Has Rowan Williams damned Henry VIII to hell?

Umm, no. For that is not the preserve of Archbishops, however mighty they may be. It\’s only the Big Boy himself who gets to make that decision.

There was an intake of breath among the congregation, yet I wondered if I\’d misheard the Archbishop. I hadn\’t, for the text is on Rowan Williams\’s website: \”If Henry VIII is saved (an open question, perhaps) it will be at the prayers of John Houghton.\”

Of course it\’s an open question. The definition of \”Saint\” is someone that we know is in heaven*. As Henry VIII is not a saint we do not know that he is \”saved\”.


* Yes, I know that I don\’t believe this and you may or may not. And there are of course any number of different groups with different methods of \”knowing\” and thus declaring sainthood. But if we are to debate matters theological it\’s worth using the terms and assumptions which are used to debate matters theological. There\’s no point in starting every discussion about the difference between consubstantiation and transubstantiation with an \”of course Jesus was just some itinerant mystic, not the Son of God at all\”.

2 thoughts on “Has Rowan Williams damned Henry VIII to hell?”

  1. “It’s only the Big Boy himself who gets to make that decision.”

    What, Charlton Heston?

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