A difference in religious conviction can pose quite the hurdle to relationships. I know it became a cause for conversation when my parents got married – my mother was a lifelong Catholic and my father was an Episcopalian. My father wasn’t comfortable signing a document promising to raise his children in the Catholic church, and as a result they were not able to get married in the Catholic church my mother had originally planned. After years in the Episcopalian church following this, my mother eventually returned to the Catholic church on her own. The pull runs deep.
The origin of this split, between the Catholic and the Anglican church, is the subject of our most recent blog film. A Man for All Seasons is a British drama from 1966 that focuses on the life of Sir Thomas More. The theme of the film is that Sir Thomas, as Lord Chancellor, refuses to go against his beliefs and sign a letter asking the Pope to annul King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon so that the King can marry Anne Boleyn. Sir Thomas feels so strongly in his conviction that this violates the Catholic doctrine that he is willing to resign his post in order to take this position. It is the beginning for a great deal of hardship he and his family must then face. Sir Thomas also refuses to take an Oath of Supremacy pronouncing Henry VIII as the Supreme Head of the Church of England. The King will have his way, and as head of the Church of England, it is announced that he has authority to override the Pope and retain religious purity in his divorce.
A house divided indeed! In our modern pluralistic culture, it’s easy to underestimate what a political and economic power the Continue reading