The Vatican has opened its secret archives, the repository of centuries worth of documents pertaining to the Holy See, to let the world get a closer look at a document presaging England’s split from the Church of Rome. Dated July 13, 1530, and addressed to Pope Clement VII, the letter, right, asks for the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon and includes the seals of dozens of peers of England who concurred with the request.

A reproduction of the document will go on sale next month for about $68,000 from the Venice-based publisher Scrinium, which plans a limited run of 199 copies. A second, more damaged copy of the document is in England, at the National Archives in Kew. The reproduction and accompanying scholarly texts will allow for closer perusal of “the cause of Henry VIII,”

Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the Vatican archive’s prefect, told journalists on Tuesday. It will be officially presented in June, on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Henry’s coronation, but the timing is a coincidence, Monsignor Pagano said. “We do not celebrate kings, only popes.”

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