-waiting.

Since Clement would not accede to Henry's wishes for an annulment, the king made the extraordinary decision to separate from the Catholic Church and declare himself the "Supreme Head in Earth of the Church of England." Despite breaking with the Catholic Church, Henry retained mostly Catholic practices, although he dissolved the Catholic monasteries, convents, and friaries located within his kingdom.

Once separated from the Catholic Church, Henry was able to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn. He would later execute Anne and have four more subsequent marriages.

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Why did King Henry VIII want to change the church?

There are a few reasons why King Henry VIII changed his country's church. Politically, he was growing tired of having to share power with the Vatican. However, the primary motivation for the English Reformation is usually considered Henry's wish to remarry.

Henry's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had failed to provide him with a male heir. Consequently, Henry desired a new wife. To do so, he would have to divorce Catherine or have the marriage annulled. Unfortunately for Henry, Catholicism did not permit divorce. His numerous petitions to the Pope to invalidate his marriage were refused. It did not help his cause that at the time Pope Clement VII the prisoner of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Catherine's nephew. If Henry went ahead and defied the Pope, he would have been excommunicated. In fact, that is exactly what happened when Henry went ahead and married Anne Boleyn.

In 1533, The Act of Conditional Restraint of Annates was passed in Parliament, which transferred all church holdings to the Crown. This helped to replenish the royal coffers, which had been depleted by years of poor financial management. The following year, the Act of Supremacy created the new Church of England, thoroughly severing ties between England and the Vatican. With Henry as the head of the new denomination, he was free to marry and divorce as he pleased.

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