The Divorce of Catherine of Aragon: The Story as Told by the Imperial Ambassadors Resident at the Court of Henry VIII

By J. A. Froude | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XI.

Proposals for the reunion of Christendom -- Warning addressed to the Pope -- Address of the English nobles to Queen Catherine -- Advances of Clement to Henry -- Embarrassments of the Pope and the Emperor -- Unwillingness of the Pope to decide against the King -- Business in Parliament -- Reform of the English Church -- Death of Archbishop Warham -- Bishop Fisher and Chapuys -- Question of annates -- Papal Briefs -- The Pope urged to excommunicate Henry -- The Pope refuses -- Anger of Queen Catherine's Agent.

THE unity of Christendom was not to be broken in pieces without an effort to preserve it. Charles V. was attempting impossibilities in his own dominions, labouring for terms on which the Lutheran States might return to the Church. He had brought the Pope to consent to the "communion in both kinds," and to the "marriage of priests " -- a vast concession, which had been extorted by Micer Mai in the intervals of the discussions on the divorce. Efforts which fail are forgotten, but they represent endeavours at least honourable. Catherine was absorbed in her own grievances. Charles gave them as much attention as he could spare, but had other things to think of. As long as he could prevent Clement from taking any fatal step, he supposed that he had done enough. He had at least done all that he could, and he had evidently allowed Chapuys to persuade him that Henry's course would be arrested at the last extremity by his own subjects. He left Mai to watch the Pope, and Ortiz to urge for sentence; but when the pres

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