In 1675, a book appeared in English entitled A Present for a Papist: or the Life and Death of Pope Joan, Plainly Proving Out of the Printed Copies, and Manscriptes of Popish Writers and Others, that a Woman called JOAN, was really POPE of ROME, and was there Deliver'd of a Bastard Son in the open Street as She went in Solemn Procession. [31] Stanford's work has been criticised as "credulous" by one mainstream historian[who?]. Corrections? One version of the Chronicon gives an alternative fate for the female pope. xl in P.L., CXXXVI, 85). Ancient Origins © 2013 - 2020Disclaimer - Terms of Publication - Privacy Policy & Cookies - Advertising Policy - Submissions - We Give Back - Contact us. The eighth sculpture is that of a child. At the same time, the four-day fast called the "fast of the female pope" was first established."[7]. The name Joan was not finally adopted until the 14th century; other names commonly given were Agnes or Gilberta. There is a persistent and popular legend that a woman once managed to rise to the office of pope. They note that Peter, in addressing some elders (Church leaders), calls himself a fellow elder. ( Public Domain ). There are numerous accounts of the existence of a female pope, and for hundreds of years, Pope Joan was actually celebrated with a statue in the cathedral at Siena.

According to its author, the Dominican chronicler, Jean de Mailly, there was an unnamed pope who was not recorded in the list of Bishops of Rome because she was a woman disguised as a man. This event is said to have taken place between the reigns of Benedict III and Nicholas I in the 850s. The legend of Pope Joan has survived over the centuries. The legend of Pope Joan can be found in many medieval sources. Keehan even accepted, albeit reluctantly, a compromise with the Obama administration that gave employees of Catholic institutions coverage for birth control, provided the institutions did not have to pay for or administer it. "The Medieval Popes", by Vincent DeMarco, in, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice, "Chronica delle vite de pontefici et imperatori romani", "The lady was a pope: A bestseller revives the outlandish tale of Joan", "Why the Legend of Medieval Pope Joan Persists", "Dreaming of a female pope | Irene Christ on Pope Joan", "Pope Joan – a prodigy who chose to defy all odds; Teatru Malta's summer production", "Mark your calendars! That’s because many Catholic women, including nuns, appear to view the world through a different moral lens than church leaders. Some artifacts seem to be easy to misunderstand or are not well understood at all and this leads to wild theories. [13], Alain Boureau quotes the humanist Jacopo d'Angelo de Scarparia, who visited Rome in 1406 for the enthronement of Gregory XII. Naupa Iglesia: An Egyptian Portal in the Andes? Why would Jesus would give this tremendous authority to St. Peter and not intend for it to be passed on? Are the Distinctive Kalash People of Pakistan Really Descendants of Alexander the Great’s Army?

For example, Photius I of Constantinople, who became patriarch in 858 C.E. The book contains the following account of the female Pope: "Pope John VIII: John, of English extraction, was born at Mentz (Mainz) and is said to have arrived at Popedom by evil art; for disguising herself like a man, whereas she was a woman, she went when young with her paramour, a learned man, to Athens, and made such progress in learning under the professors there that, coming to Rome, she met with few that could equal, much less go beyond her, even in the knowledge of the scriptures; and by her learned and ingenious readings and disputations, she acquired so great respect and authority that upon the death of [Pope] Leo [IV] (as Martin says) by common consent she was chosen Pope in his room. Moreover, any such tampering would be easily detectable by modern scholars. When Christ established His Church, the New Israel, He set up a living, continuing authority to teach, govern, and sanctify in His name. Read Acts 15. One of the biggest curiosities on display at the Caceres Museum in Caceres, Spain is a stele or upright stone slab that originally stood at the southern end of the cemetery in the nearby village of Casar. Some sources suggest that she reigned in the eleventh century. She is described as being a very theologically gifted orator with a perspicacity for spiritual discourse.

Her new job continues work she’d already been doing at the Vatican, and although she will be in charge of “coordinating” the church’s relationships with multilateral organizations, like the United Nations, she noted that she wants to preserve the “harmony” of her working group. The book was penned "By a LOVER of TRUTH, Denying Human Infallibility."

From the mid-13th century onward, the legend was widely disseminated and believed. While Joan's tenure in the ninth century is generally perceived as an unsubstantiated legend, the analysis used to dismiss her existence would also dismiss much of papal history as well. Giovanni Boccaccio wrote about her in De mulieribus claris (1353). And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained. According to the preface the author had been "many years since deceased" and was "highly preferred in the Church of Rome." [22][23], At the time of the Reformation, various Protestant writers took up the Pope Joan legend in their anti-Catholic writings, and the Catholics responded with their own polemic. The story was widely believed for centuries, but most modern scholars regard it as fictional. Pope Joan, legendary female pontiff who supposedly reigned for more than 25 months, from 855 to 858, under the title of John VIII. The golden bodies were rejected by the waves of the sea and corrupted the air, so that a great many people died." Pope Joan has been associated with marvelous happenings. Textual References To the Female Pope The earliest reference to a popess can be found in the 11th-century writing of Martinus Scotus, a monk from the Abbey of St. Martin of Cologne: “In AD 854, Lotharii 14, Joanna, a woman, succeeded Leo, and reigned two years, five months, and four days.” Depiction of Pope John VII in Hartmann Schedel’s religious Nuremberg Chronicle, published in 1493. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'newworldencyclopedia_org-box-4','ezslot_3',170,'0','0'])); In addition to the existence of textual sources about Pope Joan, there are also numerous medieval folktales. No source describing a female pope exists from earlier than the mid-12th century, almost exactly four hundred years after the time when Pope Joan allegedly existed. From the 13th century the story appears in literature, including the works of the Benedictine chronicler Ranulf Higden and the Italian humanists Giovanni Boccaccio and Petrarch. This version, which may have been by Martin himself, is the first to attach a name to the figure, indicating that she was known as "John Anglicus" or "John of Mainz." The origin of the practice is uncertain, but it is quite likely that it was maintained because of widespread belief in the Joan legend and that it was thought genuinely to date back to that period. And even this policy, Collins charged, does not require prelates throughout the world to report abuse to civil authorities.
Martinus Polonus, the Dominican Friar who wrote a vivid account of Pope Joan’s life, yet he revealed little about his sources.

Pope Joan gives birth during a Church procession, artist Giovanni Boccaccio Circa 1450.
After the Apostles, the popes individually and the bishops as a group in union with the pope, are infallible. When Petrus Hispanus was elected pope in 1276 and decided for the papal name John, he meant to correct this error in enumeration by skipping the number XX and having himself counted as John XXI, thus acknowledging the presumed existence of John XIV "bis" in the tenth century who had nothing to do with the alleged existence of a pope John (Joan) VIII in the ninth century.