HAS A WOMAN EVER BEEN MADE POPE?
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