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James Barclay wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • Was there really a female pope or is it:
    • a legend
    • a cover-up, or
    • just badly chronicled history?

One critic of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire castigates him for mixing up two very powerful Roman women, one of whom mothered several Popes in succession; he says she may have had the appellation of Pope Joan. The book titled Pope Joan gives the account as if it were fact, but relinquishes responsibility by saying some of its sources may be faulty.

A book, The Chalice of Magdalene: The Search for the Cup that Held the Blood of Christ, by Graham Phillips (2004) writes that in 1245 A.D. a chronicler, Martinus Polonus, said that on the death of Pope Leo IV, a Pope John VIII (who was actually a woman) gave birth to a child while on procession by St. Clement's Church and that the child was a male.

Around 1060, a monk from Cologne, Marianus Scotus said that, in the 14th year of the Holy Roman Emperor Lothair I (854 A.D.), a woman named Joanna reigned as pope for two years, five months and two days. In 1100 A.D. a chronicler, Sigebert of Gemblours, said that he heard that John VIII was actually a woman.

In 1206 A.D., Dominic Guzman wrote the name was Joan Aquila (Joan the Eagle). In La Folie Perceval, Percival is transported back to the forest and meets with a powerful, wise woman who tells him I was once he who sent you here.

Guzman indicates that in one of the Catharist Tarot packs the female pope in the pack was perceived as pope Joan. Guzman also intimates that she is also the person who claimed to have drunk the wine of both Peter and Joseph and thus gives her the necessary provenance [and/or] papal credentials. Chronicles say that she existed while others write she did not.

I can find nothing to substantiate this claim, though the Nays are far more in response to Yeas claims of authenticity.

It is said in Archaeology and Historical Research that the truth often lies nearest the root; that is to say that the earliest evidence, with no refutation until much later, makes the rule.

  • What do you say on this issue?

James Barclay

  { Was there ever a female Pope or is it a legend, cover-up, or just badly chronicled history? }

Eric replied:

James —

Here is an article that should help you out:

I hope this helps,


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