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This week in Christian history: Dozens killed at archbishop's funeral, Reformation leader consecrated

Thomas Cranmer consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury – March 30, 1533

Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer . |

This week marks the anniversary of when Thomas Cranmer, a leader of the English Reformation credited with helping establish the Church of England's structures and the Book of Common Prayer, was made Archbishop of Canterbury.

England was loyal to the Roman Catholic Church, which compelled Cranmer to hide his marriage to a Protestant woman before the consecration took place.

“Once his appointment was approved by the pope, Cranmer declared [King] Henry's marriage to Catherine void, and four months later married him to Anne Boleyn,” explained the BBC.

“With Thomas Cromwell, he supported the translation of the bible into English. In 1545, he wrote a litany that is still used in the church. Under the reign of Edward VI, Cranmer was allowed to make the doctrinal changes he thought necessary to the church.”

Cranmer was executed for treason and heresy in 1556, not long after Roman Catholic monarch Queen Mary I ("Bloody Mary") came to the throne in England.

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