Pope Joan

The Pope Joan rumour has been around for years, centuries in fact. I first read about it in this crazy book I bought years ago called ‘The Mammoth Book of Tasteless Lists’. I use to drop it in dinner party conversations once, which didn’t go down too well. Many people just told me it was absurd to think the Catholic Church could be duped ( less we forget JFK) . The problem with the whole story is, it does sound absurd. At the time I didn’t know as much as I know now, all I knew was her cover was blown when she gave birth during a papal procession through a narrow lane between the Colosseum and St Clement’s church. She was believed to have been stoned to death and buried under the street. All papal processions from then on avoided passing down the lane.
A special chair was built following the drama to make sure it never happened again. The chair was built with a hole stategically placed in the seat, so as to discretely check if the Pope was in fact a male. The real fact is the “groping chair” was used to check to see if the Pope was castrated, as the Church Law decreed the Pope must be “intact”.

This was about the time I usually lost my audience, as eyebrows raised and conversations were promptly changed to something a little less radical. I was somehow relieved to read a few years back that Steven Spielberg had bought the rights to the Pope Joan story, at last verification of what I always believed to be a great story. I am still waiting Mr Spielberg. Mr Dan Brown snuck the Pope Joan myth into the Da Vinci Code but it didn’t raise even a stir as I guess nobody cares about Pope bloodlines.

In the beautiful town of Siena, Italy, it was rumoured that a statue depicting Pope Joan once adorned the walls of the Siena Duomo. The statue was later removed and re-sculpted to take on the appearance of a less controversial Pope.

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