Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Excommunication of Elizabeth I

On this day in Tudor History 1570, Pope Pius V issued his papal bull, Regnans in Excelsis. The document excommunicated Elizabeth and all those who remained loyal to her. Additionally, the document called for a Catholic uprising to depose Elizabeth in favor of her cousin and devout Catholic, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.The bull was issued after it became clear that Elizabeth had no intention of marrying into the powerful Catholic Hapsburg family and she began to assert her power as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
Despite being an attempt to return England and her Queen to Catholicism, the bull actually had the unintended consequences of increasing the harshness of recusancy laws against those still practicing Catholicism in England. These consequences included the trial, and even execution, of some Catholic priests, the issuance of deep fines against those who refused to attend services in the Church of England and the withholding of public office from Catholics. This backlash created a deeply marginalization of Catholics that would continue into the reign of the Hanoverians.

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