Torn-Out Pages: Pope Joan and the Persistence of Myth-Making

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Pope Joan was a woman alleged to have ascended to papacy by dressing up as a man, with her gender revealed only after she died in childbirth during a procession. However, she’s most definitely a myth. Stefan Bauer debunks the “smoking guns” provided by Pietro Ratto that allegedly prove how the Church erased Joan from history. For example, Ratto points to inconsistent papal names as proof of her existence, which Bauer says is caused by the multitude of Pope Johns in history and too few contemporary sources. Read full article here

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