The sacredness of the wedding vows and their indissolubility, is of utmost importance for the good of husbands, wives, children, families, and society. Since the protestant revolution of Martin Luther, (and of course from the beginning of christianity), the Catholic Church has stood strong against their heretical practice of allowing divorce. But more and more this heresy is seeping into the Catholic Church. Therefore we traditional Catholics need to boldly denounce this evil, that God hates, right now. Jesus will never break the New Covenant with the Catholic Church no matter how unfaithful we are. God never divorces, so we shouldn’t either.
If we keep on trying to please divorced Catholics, we will also have to answer to God for the imprisonment and death of St. John the Baptist and the loss of England to protestantism. But not only that, for the thousands of people who were tortured for remaining Catholic after King Henry VIII made it illegal in England and Ireland, all so he could divorce his true wife Catherine of Aragon. If the Church had just accepted divorce then; had just looked the other way, none of this history would have happened. With this in mind we are going to look at the price of divorce for Israel and England.
Right at the beginning of the New Testament we have King Herod of Israel living with his brother’s wife, Herodes. St. John the Baptist denounced this evil union. For standing up for the indissolubility of marriage, St. John suffered imprisonment and was eventually beheaded. This shows how much God values the wedding vows.
When asked about divorce, Jesus proclaimed that from the beginning God made them male and female, and “for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.” Matthew 19: 5-6.
So it is obvious that God does not tolerate divorce. That is because Jesus’ incarnation brought graces to us to help us be faithful to our wedding vows. Before His coming, the Jews were spiritually weaker, and for this reason Moses tolerated divorce.
Now let us look at King Henry VIII. He was “married” six times. At the age of 18, when his father had died, he was proclaimed king of England. A month later he married Catherine of Aragon. After divorcing her in 1533, he “married” his love, Anne Boleyn. Three years later he executed her in 1536 for high treason, incest and adultery. Only one day after her execution, King Henry “married” Jane Seymour. She died in 1537, a year later, from complications from the birth of his only male heir, King Edward VI. His next “wife” was Anne of Cleves whom he divorced in 1540. He then “married” Kathryn Howard and had her executed in 1542. His final “wife”, Katherine Parr was widowed when he died in 1547.
All this evil “drama” was caused by King Henry’s desire to get divorced, going against Jesus’ and the Catholic Church’s teachings. Yes he wanted male heir to his throne, but there had been other kings before him whom had died heirless rather than committing the grave sin of breaking their wedding vows.
Let us just look at King Henry’s life from the results of sin. He was lustful and had many other mistresses. He thought nothing of executing people without cause. He himself said he felt cursed by God for all his evil. And indeed we can see the hand of evil in his life and the lives of his supposed “wives”. He is described by his biographers as lustful, egotistical, harsh and insecure. After disobeying the Catholic Church, he proclaimed himself “Supreme Head of the Church of England” where he could make the religion he wanted. He had St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher executed to for their loyalty to God and their Catholic Faith rather than supporting breaking wedding vows.
After his legitimate wife Catherine of Aragon was divorced, she was exiled to Kimbolton Castle where she lived in only one room. She only left to go to Holy Mass, wore a hair shirt, fasted and was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. She was never able to see her only daughter Mary. She died in 1536 to the great joy of King Henry.
Anne Boleyn, as queen, help bring about the protestant revolution in England. She sinned by “marrying” a divorce king. King Henry and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, proclaimed the marriage to Catherine to be null. (For this annulment they were excommunicated by the Catholic Church.) She also had several miscarriages, but was the mother to the future Queen Elizabeth. Mean while King Henry had fallen in love with Jane Seymour. So he had Anne charged with high treason, incest, adultery and witchcraft. In the Tower of London she was beheaded, killed by the same sinful man she had sinfully “married“. Because of her advancement of the protestant revolution, after her death, she was considered a “saint” of the protestant revolution by many in England.
Her friend, Thomas Cranmer, with the support of King Henry outlawed the Holy Mass, Priestly celibacy, use of Latin and Saints. He promoted the “Book of Common Prayer” that is still used today. Like King Henry and the protestants, today most Catholics hate Latin in Mass and prayers and want to get rid of priestly celibacy as well.
What King Henry and the protestants tried to achieve in England and Ireland has come to past since Vatican II. Vatican II says that Latin is to be given pride of place and the the official language of the Roman Church (Constitution of Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosantum Concilium). It stated it did not want to get rid of Latin. But the documents of Vatican II started its demise when it said the vernacular could be used for “pastoral reasons”. And since now everything in the catholic church seems to be evolving, with our new pope, many cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and laity are talking about getting rid of clerical celibacy. Some say before Pope Francis was pope, he also talked about supporting married priest??
Now King Henry “marries” his “love” Jane Seymour. She gives him the male heir to the throne he had been divorcing and killing for. But she dies shortly after from complications from the child birth. Her son became King Edward VI at the very young age of 9 when King Henry died. During his reign, he and those in power around him, did everything to they could to destroy Catholicism and to promote heresy. But he died at the age of 15 from tuberculosis.
When Jane Seymour died he “married” Anne of Cleves. This “marriage” ended in divorce three years later.
Then he “married” Cathryn Howard on the same day he had Cromwell executed. He gave her all of Cromwell’s property. But she had an affair with a court courtier and was beheaded. She gained the property of an executed man and ended up executed herself.
Finally he “married” Catherine Parr. She was extremely into the protestant revolution and would argue with him about it. Catherine reconciled King Henry with his two daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and put them in line to the throne after his son Edward.
While “married” to her, his body was covered with pus-filled ulcers and was obese. He died at the age of 55 in 1547. His last words were “Monks, Monks, Monks“. This probably was over his remorse for having evicted all the monks from their monasteries and using their land and money for his wars. Or maybe as he was dying he saw all the monks he had killed in glory while he was being condemned to hell?
A Franciscan Friar had preached to him that, like King Ahab who was cursed by God, he also would have the dogs lick his blood after death. Apparently liquid dripped from his coffin and was licked up by a dog.
Both St. John Fisher (Cardinal) and St. Thomas More were beheaded for standing up for the Catholic faith and the indissolubility of marriage. They went against King Henry VIII’s effort to justify his divorce of Catherine of Aragon. They remained faithful to the pope as head of the Church and not King Henry when he made himself “Supreme Head of the Church of England”. St. Thomas’ daughter, Margaret Roper, personally fished her father’s head out of the Thames River and was eventually buried with it.
Since the divorces of King Henry VIII and his separation from the true Church of God, thousands and thousands of English and Irish Catholics were tortured, killed and lost all their property. All this because the Catholic Church and her faithful have been faithful to what Jesus teaches on the indissolubility of the Marriage Vow. We are so blessed to be part of the Catholic Church, but we need to be like St. John the Baptist, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas Moore, who all lost their heads and lives for Jesus’ truth. Let us never “loose our heads” (means to not think correctly) or our souls by supporting giving Holy Communion and Absolution to those who are living in sin by being remarried.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.