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The Failed Negotiations For The Subsidy Of 1555

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Chapter Summary

In the spring of 1556, on learning of the forcible collection of ecclesiastical rents by Spanish officials, Pope Paul IV (1555?1559) exclaimed: ?They are heretics there that they have treated the clergy so badly!? The pope?s declaration referred not only to secular officials, but also to the Comisario General de la Cruzada, Bishop Juan Suárez de Carvajal. This chapter examines the events that led to the pope?s exclamation. It starts with the failed negotiations between the crown and the Castilian Assembly of the Clergy for an ecclesiastical contribution in 1555. This failure led Suárez to seize ecclesiastical rents by force, incurring the wrath of Paul IV. This case study further demonstrates the importance of consensus between the crown and the Assembly and indicates that a clear demarcation between church and state is not always possible when prelates were at the center of royal policies towards the church.

Keywords: Castilian Assembly; church; clergy; crown; ecclesiastical contribution; failed negotiations; Pope Paul IV; Spanish officials; Suárez



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