**Q: *Recently my sister, who is a Catholic nun, told me that one of the popes was a woman. She also said St. Brigid was a bishop! I have never heard this before and I feel so distressed. I would appreciate any information which you could share with me. ***
A: Your sister is wrong on both counts. First, there never was a woman pope. The old story of Pope Joan is sometimes used to suggest otherwise, but this legend has been thoroughly discredited. The appendix to* The Oxford Dictionary of the Popes* (written by a Protestant, J. N. D. Kelly) says the legend of a woman pope “scarcely needs painstaking refutation today, for not only is there no contemporary evidence for a female pope at any of the dates suggested for her reign, but the known facts of the respective periods makes it impossible to fit one in.”
Second, St. Brigid was never a bishop, although she did start, along with the hermit Conleth, the religious community of Kildare in fifth-century Ireland. Conleth was a bishop and was the abbot for a house of men. Brigid was the abbess of a nearby convent, but was never a bishop.
**This is from the CA library. There are 2 other articles that refer to this.