Bioethics in the Episcopal Tradition
Christianity was brought to England by the Romans early in the second century. The Angles and Saxons soon took over Christian Roman Britain, however, and it was not until the seventh century that a distinctively English church emerged due to the work of Christian missionaries. Reforms introduced in the Church of England in the sixteenth century distinguished it as a separate ecclesiastical body from the Church of Rome. These changes were catalyzed by King Henry VIII’s efforts to father a male heir, in particular by his attempt to have his first and childless marriage annulled by Pope Clement VII. The Pope had been taken prisoner after his failed war against the nephew of Henry’s wife and was unable to grant this fairly ordinary request due to his dire situation.