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By: Michael Crawford

The sixteenth-century was a period that experienced the shifting of secular and ecclesiastical loyalties from side to side. These acts were achieved by many phenomena, including the power of diplomacy. It is also in the sixteenth-century when diplomacy was in its beginning stages of development. The Catholic Church under the direction of Papal authority made significant contributions to this vital and rapidly increasing need for peace, through diplomacy. One of the individuals who aided this quest was Cardinal Reginald Pole, who used his appointment as papal legate to seek peace among the major powers of the mid sixteenth-century politics throughout the Continent and England. Using the papal authority granted to him, Reginald Pole was one of the earliest negotiators who advanced and developed the process of mediation in the search for peace.