126 – “Our division is a scandal”

Catherine of Aragon – the Spanish princess married to Henry VIII, King of England – after having been repudiated by him, could well have exclaimed: “our division is nothing less than a scandal,” and the Catholic world, upon discovering this monarch’s concubinage with Anne Boleyn could well exclaim: “Your union is nothing less than a scandal!” The history of the ‘Anglican Church’ is a mixture of scandalous unions and divisions. And there is still scandal…The scandal of division, since many of them do not wish to recognize their errors and return to full communion with the Church, a return which was favored in every way by the Popes throughout almost five centuries.

There is also the scandal of union, caused by those who wish to work with the Anglicans and receive them as if they had never broken with the true Church of Christ. What do historical facts and the Magisterium have to tell us about this delicate matter? From whom does this scandal proceed, and what does it consist of?



Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study

ContentsHistorical study

I – The scandal of the division with the Anglicans: who caused the division? What does history tell us?
II – What has the Church done to heal the wounds of division and promote union with the Anglicans?
III – As long as the Anglicans remain obstinate in error, the separation between the Catholic Church and the ‘Anglican Church’ is necessary to keep the true doctrine unyielding and clear

I – The scandal of the division with the Anglicans: who caused the division? What does history tell us?

A – Historical background

Henry VIII, King of England (16th Century), had been married for 18 years to Catherine of Aragon, when he decided to repudiate her, his legitimate wife, to be able to take Anne Boleyn, a lady-in-waiting from the court, as his ‘wife’. The facts are amply recorded by history and are well-known. Due to his unbridled passions, Henry VIII would later repeat this scheme several times, marrying a total of six women! And he would even make this easier by getting rid of some of them, with the death sentence, at his own whims. To this bloody and impure man, the ‘Anglican Church’ owes its ‘foundation’. Let us recall a few historic facts:

Bernardino Llorca

Henry VIII brings the whole nation to schism in order to attain his divorce

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

The theory that Anne Boleyn was Henry VIII’s daughter
It is noteworthy that Henry VIII sought the annulment of his marriage to Catherine, alleging his horror at being married to his brother’s widow. To denounce the falsity of his sentiments, Reginald Pole, future Archbishop of Canterbury, sent him a letter, quoted below:

Reginald Pole

Are you ignorant of the law?
Not having received the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon from the Pope, Henry breaks with Rome.

Bernardino Llorca

The King takes upon himself the rights pertaining to the Pope...

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

...And rejects the Vicar of Christ
Elizabeth I, Henry VIII’s daughter, broke definitively with Rome, officializing the so-called ‘Church of England.’
Elizabeth I forbade all of her subjects to obey the Pope, and the bishops had no power except that received from her

Pius V

She has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics, and oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith

B – Was the Anglican ‘Church’ accepted amid acclamations by the English people, or under a tyrannical oppression?

Pius V

She has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome and has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this

The Decree of 1585

Death penalty to clerics and seculars who did not accept the new religion
Saint Nicholas Owen, faithful aid to several Jesuits, was tortured and killed. Here follows a report of his execution: 

Malcolm Brennan

The torturers had no compassion
Margaret Clitherow, wife and mother of three children, was denounced for having hidden priests in her home. There were found among her belongings missals and priestly vestments. The following is the sentence she received for her “crime of treason”:
Pressed to death
And this was, in fact, how Saint Margaret Clitherow died.

C – The division with the Anglicans: merely a ‘historical issue’ of ‘human ambition’? The Anglican heresy exposed

International Theological Commission

The communities that emerged from the sixteenth-century Reformation deny the link between Scripture and Tradition. The proclamation of sola scriptura led inevitably to an obscuring of the older idea of the Church and its priesthood

Characteristics of the Anglican doctrine

Thomas McGovern

A deep antipathy to the Church and its sacraments, and especially to the Sacrifice of the Mass

Philip Hughes

It is contrary to priestly celibacy


It breaks away from the Apostolic succession

Some articles of the official doctrine of the Anglican Church

The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, which express the official doctrine of the ‘Anglican Church’, were prepared in their current form in 1571, as a result of a theological movement that abandoned the Roman doctrines and embraced the biblical doctrines of the Reformation. A selection follows: 

The Articles of Religion:

XIX - Of the Church
XX - Of the authority of the church
XXII - Of Purgatory
XXV - Of the Sacraments
XXVIII - Of the Lord’s Supper
XXXI - Of the one oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross

II – What has the Church done to heal the wounds of division and promote union with the Anglicans?

A – As soon as England separated from the Catholic Church, the Pontiffs strove for its return to communion with Rome

Bernardino Llorca

Henry VIII and Edward VI had confiscated ecclesiastical properties. To facilitate their return to Catholicism, Pope Julius III renounced these goods of the Church


Julius III and Paul IV took special care in their attempts to reconcile the ‘Church of England’

Bernardino Llorca

Seminaries were established with the sole purpose of ordaining priests willing to serve the English people, defending the faith in England

Charles O’Neill

Despite the hatred of the Protestants, the first missionaries arrived in England in 1574, willing to give their lives to serve their brethren in the faith
Saint Edmund Campion SJ (1540-1581) was a brilliant Oxford scholar, invited to the court of Elizabeth I, but in the meantime converted from Anglicanism. He was formed and ordained at Douai, returned to England disguised as a jewel merchant, clandestinely celebrated Masses, preached Spiritual Excersizes, etc, travelling all around England in different disguises. He published a document “the 10 reasons” against the Anglicans on a printing press hidden in a helper’s house, secretly placed in each stall in the chapel of Oxford, which caused an uproar. Betrayed by spies, imprisoned, racked, interrogated repeatedly, then finally hanged, drawn and quarted at Tyburn, Dec.1, 1581. His answer to the sentence of condemnation: “In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England — the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter.

Saint Edmund Campion

‘We are determined either to win you over to Heaven or to die upon your pikes’

B – In recent times, the Church has continued to work toward and has facilitated the return of the Anglicans to full communion with Rome

Benedict XVI

The Apostolic See has responded favourably and made available the means necessary to bring groups of Anglicans to full communion with the universal Church
Creation of Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans desiring to return to full communion with the Catholic Church
Those who ministered as Anglican deacons, priests, or bishops who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner may be accepted by the Ordinary as candidates for Holy Orders in the Catholic Church

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Benedict XVI has shown his fatherly care in his negociations with the Anglicans
John Paul II was favorable to encountering a way for Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, while reflecting certain elements of their own heritage

C – The Anglicans themselves put obstacles in the way of union with the Holy See

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

The decision of the Church of England to permit the ordination of women bishops was a step which would have a serious negative impact on full union with the Church

Pontifical Council for promoting Christian unity

The Anglicans themselves requested to put a hold on the meetings geared toward their full union with the Catholic Church in order to bless unions between persons of the same sex

III – As long as the Anglicans remain obstinate in error, the separation between the Catholic Church and the ‘Anglican Church’ is necessary to keep the true doctrine unyielding and clear

Catechism of Saint Pius X

A Catholic should not even accept a Protestant Bible

Pius IX

To allege that Anglicans are part of the true Church is to make the divine establishment of the Church of no consequence
One cannot tolerate that faithful or clergy pray for Christian unity under the leadership of heretics, according to an intention infected with heresy

Pius XI

The sad and disastrous effects of the Reformation are deplored by every fair mind


The Protestant sects have thus introduced themselves with the objective to pursue their disastrous task, to raise the standard of discord and religious rebellion

Pius XI

Dealings with those who profess a mutilated version of Christ teachings forbidden

Pius IX

The necessity to anathemize those who alter the Gospel of Christ, spreading false doctrines and betraying the depository of the faith


Every familiarity should be avoided with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance and respect for all religions


It is impossible for the most true God to approve all sects who profess false and contradictory teachings

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined with an adulteress is separated from the promises of the Church


May the principal concern be to strengthen the character of the Catholic people, preventing carelessness with regard to a criminal purpose to insinuate the reprobate maxims of heresy
True union between Christians can only come from a unity of Faith

Pius X

All minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth

Pius XI

The heretics do not possess the true Church nor the faith


Whoever denies any point of the faith, accepting certain things and rejecting others, does not have the virtue of faith, because such a person rejects the authority of God Himself, accepting his own reason.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

A heretic with regard to one article has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will
Therefore, the persistent denial of a dogma, heresy, is to deny assent to Christ
He chooses not what Christ really taught, but the suggestions of his own mind
For which reason, heresy is a very grave sin, greater than the others
The sin of unbelief is greater than any sin that occurs in the perversion of morals
Heresy is a more grievous sin than that of the Jews or the pagans
The unbelief of heretics, who confess their belief in the Gospel and resist that faith by corrupting it, is a more grievous sin than that of the Jews and the pagans who have never accepted the Gospel faith
From what we have seen it becomes evident that the Anglican belief is not related to the virtue of faith, but rather a rejection of God. Obviously this does not mean that there are not well-intentioned persons who were born of heretic parents. But to deal with official heresy as if it were part of the seamless tunic of the Lord is blasphemous, as if Christ had anything in common with Satan.


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