Grumpy old fart!!!

"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."

Pope Joan


Olivia Mary de Havilland (born 1st July 1916) is an American film and stage actress. She is the elder sister of actress Joan Fontaine. Along with her sister, de Havilland is one of the last surviving female stars from 1930s Hollywood. She is also the last living lead from “Gone with the Wind”.

Pope Joan is a 1972 British drama film based on the story of Pope Joan. It was directed by Michael Anderson and has a cast which includes Lesley-Anne Down,(Cecelia) Patrick Magee (elder monk), Nigel Havers (young monk), Olivia de Havilland (Mother Superior) and starred Liv Ullmann in the lead role of Pope Joan.

This film is based on the medieval legend of Pope Joan, who was made Pope for a brief period around 855 A.D.

February 22, 2010 - Posted by | Actress Nuns, Servants, Social History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Olivia is gorgeous…. and nice obsession with nuns I noticed 🙂

    Comment by Rincewind | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • Caught out LOL, yes I like pictures of Nuns whether genuine Nuns or actresses

      Comment by summertime75 | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. Just so you know that it’s an untrue legend.

    Comment by David | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  3. David that is the great thing about myths and legends they tend to be manipulated to suit current thinking and then conveniently pushed aside when it serves no further use. Given the Catholic Churches’ abhorrence of female clergy it could be true; after all, their stand against female clergy is I believe based on the disciples only being male; although I did read that there is a suggestion that Jesus did have female disciples just not amongst the twelve.

    Comment by summertime75 | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • There is no abhorrence of female clergy, just a prohibition against it. The Catholic priesthood and hierarchy is modeled after the Jewish priesthood, which was instituted by God. There were no female priests. Certainly, Jesus had female disciples, but the apostles were all male. They were the first bishops/priests, not disciples. Jesus gave special instruction to his apostles, explaining parables, giving them deeper understanding of what how to spread His word.

      From Patrick Madrid’s Pope Fiction:
      The primary proofs that this is all just a fable are these: First, the earliest point that we can trace the legend to is the mid-13th century, but the legend didn’t really gain wide currency until the late 14th century. No evidence of any kind exists from the ninth century (when Pope Joan was alleged to have reigned), nor do we see any in the 10th through 12th centuries. None of the annals or acts of the popes that were written between the ninth and 13th centuries (and none after that, either) mention her.

      Church historian J.P. Kirsch wrote that “Not one contemporaneous historical source among the papal histories knows anything about her; also, no mention is made of her until the middle of the 13th century. Now it is incredible that the appearance of a ‘popess,’ if it was a historical fact, would be noticed by none of the numerous historians from the 10th to the 13th century. In the history of the popes, there is no place where this legendary figure will fit in. Between Leo IV and Benedict III, where Martinus Polonus places her, she cannot be inserted . . .” (Article on Pope Joan, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913).

      So where did the legend come from? There are two likely possibilities. The first is that the Roman population became disgusted with the corrupt influence wielded over Pope Sergius (reigned 904-911) by the powerful and wealthy Theodora Theophylact, and more specifically by her young daughter Morozia, a cunning and exceptionally attractive woman. It appears that Morozia was Sergius’ mistress and bore him at least one son (the future Pope John XI). The fabulously wealthy and prestigious Theophylact family wielded immense power in Rome during the 10th century, even, sadly, over several popes. This is a sorry episode in the history of the Church, one which displayed a decadence and immorality that even popes, at times, could fall prey to — a reminder to us all that men, even the holiest of men, are not invulnerable to temptation and personal weakness. Despite their sins, Christ’s promise that the Church would be protected from error was not, nor has it ever been, broken.

      From the details of Sergius III’s pontificate, it seems clear that he was a vain, violent and sensuous man. It’s quite possible that the disgusted faithful took to mocking him or one of his immediate successors because he was perceived to have been under the influence of the Theophylact women. Some historians trace the legend of a female pope to Morozia, saying the people called her “Pope Joan” to mock the weak popes she controlled, in the same way some American first ladies have been called “president” to mock their perceived weak husbands.

      Another possible explanation for the Pope Joan legend lies in the conduct of the much maligned Pope John VIII (reigned 872-882). He appears to have had a very weak personality, even perhaps somewhat effeminate. Cardinal Baronius, in his Church history Annals, suggests that John VIII’s reputation as effeminate gave rise to the legend. Indeed, it would seem that over time, the common folk added ever more lurid embellishments until the vulgar jokes about the hapless (and certainly male) pope ballooned and metamorphosed into a female “popessa.”

      Historically, there is no room in the lineage of popes for a Pope Joan.

      Comment by David | February 22, 2010 | Reply

  4. Apologies in my haste I used disciples rather than apostle; I can feel the stony glare from my tutor LOL.

    Comment by summertime75 | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • No problem. I just want to be sure that people who speak about Catholicism really know what they’re speaking about. Many people misunderstand what the first Christian faith is all about.

      Comment by David | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  5. The real problem is that all religions, including mine have changed and evolved to a point where the original message and structure have changed often beyond recognition. I sometimes wonder what would happen if the different Prophets or Messengers came back to earth in the 21 first century whether they would recognise what they revealed to mankind, probably not.

    Comment by summertime75 | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Catholicism has not changed. Evolved, yes. But there is nothing in Catholicism that was not taught to the apostles, and handed down by them. The Holy Spirit makes sure that there is no error or divergence from what Christ taught and meant.

      Now, that said, how humans, who don’t have the guidance of the Holy Spirit, interpret and practice Catholicism is another story. We all make God in our own image, rather than the other way around. What we must do is to do what the Catholic Church did. Look at our own belief systems and compare it to what the apostles and their successors believed, to ensure that we’re not being heretical. We can do this by reading what the Early Church Fathers wrote and taught.

      Comment by David | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  6. hmm, isn’t evolved the same as change? and then we get to the lovely catholic church, don’t they amend the laws now and then for what is heretic and not.

    Anyhoo, was just over here to send u a link oh grumpy fart there (not you David 🙂

    Comment by Rincewind | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Evolve is really the wrong word. Metamorphose is more like it. What happens to an acorn to make it an oak tree. It’s not changed in its essence. Amend laws…I don’t have time to go into 2000 years of history, could you give me an example? When something new comes along, for example, Islam, I guess there could be amendments to be inclusive. But a heretic is always a heretic. A heretic is one who says I’m right, and all of you are wrong. There are four people in the blessed Trinity (for example). Another example of amending things is when we gain more scientific knowledge, such as stem cell research. Mankind could have never fathomed such a thing 200 years ago, much less 2000. So the Church makes a determination. God bless, and thanks for a sane discussion. BTW, I like nuns too…The one who played St. Bernadette was Sidney Penny of “Pale Rider” fame. Loretta Young was a good nun, too. 🙂

      Comment by David | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the link, loved it, I also liked the image for Monday 22, another aspect that we won’t discuss now LOL

      Comment by summertime75 | February 24, 2010 | Reply

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