Monday, March 25, 2013

Derbyshire on Scruton on the Church of England

From John Derbyshire's review of Roger Scruton's The Church of Somewhere:

Not all the mockery is well-founded. Roman Catholics jeer that the Church only exists because Henry VIII wanted a divorce. There is much more to be said than that. Henry's father had become King after decades of strife over who should succeed to the throne. Henry wanted to ensure a clear succession, for the peace of the nation, but his wife was barren. Scruton: "The refusal of the Pope to grant an annulment of Henry's first marriage was experienced by the King as a threat to his sovereignty." Henry was driven by rational statecraft, not — or not only — by sexual boredom.
So, the Roman Catholic jeer about the genesis of the Church of England in Henry VIII's desire for divorce is false because, for reasons of statecraft, Henry VIII wanted.... a divorce.

Derbyshire is my candidate for the most compulsively readable yet frustrating author on the web.

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