Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pope Joan? Pioneer or Protestant plot - film revives debate about female pope

 From the Sydney Morning Herald
… a film, which last week reached the top 10 box office list in Italy, has revived the story of Pope Joan - an Englishwoman who, legend has it, disguised herself as a man and became the only female pontiff.
The film will fuel debate over whether Pope Joan really existed or whether, as the Catholic Church maintains, she was a mythical figure used by the early Protestants to discredit and embarrass Rome.
Given how gullible anti-Catholics seem to be I’m sure they’ll be flocking to see the movie.
Wikipedia provides some details as to why the “Pope Joan” story can’t be true:
"Between [Popes] Leo IV and Benedict III, where Martinus Polonus places her, she cannot be inserted, because Leo IV died 17 July 855, and immediately after his death Benedict III was elected by the clergy and people of Rome; but owing to the setting up of an Antipope, in the person of the deposed Cardinal Anastasius, he was not consecrated until 29 September. Coins exist which bear both the image of Benedict III and of Emperor Lothair I, who died 28 September 855; therefore Benedict must have been recognized as Pope before the last-mentioned date. On 7 October 855, Benedict III issued a charter for the Abbey of Corvey. Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims, informed Nicholas I that a messenger whom he had sent to Leo IV learned on his way of the death of this Pope, and therefore handed his petition to Benedict III, who decided it (Hincmar, ep. xl in P.L., CXXXVI, 85). All these witnesses prove the correctness of the dates given in the lives of Leo IV and Benedict III, and there was no interregnum between these two Popes, so that at this place there is no room for the alleged Popess."[6]

More at Patrick Madrid's Blog.

More at Catholic Encyclopedia.

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