Did not the Pope grant divorces to Louis XII. and Henry IV. of France, and very nearly to Henry VIII. of England, being prevented in this case by fear of Charles V.?

The Catholic Answers

The two prior marriages you mention were declared to have been null and void from the beginning. Therefore no true marriage had ever existed. Louis XII. proved conclusively that he had not been a free agent, having been compelled by his father, Louis XI, to submit to the ceremony. So too, the first marriage of Henry IV. was declared null and void because Marguerite de Valois had been forced into the marriage by her mother, Queen Catherine, for political purposes. The free consent of both parties is necessary for a true and binding marriage contract. In the case of Henry VIII, the power of Charles V. was a motive why his marriage with Catherine of Aragon should not be declared null without rigid proof of its invalidity. At the same time, the enmity of Henry was to be avoided if at all possible, and theologians did all they could to see whether the first marriage were really null and void. But it was impossible, and at the risk of losing England to the Holy See a negative decision had to be given. Henry promptly declared himself head of the Church in England, and took the divorce Rome refused to grant.

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