The Hank8 and Pope Julius2 train wreck


#1

Thanks to GKC for some great info about the above I swiped from another thread. I have some questions about the swiped quotes below.

And, with respect to the system as it was worked in his day, it was not only reasonable, it was unexceptional. It happened daily. But to make it happen, Henry had to submit his case (causa) to the system, and wait for a decree of nullity, which he was fully justified in expecting to be forthcoming. Henry’s case was based on the concept of an impediment to his marriage to Catherine, arising from the prohibition in Leviticus against a man marrying his brother’s wife. This was what as generally known as an impediment of affinity (of which there were many kinds and degrees. Because of this impediment, Juluis II had issued a dispensation (the other side of a decree of nullity, removing a canonical impediment) permitting Henry to marry Catherine in the first place. Henry now maintained that the prohibition was Scriptural, God’s law, not positive Church law, and thus was beyond a Pope’s power to dispense. There are impediments like that; no one can dispense to permit a son to marry his mother for example (canonically, an impediment of consanquinity in the first degree, direct). This meant that he was saying that Julius had made an error and the diispensation exceeded his authority (*ultra vires). *

While a reasonable case, it was not an exceptionally strong one. And Julius was not an exceptionally strong Pope. And for historical reasons that I pass over, the ruling was against Henry (hint: Charles V). But there was actually a stronger case lurking in Henry’s history (not that either case would have gotten him the decree of nullity; politics and military power trump canonical law). His stronger case, as Cardinal Wolsey saw, lay in a class of impediments called the justice of public honesty. Without getting into technical details, this meant that if a marrige was contracted and consummated between A and B, two actual types of impediments might arise for person C later wishing to marry A or B. That is, there was the potential for an impediment of affinity, which arose from the the consummation of the marriage, or of the justice of public honesty, which arose from the betrothal/marriage contract.

At the time, the rule was that if a valid marriage was contracted, and consummated, and later a dispensation was sought for some one who would have an impediment to marrying A or B, the dispensation need only specifically state that the affinity impediment was dispensed, and the impediment of public honesty was thereby dispensed, implicity. But, if the marriage was not consummated, as Catherine maintained all along, and as was likely true, then the justice of public honesty must be explicitly dispensed. Julius didn’t do that. And hence there was a good case for Henry.

He didn’t pursue that, and it didn’t really matter. Given the relationship between Clement and Charles, and Charles and Catherine, no way was Henry going to get a decree of nullity. An Emperor trumps a King. And an emperor controlling a Pope is stronger still. So Henry didn’t get his decree. He got a Church, instead.

I have cut that severely. You want more details, just ask.

So who’s right?

Does the possibility of a mistake by a pope make one the head of the Church to his subjects?

Does political influence on a pope trump the importance of a (very important) dynasty of the day?


#2

Henry and Katherine received a dispensation from the Pope himself for their marriage, which is in the Pope’s perogative as there was no natural law impediment. There was no grounds for an annulment.


#3

There’s next to no possibility of it being God’s invariable law that a man may not marry his brother’s widow. Quite the opposite, at times God in the OT commanded men to take their childless brothers’ widows for their own wives - (remember the story of Onan, anyone?). So Henry didn’t really have a case.

Secondly, Julius II had nothing to do with the case for dissolution of the marriage - he was the Pope who granted the initial dispensation twenty-odd years earlier. And nobody, not even the Emperor, ordered Julius around :slight_smile: He certainly WAS a strong Pope. Of course the situation changed by the time the annulment proceedings were begun decades later.

Now the fact is that Catherine* always *maintained that her marriage to Arthur was unconsummated. It seems to me that this situation doubtless would have been considered at the time of her marriage to Henry, and if a particular form of dispensation was necessary to cover it such would have been granted.

And certainly even if Henry had the right to protest the Pope’s authority to grant this type of dispensation, he didn’t have the right to dismantle the Church wholesale and set himself up as its head (why not simply an independent Anglican Church under the Archbishop of Canterbury WITHOUT the monarch as its head?)


#4

Thanks,

Is the same still true today?


#5

Absolutely. It’s part of the reason why a monarch or a member of the Royal Family still can’t marry a Catholic.

And until dear old Charles and Camilla, they weren’t allowed to marry a divorced person either, since divorce was also frowned upon in the CofE.


#6

While I completely understand the question, I am wondering of what value it is to try to assign blame today. In the situation you raise, both parties believed they had compelling reasons to decide and act as they did. It’s history now, and hundreds of years old. What value is it, to us today, to point fingers of blame to anyone? And should we succeed in ascertaining blame, what can we possibly do with that NOW? Is there some USEFUL purpose? I’m thinking “No”.

Wouldn’t our efforts be better expended bringing the Church of England back home? I would think (as a former Episcopalian) that they have a lot to add to the Church! Let’s go FORWARD!

Love, Melanie


#7

Well, here’s an old familiar subject. Please read what I wrote, as quoted below (and note I see a typo. Where I said JULIUS was not a particualrly strong Pope, read “Clement”). There was a strong probablility that the dispensation that Julius issued was faulty, according to the rules as they were set at the time. And whether is was or not, decrees of nullity were routinely issued for the most frivolous of reasons; see the two given to Henry’s sister.

Henry’s search for a decree of nullity, and the historical facts of the canon laws (changed frequently over time), that would govern it (politics aside),as well as the issues of just how dispensations, impediments, etc, worked at the time, are a hobby of mine. But I’m not going to run over the history again here. Life is too short. If anyone has a specific question about what I was saying, I’ll try to reply. But otherwise, I’ll suggest a reading of the pertinent chapters in J. J. Scarisbrick’s superb bio of Hank, HENRY VIII, and for mindboggling and brain-numbinng detail, Henry Kelly’s THE MARTIMONIAL TRIALS OF HENRY VIII. Or you may prefer the cartoon version.

GKC


#8

Henry really didn’t need a case. Decrees of nullity were routinely granted for reasons of state, at his level . Or for convenience. It’s one reason why the web of affinity or consanquinity was spread so wide, to create potential impediments. Trent had to cut that down to size.

Secondly, Julius II had nothing to do with the case for dissolution of the marriage - he was the Pope who granted the initial dispensation twenty-odd years earlier. And nobody, not even the Emperor, ordered Julius around :slight_smile: He certainly WAS a strong Pope. Of course the situation changed by the time the annulment proceedings were begun decades later.

No idea why I typed “Julius” there, when I meant “Clement”. Sorry. You’re right. Julius was a terror.

Now the fact is that Catherine* always *maintained that her marriage to Arthur was unconsummated. It seems to me that this situation doubtless would have been considered at the time of her marriage to Henry, and if a particular form of dispensation was necessary to cover it such would have been granted.

One would think so. But it wasn’t done. See Scarisbrick. Kelly, BTW, isn’t sure he’s right. But he makes other points, himself.

And certainly even if Henry had the right to protest the Pope’s authority to grant this type of dispensation, he didn’t have the right to dismantle the Church wholesale and set himself up as its head (why not simply an independent Anglican Church under the Archbishop of Canterbury WITHOUT the monarch as its head?)

Because it was the end of a long process that had been on-gong in England for 300 and more years, by which the Throne sought to reduce the influence of any outside agency (read: Rome) on the Church in England, and to establish the influence of the monarchy over the Church, in England. There is a lengthy list of Parlimentary acts to this end, over that period. Henry cut the Gordian Knot. It was nascent nationalism.

Ok. Two responses.

GKC


#9

And I repeat, after hundreds of years, is there some positive outcome that can be achieved from this exercise? (And yes, I did remember the actual name of the Pope involved AND the relationship between Charles V of Spain and Catherine of Aragon. AND the purported influence of Charles V on the Pope at the time. I had a good History Teacher in High School. I also remember that Henry VIII was named “Defender of the Faith” at an earlier time, a TITLE that British Monarchs retain to this very day!)

But I still ask, if there is no positive outcome that can be achieved from this line of inquiry, is this not just an exercise in divisiveness? Of what value is THAT? There needs to be a POINT to any intellectual exercise. I’m asking for the POINT that this exercise is intended to achieve. Is it of some value to us today? Something that is uplifting and positive? And if so, WHAT?

Glory be to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen

Melanie


#10

You’re right. I subconciously keep a scorecard in my head. It drives me crazy. I can’t help it. It is such a diversion and so unimportant to the important things of my faith.

Now, about Martin Luther. . . . .


#11

Ah, but do you know why he got it? And note that the
*Assertio Septem Sacramentorum *was only part of the story. But, more to your point, it seems to me that a knowledge of history, that thing we are supposed to be deep in, is a good thing in itself. Personal opinion.

GKC

But I still ask, if there is no positive outcome that can be achieved from this line of inquiry, is this not just an exercise in divisiveness? Of what value is THAT? There needs to be a POINT to any intellectual exercise. I’m asking for the POINT that this exercise is intended to achieve. Is it of some value to us today? Something that is uplifting and positive? And if so, WHAT?

Glory be to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen

Melanie


#12

Why?


#13

'Cause he wanted it.

I’m gonnna go look for something I posted on another board, some time ago, and that I think I saved. If I did, I’ll be back…

Ok, here it is. I hope the line breaks match up. And I think I dropped a line when I copied it, but it seems to make sense. Reads like me, anyway. So…Henry and his title:

Henry liked sparklies. Was always on the look-out for a new and nifty title, or gee-gaw to add to his collection. In 1512, he petitioned Julius II to award him the title possessed by Louis XII, “Most Christian King” (you didn’t just call yourself something like that; it was awarded). Not sure if “Most Christian” was a zero sum title, but Julius did award it to Henry, and, for good measure, secretly gave him the French throne. All he had to do to claim it was to defeat Louis in the then on-going unpleasantness between the Holy League and France. That part never happened, though Henry tried, after Ferdinand of Spain finked out on him. But Henry got his “Christianissimus”.

In 1515, Henry wanted something else to pad his resume. Various ideas were passed around: “Protector of the Holy See”, maybe “Defender”, were suggested from the English side. The first was turned down because it already belonged to the Holy Roman Emperor, the second was the property of the Swiss. Some in Rome countered with “King Apostolic” (interesting combination) or “Orthodox”. The Pope vetoed both. In 1516, the title of “Defender of the Faith” was proposed from England. Leo ignored it, and Henry sulked.

Henry gave up until May, 1521, when Wolsey wrote once again to Rome, asking for a pretty for Henry. Leo passed it to a committee of Cardinals. Forthcoming were suggestions for titles:

Rex Fidelis”, "“Orthodoxus”, “Ecclesiaticus” ,
“Protector”, “Anglicus” (that last was a little weak).

When the Cardinals inquired just why Henry warranted another honor, the part he had played fighting for the Holy See against Louis, 9 years before, was mentioned. And there was the Assertio (that is, the Assertio Septem Sacramentorum), sort of written by Henry, against Luther’s De Captivitate Babylonica). Rome had heard of this work of Hank’s (it was in draft in May 1521, printed in July, sent to Rome in September, after the Cardinals had been considering the matter of a title for a few months). So, even before the *Assertio *was received and presented to Leo, a list of titles for Henry to choose from was shipped over to England.

The Assertio probably tipped the scales for approval. About the time it was presented to Leo (bound in cloth of gold), Henry chose the same title that had been suggested by England 6 years before: *Defensor Fidei *. Leo granted it six weeks after he received the book. Doubtless directly inspired by the Assertio, some cardinals then wanted to add a flourish to the title, such as *Gloriosus *or Fidelissimus, but Leo vetoed it. Moderation in all things.

So Henry got his sparklie, partially because of the Assertio, partially because of the Holy League, partially because he was a pain in the neck. It was intended as a title for him personally, though he thought it was hereditary. Parliment thought it looked nice, and attached it to the Throne, in 1543. Mary took it off, Elizabeth put it back, and it’s there now by Parlimentary fiat.

And that’s why Charles has a title that he wants to change to “Defender of the Faiths”.

GKC


#14

That’s what I like!!! An explanation in layman’s terms.

While reading your explanation, it occurred to me that the Church may have been growing sick of it all and just said “to heck with this”.

Any indication either way?


#15

Is there a video game? :wink: :wink:


#16

Oh, a bit of this, a bit of that. As I said, Henry was a pain in the neck. But that wasn’t all that unusual. What you see in this, the central thread, is the political aspect, the balancing and courting of the secular powers, by Rome, as another secular power (and more, to be sure). You can see it in the whole annulment system, and I don’t just mean Henry’s situation, but why and how the system was set up in the first place.

Glad you liked it. One of these days, if anyone asks, I’ll tell the tale of the first person known to have been permitted to marry within the previously prohibited Levitical degees. It is amusant.

GKC


#17

For the XBox, yes. Look for “Nullity:Horny Hank’s Hormones”.

GKC


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.