Catherine and Henry's Annulment

646 Words3 Pages
Do you agree with the view that the main reason for Henry’s failure to obtain the annulment of his marriage in the years 1525-29 was the determined opposition of Catherine of Aragon? There were many factors contributing to Henry’s annulment plans failing. On one hand it was said to be Catherine of Aragon’s determination and persistence to prove her marriage valid. Others say it was Henry’s own weak argument and brutish front that caused his plans to fail. Source 4 states it was Henry’s weak case and argument that caused him to fail to obtain his annulment, ‘Wolsey worried about Henry’s reliance on biblical arguments’. This shows even Wolsey was worried about the strength of Henry’s case; it even states he ‘pleaded with Campeggio for help.’ Henry’s need for his annulment was based on a passage he found in the bible Leviticus it claims ‘If a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an impurity; he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.’ There were two reasons this argument did not work in Henry’s favour. One was that before Henry married Catherine he received a Papal bull from the Pope himself saying it was ok to marry his brother’s widow. Secondly Rome dissected, and studied this part of the Leviticus to find that you should not marry your brother’s wife while he was still alive. As Arthur was dead, this was not an issue and certainly did not condemn Henry to eternal damnation by going against the will of God. Although Henry refused to accept this, there were a series of essays written in Rome to support the Papacy’s viewpoint. There were also supporters in England Bishop Fisher wrote seven books in backing of Catherine. So this suggests it was the weakness of the king’s case that was his own downfall. There are also factors to suggest it was not Henry’s weak argument but Catherine’s power that held back Henry from getting the annulment.
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