What Were Some of the Changes Made to the Church by Henry VIII?

Two of the many changes that Henry VIII made to the Church during his reign were the rejection of papal authority through the Act of Supremacy, which made him the head of the Church in England, and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which took land away from the Catholic Church in England and redistributed it to the king’s supporters. Although Henry adhered to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, he did not recognize the authority of the pope in Rome, and he later persecuted Catholics.

Henry promoted the destruction of shrines that had been erected to honor saints. In 1533, the Statute in Restraint of Appeals was passed, which made it a high crime to introduce a Vatican-issued formal document, or papal bull, in England. Although Henry rejected the authority of the pope as spiritual leader of the Church, the radical changes promoted by Protestant reformers were not tolerated during Henry’s reign.