The Papal Bull 23 March 1534.
The Effect in English of Pope Clement’s Sentence definitive, against the Divorce of Queen Katherine.
Translation from Foxes Monuments, Ed Rev Geo. Townsend,(1846) vol 5 p 658.
The effect of this sentence is as much as to mean in English,
that ” pope Clement VII. with the consent of his other brethren, the cardinals assembled together in this consistory, sitting there in the throne of justice,’ calling upon the name of Christ,’ and having God only before his eyes,’ doth pronounce, define, and declare—in the cause and cause, between his dear daughter Katherine queen of England, appealing to the see apostolic, and his beloved son Henry the Eighth, king of England,’ concerning the validity and invalidity of the matrimony heretofore contracted between them, and yet depending in the consistory court of the said pope Clement—that the said matrimony always hath stood, and still doth stand, firm and canonical;’ and that the issue proceeding, or which shall proceed, of the same, standeth, and shall stand, lawful and legitimate; and that the aforesaid Henry king of England is and shall be bound and obstrict to the matrimonial society and cohabitation with the said lady Katherine his lawful wife and queen, to bold end maintain her with such love and princely honour, as becometh a loving husband, and his kingly honour, to do.’
Also, ‘that the said Henry king of ’England, if he shall refuse so to perform and accomplish all and singular the premises, in all effectual manner, is to be condemned and compelled thereunto by all remedies of the law,’ and enforced, according as we do condemn, compel, and enforce him so to do; providing, all molestations and refusals whatsoever, made by the said king Henry against the said queen Katherine, upon the invalidity of the said marriage, to have been and be judged unlawful and unjust; and the said king, from henceforth for ever, to hold his peace, and not to be heard in any court hereafter to speak,’ touching the invalidity of the said matrimony: like as we also do here will and charge him to hold his peace, and do put him to perpetual silence herein; willing, moreover, end adjudging the said king Henry to be condemned, and presently here do condemn him, an the expenses, on the said queen Katherines behalf here in our court expended and employed in traversing the aforesaid cause, the valuation of which expenses we reserve to ourselves to be limited and taxed, as we shall judge meet hereafter.
We do so pronounce, .
At Rome, in our apostolical Palace, publicly in our Consistory, the 23d of March, 1534. Blosius’
There is an irony with this Bull, as there had previously been an attempt to reconcilliate Henry and in fact letters had been despatched that would have rendered this Bull unnecessary. However, the messenger was delayed by bad weather and arrived two days later. In the meantime the pope had been pressed by his council to make the declaration in a very profound and public way. This was done, and subsequently, after the messenger`s arrival, could not be undone. So the church of Rome in its haste had broken with Henry, not he with them. Moreover, one could say that the English Protestant Reformation was started from this point by Rome itself. To many at the time, it was gladly accepted as a Divine intervention.