OCCASION AND CAUSE
Gustave Constant was born in 1869 in the Vendée and after close studies
in literature and diplomatics at l'Ecole des Hautes-Etudes he spent three years
in the French College at Rome. In 1893 he was ordained a Roman Catholic
priest. For some years he pursued archival research abroad, until in 1908 he
was named Professor of Modern Church History at the Catholic Institute in
Paris. Gravely wounded while on active service in the Dardanelles campaign of
the First World War, Constant refused to slacken the pace of his studies or
teaching and traveled widely in Europe, Africa, and the United States after
1918. Before his death in 1940 he published many important books and arti
cles, many of them about sixteenth-century church history. Among his chief
works are: La Réforme en Angleterre, 2 volumes; La Légation du Cardinal Morone près de l'empereur et le concile de Trente and his Concession à l'Allemagne de la communion sous les deux espèces, 2 volumes.
THE OCCASION of the English Schism is so patent and indisputable that many people scarcely trouble to look for the causes, while some even think that the occasion of it, Henry VIII's divorce, was in reality the cause. That is certainly a short, easy and simple solution, but truth is -- generally -- more complicated than that. In his English Law and The Renaissance Maitland1 admits that the history of the Reformation in England is complicated. To attribute everything to the king's despotism and the people's servility is an easy way of dealing with the subject, but it has the disadvantage of mistaking the effect for the cause. For it was precisely in his conflict with Rome that Henry's eyes were opened and he saw how far his power might be extended. "If the lion knew his own strength, hard were it for any man to rule him," said Thomas More to Cromwell, al- luding to the king. But the lion was not yet aware that its claws had grown; and it experimented with them on the Church. We must then discover what it was that allowed the king to meddle with the Church and the Reformation to spring up and develop on English soil.
Henry VIII's Schism was but an episode in the eternal conflict between Church and State, and in England this conflict was not new. Who has not heard of the terrible struggles between Alexander III and Henry II in the twelfth, and between Innocent III and John Lackland in the thirteenth century, struggles which ended in humiliation for the royal power? It would almost seem that the memory of that humiliation had not been forgotten. "For his part, Henry VIII meant to remedy it," wrote the imperial ambassador in 1533, "and repair the error of Kings Henry II and John, who, by deceit, being in difficulties, had made this realm and Ireland tributary."
A few days before his death Warham,____________________