ABC to Air Pope Joan Investigation

Tonight on ABC Diane Sawyer will host a special on the infamous and non-existent “Pope Joan”. This so-called Pope was supposed to have lived in the early part of the ninth century during a time when the Church was still united. The story goes that Joan had long disguised herself as a man and entered the priesthood, eventually rising to the Papacy. Her identity was only discovered when she went into labor and gave birth while making her way somewhere (I forget the destination) in Rome. The crowds supposedly killed her on the spot.

Almost as sensational as the Duh Vinci Code, huh?

Too bad it’s not anywhere near the truth.

Too bad for the anti-Catholics that is. As the brief article at World Net Daily points out, the story of Pope Joan didn’t even appear until some 400 years AFTER her supposed Papacy. There have been plenty of books and articles debunking this myth over the years, but it still rears it’s ugly head.

I first encountered it when I was doing research for a paper while studying at Bellarmine College (now Bellarmine University) in Louisville, KY back in the mid 80’s. I went to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to look up some resources they had. Most of the local colleges and universities in Louisville have an agreement about making such resources available to each school’s students. While there I came across an old book containing a listing of the Popes and in it was Pope Joan listed as fact. No mention was made of the controversy surrounding this mythical figure. Being non-Catholic at the time, I had no reason to doubt it.

Now, after doing lots of research and reading about the Church, I realize how much hooey it is. Shame on anyone who presents this either as fact or as something that even COULD be true. It’s been debunked over and over and over. It’s pure and simply anti-Catholic trash put out there as fact or at least as plausible theory.

Those not secure in their faith, those looking for an excuse and those who already dissent from Church teaching will find in this a reason to leave, protest or cry hypocrisy. Those who already hate the Church will point to it as proof of the Church as the Whore of Babylon that lies about its past and makes things up as it goes along.

Some will say that this could simply be an investigation into the myth with the purpose of debunking. However, given that the promotions are treating it as a serious subject whose authenticity could be verified and the MSM’s long history of bias against the Church, I will not hold my breath waiting for that debunking.

However, if I am wrong, I will post here tomorrow my sincere apology.

Somehow I don’t really think it will be necessary though.

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