Pope Leo X Invests Thomas Wolsey as Cardinal in England's Catholic Church Hot

Pope Leo X Invests Thomas Wolsey as Cardinal in England's Catholic Church

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Pope Leo X invests Thomas Wolsey as a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church in England, which means that he has authority even over the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior leader and principal bishop in England's Catholic Church.

Thomas Wolsey is already a Canon of Windsor and the Archbishop of York. This great power in the Catholic Church is matched or even exceeded by great secular power under the government of King Henry VII and King Henry VIII of England.

Among his various political offices are royal chaplain and Almoner with a seat on the Privy Council. His highest political office is Lord Chancellor, the chief advisor to the king, and as a consequence he will often be described as alter rex or "the other king."

Because of great ecclesiastical and secular power, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey will acquire many enemies. Nevertheless, he manages to retain the trust of King Henry VIII right up until the latter decides to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and instead marry Anne Boleyn.

Wolsey tries to obtain an annulment from the pope but fails; this is likely the direct cause of his downfall because his enemies are able to convince Henry that Wolsey is deliberately stalling and thus trying to thwart the king's will. He will be arrested and stripped of all secular offices and property, but he is able to retain his church offices. He dies before he is put on trial for treason.

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