Vatican discloses Henry VIII's annulment appeal

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The Vatican has authorised the publication of a limited-edition facsimile of the 1530 appeal by the Peers of England to Pope Clement VII asking for the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

The 950 x 458mm parchment, bearing 81 red wax seals encased in tin caskets, is a key document in events leading to the schism between Rome and the Church in England. The reproduction, which is likely to cost €50,000 a copy, is being made by Scrinium, a Venice-based publisher.

The facsimile, to be unveiled in Rome next month, was this week shown in advance to Vatican-accredited journalists, including The Times, together with the rarely seen priceless original, which is kept in a purpose-built display cabinet in the office of Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the Prefect of the Secret Archives.

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