http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/popeJoan.html...As Pope John VIII he ruled for two years, until 855 A.D. However, while riding one day from St. Peter's to the Lateran, he had to stop by the side of the road and, to the astonishment of everyone, gave birth to a child. It turned out that Pope John VIII was really a woman. In other words, Pope John was really Pope Joan. [continued]
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/pope.htm...The chief weakness of the Pope Joan story is the absence of any contemporary evidence of a female pope during the dates suggested for her reign. In each instance, clerical records show someone else holding the papacy and doing deeds that are transcribed in church history.
Another problem is the gap between the alleged event and the news of it. Not until the 13th century–400 years after Joan, by the most accepted accounts, ruled–does any mention of a female pope appear in any documents. That's akin to word breaking out just now that England in 1600 had a queen named Elizabeth.
The historical gap, some Joanites suggest, was deliberately created. Cross, the novelist, argues that clerics of the day were so appalled by Joan's trickery that they went to great lengths to avoid and eliminate any written report of it. [continued]
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