The 16th century was a time of great turmoil and strife for the all-powerful Catholic Church, which had for over a thousand years reigned supreme as the only religion of Western Europe. This all changed when, in 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther published a document named the 95 Theses, decrying many of the practices of the Catholic Church and giving birth to the Protestant school of thought, which advocated primarily for the abolishment of Rome’s hegemony over western Christianity. As the revolution of thought swept across Europe and a great many leaders found themselves sympathetic to the anti-Catholic teachings of Martin Luther, Henry took advantage of the situation to oppose the Pope, who would not grant an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Catherine had failed for twenty years to provide him a son, and so Henry desperately wished to remarry in order to secure for himself a wife who could provide him with a male heir. In 1534, he broke with the pope and declared himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England.