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The History of the Church 162 The Crowning οf Charles V In his struggle against the Holy Roman Empire, Pope Clement VII formed the Holy League of Cognac, rallying around his pontifi cal states a few Italian princes, the king of France, and the king of England. As with the majority of this pope’s initiatives, this measure ended up turning against him and the church. Specifically, he was unable to forestall the sack of Rome, despite promising the emperor a ransom of 100,000 ducats. The price he had to pay to be reconciled with Charles V was even higher. In 1530, Clement VII consecrated the emperor in Bologna, with the iron crown that symbolized Italy. Already, as Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V was truly at the head of the kingdom “where the sun never set.” And he always put his power at the service of his religion, whether promoting the conversion of natives in the Americas, fighting the schism of Luther as far as was possible, or conducting a crusade in Tunis against barbarian pirates—from where he returned in 1535 accompanied by 20,000 Christian slaves that he had set free. The end of his life was even more pious. He abdicated in 1555 in order to retire to a monastery and dedicate himself to the salvation of his soul. He went as far as having his funeral Mass celebrated two days before his actual death so that he could assist at it in person. Marco Vecellio (1545–1611) The Peace of Bologna Palazzo degli Dogi, Venice ...


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