Is it really true that the Queen of England is the universal head of the Anglican Church? If so, how is she the one? How can this scenario be backed up in scripture?

If it is true that the Queen of England is the universal head of the Anglican Church, how did this come to this? What is the basis of it?

Clarify Share Report Asked November 14 2014 9aa51e4b447252291b959c696fb96539 400x400 Jeremiah Kaaya

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The British monarch's position as the head of the Church of England arose primarily from political considerations, rather than on any Scriptural basis.

Henry VIII (who ruled England from 1509 to 1547) was originally a Roman Catholic, as was his first wife, the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, who was the daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.

(Henry had been required to get permission from the pope to marry her, since she was the widow of Henry's older brother Arthur, who died before he could assume the throne. However, the marriage of Arthur and Catherine had reportedly never been consummated, which facilitated the approval of Henry's marriage to Catherime by the Catholic church.) 

Catherine and Henry had multiple children (including sons), but the only one who survived infancy was their daughter Mary. England at that point had never been ruled by a woman as queen, and Henry believed that it was vital that he have a son as his heir.

When the pope refused to grant Henry a divorce from Catherine so that he could re-marry, Henry declared himself the head of the Church of England (i.e., the Anglican Church), dissolved his marriage to Catherine, and married Anne Boleyn in 1533. (Henry's defiance of the pope was facilitated by the fact that Martin Luther had already begun the Protestant Reformation in 1517 -- although the basis of Luther's actions was not at all connected with the situation in England.) (Ironically, Henry VIII had earlier been awarded the title of "Defender of the Faith" by the pope based on Henry's writings opposing Luther and Protestantism.)

When Anne Boleyn also had only a daughter (Elizabeth) as a surviving child, Henry had Anne beheaded in 1536 on trumped-up charges of having committed adultery with her own brother, and of having conspired to bring about Henry's death. Henry then married Jane Seymour, who finally provided him with a male heir, whom they named Edward.

When Henry VIII died in 1547, he was succeeded by his son (who was only nine at the time) as King Edward VI. However, Edward subsequently died in 1553 at the age of only fifteen, before having any children.

Henry's older daughter then became queen as Mary I, and (due to her Spanish heritage) attempted to restore Roman Catholicism as the English state religion (which involved extensive persecution of English Protestants, and earned her the sobriquet "Bloody Mary"). However, she only reigned for just over five years before dying at the age of 42 without an heir.

She was therefore succeeded as queen by her younger half-sister Elizabeth as Elizabeth I, who restored England to Protestantism and became (as Henry VIII and Edward VI had been) head of the Church of England, a title that all subsequent British monarchs (who have all been Protestants) have held as well.

December 30 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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