Skip to comments.When Will Pope Joan -- AKA the Lady-Pope Biopic -- Come to the U.S.?
Posted on 06/22/2010 10:08:33 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
There is so very much to recommend the new film Pope Joan, the epic German-made, English-language biopic of the legendary (and, many would say, apocryphal) ninth-century woman who ascended to the papal throne while posing as a man. First of all, theres the idea of a woman ascending to the papal throne, which is endlessly intriguing. Then theres the other part of her myth, which involved her having a secret lover and a child before she was discovered and torn apart by a vicious mob. Last and hardly least, John Goodman plays her successor, Pope Sergius III, who is the only pope thought to have ordered the murder of a another. Pulpy! And of course the Vatican hates it. So when can we see it in the U.S.?
Summit Entertainment has final say on that, and as of this writing, no Stateside release date has been set. But the House That Twilight Built might look with encouragement to Italy, where Vatican scorn hasnt stopped the film from soaring near the top of the box-office right below Sex and the City 2. Obviously. The Brits are apparently next, already looking forward to the opportunity to see how the two-and-a-half hour biopic based on Donna Woolfolk Crosss novel (and preceded by a 1972 version of the same story starring Liv Ullmann) fares in England.
And theres a German-language trailer with subtitles (and, er, menstrual blood): http://www.youtube.com/v/UHQgTxTPjG8&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xd0d0d0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1
Again, the Catholic Church (and most historians) vehemently denies the possibility of a Lady Pope at any time in its history, writing Pope Joans story off as a hoax and calling the film one of extremely limited vision. In other words, its no Blues Brothers. Surely Goodmans casting must count for something? The Blues Brothers 2000 connection? No? OK. Well, for the rest of us, keep an eye out.
....as of this writing, no Stateside release date has been set....
Again, the Catholic Church (and most historians) vehemently denies the possibility of a Lady Pope at any time in its history, writing Pope Joans story off as a hoax and calling the film one of extremely limited vision. In other words, its no Blues Brothers. Surely Goodmans casting must count for something? The Blues Brothers 2000 connection? No? OK.
How about a movie about a desert bandit and pedophile who founds a murderous cult opposed to drinking, dancing, having fun, bathing suits, dogs, and pork???
Once again, Hollyweird is only interested in Christian traditions and history when they can pervert and mock them.
These types of movies are discouraging to Our Lady and her Son, the angels and saints; entertainment no better [in fact, maybe even worse] for the soul than pornography [which does not pretend to send a message artistically].
It’s okay because it’s attacking Catholics, not (fill in preferred Christian subgroup) “us.”
Like Yentl, this is blasphemy!
***How about a movie about a desert bandit and pedophile who founds a murderous cult opposed to drinking, dancing, having fun, bathing suits, dogs, and pork???***
Already been done.
Mohammad: Messenger of God (1976) Anthony Quinn
from another thread:
Pure nonsense. There are no such Books of the Popes citing any such Pope Joan. The first mention of any such pope was in the 13th century, 400 years later. In that story, clearly a fiction Pope Joan reigned in 1099. The problem with taking that assertion seriously is that Pope Urban II, who called forth the Crusades, reigned in 1099. He died July 29th and a mere two weeks later, Pope Paschall II reigned.
Those who would try to parlay the fiction into legend or slander realized theyd have to pick a much earlier date for the alleged Pope Joan, so chose the ninth century. The dates of the Popes reigns in the ninth century are well recorded, so no such pope could have existed then, but such knowledge was certainly much scarcer among the townspeople:
If I created a story about a Governor Baker of California in 1973, Freepers would quickly object that Reagan was governor then. However, if I spoke of a 1870s Governor, Id be quite credible.
Later histories placed the reign of Pope Joan between the reigns of Leo IV and Benedict III. Leo died and Benedict was elevated in 855. But could a female pope have ruled then?
Among the commonfolk, the date, six centuries prior, must have seemed plausible... unless one knew what was going on just after 855: The Photios controversy.
The emperor of Constantinople had deposed the Patriarch of Constantinople. All the priests of Constantinople were loyal to him, however, so no successor could be chosen among them. Therefore, the emperor elevated a layman to become bishop. The bishop of Rome, the pope, siding with the deposed patriarch, objected that such an elevation was improper. The emperor insisted the Roman patriarch had no such authority to object. Thus began the controversies which would result in the Great Schism between Orthodox and Catholic churches.
So, according to the Pope Joan legend, this all unfolded immediately following Pope Joan. How could extensive debates which followed never make any reference to the supposed fact that the See of Rome had just been occupied by someone canonically unfit to be a bishop? To the fifteenth-century scalliwag, A.D. 855 seemed like a remote and unknowable date. But to a historian, it was a particularly well-documented and well-detailed era of Catholic history. (Actually, from before then, there is a citation of a Roman pope denouncing rumors of a female Byzantine patriarch as outrageous and obscene.)
So why create such a scurrilous tale if it were truly fictitious?
The legend probably comes from Pope John XI, not, as the story would have it Pope John VIII. John XI was from Italy, not England. Johns mother was ruler of Rome. He was a weak, ineffectual ruler, dominated by her, until she was overthrown. Then, he was afforded virtually no temporal (secular) power. His reign was considered by many to be the deepest humiliation of the papacy. Pope Joan may be a conflation of John XI and his mother, whom critics may well have scoffed was a de facto pope.
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