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Comments about ‘Hamblin & Peterson: Henry VIII's war against the monasteries of England’

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Published: Thursday, May 16 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Beowulf
Portland, OR

Was there something in the air that century? In Japan, around 1580 Oda Nobunaga attacked the Buddhist monasteries in the hills surrounding Kyoto, killing tens of thousands of monks and confiscating their properties. The devastation was lasting. The temples remaining in the area today, while impressive, constitute a tiny fraction of their extent in the Middle Ages.

Thanks for the commentary. Very interesting stuff.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The more important questions include how and why did Churches amass such wealth, and why do Churches and their theocratic, totalitarian leaders have such an unquenchable thirst for riches, especially given Jesus' teachings regarding riches!

There are many very wealthy Churches that could use some "humbling" even today!

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

The proceeds of H8's dissolution of the monasteries is here given as being $96 millions in 2013 terms. Is that all? If this is correct then wouldn't his depredations pale in comparison of those of today?

Anyway some points should be made as a counterbalance to the assertions of this article:

1. There had been a longstanding competition for power between kings and popes. Do we prefer an international coercive power with tentacles and deputies in every state? Would we prefer a national dictator? Neither sound temptng to me, but perhaps it was this contest between the Catholic Church and its national princes that eventually destroyed both papal and kingly power in Europe which was the best outcome that could have been expected. The contest was a nasty, bloody one though.

2. Sloppy history. H8 had six wives precisely in succession: two of them were beheaded - a properly sharpened blade, rendering a relatively merciful end, we hope. An abortion sounds a lot more cruel and barbaric, not that I promote either. Two of Henry's queens were divorced and the other two died naturally. Chronologically: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

rinman
Kabul, Afghanistan, 00

Is this a news article? Why so much opinion? "The most notorious confiscations..." Francis I of Francis and James V of Scotland were loyal sons of the Church, and the author calls them "subtle royal thieves of France and Scotland..." The author reports that the Church owned 16% of England, but doesn't report how much English gold left England every year for Rome. Is it stealing when a king keeps English gold in England? The Church was a state, both in the Papal States and a state-within-the-state in every kingdom in Europe. If the purpose of this piece was to teach history, there is no need for the opinion; if the purpose of this piece is to warn against any state encroachment on the Church, then to what encroachment against the (LDS) Church is the author alluding to? Many could argue that the dissolution of the monasteries was actually a good thing for England, and for the progress of the Reformation (while Henry VIII was not a real theological reformer, under his successors the Calvinists and Puritans were able to thrive). And why not a real picture of Henry VIII instead of something from a TV show?

Verdad
Orem, UT

Peterson and Hamblin's columns don't, I think, claim or pretend to be news stories. So it seems a bit odd to fault them because they're NOT.

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