More and more, the Catholic view of history is being admitted. The following article documents a resurgence in British historians studying the Reformation period in England. No surprise that it was a brutal, murderous, top-down imposition by the king and his lackeys; a monstrous rape of the Church, impoverishment of the people, enrichment by a few, and wholesale cultural destruction on a scale that would even cause the Taliban to blush. From the revolt of Henry to the end of Elizabeth's reign, a desperate campaign against Church and people was carried out by a ruthless, totalitarian State. In varying degrees, the State continued and continues to persecute the Church in England.
From the Telegraph:
The Tate recently estimated that over 90 per cent of all English art was trashed in the period, and scarcely a handful of books survived the burning of the great monastic and university libraries. Oxford’s vast Bodleian, for instance, was left without a single book.
Anyone who doubts there was a political aspect to the destruction needs look no further than the shrine of St Thomas Becket in Canterbury. It was England’s most popular pilgrimage destination, and Becket’s cult had international reach, with mosaics, icons, and relics of him venerated as far afield as Sicily and the Holy Land. Henry ordered his tomb pulverised, his bones scattered, and his name effaced from history. The reason for this special harshness is not hard to see. Becket’s claim to fame was as a churchman who stood up to royal interference in the Church. Becket was therefore a natural rallying symbol for anyone thinking of challenging Henry’s reforms. Becket represented the sanctity of dissent, and Henry could absolutely not have that.
In the process of all the destruction, it was not just traditional day-to-day spiritual life, the free medical and social care provided by the monasteries, and a country full of creative thought and art that were obliterated. The reformers hacked out and discarded an entire slice of England’s history, alienating the English from an especially vibrant part of their own amazing past.
So Khrushchev was right — historians are dangerous. In the case of the Reformation, generations have perpetuated the artful story spun by the Tudor machine, with the result that we fail to acknowledge that medieval religion in this country was, for a thousand years, as English as tea, warm beer, Maypole dancing, and cricket. As has been said many times: within three generations, England went from being one of Europe’s most Catholic countries to one of its most anti-Catholic.
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