Henry VIII thought that the stability of England depended on him having a male heir, but he and his Spanish wife, Catherine of Aragon, had one survivng child, Mary Tudor. Believing she might bear him a son, he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn. Catholic law doesn't allow divorce, so Henry asked the Pope to annul his marriage. But the pope refused, as he didn't want to offend Catherine's nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor. Henry was furious. He decided to break from Rome and take over the English Church.