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The Church of Ireland claimed that in breaking with Rome the reformed established church was reverting to a condition that had obtained in the church in Ireland prior to the 12th century – the independent character of Celtic Christianity.

Modern scholarship, however, sees the early Irish church as different to but still a part of Roman Christianity, with the result that the Church of Ireland and the Irish Roman Catholic church can both claim descent from St Patrick.

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When the Church of England broke communion with the Holy See, the church became the established church of Ireland, assuming possession of most church property and so retaining a great repository of religious architecture and other items, though some were later destroyed.

The church explains its possession of so many of the ancient church buildings of Ireland by reference to the precedent set by Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century: Since the days of the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century European states saw themselves as having a central role in the government of the Church.

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Celtic Christianity Augustine of Canterbury Bede Medieval cathedral architecture Henry VIIIEnglish Reformation Thomas Cranmer Dissolution of Monasteries Church of England Edward VIElizabeth IParker Hooker James ICharles ILaud Nonjuring schism Anglo-Catholicism Oxford Movement) is a Christian church in Ireland and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion.

The Church of Ireland considers itself Catholic because it is in possession of a continuous tradition of faith and practice, based on scripture and early traditions, enshrined in the Catholic creeds, together with the sacraments and apostolic ministry.

The Church of Ireland, as a Reformed and Protestant Church, doth hereby re-affirm its constant witness against all those innovations in doctrine and worship whereby the Primitive faith hath been from time to time defaced or overlaid, and which at the Reformation this Church did disown and reject.Henry's assumption of the title of King of Ireland had great ecclesiastical and political significance since the title "Lord of Ireland" implied a tacit acceptance of the Pope's claim, (apparently) first made by Adrian IV in the papal bull Laudabiliter of 1155, that Ireland was a papal fief.Adrian granted Henry II the Lordship of Ireland; thus, Henry's assumption of the title of King had less to do with dispossessing the native Irish kings than with confronting the Pope.All but two of the Irish bishops appointed by Queen Mary (1553–1558) accepted the Elizabethan Settlement,, the Archbishop of Dublin, Hugh Curwen, being one of them (he was chief consecrator of Adam Loftus as Archbishop of Armagh who would 4 years later bring charges of moral delinquency against Curwen).The vast majority of priests and the church membership remained Catholic.This church-state link was vigorously applied when the Normans came to Ireland in the 12th century.