- The Convocation of Bishops Governs the Church
- They have changed English theology to create the Henrician Church of England and break with Rome
- Can agree changes to religion and theology
- Henry has massive influence as Head of the Church
The governing body of the Henrician Church of England is overseen by its Archbishops and made up of its Bishops. Theoretically they are the authority on religion and theology in England. In practice, they are controlled by the King as head of the Church. The Convocation of Bishops passed Henry’s various acts comprising the English Reformation, putting the King at the top of it.
The Bishops at Court are those most trusted by Henry to meet the Catholic delegation, to discuss theology and to examine Rome’s offer. They were once Catholics but have changed denomination and sworn an oath to recognise Henry’s supremacy. Those who were not flexible enough to support this position are dead, regarded as martyrs of the Catholic Church, or fled the country and have no power at Court.
Responsibilities at the event
- Set the theology of the Henrician Church via Declaration
- Must decide a position on the Nine Articles
- One member, one vote
- Meet at 3pm
- Also set the style and leader of mass at 5pm
The Convocation of Bishops has been instrumental in establishing Henry’s new version of the Church. They have repeatedly chosen to submit to Henry’s spiritual vision, even passing votes to remove their ability to make laws without the King’s permission and assent. Yet they still retain nominal power to declare the morality of the land and determine the beliefs of the people from the pulpit.
Some characters have a large influence on how Convocation would vote on any change to the Henrician Church. King Henry has ordered these moral leaders to meet with him after his negotiation with the representatives of the Catholic Church, to discuss any proposed changes to the Henrician Church.
There is a formal meeting at 3pm, to which these moral leaders and some other great religious thinkers will meet to discuss the Church’s future position. At the end, those who have influence in Convocation will be asked to approve a draft of any changes by simple count of ‘ayes’ to ‘nays’. The Scriptorium will draw this up into a formal declaration of The Nine Articles and the Bishops will be asked to sign their names to it publically before Evening Mass at 5pm.
- If a majority of Convocation do not sign the document, then there will be no further change in the faith of England: the current position of the Henrician Church of near-Catholicism will remain.
- If the majority sign the document, the faith of the people of England will shift slowly towards these beliefs
- If a majority sign, and an Act of Parliament is passed to give legal force to this new position, the faith of the people of England will shift faster towards these beliefs, with other expressions of faith being violently put down.
- Reconciling with Rome requires an Act of Parliament.
Breaking with Rome was supported and enforced by many Acts of Parliament. If Convocation specifically decide to reconcile with Rome, then an Act of Parliament must be passed to enforce this or it will fail and cause turmoil. This does not mean that Parliament is forced to pass the Act. If Parliament refuse to reconcile with Rome then the Convocation will find the need for a hasty meeting and some ‘doctrinal flexibility’.
The Convocation can also decide who leads the Mass at 5pm and what form it is in. It does not have to match the Henrician Theology or the new Nine Articles. Convocation could use this as a consolation for a faction whose theological view is not taken forwards. Regardless of the outcome of the Nine Articles, a priest who takes the Mass at such a momentous occasion will have a secure legacy.