Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Henry VIII Poorly Catechized, Says Catholic Author

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Ignorant of his own faith?

BOSTON -- Henry VIII's accomplishments, which include divorce, the dismantling of orphanages, murder, apostasy and setting up his own church, could all be the result of one thing: bad catechesis.

"Henry VIII, like many people in our own time, was simply ignorant of his own faith," said Thomas O'Malley, author of Don't Blame Me, Blame the Church. "After doing seven years of research, I learned a lot about the former monarch. One of the most shocking discoveries was that those who oversaw his religious education sort of blew it off most of the time. After I discovered this, I thought,'Good grief, how could he be expected to know beheading his wife was wrong?'"

And Henry VIII's famous moniker, "Defender of the Faith," is more the result of his effective PR machine, rather than his actually defending the faith and believing in it, according to O'Malley.

"True, he wasn't that nice to St. Thomas More, beheading him and all that," said O'Malley. "But in light of this new evidence, it really makes one pity Henry."

According to O'Malley, Catholics have not received thorough catechesis since the First Century. "In fact, I think if we dig a little further, we'll probably see Judas Iscariot wasn't very well formed either," said O'Malley. "The Church has been letting us down for a long time."

O'Malley said this book is a must-read for any Catholic. "You've heard that no matter how big the sin you've committed, Jesus will forgive? Well, in light of this research, it looks to me that whether you've been married eight times or killed eight people, it doesn't really matter, because no one ever taught you it was wrong. You may just be off the hook."

Striving to be a Higher Being