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Fidei Defensor

The title granted to Henry VIII by Leo I on 11 October 1521 as a result of his Defence of the Seven Sacraments against Luther and his persistent pursuit of a special papal title to parallel those of the “Catholic King” of Spain had “the Most Christian” King of France. Although Henry had not written the reply to Luther's Babylonian Captivity of the Church with his own hand, he had taken a considerable part in its composition and all of the credit for its authorship It tipped the scales in favor of his demand for a special papal title, despite its misrepresentation of Luther's position and its general theological weakness. Although not intended to be hereditary, Henry accepted the title for his successors, and it is still borne by the British monarch, despite the change in the “faith.”