"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pope Joan: Historicized Legends believed to be true by the Iglesia ni Cristo

Pope Joan a Fiction
Through his old PASUGO copies, an Iglesia ni Cristo member by the name "readme" was surprised that there's such a story about a certain woman "POPE JOAN"-- another "SECRET" of the Catholic Church (?) as he said.

Though this story has long been proven to be a 'MYTH' or a 'LEGEND' the Iglesia ni Cristo was very much pleased about it. And because this legend was deeply anti-Pope and anti-Catholic in its entirety, the INC rejoiced when they stumbled upon it, treasured it and officially immortalized the legend in their Pasugo.

On my part, I was MORE surprised than Mr. readme to see such a MYTH being OFFICIALLY circulated in its Magazine and IS still believed among members of this cult to this day.

readme said:


Here's what the INC QUOTED directly from a book and published it in the Pasugo (no reference given by readme). Note: Highlights are mine.

Joan Anglicus (818-855)
Pope of Rome...
The Vatican has many secretes. Perhaps its most carefully guarded one throughout history is this: that for 2 years, 5months, and 4 days, between 853 and 855 A.D, the Pope was a woman.

Somewhere between Pope Leo IV (847-855) and Pope Benedict III (855-858), Joan, in the lifelong guise of a man, rose to the highest seat in Roman Catholic Church. She rule 2 1/2 years and would have ruled longer except that her true gender was exposed after a love affair that resulted in her giving birth to a boy during a public ceremony. For 3 centuries, the Catholic Church has attempted to dismiss her as a myth, although over 150 church historians between the 13th and 17th centuries acknowledge her short reign...

Things were going well enough until in the 2nd year of her reign, she fell in love with her private chaimberlain, a blond youth of 20 named Florus. They became lovers, and to her horror, Joan found herself pregnant. She hoped to escape the Vatican for a period, to bear the child in secrecy and be rid of it, but circumstances kept her confined.

Then one day during a ceremonial procession from St. Peter's to the Lateran Palace, while she rode a horseback, she suffered the pangs of premature childbirth. The procession was halted. She was lifted from her horse and fell to the street and before the eyes of an astounded mob a premature infant was produced among the voluminous folds of the papal vestments.

The crowd, upon realizing that it was not a miracle but in fact a deception became enraged. Joan was tied to the tail of her horse, dragged through the streets of Rome and back to the spot where she has been exposed; there she was stoned to death.

Imagine that! A "church" believing in a MYTH?!!!

To make things appear more BELIEVABLE to his INC followers readme provided his readers a source but NEVER a reference to his collection of "old, very old pasugo issue."

Then he began to ask these questions:

If it is not true that "Pope Joan" didnt existed (sic), why then many knows about this controversy? If it is only an invented story, why then it is not make to end? or the historians make a confirmation that a female pope did not exist?
He was asking why then "many knows (sic) about this controversy"?

Well the answer is obvious. Blame your PASUGO for circulating a myth.

It's because MANY anti-Catholic and anti-Pope cults like YOURS OFFICIALLY PUBLISH and CIRCULATE the same lie to its members. So now that LIE is PERPETUATED in their religion like YOURS.

Like the VICARIUS FILII DEI legend, already abandoned by the Seventh-Day Adventist (where Felix Manalo was once a Pastor) long time ago but STILL the Iglesia ni Cristo believes in it until toTHIS DAY.  Whoa!

Another answer is from WIKIPEDIA. It says:
Pope Joan is a legendary female Pope who supposedly reigned for a few years some time during the Middle Ages. The story first appeared in the writings of 13th-century chroniclers, and subsequently spread through Europe. It was widely believed for centuries, though modern historians and religious scholars consider it fictitious, perhaps deriving from historicized folklore regarding Roman monuments or from anti-papal satire.
Poor INC, he has nowhere to research because all historical facts only the Cathoilc Church has the records like the Catholic Encyclopedia (sorry there is no such things as "Iglesia ni Cristo  Encyclopedia) [baka sabihin niyang 'biased' ang mga Katoliko eh anong magagawa namin kami ay naron na ng maganap ang kasaysayan]. 

The FIRST VERSION of this LEGEND was written by the Dominican chronicler Jean de Mailly (Archiv der Gesellschaft fur altere deutsche Geschichte, xii, 17 sq., 469 sq.) from whom another Dominican, Etienne de Bourbon (d. 1261), adopted the tale into his work on the "Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost."

The SECOND VERSION of this LEGEND appears in the third recension of the chronicle of Martin of Troppau (Martinus Polonus) possibly inserted by the author himself and not by a subsequent transcriber. This is where the Iglesia ni Cristo took the story published in their Pasugo.

LATER VERSIONS of this LEGEND was written by different chroniclers even give the name which she bore as a girl; some call her Agnes, some Gilberta. Still further variations are found in the works of different chroniclers, e.g. in the "Universal Chronicle of Metz", written about 1250, and in subsequent editions of the twelfth (?) century "Mirabilia Urbis Romae".

Why it is considered a MYTH? Here's what Catholic Encyclopedia says:

FIRST, Popes in the 14th and 15th Century were already counted as HISTORICAL PERSONAGES. Their existence was never doubted. Never was it found any traces of her existence in any writings during those years.

SECOND, it's considered a "fragment of imagination". In the fifteenth century, after the awakening of historical criticism, a few scholars like Aeneas Silvius (Epist., I, 30) and Platina (Vitae Pontificum, No. 106) saw the untenableness of the story. Since the sixteenth century Catholic historians began to deny the existence of the popess, e.g., Onofrio Panvinio (Vitae Pontificum, Venice, 1557), Aventinus (Annales Boiorum, lib. IV), Baronius (Annales ad a. 879, n. 5), and others.

THIRD, a few Protestants also, e.g., Blondel (Joanna Papissa, 1657) and Leibniz ("Flores sparsae in tumulum papissae" in "Bibliotheca Historica", Göttingen, 1758, 267 sq.), admitted that the popess never existed. Numerous Protestants, however, made use of the fable in their attacks on the papacy. [sounds familiar with the Iglesia ni Cristo] Even in the nineteenth century, when the untenableness of the legend was recognized by all serious historians, a few Protestants (e.g. Kist, 1843; Suden, 1831; and Andrea, 1866) attempted, in an anti-Roman spirit, to prove the historical existence of the popess. Even Hase ("Kirchengesch.", II, 2nd ed., Leipzig, 1895, 81) could not refrain from a spiteful and absolutely unhistorical note on this subject.

Proof of it's mythical character, according to Historical accounts "there is no place where this legendary figure will fit in." The same source says:

Between Leo IV and Benedict III, where Martinus Polonus places her, she cannot be inserted, because Leo IV died 17 July, 855, and immediately after his death Benedict III was elected by the clergy and people of Rome; but owing to the setting up of an antipope, in the person of the deposed Cardinal Anastasius, he was not consecrated until 29 September. Coins exist which bear both the image of Benedict III and of Emperor Lothair, who died 28 September, 855; therefore Benedict must have been recognized as pope before the last-mentioned date. On 7 October, 855, Benedict III issued a charter for the Abbey of Corvey. Hincmar, Archbishop of Reims, informed Nicholas I that a messenger whom he had sent to Leo IV learned on his way of the death of this pope, and therefore handed his petition to Benedict III, who decided it (Hincmar, ep. xl in P.L., CXXXVI, 85). All these witnesses prove the correctness of the dates given in the lives of Leo IV and Benedict III, and there was no interregnum between these two popes, so that at this place there is no room for the alleged popess. Further, is is even less probable that a popess could be inserted in the list of popes about 1100, between Victor III (1087) and Urban II (1088-99) or Paschal II (1099-1110), as is suggested by the chronicle of Jean de Mailly.
As WIKIPEDIA said, it was "widely believed for centuries", but today, "modern HISTORIANS [with all those dates and books and pages provided] and religious SCHOLARS consider it FICTITIOUS", perhaps to "HISTORICIZED FOLKLORE".

Obviously the Iglesia ni Cristo kept the myth to themselves purposely to demonize the CHURCH which they acknowledge to be CHRIST'S TRUE CHURCH (Pasugo April 1966, p. 46) and to convert more ignorant Catholics.

Mr. readme continued...

The truth, there are many secrets in the Vatican and only showed after so many years, like the abuse cases of the priests, only just these days victims are all showing because Catholic Church covers the truth in the past so that shameful events will not occur, but sorry to the RCC,

THERE IS NO SECRET THAT WILL NOT BE REVEALED...

INDEED!!! TRUTH will prevail.

No one lights up a candle only to hide it under the bushels (Mt. 5:15).

So even how much Catholic priests hide their wrongdoings, God always makes a way to expose their evil wrongdoings so that they may not harm his Body, the Church.

For according to JESUS CHRIST's solemn PROMISE "the gates of hell WILL NEVER prevail against [his Church]". (Mt. 16:18), so everyone doing something evil AGAINST the Church will be exposed so that the Light of Christ may shine. Hell WILL NOT prevail against HIS CHURCH no matter how much you Satan tried!

And many other schismatic groups and individuals (like Felix Manalo) ABANDONED Christ's TRUE CHURCH and founded their own to accommodate their DISOBEDIENCE and PRIDE. 

However this is CERTAIN: The Church for Christ WILL NEVER allow the gates of hell to prevail.
So don't be surprised when there are erring priests.  Their actions may have shamed the whole Church but our hope always that of the PROMISE for Jesus will not fail us.  Good heaven, these priests abandoned their posts and distanced themselves from the Church.  These erring priests were not called to be 'angels' or 'last sugos' etc. 

LIKEWISE you can't hide secrets too. 

Your own founder, an angel and your "huling sugo"  Felix Manalo abuses women of his church was EXPOSED through ROSITA TRILLANES accusations, which the Court UPHELD to be TRUE. You can read more here, here and here and he was never deposed, expelled, excommunicated from the Iglesia ni Cristo. So that his bad reputation remained because his immoral acts were never chastised in the Iglesia ni Cristo.  And what happened to the women he raped? She was even installed a 'DIAKONESA' (ehem).

No matter how you HIDE your teachings from the PUBLIC, the truth will always prevail. And since you said it perfectly, that "THERE IS NO SECRET THAT WILL NOT BE REVEALED" what you hide from public is now being exposed by members of your own who defected and now turning against your own founder and your own church.

Anyway, no serious historian would side with that legend.  The Pope Joan story printed in books are just a newer version of it-- NOTHING but FICTION. Amazon.com:

Amazon.com Review
The author is at pains to tell the reader in an Epilogue that she has written the story as fiction because it is impossible to document Joan's accesion to the Papacy. The Catholic Church has done everything possible to deny this embarrassment. Whether or not one believes in Joan as Pope, this is a compelling story, filled with all kinds of lore: the brutishness of the Dark Ages, Vatican intrigue, politics and favoritism and most of all, the place of women in the Church and in the world. --Valerie Ryan

From Publishers Weekly
Cross makes an excellent, entertaining case in her work of historical fiction that, in the Dark Ages, a woman sat on the papal throne for two years.

Other MYTHS turned HISTORICIZED FICTIONS are:
  1. The Holy Grail 
  2. The Da Vinci Code
I am sure readme loves THESE to be published officially in their Pasugo for the next generations of Iglesia ni Cristo members to believe.

TRUTH or MYTH?  Officially, your Iglesia ni Cristo believed in it!

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