HAS A WOMAN EVER BEEN MADE POPE?

History Revealed - - Q & A -

When it comes to popes, the score is cur­rently 266 men, zero women. Yet for hun­dreds of years, the medieval story of a Joan who dis­guised her­self as a man and reigned as a pope dur­ing the mid-ninth cen­tury was ac­cepted as fact.

One rather thin ac­count from the 13th cen­tury claims Joan was English, while an­other says that she was found out, and stoned to death, when she gave birth in pub­lic. And al­though de­bunked as a phoney pon­tiff, Joan in­spired an­other ru­mour – that a can­di­date for pope had to sit in a chair with a hole, like a com­mode, so they could be checked to be a man.

ANY­THING FOR LOVE Joan al­legedly dis­guised her­self at a lover’s be­hest

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