Soheil asked:

Can someone explain this part for me from the historical aspect? "He suffers some genuine alarm; it has always been clear to him that one of the secrets of stability in Europe is to have the papacy independent, and in the clutches of neither France nor the Emperor. But his nimble mind is already skipping towards some advantage for Henry."

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Michael Medley At this point in history, the Sack of Rome has just put the Pope (Clement VII) into the power of the Emperor (Charles V, King of Spain, and ruler of many other European territories). Wolsey fears this will lead to more war. But he has an idea of how to gain some advantage from the situation for King Henry. Pope Clement has been refusing to annul Henry's marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Now that the Pope is captured and unable to exercise his function normally, Wolsey hopes that an alternative source of authority (a court of cardinals) might convene and be persuaded to give Henry the answer he wants.
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by Hilary Mantel (Goodreads Author)
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