Woman Pope???


#1

I recently finished reading a book by Donna Woolfolk Cross called “Pope Joan.” It’s about a woman who supposedly became Pope in the 9th century. It seemed pretty bogus, but it was a good read none the less. I did some research on the internet and found that most serious scholars assert that it’s a legend at best. However, the author attempts to make a case that there actually was a female Pope. Apparently there is a chair (“sella stercorari”?) in Roman that has a hole in the middle to make sure the Pope is a man? I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it.

Also, it seems that they are about to make the book a movie.

Cheers,

Brooke


#2

If it is anything slanderous or dirogotory concerning the Church, bets are that someone in Hollywood has the film rights to it.


#3

That’s for sure! It bothers me when writers use just enough history to make the story seem creditable.


#4

Fiction 4 of Pope Fiction by Mr. Madrid deals with this:

catholicexchange.com/clibrary/document.asp?document_id=109&category_id=178&main_cat_id=&chunk=7


#5

I’m sure this movie will be a blockbuster, a la Da Vinci Code! It’s a miracle that Mel’s movie did as well as it did.


#6

As the excerpt from Patrick Madrid makes clear, the legend of a Pope Joan is bogus. While the incident is alleged to have occurred in the 9th century, there is no mention of this legend until the 13th century. Also see this short piece for a brief summary.

JimG


#7

While the tale itself is legendary and has no factual basis, the existence of a female “Popess” was a fact taken for granted by Catholics for centuries. It was a CCalvinist who finally refuted her existence!

There were a couple of Italian churches, including, I believe, the Sistine Chapel, that had busts or paintings of “Pope Joan.” They’ve since been destroyed.

And as far as I know, some medieval papal liturgists, inspired by the legend, did indeed compose elaborate ceremonials by which the elected pope was “tested” to see if he was really man. One of these rituals included the sitting on a special throne, with a hole in it, to view the elected’s testicles.


#8

library.saint-mike.org/essays-johnpaul/pope_joan.html

The Truth About Pope Joan

by John-Paul Ignatius, Legion of St. Michael

The first thing we need to remember in doing apologetics is that when aberrant histories are presented to us, the burden of proof IS NOT for us to “disprove” the errant histories. The burden of proof is on them to prove their theory.

Thus in this case, the burden of proof is on the people who wish to assert a “Pope Joan” existed. We NEED NOT prove she didn’t.

With that said, the MYTH of Pope Joan was that she “reigned” from 855-858. The problem with this is that Pope Benedict III happened to be on the Chair of Peter at this time.

There were some anti-popes during this time period:

John ended an alleged reign in January 844

Anatasius was a pretender to the papacy from Aug-Sept 855 (he died in 880)

Christopher was a pretender to the papacy from July or Sept 903 to Jan 904
The REAL Popes during this time were:

Gregory IV: 827 - Jan 844

Sergius II: Jan 844 - Jan 27, 847

St. Leo IV: Jan (Apr 10) 847- July 17, 855

BENEDICT III: July (Sept 29) 855 - Apr 17, 858

St. Nicholas I (the Great): Apr 24, 858 - Nov 13, 867

Adrian II: Dec 14, 867 - Dec 14, 872
No Joan in the crowd as Pope or Anti-Pope!

In addition there is no evidence of the myth of Pope Joan in existence before the 13th Century.

The Newsletter of the Catholic Society of Evangelists for December 1997 includes this information:

Anti-Catholic polemicists make much of the alleged female Pope, who disguised as a man was ordained, became a Cardinal and eventually Pope. Going by various names, Joan, Agnes, Gilberta, or Jutta, or sometimes unnamed, this personage is described in legends contained in the “Universal Chronicle of Metz”, attributed to the Dominican John of Metz between 1240 and 1250 and repeated by the Dominican Martin of Trooppau who died in 1297.
At the time of the Protestant reformation it added much fuel to the anti-papal fires burning in Europe. However, it was a French Protestant Historian, David Blondel (1590-1655) who proved its mythical nature, in studies published in Holland in 1647 and 1657. Ignatius von Dollinger
(1799-1890) gave the “coup de grace” to whatever remained in the legend in 1863 when he showed it to have been an adaptation of a Roman folk tale. The non-Catholic author of “The Oxford Dictionary of Popes” comments (p. 329) “It scarcely needs painstaking refutation today.”

On another interesting twist of historical revisionism, many feminists assert that the Church did ordain women at one time. They use the myth of Pope Joan as proof. The problem is the legend of Pope Joan says that the so-called Pope Joan accomplished this feat by lying and trickery. This smashes the feminist garbage that the Church somehow accepted female priests. Obviously if the Church accepted female priests, this “Joan” would not have had to disguise herself as a man.

An additional note, to counter charges of bias Catholic historians is that the primary person who proved that Pope Joan was a fictional myth was a Protestant, not a Catholic.

For these people who claim a Pope Joan? Nice theory, prove it.


#9

Oh, one more thing!

While Catholics for centuries did believe that there was a “Popess Joan,” while elaborate liturgical texts were written up concerning the testing of a candidate’s manhood, and while a chair was, in fact, made with an opening in it in you-know-where; there is actually no proof that these liturgical texts were ever actually used.

As far as this “proving” a one-time “female ordination”; its not likely. The whole legend rests on the fact that Joan was a transvestite, that she was unknowingly “ordained” and became Pope.

Hypothetically speaking, a “Pope Joan” incident could happen. In that case, her ordinations would simply be invalid, as would her election to the papacy. Her “papacy” wuld, in fact, be considered a vacancy of the papal throne.


#10

[quote=schwanhall]I recently finished reading a book by Donna Woolfolk Cross called “Pope Joan.” It’s about a woman who supposedly became Pope in the 9th century. It seemed pretty bogus, but it was a good read none the less. I did some research on the internet and found that most serious scholars assert that it’s a legend at best. However, the author attempts to make a case that there actually was a female Pope. Apparently there is a chair (“sella stercorari”?) in Roman that has a hole in the middle to make sure the Pope is a man? I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it.

[/quote]

Gods peace be with you Theophilus,

You have just learned a good lesson about many protestant sect preachers and authors when preaching or writing about the Catholic Church, they seldom let facts stand in their way when cutting down Christ’s body. I am reading The Shadow of Rome by Wilder at the request of my wife’s Grandmother – a devout anti-Catholic bigot like most all of her family. This Grandmother just ignores my comments when I point out the errors in her beliefs about Catholicism, even when I show her in her KJV that what she says is wrong and that the Catholics are right. Just another closed minded bigot. Get used to them they are everywhere including this forum. I am also typing a response with some of the errors I found in this book but cannot write on all of them since I could not afford that much ink and paper! I’m up to 6 pages of errors in the book and I’m not even finished with the first page of the first chapter!

Did you know we have at least two popes living right here in the good old USA today? It’s a fact, they both claim to be pope and you can find information on them with an easy web search. There may be more too. Just because someone ‘claims’ to be the Pope does not make him (or her) Pope. Bigots will use this information as if its fact to lie and degrade Christ’s Church, His body, His holy Catholic Church (this includes our Eastern Rite brothers and sisters whom are also in this body). The Bible foretells such efforts by Satan. When all the bigots and Satanically possessed stop writing horrible lies – or just stop writing about Catholics at all – that’s when I’ll worry. As long as they write lies I know Christ is in His Church the Advocate (Holy Spirit) is in me and Satan is working in evil or misguided humans to destroy that body.

So has there ever been 3 Popes? No, but they were elected so to speak (long story).

Woman Popes? No.

Bad Popes? Not really, just some Popes may have done some bad things though they were good people.

Fallible Popes? Yes, but never when speaking ex-cathedra. (long topic here)

The Pope is human and as a sinner himself can do some good or bad just like you and me.

One way you can tell bigoted protestant lies is when they make you want to laugh, like the stump on the Popes chair. Where do they get this stuff? Comics like Eddy Murphy? They must sit around smoking dope and having hallucinations? Go to www.chick.com. Watch the anti-Christ slide show, you won’t know weather to laugh or cry for the idiots that write this stuff. But trust me when I say many do believe it and it is effective at getting Catholics to leave the body of Christ.

Not all protestants are bad people and many if not most may eventually be saved even though they deny ‘hope’ as in St. Paul’s Gospel from Jesus and lacking in their ‘New Gospel’ from Luther. Only Jesus judges, not you, not me, not preacher so and so either. When Jesus judges, who am I to say He cannot let whom He desires into Gods grace? Gods ‘grace alone’ saves us and nothing we do or a non-heavenly inspired myth like ‘faith alone’. We can only let the Fruits of our Faith put words into our Advocates mouth to use at our justification or to put into Lucifer’s mouth to condemn us.

Oh back to the book, I got carried away. Try reading Christian books like *Pope Fiction *or *Hitler The War and The Pope or The Facts About Luther *etc. These are honest books from good people. As long as Satan exists there will be lies about the Pope, whom Jesus gave authority on earth.

The Truth is out there!http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon14.gif

A prisoner of Christ

PS. Don’t throw away your chick tracts, they make good fire starters on campouts! Save the trees! Can anyone think of other good uses for them too?


#11

[quote=tmitchell2]I’m sure this movie will be a blockbuster, a la Da Vinci Code! It’s a miracle that Mel’s movie did as well as it did.
[/quote]

Gods peace be with you Theophilus,

I read from or heard numerous protestant preachers preach to their congregations not to see the movie because it was made the Catholics and therefore could not be truthful! Satan is alive and well outside the body. [font=Wingdings]L[/font]

A prisoner of Christ

1 Cor 10:32-33 “Avoid giving offense, whether to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved.”


#12

QUOTE]

I’m so weary of media that try to promote women in every position of authority (pope, president, etc) Many of us don’t feel it necessary to compete with men to find our worth in life. :rolleyes:
May God grant us all peace and serenity in our lives.
Maggie


#13

[quote=Malachi4U]Gods peace be with you Theophilus,

So has there ever been 3 Popes? No, but they were elected so to speak (long story).

Woman Popes? No.

Bad Popes? Not really, just some Popes may have done some bad things though they were good people.

Fallible Popes? Yes, but never when speaking ex-cathedra. (long topic here)

The Pope is human and as a sinner himself can do some good or bad just like you and me.

Technically there was a time of 3 popes when the Pope was to move back from Avignon, France to Rome, Italy (Although I do not have the dates right now.) The other 2 popes eventaully had to give up their chair & title to the third I believe.

Woman popes - I think not:

  1. Part of this is a history misunderstanding as agname has noted.
  2. To the “naked” English “eye” the way Italians write John looks more like JoAnne or Joan or some other female name. When the name had been abreviated in the past, it was as “Joan.” [in Italian] (I am still looking for the documents to support this, but that is what I found in the past.)

Yes, popes are human, but not infallible on faith and morals. I would be carefull about calling popes falible.

As Bad and/or corrupt popes, possibly. There was an era in Church & Italian history where the Pope owned land called the Papal States. The papacy was bought/influenced by the wealthy (men), who were contiually at war with the other city states in Italy. (Again, I am sorry, but I don’t have the dates right now.)

hope this helps, thanks - Davemcher5
[/quote]


#14

It should be pretty obvious from the previous posts that this is a myth. However, let’s say that you believe the myths that a woman did in fact disguise herself and managed to go through the ordination rites and even be elected Pope. All this would mean was that an invalid ordination had been atempted and subsequent invalid Papal election. It is not possible for a woman to be ordained, even one disguised as a man. It is not the power of the Bishop that ordains, but the Holy Spirit and he isn’t as easily fooled by disguises. The same is true of electing the Pope.


#15

*Agname’s *response is right on the money. I would also suggest that you look up the article on Pope Joan in the Catholic Encyclopedia. For example, you can go to www.newadvent.org and check out the article.


#16

The story of pope joan has further credence in 1400 when a female figure was placed among the busts of the popes in the sienna cathedral. One surprisingly progressive fourteenth-century writer even argued that joan’s evelation demonstrated the equality of women with men. Over the years, the legend is increasingly disparaged by catholics, but it was a french protestant who convincingly quashed it in the 17th century. A close look at the facts reveals that no contemporary evidence exists for a female pope at any of the dates she supposedly reigned. :blessyou:


#17

of course… she resides with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny…

Seriously,

ever since i was a kid… ever so often this rumor would roll around because some non-catholic would gain miles in trying to confuse a catholic with something he couldn’t answer…

trust me… :smiley: since you and i are such close friends :slight_smile:

it bogus… now relax,

have a nice day…

phew, i feel better… :thumbsup:


#18

Am I the only one not getting the chair with a hole in it thing? I realize that I can be slow at times but I dont understand the logic behind a chair with a hole in it!! Unless of course the Pope was suppose to be sitting in it naked or something rediculous like that. Can someone elaborate without getting too graphic?


#19

Am I the only one not getting the chair with a hole in it thing? I realize that I can be slow at times but I dont understand the logic behind a chair with a hole in it!! Unless of course the Pope was suppose to be sitting in it naked or something rediculous like that. Can someone elaborate without getting too graphic?

Supposedly, the newly elected Pontiff, fully vested except for undergarments was to sit on this elevated throne, which has a special hole for the testicles to show through. A senior Cardinal would take a look under this raised throne and verify that the Pope was a male.

We now know that, while these chairs did in fact exist (and still do), and were used in coronation ceremonies until the early 1500s, it was not for the purpose of checking the sex of a Pope. These were actually very ornate toilets (or obstetric chairs) dating back to Classical times, and were employed in the Coronation rites of the Popes for no other reason than the fact that they were very beautiful.

For more information, see the following excerpt from Rosemary and Darroll Pardoe’s The Female Pope: The Mystery of Pope Joan, the definitive work on the subject.


#20

Yep, the poor little ole Catholic Church takes a beating from the Professional Anti-Catholics who want to make a buck while spewing filth toward the most Pristine Thing Ever Built On This Earth.

But, ya’ know what? No matter what filthy movie is made the gates of hell sha;ll not prevail against Her.


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