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Published on May 22, 2006 By Sugar High Elf In Fiction
I recently finished reading Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. This fictional story about the woman who was Pope is a fairly good read. The writing is a little dry in places, but much more original than say, Dan Brown. I found it entertaining and enjoyable.

Pope Joan is a semi-historical figure / legend who I hope existed just because. The author makes no allusions to historical accuracy and in fact gives you the real historical dates at the end of the book and tells you what she changed to make her book a better story (like changing the year of a viking raid).

No doubt some people will be up in arms about this book... some people probably already are. However I would recommend it to anyone tired of Da Vinci - mania.

Be controversial in a whole new way!

From the back of the book:

"For a thousand years men have denied her existence -- Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to rule Christianity for two years. Now this compelling novel enimates the legend with a portrait of an unforgettable woman who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.

When her older brother dies in a Viking attack, the brilliant young Joan assumes his identity and enters a Benedictine monastery where, as Brother John Anglicus, she distinguishes herself as a scholar and healer. Eventually drawn to Rome, she soon becomes enmeshed in a dangerous mix of powerful passion and explosive politics that threatens her life even as it elevates her to the highest throne in the Western world."

Comments
on May 22, 2006

The way the Mid Evil church was so corrupt, I can believe it! 

Thanks for the recommendation.

on May 22, 2006
The funny thing is, there's MUCH more historical basis for Pope Joan's existence than some of Dan Brown's garbage! Good recommendation!
on May 22, 2006
According to Cross, there are no less than 500 documents that site the existence of Pope Joan which, seeing as how she would have been Pope in a time when most people could neither read nor write and how the Church probably would have tried to erase all mention of her, 500 documents is a lot.
on May 22, 2006
There is actually no tenet of the Church that says a priest (and eventually a Pope) cannot be female.  The male tradition is just that, a tradition based upon the 12 Apostles being male and Jesus being male.
on May 22, 2006
on May 22, 2006
There is actually no tenet of the Church that says a priest (and eventually a Pope) cannot be female. The male tradition is just that, a tradition based upon the 12 Apostles being male and Jesus being male.


There are also a few verses from the Bible that give men the idea that women should not be priests or Popes.

First Timothy, chapter two, verses eleven and twelve. "I do not permit a woman to be a teacher, nor must a woman domineer over a man; she should be quiet and listen with due submission."

There is also, (forgive me, I forget where) a passage about the clergy limiting themselves to one wife, if they must take a wife at all. I know that's the one my mom used when arguing why women shouldn't be preachers.
on May 22, 2006

There are also a few verses from the Bible that give men the idea that women should not be priests or Popes.

Uh, Sugar, I am Catholic.  THose are teachings.  Kind of like your history teacher telling you what Jesus said.  As such, the Catholic Church looks at them as teachings, parables.  Not Gospels.  Great words!  But not tenets.  Tenets are basis of faith.

But if you research further you will see that in the early (pre 4th Century) Church, there were Women Priests.  So a Woman pope?  Sure!

I beleive (my belief not faith) that there will be Women priests before there are Married ones.  And I think in my lifetime.  Which means I can tell you I told you so, or you can to me!

on May 22, 2006
Kind of like your history teacher telling you what Jesus said.


Which was my father, who was also my pastor.

I was simply stating the verses that have been quoted by Catholics and Protestants alike as to why there should be no women clergy. I hope that Pope Joan was real and that she did half of the things that are credited to her in the book. (Which, I know is fictional, but would be really cool if it were all true.)

I wasn't trying to argue with you, Doc, just pointing out some views from the other side.
on May 22, 2006

I wasn't trying to argue with you, Doc, just pointing out some views from the other side.

Sorry, did not mean to come off confrontational.  Just educational.  As we are agreeing, just not on the souce, may I be the first to say thank you Pope Sugar?

on May 22, 2006
Sorry, did not mean to come off confrontational. Just educational. As we are agreeing, just not on the souce, may I be the first to say thank you Pope Sugar?


Hehehe... no prob, Bob. Hmmm, Pope Sugar. I think the biggest problem with that is that I'm not quite good enough to be Pope. I'll be in Purgatory for many, many, many years... if I'm lucky enough to only end up there.
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