Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, is revered as a reformer and martyr in ... wait for it ... the Church of England. So, he may be a saint, but not one recognized by Catholics. Thomas made it possible for King Henry VIII to divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn, which of course made neither the King nor the Archbishop popular with the Pope.
|Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury (1533-1556). Image: Wikipedia|
Henry VIII died at age 55 and was succeeded by his 9-year old son, Edward VI, born by 3rd wife, Jane Seymour. During the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer was allowed to make the doctrinal changes he thought necessary to the church. In 1549, he helped complete the book of common prayer. After Edward VI's death, Cranmer supported Lady Jane Grey as successor. Her nine-day reign was followed by the Roman Catholic Mary I, who promptly tried Cranmer for treason.
|Cranmer’s martyrdom, from John Foxe’s book (1563). Image and caption: Wikipedia|
To save his life and his life's work, Cranmer recanted. He was even received back into the Catholic church. However, Mary I insisted on his execution. Cranmer was sentenced to be burnt to death in Oxford on 21 March 1556. Before his death, he publicly renounced his recantation. He dramatically stuck his right hand, with which he had signed his recantation, into the fire first.
As an ENTP, I am all about generating ideas for change, for reformation, and for continuous process improvement. I am also quite happy to work hard for causes in which I believe passionately. The whole burned at the stake thing, though. That is a different matter!
I hope this post has you in an enlightened, if somewhat somber, Holy Week mood. And if you are so inclined, feel free to comment or share.
- Address: 935 W. Union Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187.
- Phone: 630-653-3888.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Website: http://www.churchrez.org
6. A British perspective on Church of England's sainted leader. Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/cranmer_thomas.shtml