The soldiers attacked the cardinals and stole their wealth. The ordinary Romans also suffered greatly. Countless were robbed, murdered, and raped. Many were tortured in macabre ways so that they would divulge the location of their wealth. The mutineers stayed in the city for some months, continuing to terrorize the inhabitants, and they only left after eight months because of the plague and the hefty bribe they were paid by the Pope.
[[File: Pope Clement VII.jpg|thumbnail|200px|left|Pope Clement VII in 1528]]
Emperor Charles V was deeply embarrassed by the actions of his mutinous army. However, Charles knew that the Pope was in a weak position, and he saw it as an opportunity to extend his control over the Papacy.<ref> Chastel. p. 212</ref> Successive Popes, eager to preserve Italian independence and their own, had allied themselves with the French to prevent Charles from upsetting Italy's balance of power.
The Pope's insistence on religious orthodoxy meant that freethought and secular values were increasingly challenged in the aftermath of Rome's Sack. The Inquisition became more active, as the Pope sought to stamp out every sign of free thought or ideas contrary to the teachings of the Church. The growing fear of Protestantism was also instrumental in the new climate. Still, the fear of the Emperor after the Sack and the Spanish meant that the Inquisition became all-pervasive in Italian society. This was to have a devastating impact on the Renaissance. This cultural flourishing was premised on an attempt to reproduce the classical world. It was mostly humanistic, secular, and often overtly pagan, and this was no longer possible in the aftermath of Rome's capture in 1527.
It became increasingly difficult for the humanist who was once so influential
in expressing their views , and instead of studying the ancient classics, they were expected to study religious works.<ref> Burckhardt, p. 120</ref> No longer could they think and write freely as by the mid-1500s they were intimidated by the Inquisition. The new emphasis on religious orthodoxy meant that many noble patrons were unwilling to subsidize humanists' works who expressed ‘pagan’ ideas.
The Popes had long opposed the Holy Roman Emperor's ambitions, and the Spanish, whom they believed correctly, wanted to dominate Italy.<ref> Duffy, Eoin, <i>History of the Popes</i> (London, Penguin, 2005), p. 267</ref> The Papacy was pivotal to the Italian resistance to the ambitions of the Spanish. This changed after the Sack of Rome in 1527. The Pope was cowed and, to an extent, meekly followed the policies of Charles V. They also ceased resisting his growing control. After the death, this enabled Charles V’s, heir to established de-facto control over Italy, except for Venice. The Pope had bankrolled the armies that had been pivotal to the Italian resistance to outsiders, and after 1527, this was no longer possible.