The Six Articles

1539. The Act of Six Articles was pushed through Parliament by Henry VIII of England and came to be known as “the whip of six strings” because noncompliance with it (classed as a felony) was punishable by death and confiscation of property. Protestants complained that the “Reformation goes backwards” in England because this was merely a restatement of some basic tenets of Romanism under the auspices of the English state church which Henry now headed. The English Church had become independent of Rome, but it did not change its theology under Henry. The Six Articles taught transubstantiation,* auricular confession to a priest, celibacy of the clergy, and Communion in one kind (bread only need be given to laymen).