The Davenant Press

The English Church and the Papacy in the Sixteenth Century


By David Loades.

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ISBN 978 1 85944 261 6. Published 2014. In the opening years of the sixteenth century relations between the English crown and Rome were calm and amicable. Henry VII was conventionally pious and the papacy was anxious for his political support. But the need for an end to Henry VIII’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, the reforms and changes during the1530s and especially the Royal Supremacy and end to taxes paid to Rome changed everything. Regnans in Excelsis under Elizabeth was a declaration of war. The papacy pursued two conflicting policies: support and encouragement for the remaining and often secret supporters on the one hand and ill-conceived schemes for forcible re-conversion, political assassination and foreign invasion on the other. Hope continued into the seventeenth century but the fate of James II convinced Rome that the day was lost.