505 years later, the Vatican opens its secret archives and presents the amazing document presaging the Anglican schism: the letter asking for the annulment of King Henry VIII’s marriage in Rome, Italy on June 23, 2009.

ITALY – JUNE 23: The most determining cause of the Anglican schism was Henry VIII (1509-1547) ‘s wish to get rid of his legitimate wife, Catherine of Aragon in order to get married with Anne Boleyn.The Peers of England, all together, acted in favour of the sovereign and with the present document bearing 83 seals of just as many signers of the document, in 1530 asked the Pope to put an end to the long wait of the entire English Nation. It is well-known that the Pope Clement VII then declared legitimate Henry VIII’s marriage with Catherine of Aragon, and therefore indissoluble, and how the sovereign, hindered from carrying out his plans, got married again and declared the separation of the Church of England from the Church of Rome (the Anglican schism). The document (1 meter x 2 meters. 2,5 kilos) in extraordinarily good condition was presented on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Henry’s coronation. A reproduction of the letter will be given as a gift to Pope Benedict XVI, and another 199 will be produced at the rate of about two a month. Each will sell for about $68,000. (Photo by Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)