[quote=chuckii]I am hearing from a lot of non-Catholic friends of mine that say that when the new pope is elected and enters the “Room of Tears” that the cardinals have a special chair that he sits on so that someone can examine him to make sure he is a male.
The purpose of the Room of Tears is not to examine the pope’s private parts; it is to allow the new pope to change into papal vestments before receiving the pledges of obedience from his fellow cardinals and then being introduced to the people of Rome and to the world from the loggia above St. Peter’s square. The room is nicknamed the Room of Tears because new popes have often been overcome with emotion at thought of the heavy burden that has been given them.
[quote=chuckii]This is due ot the fact, they claim, that once a female was elected as a pope (Pope Joan) and this is how they make sure a female is never elected as a pope. This sure doesn’t sound right, but can you help me in answering this issue?
The story of Pope Joan is a legend, roundly dismissed by serious historians as unworthy of belief. According to the *Catholic Encyclopedia *the tale was first told in the thirteenth century, nearly two hundred years after Pope Joan was alleged to have reigned. The dates of her reign were later pushed back to the ninth century. The bit of lore about a modified papal “throne” is attached to the Pope Joan story, and thus likewise unworthy of belief.