Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Example of St. Thomas More

     St. Thomas More was an English lawyer and an important councilor to King Henry VIII.  He was a married layman.  During his time of serving the king, Henry VIII wanted to get an annulment from his wife, Catherine.  However, Pope Clement VII did not grant King Henry VIII an annulment.  This enraged the king.
     King Henry VIII claimed himself to be the Supreme Head of the English Church.  The king even made anyone of importance take an oath saying so.  More did not take the oath and was spared his life at the time because of his good and longstanding relationship with the king.
     More tried to resign and keep his disagreement to himself; however, King Henry VIII was not satisfied with just being able to do what he wanted.  He wanted everyone to agree with him, too.  More was able to keep his disagreement to himself by not openly denying the king, but he still never complied.
     Eventually, the only way to find More guilty of treason was questionable testimony.  Even More told the jury about how ridiculous it is that he would have told this information to a man that he never confided in on any other matters.  Still, he was found guilty and instead of being hanged, drawn, and quartered, the king had him decapitated.  His last words were, “I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”

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